Surfers, water sports fans, and Orange County residents, the
newest exhibit at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum offers something
for almost everyone.
The exhibit, "Orange Peel: A Slice of Orange County Surfing
History," features original photographs and film and video footage
from the 1920s to present, a wide collection that demonstrates the
evolution of surfboards, shows memorabilia of the history of surf
music and more.
Glenn Zagoren, president of the Nautical Museum, said the museum
staff tried to do something different with this exhibit by utilizing
multimedia and having famous surfboards on display that museum-goers
can touch. He said they wanted the exhibit to encompass everything
to do with surfing and its history in Orange County.
"This is a pretty cool exhibit," said Steve Meisinger, who was
born and raised in Newport Beach and now lives in Morro Bay. "There's
some things that remind me of the old days."
Meisinger started surfing in 1967 and nostalgically pointed out
many of his old surfing buddies in the old black and white photos
around the museum. He also remembered surfing some of the
now-developed areas in Dana Point.
"This whole coastline used to be wide open," Meisinger said.
"Before they had the harbor, [Dana Point] was one of the best waves
Some main attractions of the Orange Peel exhibit include one of
Tom Blake's original hollow surfboards, along with one of his surf
trophies from 1932; a photo of Dale Velzy that was signed May 15 --
right before he died May 26; one of Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison's famous
palm-frond hats; film footage of Corona del Mar in the 1930s; and
photo after photo of various Orange County surf spots, taken before
all the beaches were heavily developed tourist attractions.
Nancy Gardner, founder of the Newport Beach chapter of the
Surfrider Foundation, said that although she donated some of the
video footage, she has not seen the completed exhibit yet.
"I'm looking forward to it," she said. "It will be very
Since the exhibit features original prints, it took four months
and several volunteers to pull it all together, Zagoren said.
Zagoren brought in Orange County resident and surfer Felipe
Bascope as a guest curator. Bascope donated his skills, contacts and
time to getting donations and putting them together.
The museum also enlisted the help of many corporate sponsors, such
"It's an exciting thing for us to have," Zagoren said. "In the
amount of space we have, we tried to put together a true Orange