John Witzig – A Golden Age: Surfing’s
Revolutionary 1960s and 1970s
John Witzig is a legendary Australian surf photographer and journalist whose images capture the wild idealist spirit of surfing’s golden age, friendships between surfers, and life on the shoreline. His images beautifully capture these idyllic moments in time.
Witzig was instrumental in ushering in a new era in Australian surfing during the late 1960s. His articles, photographs, and films all played an instrumental role in creating this transformation.
Early Life and Education
Witzig, born in Sydney in 1944 and first starting surfing around 1950, quickly rose to become one of Australia’s most renowned surf journalists. He co-founded Tracks magazine in 1970 and served as judge for the inaugural World Surfing Championships. Additionally, Witzig had an eye for photography which resulted in some amazing images.
His most iconic work was likely a photo featuring surfers with smiles in the background that caught the attention of local newspapers and made waves at the time. These iconic shots are now featured in Arcadia: Sound of the Sea exhibit alongside 50 of his iconic photographs alongside ink drawings and psychedelic film footage. Despite his success in surfing, he was equally proud to have a wife and two sons to support him.
John Witzig, an architect by training, has been an esteemed photographer and journalist since documenting the surf world in 1962. His images capture iconic moments from surfers such as Bob McTavish, Nat Young, and Wayne Lynch.
He is the author of numerous books, including A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s. This latest volume captures the soulful, poetic, iconoclastic period when surfing redefined itself.
Photographs in A Golden Age showcase the revolutionary changes to board length, surfing style and technique that created modern surfing. This book is essential reading for surfers and history buffs alike – a timeless collection of images that will be treasured for generations to come. From Australia to Honolua Bay, this golden era in surfing is vividly captured in this stunning compilation.
Achievements and Honors
John Wittzig is a co-founder of Tracks magazine, an early contributor to SURFER magazine and one of surfing’s true social documentarians. His book A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and 1970s is essential reading for anyone interested in surfing or its history.
Witzig was renowned in crime-solving circles, having served over two decades as both an uniformed police officer and homicide detective for the FBI. A significant gift from his estate will be used to endow an undergraduate scholarship in criminal justice at Wilder School with preference given to students who are the first members of their families to pursue this degree.
John Witzig is an internationally acclaimed Australian surf photographer and journalist whose work has had a lasting impact on surfing culture for over 50 years. His latest book, A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s, chronicles this exciting time when he grew up.
Witzig has been an influential co-founder of Tracks magazine and early contributor to SURFER magazine for many years, creating one of the first social documentarians of surf culture. His photography documents the growth and transformation of surfing into an alternative lifestyle that continues to inspire and challenge generations alike. In this photo, Witzig captures a surfer braving a building wave with confidence and freedom – choosing to go along for the ride rather than against it.
John Witzig is an airline pilot with more than 7,000 hours of flight experience, currently working as the director of global transportation for Pfizer Inc. He has been with the company since 2011, and serves on its Senior Leadership Council; his net worth exceeds $225 million. Previously co-founder of Peloton Interactive Inc., Witzig had a remarkable rise and fall during pandemic; stepping down as CEO in February but still holding significant influence within the organization today.