Surfing became popular in Ocean City after Bill Wise and George Pittman opened the town’s first surf shop – the Eastern Surfer – in 1964.
The surfing crowd was not welcomed by the city fathers in the beginning and surfing was not allowed in the city limits between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (the city limits ended on 41st Street prior to 1965). Surfers were attracted to the uncrowded northern beaches where blocks and blocks of sand dunes were occasionally interspersed with a few summer cottages and by Bobby Baker’s Carousel. According to George Pittman, “we could surf all day up there and not bother anyone.”
Most surfers were in their teens or early 20s but 40-year-old local Realtor George Feehley became one of the best. Shown above tandem surfing, Feehley went on to participate in international lifeguard competitions winning medals for his swimming prowess well into his 70s.
Photo from Bunk Mann’s collection