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.
It 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.