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The Most Famous Surfer You've Never Heard Of

Jul 30, 2015 | 831 videos
Video by Brendan Hearne, Jordan Tappis, Westward Productions

Curt Harper began surfing at the age of 10, despite doctors telling his parents that their autistic son may have to be institutionalized. Now, at 50 years old, Harper is a fixture in the Southern California surf scene and regularly attends competitions. He also takes "groms," young surfers, out to the shore when their parents can't make it. "Everybody that surfs in Southern California knows Curt—he's famous," says the surfer Dane Reynolds in this short film. The documentary follows Curt in his daily life and captures his many quirks: from his mailroom job, to his obsession with police radios, and, most importantly, his role as chauffeur to the waves for kids in his neighborhood. To learn more about the film and filmmakers visit

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Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.