Visit Laguna Beach launches ‘From Radical Origins,’ a 7 episode docuseries and podcast


The Series Showcases the Events, People and Activism That Shaped Laguna Beach’s History   

Visit Laguna Beach launched “From Radical Origins,” a docuseries and podcast featuring seven true stories about Laguna Beach on Feb. 1 at the Rivian South Coast Theater. The first episode, “Reef Madness,” tells the story of the longest-running surf contest in the world, the Brooks Street Classic. 

Visit Laguna Beach launched the first of seven new docuseries, “From Radical Origins,” on Feb. 1 at the Rivian Theater to a sold-out crowd. Photo courtesy of Mary Hurlbut

The remaining episodes will be released throughout the year.

Visit Laguna Beach brought on Costa Mesa media agency Schiefer Chopshop to produce the mini-documentaries and podcasts featuring some of Laguna Beach’s most dynamic artists, athletes, spiritualists, activists, entrepreneurs, dreamers and doers who have contributed to the fabric of the city.

Visit Laguna launched its new seven-episode docuseries “From Radical Origins” at the Rivian Theatre on Feb. 1. Photo courtesy of Mary Hurlbut.

“We created From Radical Origins to tell the story of Laguna Beach’s rich and unique history while honoring people who have contributed so much to the community,” said Rachel O’Neill-Cusey, president and CEO of Visit Laguna Beach. “We hope the series inspires a new appreciation for the city and broadens the visitor experience by exploring the people and places highlighted in the series. See where skimboarding was born, bike and hike the many trails our community created, and connect with the Bohemian spirit of Laguna Beach to have a sense of where it all began.”  

Visit Laguna launched its new seven-episode docuseries “From Radical Origins” at the Rivian Theatre on Feb. 1. Photo courtesy of Mary Hurlbut.

The seven-episode series includes:  

Reef Madness: In the 50s, surfers weren’t athletes who led aspirational lifestyles; they were rowdy vagabonds and boozers who lived life on the margins. To combat the privatization of the city’s beaches, they put on the first Brooks Street Surf contest to protect public beach access and effectively recast the feral surfers as locally grown athletes who became legends.  

Trails Unbound: Established in 1983, the RADS might be the oldest and most notorious mountain biking club around. But somehow, they have achieved legendary status while retaining an aura of mystery, all while forging some of the most renowned trails we still use today.  

The Birth of Skim: Skimboarding has always been a true Laguna original, starting in 1920. In 1976, Tex Haines and Paul Prietto realized that the old wooden construction of the boards could be significantly improved with foam and fiberglass resin. The new Victoria boards transformed the coastal novelty into a true water sport that Tex renamed “skimboarding.”  

Protect & Conserve: Independent bookseller James Dilley returned from travels abroad with a huge idea: creating English-style greenbelts in Laguna’s backyard. Today, more than 200 nonprofits continue to protect Laguna’s 22,000-acre greenbelt, and efforts have grown beyond the canyon to also ensure the protection of Laguna’s Blue Belt.  

Long Live the Rejects: The origin story of the famed Sawdust Festival; this installment tells the story of a group of local artists that rebelled against the Festival of Arts and formed their own organization, under their own rules, lovingly nicknamed the “Rejects Festival.”  

Innovation at the Source: Transformative ideas are born from personal passion and experimentation that have reshaped culture, fashion, and industries on a global level. Laguna Beach has always inspired brilliant, sometimes hair-brained pursuits that have made the city home of creativity and radical entrepreneurism – developing art, film, innovations, brands and strategies.  

Short Strange Trip: The story behind the Woodstock of the West Coast, “The Christmas Happening,” and the music festival that was cut short when the police and military broke up the dream.  

To view and listen to the From Radical Origins docuseries, visit

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