Claudie "CC" Codgen
Claudie began surfing when he was 12. He was a regular at the Cocoa Beach Pier, which was known as the Canaveral Pier back then. The small but consistent lefts there helped improve his surfing quickly and it wasn't long before the locals were taking note of this confident precocious youngster. Claude took number one in East Coast contest ratings in 1967 and second in 1968. He spent time in Hawaii surfing with Bruce Valluzzi where he gained confidence riding waves much larger than he'd ever experienced in Florida.
On the East Coast Claude was the Paul McCartney to Gary Propper's John Lennon. As radical, pop art, and off the wall as GP was, Claudie was super-cool and graceful as a swan. It was natural that the two would have an ongoing rivalry, one that would last for years.
Claude became one of the early East Coast contenders to do well in a California contest. He got second in the Juniors Division in the Ocean Beach Championships. Still up until then no Right Coaster had ever placed first in CA contest but both Gary and Claudie proved that it was possible by achieving runner up status. It was only a matter of time that the East would accomplish that elusive victory.
Claudie became an international celebrity and movie star in 1968 when he starred in Follow Me with Mary Lou McGinnis and Bob Purvey. This early record of round-the-world traveling surfers was filmed by cinematography greats Mike Margulies, Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray in the same vein of The Endless Summer but without a Cape St. Francis to give it that extra kick.
Claudie signed on with Con Coburn to make a Claude Codgen signature model called the CC Rider in 1966 at the World Surfing Championships in San Diego where he represented the East Coast. He was one of two East Coast invitees to the 1967 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational. Claude, who cut his teeth in Cocoa Beach small waves, charged backside into the 12 to 15 foot waves that Sunset threw at him with confidence. He was also a participant in the 1968 World Contest in Puerto Rico and the 1970 World Contest in Australia. In the 2nd World Surfing Championships held in Peru Claude was a finalist in the Small Wave event. His successful CC Rider model with Con continued until his contract ran out in 1970. He was also sponsored by Nancy and Walter Katin of Kanvas by Katin Swimwear doing magazine ads for them. In 1970 Claudie began shaping boards and started Sunshine Surfboards. Today he is still surfing the world and making boards under his original label. Claude became an original inductee in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 1996.
"Playing in and around the ocean has always been really fun for me! My uncles are all commercial fisherman. I guess the ocean is in my blood or something. I started surfing when I was 12 and I still have a blast today"
[Exerpts: Mike Tabeling's East Coast Surfing History]