Nigel Cabourn SS22 - China Beach Surf Club
Introducing Pre/Spring '22 Nigel Cabourn explores the story behind the iconic “China Beach Surf Club”.
My Khe Beach, Da Nang played host to thousands of US troops throughout the Vietnam War. What started as a small lifeguard outpost quickly grew into a major cultural and therapeutic outlet for young G.I’s.
In 1967, Larry Martin, a 22 year old Navy seaman from Florida arrived at the Da Nang waterfront for 4 days of recuperative rest. Befriending the lifeguards, Martin was able to gain access to one of the 6 “rescue” boards for his own personal use. Realising the potential benefits, Martin obtained permission from superior officers to organise a surf therapy refuge for soldiers returning from the front line. “China Beach Club” as it went on to be known offered a place for rest and distraction, allowing service men and women a brief disconnect from the conflict in land.
Its huge popularity amongst troops resulted in China Beach Club becoming an unofficial U.S Military Association, running from 1968 to the end of the Vietnam War.