My Doyle Story - by Curt Olson
Posted on 12 February 2019
Hello fellow surfers and friends of Mike Doyle,
It’s nice to hear about stories from all of Mike’s good friends. I personally have had the opportunity to surf with Mike many times over the last 30 years in Baja California. I would like to share with all of you what made my experiences of surfing with Mike special. But first I must point out that Mike had a "little brother" named Jeff King and on most occasions when surfing with Mike, Jeff was also in the water.
Now I am not personally as strong a paddler and overall water man and surfer as those guys, but like most of us I have a true love for the ocean and I’ve spent many years racing sailboats, on power boats, fishing, surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and diving. Because I have spent so much time in the ocean in many different conditions, I have a huge respect for it.
My career over the last 40 years kept me from spending the kind of time required to become a serious waterman, but I have had the occasion to surf some special surfing spots at locations in the South Pacific and also in Hawaii. I confess that a lot of it was very intimidating for me. Surfing large waves and looking in at dry reefs and competing for waves with locals and a slew of guys that could out paddle me definitely raised the stress levels and the fear factor. Though surfing those exotic places was an adventure, my most cherished days were sharing waves with Mike and Jeff and my friends in Baja California.
Surfing with these guys Was so much fun and we experienced such great camaraderie. The comforting thing for me was when we were surfing places like Waimesa, Frailes, Lobos, Pastora, and Presidente Rivermouth, on what I considered really big days, I always knew that if something went wrong and I was laying on the bottom of the ocean that Mike or Jeff would be nearby to rescue me. Surfing those big days with Garth Murphy, the Wilson Brothers, and Mike and Jeff are memories I'll never forget. The greatest part about it was the legendary Mike Doyle cheering me on as I’m dropping in on a triple overhead wave out at Waimesa on my 9'6" big red Steve Clark gun. I mean really... how many people in life get to experience that.
There is one story in particular that I’ll never forget. Mike and Jeff were living on gringo hill and Cliff Wilson and I had homes at Palmilla. This was one of those days when there was a huge hurricane swell. We were all at the Mirador above "The Rock" along with a few hundred other people staring down at the ocean In amazement at how big the waves were and how many of them were coming in. We knew there was not a chance in the world of paddling straight out from there, so we loaded up our guns and drove to the Palmilla boat launch and prepared to paddle out there and then down a mile to Acapulquito and The Rock.
So off we went on about a 20-minute paddle down to “Old Mans”. And I wasn’t kidding earlier when I said the waves were big... they were huge. The other part of it was they were breaking way, way out there! Never before had any of us ever been as far out as we were on that day. The takeoff had moved out someplace in the middle of the ocean. It took us a little bit to figure out where the best takeoff zone was and as you can imagine it was constantly moving around. But I think on that day it was Mike that caught the first giant wave and it seemed like he was dropping forever as we looked on. He rode that wave for a long time and we lost sight of him but could hear all the cars on the lookout honking their horns and people cheering. On that day all four of us road some huge, beautiful waves with that great feeling of camaraderie....it was like we were a team! Looking back, I feel so fortunate to have experienced that day with my good friends and with my legendary surfing hero and friend Mike Doyle.
And one of the coolest things that came out of this day was when we were on the beach having a cold beer, Mike came up with a new name for Old Mans~ "Young Mans"!
So many great memories. Mike- you're the MAN!!!!
Love and friendship