Max Wetteland, the "Functional" surfer, passes away at 76

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Max Wetteland, one of the most influential surfers in South Africa, has passed away at age 76.

Wetteland was born in Durban, in 1938. He began surfing at 12, and when he was 15 he already rode his own wooden boards. In the late 1050s, Max won three national paddleboard championships. For many, he was the pioneer of surfing in South Africa. In the mid-1960s, his country didn't have a surf industry with contests, surf shops, and a well-developed surfing community. When the first-ever ISF World Surfing Championships took place in Manly, in 1964, Max and few friends were sent over to represent their country flag. Wetteland reached the semifinals, loved the experience and decided to boost the surf scene in South Africa.

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