Allen Kenneth Sarlo
January 9, 1958
|Other names||Wave Killer|
|Known for||Member of the Z-Boys|
Allen Sarlo (born January 9, 1958) is an American surfer, most prominently known as one of the original members of the Z-Boys surf and skateboarding team. Surfing Magazine recognized him as the first to "kill" a wave. The aggressive and slashing style of surfing he pioneered during 1970's earned him the nickname "Wave Killer". He is considered by many "The King of Malibu".
Sarlo grew up in a part of Venice, California known to locals as "Dogtown". His father was a lifeguard. Sarlo began surfing at the age of 5 and by 13, he had won his first competition, the boys' division of an amateur event in El Segundo, California. At 14, he was surfing the infamous "Cove" at the POP pier in Venice. In 1974, at age 16, Sarlo took first place at the Malibu 4-A contest. His progressive surfing style was ahead of its time and challenged the old-school style of surfing, with strong and aggressive wave maneuvers. That same year, he won the West Coast Junior Championships. By 1977, Sarlo was sporting the media given nickname "Wave Killer" and surfing around the world.
In 1977, Sarlo joined the professional international circuit after taking first place in the West Coast Junior Championships. In his first event in South Africa, he finished in a tie for 15th place, Shaun Thompson would go on to take first. In 2000, Sarlo placed 5th in the Quicksilver's World Masters, held in Hossegor, France. He won the Malibu International in both 2008 and 2009.
By the 1980s, Sarlo had finished surfing the Pro-Tour and went into a career in real estate.
In 1986, Sarlo married his high school sweetheart Deborah. Their daughter was born in 1989 and their son in 1993.
Sarlo is also an expert kite surfer.
In popular culture
Sarlo is featured in the 2001 award-winning documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. The film documents his adolescence as part of the Zephyr and his athletically intense surfing style.
In June 1990, the cover of Surfing Magazine shocked the surfing community with a photo of Sarlo doing a bottom turn on a 20+ ft wave. Until that cover came out, big wave surfing was all about taking the drop and getting out alive. He performed stunt work for Heath Ledger in the 2005 Lords of Dogtown film.
He made featured appearances in the surf films "Wave Warriors" and "Following the Lotus".
- INTERVIEW: Allen Sarlo – The Z-Boys Strongman, Surfer Magazine. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Surf Is Real Estate Agent Sarlo's Turf". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Juice Magazine: Dogtown Chronicles: Allen Sarlo". Juice (skateboarding magazine). Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- Dogtown – The Legend of the Z-Boys, C.R. Stecyk III & Glen E. Friedman, Burning Flags Press, 2000, ISBN 0-9641916-4-4