Allan C. Weisbecker: screenwriter, author, and passionate surfer | Photo: Weisbecker Archive

Allan C. Weisbecker (1948-2023), the "gonzo" writer, award-winning photojournalist, screenwriter, and stalwart of the American surf memoir, has passed away.

His multifaceted and vivacious life left a lasting impact on those who knew him and the myriad of readers who have devoured his works and his blog.

Weisbecker was some kind of modern-day Jim Morrison - alone with everybody, cruising and writing, dreaming and surfing.

From recounting his audacious escapades as a pot smuggler to being a pioneering influence on New York's Long Island surf scene, Weisbecker never shied away from the adrenaline rush of life.

His love for the waves began as a young boy, influenced by his father's eccentric hobbies, and was cemented when he learned to surf at Ditch Plains in 1965.

His commitment to the sport led him to adventures around the world, from the North Shore in Hawaii to the captivating waters of Costa Rica.

His literary contributions are characterized by a brazen honesty and a unique ability to combine seemingly disparate elements into a coherent narrative.

Notably, his memoirs - "Cosmic Banditos," "In Search of Captain Zero," and "Can't You Get Along With Anyone?" - have garnered cult status, inspiring surfers and adventurers alike to embrace the unknown.

Allan C. Weisbecker: one of the original American surf memoirists and his RV | Photo: Weisbecker Archive

A Distinct Surf Author

"Cosmic Banditos" is a novel that blends Weisbecker's humor and imagination with philosophical insights, often drawing comparisons to Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo" style.

"In Search of Captain Zero" is a memoir where Weisbecker recounts his journey from Mexico to Costa Rica in search of his old surfing buddy, Captain Zero. The tale explores surfing adventures, personal reflections, and the challenge of tracking down an elusive friend.

"A Writer's Memoir and a Tale of a Lost Surfer's Paradise" is, as the title suggests, a memoir detailing his life, especially the time he spent in Costa Rica.

The book touches on a variety of his experiences, from personal relationships to confrontations and a deep dive into global conspiracy theories.

Allan has written for various surfing magazines and has earned accolades as a photojournalist.

His work has appeared in renowned publications like the Smithsonian, Men's Journal, Popular Photography, American Photo, Sailing, Surfer, Surfing, and The Surfer's Journal.

Beyond his writing, Allan's ventures into screenwriting, including episodes for the iconic television series "Miami Vice" and "Crime Story," exhibited his diverse talents.

Allan C. Weisbecker, 1976: stoked about Super 8mm film | Photo: Weisbecker Archive

Bold and Controversial

Allan's life was not without its controversies.

His bold demeanor, combined with his candid account of his life events, often led him into fiery disagreements with notable personalities in the entertainment industry, like Sean Penn and John Cusack.

However, beneath the confrontations lay a deeper understanding of the world's workings.

Allan's voracious appetite for truth often led him "down the rabbit hole" of world events, challenging established narratives and advocating for critical thinking.

Weisbecker's works often blend his personal experiences with philosophical musings, and his adventurous spirit shines through in both his writings and his real-life escapades.

Whether he's writing about surfing, smuggling, or Hollywood, Allan C. Weisbecker has a unique voice that's both entertaining and thought-provoking.

A Passionate Surfer

To his core, Allan was a surfer.

No matter the challenges or controversies that surrounded him, the waves remained his consistent solace.

In his words, "Surfing and being rich don't mix. You either do one or the other." And surf he did, chasing waves from Montauk to Mexico.

Allan's legacy remains in his writings, his surf memoirs, and the tales that will be told of his larger-than-life existence.

To quote him, "I'm not that old. I still surf well, too." Allan's spirit will undoubtedly continue to ride the waves for eternity.

For a deeper dive into Allan's world, interested individuals can explore his film trailers or his thought-provoking essays at banditobooks.com.


Words by Luís MP | Founder of SurferToday.com

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