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A Rebel for All Seasons

Miki Dora, Malibu. Photo: John Severson
Photo: Ron Stoner
Miki Dora, 1962. Photo: Grant Rohloff
Photo: Ron Church
Miki Dora, Sunset, 1965. Photo: LeRoy Grannis

Though a Malibu fixture, Terry "Tubesteak" Tracy embodied the idea that surfing was a movable feast, a celebratory beachfront beggar’s banquet, and surfers from the 1950s forward never strayed too far from this notion. Miki Dora wasn’t the opposite, exactly. He was just as theatrical as Tracy and could be equally comedic. For the Malibu morning surf check, he’d step out of his car in tennis whites, or a smoking jacket, or a black leather Nazi trenchcoat. Finishing a ride, he’d walk back up th...

Nobody played the rebel with Dora’s commitment, but they’d ditch class, or leave work early, or run a red light to get to the beach two minutes faster. Dora’s transgressions were theirs, writ large. By championing him, surfers championed themselves.