Jackie Baxter began surfing at the age of 11 in Venice Beach and by the time he was 16, he was a force on the Dewey Weber Surfboard team, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Well respected for his fearless approach to unruly Pipeline and Sunset Beach, Baxter was a standout California transplant on the North Shore during the shortboard revolution of the late 60s and early 70s. “The hairier it is the better,” legendary surfer and peer Bill Hamilton said of Baxter’s surfing in Hawaii. “His mind doesn’t waver in pressure situations. Total destruction or total bliss, either way, Jackie loves it.” Baxter carried the nickname, “Bam-Bam.”

Despite his reckless abandon approach in heavy water, Baxter had a grounded view of surfing as a whole. “I’m not out to accomplishing anything with surfing,” he said. “My only desire is to surf and surf now, and nothing else. I live day to day.” Baxter still competed in the 1971 Duke Kahanamoku Classic and participated as an invitee at the Pipeline Expression Sessions of 1970 and 1971.

Baxter moved back to California in 1974 and was inducted to Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 2009.

Jackie Baxter, 1967. Photo: Ron Stoner/Surfer Magazine

All information reported in this article was obtained from the Encyclopedia of Surfing by Matt Warshaw.