In 1963, when Barry “Magoo” McGuigan went to Hawaii from Australia to compete in the championships at Makaha, as a joke he wrote on his entry form that he was the Tasmanian champion and his buddy wrote he was the Queensland champion. They were not, and the 20-footers during the contest drove home that point, serving up humble pie. McGuigan is still surfing today at age 85 – darn good, actually – and he also still sports that lighthearted attitude, brushing aside his untreatable cancer as if it were nothing but a pesky fly, focusing instead on the joy of having fun.

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.