Celebrating 55 years of craft and stoke 1 OF 9

 Mark Martinson –  Honolua Bay, where backlit by the setting sun, transparent green lines with almost flawless shape roll through, sliced occasionally by the fin of a lonely surfer’s board.

It was late December 1965 and few surfers had ventured away from the island of Oahu to surf.  Seven of us had the guts to take a chance and try to see if these rumors were true…

We rounded the point where you first see Honolua Bay and our chins almost dropped off our faces as our Chevy emerged from the underbrush covering the boat-launching area.  There were spectacular rides that hot, sunny afternoon.  It was a day none of them would ever forget; the beauty, solitude and perfection of Honolua Bay – the surfer’sheaven.   – Rich Harbour  

Mark Martinson 1965

 Come celebrate 55 years of craft and stoke –  Saturday, November 15 Bolsa Chica Sate Beach, tower #23

Mark Martinson,  Honolua Bay 1965

EARLY GARAGE & BOLSA AVENUE DAYS

My brother Alan had been so gracious in allowing me to use his garage after my parents had tired of the mess and odor of a mini surfboard factory.  But now my sister-in-law Pauline had become pregnant with Teri, my brother’s first child, and the smell of resin in their garage was not in her best interest.  So, it was time for me to again change locations.  A young local named Mark Johnson lived several blocks away and was in need of a new board.  A deal was struck, and I was now making boards in his garage – his being the first.

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harbour_slide1_yestercolorIt was January 1962 and I had served notice to my architectural professor that I had chosen a life of surfboard making.  The number of orders I was taking was a bit overwhelming for a two-car garage.  My parents were very supportive and began looking for a place to rent that I could open a business in.  After several months, a small structure that was on the corner of 5th and Bolsa (now Marina Drive) became available.  The address was 502 Bolsa Avenue and was part of the Bernstein Salad Dressing Factory property and is now a church.  We took out a business license March 7, 1962.

I began shaping there and quickly had to find a glass shop that could handle the glassing.  The landlord was not keen on resin smell, and I was simply too busy shaping anyway.  Mel Ross, a former Hobie employee had just opened a glass shop in Newport Beach and he needed boards to glass.  His work was impeccable and now my surfboards had a real professional look.

I made several hundred boards that spring and summer in that building but already the seams were beginning to burst.  Dad began looking for larger quarters.

JACK O’NEILL X RICH HARBOUR

Jack O’neill takes great pride to feature America’s best Surfboard Shapers with their “Support Your Local Shaper” collaboration T-shirts.  First up….Jack O’neill x Rich Harbour!  The project was sparked by a recent  in-house ad campaign, (which was thought up by the creative minds of Steve Harbour – and yes, he is a distant cousin and Jason Penning)  that played on the quirky relationship between a guy and his board    The guys at O’neill  loved the slogans and loved the legendary story of Rich Harbour’s beginnings and decided it was perfect to pair it all up.  You can find the limited edition T-shirts here at Harbour‘s online shop as well as other major retailers – even Nordstrom!

 

Jack O'Neill x Rich Harbour

Jack O’Neill x Rich Harbour

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