Mike Hynson will discuss his book "Mike Hynson: Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel" at 7 p.m. April 17 at D.G.Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave., La Jolla.
The book is a who's who of 1950s and '60s culture — with names such as Duke Kahanamoku, Hobie Alter, Bruce Brown, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Timothy Leary, Jimi Hendrix — and is a gritty portrayal of Hynson's adventurous frolic spanning three decades questioning, exploring and breaking new ground.
One of the stars of "Endless Summer," the iconic film from Bruce Brown, Hynson writes that he lived his entire life on the edge — from his formative years as a Navy brat in the 1940s and '50s bouncing between Hawaii and San Diego, to his timing and innovation that kept him at the forefront of the surfing industry throughout the '60s.
Hynson helped found the legendary WindanSea Surf Club in 1962; planted the seed in Tom Morey's head for the Boogie Board in 1965 at the first professional surf contest; revolutionized the sport two years later with his faster, more maneuverable down rail board; and transformed a surf demo into "Rainbow Bridge," a cult film shot in Maui. For the film, he recruited Hendrix to write the score and perform on stage at the base of Haleakala just two months before the guitar legend died.
All the while, Hynson was also involved with the infamous Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a religious and idealistic band of hippies who emerged from Laguna Canyon as multimillion-dollar, international drug smugglers.
Hynson recounts his friendship with Johnny Griggs, leader of the Brotherhood, and details the group's rise and fall, including fearing for his life on his first smuggling trip to Katmandu, and the years Timothy Leary spent with them in the canyon.