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Del Cannon was an avid swimmer and water polo player in high school, junior college and college in Long Beach. He caught his first wave on a friend's board at Doheny State Park. At the time, Del was a lifeguard for Long Beach. After he learned to surf, Cannon got a job sanding surfboards at Gordie Surfboards on the boardwalk at the Huntington Beach pier. He made his first surf trip to the Islands in 1957.
Cannon got his first shaping job at Burland Surfboards in La Jolla/Birdrock area of San Diego. There he learned a lot of tricks from Mike Diffenderfer. Shortly after, Del married Alice Magee from La Jolla. Heading off to college, Cannon nabbed shaping jobs with Ole, Gordie and Hobie. During this time, his surfing was caught on Bruce Brown's surf films, "Slippery When Wet" and "Barefoot Adventure". After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Del opened his own surf shop in 1965 in a building that was directly across the freeway from Cotton's Point in San Clemente. If you wanted to surf Trestles at the time, you'd park on the street near his shop and sneak in from there. Cannon logged a ton of surf time at Trestles during this period.
In 1970 Del and Alice moved to Maui where he made boards and taught school as a substitute teacher. He also would fly over to Oahu and shape boards for Lightning Bolt on occasion. In 1974 Cannon built his own boat, became a fisherman and moved to Kona. Shortly after, he obtained his Captain's license and became a Charter Boat Captain for the next 21 years.
Del Cannon has had many accomplishments including photos in the first edition of Surfer Magazine, being part of the first group of guys to surf Waimea Bay post Dickie Cross' death, surfing in Japan with Bruce Brown for movie footage that was later released as "Surfing Shorts", being U.S. Judge at the 1969 World Contest in Australia and being Head Judge for the "Duke" Surfing Contest at Waimea Bay in 1972.
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