Bruce once described the sport as "three-dimensional free verse." Valluzzi began riding waves in 1963 at age 14; in 1966 he was the men's division runner-up in the East Coast Surfing Championships and competed in the World Championships; in 1967 he competed in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational in Hawaii.
Valluzzi published his first surf magazine article in 1967, and over the next two decades his byline appeared on more than 20 articles, most of them in Surfer. His best-known piece was 1982's "Morocco: Surf Madness and 1001 Moorish Days and Nightmares," a high-speed, booze-soaked, first-person travelogue, clearly influenced by gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, grouping Valluzzi with two-time Pipeline Masters winner Rory Russell (described as having "the grin of a convicted sex offender") and photographer Art Brewer ("large and fearless, easily given to thundering tantrums, who thinks Helmut Newton is a pussy-whipped choirboy"). The article was praised by Surfer readers, although one letter to the editor called Valluzzi's group "the original ugly Americans," and another cautioned Valluzzi against drinking and driving. encyclopedia of surfing
Bruce and the Canaveral (Cocoa Beach) Pier crew
Bruce represented the East Coast in the 1965 and 1966 World Surfing Contests. He was a paddle team member in the second World Surfing Championships in Peru where with Claude Codgen, Mike Tabeling, and Bob Carson they all got 3rd in the four man event. Bruce also placed 5th in the World Contest’s six mile individual paddle, with Tabeling getting 6th, in a field of fifty contestants, marking the first time any East Coast surfers got awards in a world contest. He placed second behind Propper in the 1966 East Coast Surfing Championships and won the coveted All-Events Champion. He also took first place in the Three Man Paddling event at that time with Tabeling and Brendan McLaughlin.
Bruce Valluzzi, Sunset Beach, 1967 from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.
Bruce Valluzzi Roots
Mike Tabeling and Bruce traveled often in the '70s, surfing throughout Europe, Australia, and Africa.
Mike and Bruce Valuzzi in Europe
After graduating from Cocoa Beach High School in 1966 Bruce moved to Hawaii where he honed his big wave skills that winter. He was featured on the cover of Surfing Illustrated riding Sunset Beach marking the first time an East Coast surfer got a front page shot on a West Coast magazine. When he returned to the East he was surfing better than he ever had in the past but he brought back a disdain for small waves and was destined to leave the Small Wave Capital again. Bruce surfed the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Contest in 1966, 67, and 68 and was the only East Coaster to participate three times. He was photographed with the Duke in his full contest colors with Claude Codgen in 1966.
Bruce with Claude Codgen and filmaker/journalist/ambassador Doug Fiske traveling New England is search of the perfect wave at the end of the summer in 1968. When Bruce saw me ride, he said, told me that I surfed like Mike Hynson, so how could I possibly not love the guy?!" - Doug Fiske