Posted on 15 February 2019
Mike is probably the most well rounded Waterman, Kai Kane, I have ever known. He surfs big waves and small both with the finesse of Rudolf Nureyev, tandems, kite boards and paddle board races. My first introduction to Mike was in surf magazines and watching him win surf contests both in Calif and Hawaii. The most memorable of them being the Duke contest at Sunset Beach in huge howling offshore waves riding a relatively small mini gun. Surfboards were just evolving and guys were riding tear drop shaped down rail surfboards. Mike ripped it to pieces doing S turns down the face and carving straight back up the face only to cut back under the lip and do it all over again. I was in awe of how he surfed that contest and still remember it like it was yesterday. To me he was a surf God and myself a mere mortal. The amazing thing is he's so approachable and unassuming. Always treating you like an equal even though he's light years above you in ability and accomplishments. Mike has that stoke that he just wants to share with others whether it's surfing, kiting, snowboarding or painting. He wants to share his knowledge to help you become better at your craft.
What can I say, Mike Doyle has always been on the forefront of innovations in the surf industry. First it was the invention of surf wax, Surf Research, with Fred Ryan and Garth Murphy. Then came the first soft surfboard the Doyle Soft. Then he and Bill Baine invented the single ski which eventually started the snowboard craze.
I first met Mike in the early seventies hippy era when he owned a home in Leucadia which had the coolest tree house in a big cyprus tree in his back yard. I was lucky enough to acquire a mid sixties Hansen Mike Doyle model in the late seventies when longboards were not in fashion and got to surf it at Cardiff and Swamis with my yellow labrador. Wish I still had that board. I posted a few shots of myself and my sweet dog Tootsie on his Doyle model below.
Only in the last few years have I been lucky enough to spend some quality time with Mike and Annie who were here on Kauai to surf and attend the Legends party at a friend of ours house on the north shore. We surfed and enjoyed the festivities. My only regret is that I haven't been able to spend more time with Mike through the years. He's a talented good kind soul who only wants to share his love for life with all of us.
Much Aloha to you Mike and Annie
Your friend Peter Sellas