STANDING TALL: Legendary Shaper, Midget Smith, Battles Cancer

"When Midget first told me that he had cancer, it broke my heart. He's my favorite person in the whole world and the last person I would want this to happen to," said Andrew Loska, a close friend and shaping apprentice to Midget Smith.

Smith, who was recently diagnosed with cancer has touched many lives, as was clearly evident by the tremendous outpouring of support for the San Clemente native. Unable to get health insurance due to previous bouts with cancer, Smith has been forced to pay for the expensive chemotherapy on his own. In a move to help foot the bill, friends of Midget held a fundraiser at Dukes in San Clemente. "It was really cool, we had a great turnout and were able to raise around $11,000 to help him [Midget] out," said an upbeat and hopeful Andrew Loska.

As a staple in the San Clemente surf scene for the past three decades, Smith has acted as a contest judge in events ranging from local NSSA contests all the way to the elite level with the ASP. Smith is also regarded as one of Southern California's premier shapers, making boards for the likes of Occy, Andy Irons, and Martin Potter.

Smith, who is already undergoing his third of six rounds of chemo to fight the deadly disease, has much of the San Clemente surf community standing tall behind him. An additional fundraiser at the OC Tavern is planned for November 15. The event will feature live music, a raffle, and of course is all for a good cause. "Midget has been such a big part of the surfing community down here, we wish him the best and want to do everything we can to help him out," said SURFER Publisher Rick Irons.

For anyone interested in making a donation, please go to or contact Sean Haggar at