As the Story goes….It was the year 1959 and Rich was a 16-year-old kid just having had his surfboard stolen –  the cheapest option to replace it was to make one.  Having no shaping experience and just some repair experience, Rich convinced his parents to give him enough money to buy a blank and some resin and fiberglass.  He glued a ¾” redwood into that blank that he had sawed in half, grabbed a hand plane and removed the blank’s skin.  He sanded that smooth and that was the extent of the first shape job.

It wasn’t until the 4th board that Rich made templates, one for a nose shape and a separate one for the tail.  He drew two parallel lines to make the board’s width and blended the nose and tail template’s curves into the parallel lines.  This method will work if your templates are long enough to cross each other, leaving no flat spot in the outline. That  board had some straightness in the middle, as seen below in the only known picture of #4.  The boards following had better outlines.


“I think that it was then that I began thinking about board design.  The hot maneuver at the time was “rad” bottom turns and the shape to achieve it  was the “Pig”.  The concept was to make the tail wider than the nose.  I applied this approach by the time I was building surfboard number 8, sometime in late 1960.  My mom took a picture of two customers and myself (on the left) standing across the alley from her garage, with board number’s 8, 9, and myself holding number 10.”






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