Words by Dibi Fletcher:
Herbie left the family home in Huntington Beach at 16, with the clothes he was wearing, a surfboard, trunks, and a bedroll, headed for the paradise of the North Shore. Living in the back seat of Dewey Weber’s rusted out Cadillac parked at Val’s reef, was anything but, then again, at first light when he could see the waves peeling at Sunset Point, he knew his rash decision was perfect. He did odd jobs for a few bucks to keep eating, but in ‘66 when Greg McGillivray hired him to star in his film Free and Easy, he figured he had it made. Wow, paid to surf… The pay wasn’t what you’d consider much by today’s standards, but he had a place to crash, a ride to the beach and the opportunity to fly to Maui to surf the Bay, he was completely stoked and had caught the film bug.
By the mid ‘80s he owned part of the “Pipe House” with Gerry Lopez, and now had a base to set up his camera with the lens pointed right down the barrel of what was to prove one of the greatest testing grounds for the powerfully dynamic, tube riding, risk taking hero’s and antiheros who were all to become part of the Wave Warriors series.
When Pipe was closed out and everyone sane was on the beach you could find him Blasting airs on his customized jet ski that he would launch in front of the house and rip the faces of the huge mountains of water on the outer reefs in solitary splendor, those were the days, and the Thrill is Back…