The Surfers Drum & Bugle Corps was organized in September, 1964, as a recreational activity for the area youth by Fire Fighters Local 1522 of New London, Connecticut. Beginning as a parade corps, in a town where the words “drum and bugle corps” were novel, the corps’ early days were modest, with 20 original members and used equipment.
In 1965 the Surfers marched in parades throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 1966 they made their first appearance as a marching and maneuvering corps in the Yankee M&M Drum & Bugle Corps Circuit.
The Surfers’ growth and progress in the following years was slow but steady. In 1968 the 42 marchers finishing tenth at the World Open Class B Division and captured the Yankee Circuit Class B Championship in Agawam, Massachusetts. They also competed in the 1969 and 1970 World Open contests, where they finished 14th both years in the Class B division. In 1971, however, the corps won the title of Class B World Open Champions and Northeast Circuit Champions.
In the early 1970s, the Whalers were started as a feeder corps to the Surfers. At age 12 Whaler members were eligible to become members of the Surfers. In the meantime they practiced and marched as a parade corps. In the fall of 1970 the Ambassadors from Willimantic, Connecticut, merged with the Surfers, sharing in the 1971 World Open Championship.
By 1972, 104 competing members were performing a crowd-pleasing program of “Tommy,” “Requiem For The Masses,” “Medley From Jesus Christ Superstar,” “One Fine Morning,” and “I Don't Know how to Love Him.”
In September of 1976 the Surfers, with a membership of 65, reorganized and formed the Sword Excaliber. The uniforms and the style of music were changed in order to start competing in DCI. Sword Excaliber traveled all over the United States taking part in various drum corps competitions.