The Surf Rider opened in Bakersfield, California in June of 1961. It was the restaurant and lounge for the Wonder Lodge motor hotel. The motor hotel cost an estimated 2 million, and consisted of a 2-story structure with 120 suites and guest rooms, and a pool out back surrounded by manicured grounds.
Both Oceanic Arts and Ed Brownlee worked on the project with Oceanic Arts furnishing much of the interior and Ed handling the exterior decor.
The interior held 170 persons and featured a huge Tahitian fish trap on the ceiling, South Pacific murals, and plenty of carvings and other tropical decor.
This exterior featured Ed's own carvings based on New Ireland tribal art and an application of large abalone shells.