Surfboard builder Hall of Fame held at Doheny
Surfboard builders from around the world were honored Saturday morning at an event held on the grassy lawn at Doheny State Beach, a way for surfing's past to be recognized for contributions to the sport.
The 13th annual International Surfboard Builders' Hall of Fame this year honored the following surfboard builders: Jack O'Neill, Floyd Smith, Doug Haut, Bill Bahne and Joe Larkin. Dewey Weber, who passed away nearly 20 years ago, also was honored, his award accepted by his son, Shea.
"It's such a great group. These guys are the real industry, it's not the surfers. Without the equipment they build and created and pioneered and designed all their lives – without them, there'd be no surfing culture," said Bob "The Greek" Bolen, who co-organizes the event with fellow Huntington Beach surfer Mike Ester.
The first inductee was Bill Holden, and from there, many iconic surfers have graced the list, including Capistrano Beach's Mickey Munoz, Dale Velzy, Hobie Alter, Greg Noll, Hap Jacobs, Duke Kahanamoku and more. Each living inductee picks another fellow builder to be honored the following year.
Santa Cruz shaper Haut, who started surfing before wetsuits and crowds hit the water, said he was honored to be recognized.
"I really appreciate this. It's a real honor for me. It's kind of hard to get recognized up in Santa Cruz because we're so far away from the 714 Area Code," he said. "We do exist up there, and this will be hopefully the beginning of more shapers coming down from there. We have a lot of talent and you'll be seeing them in the future."
Bahne started shaping in the 1960s, and in the '70s helped introduce the model ski – an early version of a snowboard.
"I'm so proud to be here with everybody, people I grew up with. It's fantastic to be here," he said. "When I started shaping in the sixties, I never thought I'd be sitting here with this group."
The event is held in conjunction with the Surfboard Collectors Club. Hundreds of boards were on display and up for sale, along with other memorabilia, such as vintage surf movies, photos and magazines.
Bryan Marseilles of Costa Mesa picked up a Wardy surfboard from the late '60s for $375. It was the first time he had been to the event.
"I enjoy the history of surfing as much as I do surfing," he said. "It's pretty cool to see these guys and that the old guard is definitely still here. It's always such a history lesson for me to talk to them."
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