You can’t surf behind bars, goes the not so famous saying. Yet over the years many surfers have ended up on the wrong side of the law. From attempted murder to tax evasion, here are some of surfing’s notable inmates.
1) Miki Dora
One of surfing’s great anti-heroes, the Californian known either as Da Cat or the Black Knight spent the better part of the 1970s on the run from the FBI. He fled the U.S. in 1970 after a warrant was issued against him for credit card and cheque fraud.
He then spent the next seven years mostly in the south of France, but also in New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Namibia, Angola, and Australia. Upon his return to the States in 1981 he was jailed both for the original crimes as well as for altering a credit card and using it on a two-year spending spree through Europe and Asia when he was on the run.
Dora ruled Malibu in the 1960s and was one of surfing’s first ever superstars, but even then he had a slippery relationship with the law. He topped up his sponsorship dollars with dodgy cheques and was always reluctant to play by the mainstream’s mundane laws on tax and credit cards.
His lengthy FBI file is almost as colourful as his personality with one entry describing him as: “quintessential albeit ageing boy of summer on a perennial quest for the legendary ninth wave.”