Hawai‘i waterman Jock Sutherland took up surfing at the young age of eight and went on to win titles and championships out of reach for even some of the most skilled of surfers. This switch-foot surfer from Hale’iwa is not only credited as one of the first tube riding superstars of the shortboard era, but in 2009 was named one of the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time by Surfer magazine.
After capturing second place at the 1965 Makaha International Junior Surfing Championships at the tender age of 17, Sutherland went on to take first place at the 1967 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championships. He also won first place at the Peru International Surfing Championships in the small wave division and second at the same contest in its big wave division. He also placed second at the World Contest in Ocean Beach, CA in 1966.
A three-time Hawai‘i State Surfing Champion, Sutherland was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1967, before being voted winner of Surfer Magazine’s Surfer of the Year in its 1969 poll. The famed “Jocko’s” break on O’ahu’s North Shore is named after this celebrated waterman; the freight-train left breaks directly in front of the house in Hale’iwa where he grew up and often surfed.A true North Shore legend, the 74-year-old Sutherland is still surfing waves of consequence and reminds us all that catching waves is a good way to start or end your day.
On a community level, Sutherland has dedicated over 10 years of service to Nā Kama Kai, a nonprofit organization focused on ocean sports educational programs for Hawai‘i’s youth. He is a skilled craftsman, often helping kupuna and those in need with his expertise in roofing. The fearlessness Sutherland has been known for throughout his career can only be matched by the Aloha spirit he shares with all of those he comes in contact.