Miki Dora, surfing's most celebrated maverick
, disagreed with the idea of competitive surfing on principle, but his principles were notoriously flexible -- especially when he sensed the opportunity to earn an easy buck, or felt his reputation as Malibu's best surfer might be under threat.
He surfed in the 1964 Malibu Invitational, but made a mockery of the event by deciding to ride a twelve-foot tandem board in the semi-finals. The following year he competed again, and this time made it to the final. As there was no agreed set of rules -- and certainly no such thing as an interference call -- the line-up inevitably descended into chaos, Dora and fierce rival Johnny Fain often sharing, or rather fighting over, the same wave. On one occasion Dora timed his kickout so that his board missed his opponent's head by a whisker; on another, he actually grabbed hold of Fain and shoved him off the wave (pictured). Fain, who finished in 2nd place, got his own back later by throwing rocks at Dora on the beach; Dora, meanwhile, who could only manage 3rd, threw his trophy directly in the bin. ("I think it was despair at having entered the stupid contest in the first place," said one of the judges that day, Tom Morey. "I mean, who's to judge the master, for Neptune's sake?!”)
But perhaps the most famous of Miki's stunts at the contest came in 1967. Greg Noll recalls it thus: "I think he could have won the thing. But when it finally came time to get serious on the wave that made the difference, he streaked across the inside shore break, dropped his shorts, and did a BA for the judges." This is the generally accepted version of events, but Glenn Hening, founder of the Surfrider Foundation, remembers it slightly differently: "He finally got a good wave towards the end of the heat, did a bottom turn, and bent over to bring his board around. When he bent over, his trunks split. [...] With only a few minutes left in the heat, he realised he couldn't advance. So he got out of the water, wrapped his jersey around his waist, went straight to his car, and left." Worthy of its inclusion in this list, either way.