Bill Ogden Godfather of Surf Art

A while back I purchased an album, of the vinyl persuasion, it was called Pretty Darlin’ by Eric Relph ‎– a lovely Private Press affair on the obscure Evy Pollen label.

When it arrived the music blew me away but so did the album sleeve.

A hand drawn illustration of a native girl emerging from cool waters, sparkling eyes and oozing dreamy tales of life living by the ocean, and there, in the bottom right hand corner, was the name Ogden.

…I was trying to show the feeling of being a surfer on the beach, living that free life and all of the stuff I did that wasn’t direct surf art, in that I did beach art: the seaweed, the seashells, the view, the waves, the sand, the rocks, the view looking up the coast…

explains Ogden.
Bill Ogden - Pretty Darlin'

I decided to find out more…

Bill Ogden, Godfather of surf realism, nouveau inspired style, was uber-influential and extremely imitated. His artwork dominated the surf community in the sixties and seventies creating ads for companies like Hobie Surfboards, and Jantzen Inc., his illustrations a ubiquitous feature in most surfing publications. Some of the more well-known pieces of this period include illustrations for Timothy Leary in the L.A. Free Press, a series of calendars for the The Sound Spectrum in Laguna Beach, and the art for the classic surf film The Forgotten Island of Santosha

Ogden’s art continues to hold up many of the artist’s ideals; harmony, balance, hope. His style is a unique blend of fantasy and realism. He is still a big name in the surfing world and his artwork still adorns the like of Burton, Volcom, and Quiksilver.

Bill Ogden Godfather of Surf Art
Bill Ogden Timothy Leary
Bill Ogden Pipe Masters
Bill Ogden Waves Of Colour
Jantzen Bill Ogden
Jantzen Bill Ogden
California Bill Ogden
Sound Spectrum Calendar Bill Ogden

There is also a book of Bill Ogden’s artwork. It’s called OGDEN: The Visionary Art of Bill Ogden.

Google it. This is what it looks like…

The Visionary Art of Bill Ogden
The Visionary Art of Bill Ogden

Please check out Bill’s website at

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All artwork on this page are owned by Bill Ogden © No copyright infringement is intended