“Most of the kids didn’t know the surfer’s first name, which was Darby. But his last name really was Pope. They all simply called him by his nickname. The Pope of Palm Beach.”
The Pope of Palm Beach is the 21st in the Serge Storms novels. I’ve not read any of the other books, but the theme seems to be Serge and his sidekick, Coleman, searching for Floridian lore. This trip takes them back to Riviera Beach where they spent some of their youth. The Pope is a legendary surfer who is beloved. He takes a troubled kid under his wing until a tragic accident changes everything. The Serge/Coleman portion is them taking a literary tour of that part of Florida.