Surfers today have more personal interest in and concern for their surfboards than did wave riders in decades past. The contemporary surfboard evolved from the relatively heavy early foam experiments of the 1960’s, which were themselves far removed from the 100+ lb. redwood planks of early 20th century Waikiki. The foam breakthrough pushed surfboard construction toward today's lightweight, specialized high-performance tool.
Advanced present day surfing requires surfboards that are custom tuned to particular wave conditions and are designed to “fit like a glove” for the individual surfer. Good surfing always has been made possible by good surfboards, but likely never before in any sporting endeavor has the equipment been so painstakingly customized to the individual sportsman so as to meet the demands of such swift progress. Surfers today ride waves that could not have been ridden on the surfboards of previous generations.
The modern surfer’s skills improve at a rapid pace with the evolution of his equipment. His surfboards need to change quickly or they hold back his development. A good surfer, after he has worked his way up, will take a place in the line-up of the best surf spots. There is already a well defined pecking order and everyone begins near the bottom.
As a surfer’s ability is recognized, it is acknowledged by a rise in the hierarchy of wave selection for any given set of waves. In other words, as the surfer earns respect in the line-up, the biggest and best waves become his or hers to choose. Only then does the surfer begin to understand the limitations his surfboards may impose. So he makes the necessary adjustments in order to retain the respect and privilege he has earned.
Back in the 1960’s, this concept was beyond imagination. Some very good surfers of the period were known to treasure one particular board…for their entire surfing careers! I believe it was my destiny to become deeply involved with my own surfboards. My love of surfing eventually led into a lifetime career of designing and building surfboards. When as a teenager I grew more interested in surfing, most surfers I knew considered their surfboards to be much the same as their bicycles. Surfboards were little more than a means of getting from one place to another. Surfers did care about their equipment back then, but as the boards became more personalized the surfer’s relationship with them turned more intimate.
The surfing experience begins with the first ride. The immediate sensation of gliding is probably as close as humans can get to flying like a bird. Definitely some deep psychological changes occur throughout the few seconds of that first wave. Perhaps this has something to do with a concept of freedom, but if a person is aware enough at that moment there is a realization that the feelings go beyond physical and mental. In as literal a sense as possible when speaking of spirituality, the inner soul is released to soar. This opens up a world on another plane. A fire begins to burn within and before long the thought of riding another wave dominates the mind. In the 1960’s this was called catching the surfing bug. Non-surfing parents whose children caught it regarded it as a disease. The complaint was that the only thing the kids thought about was surfing. Nothing else mattered. Parents worried that their children would become "surfbums," living beyond the margins of society's values at that time. But society was in upheaval, and the values that so concerned our parents could not compete with the new found pure joy of surfing. Of course, a surfboard was necessary to complete this simple picture. Just having his or her own surfboard is a huge first step in the life of every surfer. My younger brother owned several boards before I got my first one. Victor had a school chum whose family all surfed together every weekend at Waikiki, so he was able to get a few years of surfing under his belt while I was more interested in little league baseball and sailing.
There was one incident that had put surfing on the back burner for me. My brother’s first surfboard was a Bragg with a beautiful resin-splash glass job. It was the first board in our family, which made it special even though it was what was called a ‘pop-out’ back then. During the initial surf boom of the early 1960’s, surfboard builders found they could sell boards faster than they could make them. The original guys like Hobie Alter, Dale Velzy, Don Hansen, Greg Noll, Hap Jacobs, Dewey Weber, Con Colburn, Gordon and Smith, Rich Harbour, Gordie, and others built bigger factories, hired more workers, increased their production but nevertheless were not able to keep up with the orders. This prompted several attempts to build surfboards with different construction methods and to take advantage of mass production techniques. The strong demand for surfboards during the "Gidget" era led to some serious early attempts to mass produce them in molds.
Traditionally, surfboards all had been hand-shaped. Before foam was introduced balsa wood was used as the core. Then each shape was hand laminated with polyester resin and fiberglass. The resin technology was relatively new. It had some military applications during WW II, and only became available to the public in the late 1940’s. Bob Simmons was one of the first to use fiberglass and resin to build surfboards. Before Simmons, the most progressive surfboards were solid redwood, varnished to help keep the soft wood from soaking up water too fast.
Building surfboards always has been a slow and involved process. Molding them required developing one master shape, building a mold around it, and then popping the parts out of the mold. The theory sounded good, and it actually worked reasonably well, but the rigors of surfing quickly exposed the weaknesses of this type of construction. The first molded boards were blanks molded into a shape with matte glass placed in the mold, allowing the polyurethane foam to blend with the fiberglass. This process created a rigid, strong skin on the surface of the blank. There was no shaping involved. The blanks were hand laminated in the same way as the other shaped surfboards. The idea was to have a stronger board and eliminate the shaping step in the manufacturing process.
There were, however, inherent problems. Underneath the outer skin of the blank the foam was very irregular and full of holes. Once the outer fiberglass skin was pierced, the pop-out boards filled up with water, eventually rotting the core. Also, in order to facilitate getting them out of the mold more easily, compromises were made in shapes. Rounding the bottoms and decks allowed the parts to pop-out easier. This defect made the boards notoriously unstable, giving the ‘pop-outs’ a bad reputation among better surfers. I borrowed Victor's board, rolled over on my first wave, the board pearl-dived and shot back, hit me in the head and split open my eyebrow. It was the first of many trips from the beach to the emergency room for stitches. This cooled my surfing ardor for a while and I pursued other forms of recreation. I had a small boat called an El Toro, belonged to the Hawaii Yacht Club, and sailed around the Ala Wai Harbor while Victor was riding waves at Queen’s and Canoe’s. One summer day I met a kid about my age at the harbor. He had just arrived from Newport Beach by sailboat. His father had packed up the family and they had made the 2,000 mile crossing in two weeks. I have forgotten his name, but he had a surfboard that he would let me use in exchange for using my boat. So I would sail over to their boat slip, hand over my boat, get his surfboard and paddle straight out to Ala Moana.
It was a great exchange until the time came for his family to continue on their journey. The kid mentioned that he wasn’t really into surfing and would consider selling me the surfboard if I was interested. I had to speak to my financier about a loan. Because I had been mowing the lawn without having to be asked too many times first, Dad said okay. So we drove down to the harbor the next day and I paid the boy $15. I became the owner of my first surfboard. It was much more of a surfboard than I realized at the time. It had a clear glass job and a badly dinged nose which had been unrepaired for long enough that the foam had turned brown. It also had a sticker that said Surfboards by Joe Quigg. At the time I had no idea who Joe Quigg was. Many years and surfboards later I learned what a significant role Quigg had played in the evolution of the modern surfboard, and what a treasure I once possessed without knowing its true value.
I may have unwittingly lost a piece of surfing history when I let that first board go, but before I did, it opened the door to a new world that I embraced from that moment forward. I became a first stage surfer, one who loves surfing but doesn’t quite understand it yet. Repairing the dinged nose was an involved process that required rebuilding an entire new nose section. This little job would pave my way into the surfboard industry not many years later.
Surfing has always been very social, but I believe it was considerably more so on longboards. When I was a high school surfer, not many surfers seemed to be serious about the actual wave riding. The fun came from the whole experience: planning during the school week, the Saturday morning get together, all day at the beach, the 25 cents you had for lunch (which would buy you a coke, a bag of potato chips and a candy bar…health food to a 14 year old.). Heck, it didn’t matter at all what the waves were like…no one knew what the tides were let alone the swell direction. Everyone paddled out together, talking the whole way, to somewhere near where the others already out were sitting. Then we sat there until a wave came along, still talking. We had no inkling of line-ups, let alone where the waves were coming from nor how they were created.
Unless there was some hotshot surfer whom we all watched to see how he did it while being careful not to get in his way, when a wave came, everyone paddled for it….and hoped they caught it. Then we further hoped to stand up and actually ride the wave in as far as possible. We were completely clueless but there was total joy in our ignorance. We were STOKED.
During my sophomore year at high school, big wave surfers Peter Cole, Ricky Grigg and Fred Van Dyke were teachers. Makaha junior champion surfer Fred Hemmings was a year ahead and the youngest Waimea and Sunset veteran, Jeff Hakman, was a year behind. The best surfer in our class, Jaybird Clarke, agreed to sell me a surfboard. Years later when I began to understand the more subtle nuances of surfboard design, I would realize it was very advanced in shape and construction. It was a custom board made for Jaybird by George Downing, the undisputed master of all Hawaiian surfers then. Lightly glassed to enhance performance, this outstanding board would not last long under a novice like me. It broke in half during a session at Point Panic soon after I purchased it. I never came close to feeling the potential the board possessed. But I held on to the pieces, and later on when I began to understand better I would marvel at the subtle design features that set this board apart from and above others of its time.
Around the same time, a great guy named John Thurston moved over from California to set up the Wardy Surf Shop on Kalakaua Avenue. A person could go to Sears and Roebuck for a surfboard but those were ‘pop-outs,’ molded surfboards disdained by accomplished surfers. There were two surfboard factories on the island, Mickey Lake’s Inter-Island Surfboards in Kakaako and Dick Brewer’s Surfboards Hawaii in Haleiwa, where we could order boards, but these shops seemed like they catered to much more experienced surfers than us. We knew we were "kooks" alongside the Ala Moana elite of Inter-Island and Brewer's tight Country group. The only other places to buy real surfboards were Dick Metz’s Hobie Surfboards Shop and Dave Rochlen’s Surfline Hawaii. Both were, in our provincial mindset, mainstream surf shops. They didn’t want little gremmies like us who weren’t buying anything to hang out and bother the paying customers.
John Thurston's Wardy shop was different. Right away he welcomed us and didn’t mind us hanging around after school. Every day we would show up, touch all the boards, ask a million questions and wish we could own one of the gleaming beauties. Finally, after a lot of mowed lawns and pulled weeds added to Christmas money and whatever savings I had, my father put up the balance and I got a shiny new board. John had been a shaper and laminator for Fred Wardy at the Laguna Canyon factory before coming to Hawaii. Rennie Yater also had worked for Wardy briefly before moving to Santa Barbara and starting his own Yater Surfboards Company. Wardy was a classic old style surfboard builder, instilling his own high quality work ethic in all who worked for him. Every board was a masterpiece of perfection in every stage. The building process began with the shape, then progressed to the finely detailed wood tail blocks and fins, beautiful and clean laminations, and the buffed high gloss finish. Although he didn't know me, Fred Wardy had the same effect on me as he did on his employees. His finely crafted boards gave me a standard of surfboard quality to aspire toward when I began to build my own boards. My Wardy surfboard was a lime green tint with a 3” redwood center stringer, a true work of art. I loved the look of that big redwood stringer under the green tint. Although the wide wood strip made the board heavier, I figured it wouldn’t break in half like my previous board. Not long after, this board carried me out to Pipeline the first time with little idea where that path would lead. As I began to improve my surfing skills, I took more notice of better surfers. Perhaps this happens in the opposite sequence, so that surfing ability improves by watching good surfers first, then trying to emulate what they are doing. Either way, I began to pay close attention to the guys who made it look easy.
One weekend trip to a classmate’s family beach house in Nanakuli was more for a Friday night of underage drinking of beer bought with a forged driver’s license than it was with the idea to surf the next day. The house was just across the street from Maile Point. In the morning we stumbled out, somewhat hung over, to find beautiful blue-green waves breaking perfectly off the shining white sand beach. A blond-haired kid about our age was just going out so we all paddled out together. The kid could surf like no one we had ever seen. His style looked a little awkward but he had every maneuver down and never lost his board. Switch-stance, bottom turns, top turns, run to the nose, spinners, hang five, hang ten, you name it, this kid was doing it as we sat back and watched in total awe.
Later I learned the kid was Jock Sutherland. He lived on the North Shore and surfed there on a regular basis, so it was no wonder he was so good. Most of my own surfing was either in front of Niu Valley where we lived or on weekends with classmates at Tongg’s. Neither spot was exceptional, but on a big south swell there was a nice outside break at Tongg’s called Rice Bowls. I spent one summer over at my Grandmother’s house on the west side of Kauai at a place called Pakala. There was a terrific break right in front of her house and I surfed it every day. Instead of bringing my own board I borrowed my friend Howard Fukushima’s Jacobs Takayama model. I had ridden it before on Oahu, but in the great surf at Pakala I discovered how much more progressive this shape by Donald Takayama was than my own Wardy board. The Takayama had thinner rails and much more rocker than my Wardy, and I began to understand how the difference in shape affected the board’s handling. The Wardy may have had a pretty glass job and finish but the Takayama board was miles ahead as to performance. It was an eye-opening experience. In my junior year I began to surf at Ala Moana where most of the best surfers on the island surfed during the summer. Conrad Cunha, Sammy Lee, Paul Strauch, Robbie Rath, Freddy Fong, Tony Irvine, Franny Lum-King, Brian Livingston, Roy Mesker, and a host of other top surfers were in the line-up on a regular basis. Their level of surfing was as high as anywhere on the planet, and I soaked it up like a sponge. A sleek, smooth surfing goofy foot from Nanakuli named Stanley Parks came out on occasion and I loved his casual style. He rode a board made in Newport Beach from Ramsey-Jay Surfboards and named after him: the “Savage Special.” There were a lot of good surfboards: the Harbour ‘Trestle Special’, Yater ‘Spoon’, Hobie ‘Phil Edwards Model’, Gordon and Smith “Hynson Red Fin’, Morey-Pope ‘Peck Penetrator’, Jacobs ‘Takayama Model’, Bing ‘Nuuhiwa Noserider’, Weber ‘Performer’, and so forth. I wanted to surf like Savage, and I figured his model would best let me do that. I ordered one and learned about the general state of the smaller shop surfboard industry. The bigger shops had outlets like the Hobie store or Surfline Hawaii which carried a selection of Bing, Hansen, G and S, Yater, Weber and other brands ready to buy right off the rack. Ordering a board on my own proved to be a near disaster. After too many phone calls to count, six months later I finally got my board.
I graduated from high school in June of 1966. By September I was attending Whittier College in southern California, my first time out of Hawaii. The first few months I knuckled down to the school work. Then one weekend my uncle, my mother’s youngest brother who lived in nearby Garden Grove, took me to the San Clemente Pier to watch a surf contest. It was a big event and all the hot mainland surfers I had seen in Surfer Magazine photographs were there. The surf was small but the surfing red hot. I got completely stoked again. The next weekend I borrowed my uncle’s VW van and tracked down the Ramsey-Jay shop on the north end of Newport. When I introduced myself to Lloyd Ramsey and Terry Jay, they welcomed me and further blew my mind by asking me to join their surf team. I wasn’t much of a surfer but I was from Hawaii and I guess that gave me more status. The shop loaned me a used board and I immediately went across the street to a place called Santa Ana River Jetties to have a surf. Back at school I connected with a guy in Whittier who was seriously into surfing and we took a trip down to Mexico. After passing through Tijuana we drove down to a place called K-38, camped on the bluff and surfed as much as we could for the next few days.
I had an experience while resting on the beach in between surfs that I later recognized as the single most important turning point in my surfing career. As I lay there with my eyes closed, I suddenly saw an image in my mind’s eye of a surfer riding a wave. I had seen these pictures before, but this time I was shocked to see clearly that the surfer was me. It was a moment of self-visualization. Later I read about top athletes who had similar experiences that were an important step in achieving a higher level of performance. As I lay there, I found I was able to ‘mind-surf.’ I could see myself doing maneuvers that I had seen other really good surfers do. Even though I had never done any of these maneuvers out in the surf yet, I could picture in my mind how I would do them.
When I paddled back out, it was as though my surfing had improved 100%. Before that I had just surfed without much ambition, but now I was ready to take chances and try new things. The surprising thing was how my confidence soared, allowing me to see ahead. I learned from each attempt, and before long I was pulling off things that I never thought I could. It was a life-changing moment. I knew I was a different person than I had been. I stuck out the rest of the semester at school, but when it was over I headed back home to Hawaii armed with several new Ramsey-Jay boards and an uncertain future as far as college went. I just wanted to surf. Much to the dismay of my parents, I decided to take the next semester off. My father, always the realist, accepted this but pointed out that the war in Southeast Asia was escalating and the draft calls were growing larger each month. Eighteen years old without my student deferment, I was a prime candidate for being drafted into the military and ending up in Vietnam. But I was young and dumb and the surfing bug had bitten me hard. I elected to ride it out. Towards the end of summer, Stanley ‘Savage’ Parks and I went over to California to check in with Ramsey-Jay and the Southern California surf scene. Terry Jay had a trailer by the power plant on the Coast Highway in between Huntington and Newport, and he agreed to let us live in it. Fat Paul Peterson moved in with us. That was a good deal because he had a car.
Every day we drove somewhere to surf. Trestles was the best, but dodging the Marine MP’s was hectic. The waves around Huntington Pier and Cliffs area were also pretty good. One day I noticed a used board in the shop. It had belonged to some little kid and was very short. I asked if I could try it out and found that this little 8’-10” board worked much better than the standard 9’-6” to 10’-0” boards. David Nuuhiwa came by and took Savage and me surfing a few times, but mostly he just wanted to drive around in his new Porsche SC. That was fine with me. One day we drove up to Hermosa so David could do something at the Bing shop. Brewer was shaping there and the shop was full of his Pipeliner models. These boards were by far the most progressive shapes anywhere. I knew all the hot guys in Hawaii were riding Pipeliners, but in California they were not as popular. I returned home for the beginning of the winter season in the Country, which was what everyone called the North Shore back then. A good friend named Buddy Dumphy and I would drive out there, stop by Jock’s house at Chun’s Reef, and he would very kindly loan us his 9’-4” Pipeliner. He had two and preferred his 9’-5” with the black and white Slipcheck on the nose. Jocko had ridden this board to a second place finish behind Nat Young at the World Championship in San Diego the year before. Everyone had expected David Nuuhiwa to walk away with the event because of his beautifully stylish noseriding skills. Afterwards all they talked about was Nat’s surfing being the latest and greatest. They seemed to forget that Jocko had come very close to beating Nat in the final.
While the controversy simmered between the Californians and the Australians; it appeared the Hawaiians didn’t care. The local boys were doing the best surfing in Hawaii. The world of surfing was beginning to recognize the Country to be the real proving ground anyway. Everyday we could get out there, Jocko would let us use that Pipeliner of his. I never realized until much later how generous that was of Jock, and how his generosity set the direction both Buddy and I would take with our surfing soon after.
One day we were surfing Velzyland and it happened to be my turn in the water when Dick Brewer paddled out. Rumor told how Brewer had just quit Bing Surfboards after sawing down all the wall racks in the glassing room because he claimed they were twisting his shapes. He moved back to Hawaii. RB being a goofy foot like me preferred the lefts at V-land, and we shared a few waves together. In a lull between sets, he said he liked how I surfed on the Pipeliner he had made. I told how Jock always let us borrow it and it was the best board Buddy and I had ever ridden. Brewer said if I got a blank he would shape me one of my own. I was stunned. This was the first time I ever had even spoken to the great Dick Brewer. He said he was moving over to Lahaina in a few days, and I could come over there and get the board made. Fred Swartz sold a few Clark Foam blanks at his Surfline Hawaii shop. I immediately bought one. I made plans with Reno Abellira, who also wanted to get a new board from RB. We flew over to Maui together. We hitchhiked with our blanks to Lahaina and proceeded to hunt down Brewer. It was my first time there but Reno knew his way around the quaint little harbor town. We had to go through Buddyboy Kaohe, who was running the shop for RB. Reno’s board was no big deal since he was a longtime Brewer team rider, but at first Buddyboy refused to allow me to get one. Finally he relented. John Thurston from the Wardy shop had moved over to Maui to pursue a calling he found with the Bahai Faith. He let Reno and I stay at his place in Honokowai where Tom Stone, Hoku Keawe, Gordie Benko, Pia Aluli and a few other Oahu surfers also were crashing. We surfed a few times at Honolua Bay and I learned what the rocky shore was all about. The surfboards were built a lot stronger back then, so the frequent dings were easily repaired. Reno got his board shaped and mine was scheduled for the next day.
The following morning we were hanging around John Thurston’s glass shop in the Lahaina Cannery. A car full of surfers arrived. Nat Young, Bob MacTavish, George Greenough, Keith Paul, Russell Hughes, and Ted Spencer climbed out. MacTavish wanted to talk about surfboard design with RB. They talked for several hours. We looked at the Aussie boards and were amazed by the unique shapes. The boards were stringerless, wide-tailed, deep vee-bottoms with long, raked, finely foiled fins. None of us had ever seen anything like these before.
Finally the Aussies left and Brewer headed over to the shaping room nearby. I wanted a board about 9’-6” like the one he had shaped for Reno the day before, but Brewer had other plans. The first thing he did was saw the nose and tail off my blank a foot shorter than I expected. I almost cried while Reno giggled over in the corner. Brewer had the smoothest style of shaping I had ever seen. I hadn't seen many guys shape surfboards, but I had watched a few. RB used the Skil planer much more than anyone else. He seemed to dance around the blank. The foam dust flew and the planer roared. When at last he put it down and quiet returned, there sitting on the rack was a shape unlike anything we had seen. RB got right into the hand work, and the new board began to take its final form. It looked small and short but it was beautiful and seemed to vibrate with energy. When it was done we carried it over to Thurston’s shop. He looked it over from behind his thick, coke-bottle lens glasses. Brewer had complete confidence in his new creation. I didn’t know what to think. John raised his eyebrows and said only, “interesting.” A few days later the boards were done and the surf came up big. We drove out to Honolua Bay and parked down by the boat ramp. The view is stunning there at the mouth of the bay when a swell is running. We paddled out on our new boards. The closer we got to the waves the bigger it looked. Later when I had more experience with Honolua, I would understand that this swell direction was a bit too northerly, and that the glassy morning conditions heralded a light and variable wind which would soon turn to Kona’s. Neither was ideal for Honolua but at the moment it was still smooth and looked good.
Buddyboy had the place so wired they called it Buddy’s Bay. He moved deep into the peak, taking some great drops on 10’ waves. Brewer followed him and lost his surfboard on his first wave. The swell of such size quickly demolished Dick's board on the rocky shore. Reno and I hung out on the shoulder and took a few waves. Then Buddyboy lost his brand new board and not long after Reno lost his as well. I watched both their boards being pulverized on the rocks and it made me feel sick. I caught one more shoulder and paddled ashore. The last thing I wanted was to lose my new board on its first day in the water. The Aussies showed up and Nat lost his board up on the rocks right away. The nose broke off and he was out of the water. Russell Hughes was the only one out and he surfed great, smoothly riding wave after wave all alone in the whole bay.
We decided that my little 8' 6" should be called a Mini Gun, and the name stuck. It was a breakthrough in surfboard design and would single handedly begin what would later be known as the Shortboard Revolution. Brewer was kept much busier than likely he wanted shaping these new boards for everyone. I took that board home to Honolulu and showed it to Buddy Dumphy. Eventually all the younger Brewer Pipeliner riders like Jeff Hakman, Jackie Eberly, Kiki Spangler and Jimmy Lucas tried it out and agreed this board was a lot better than anything else around. Trying to get a board from Brewer proved impossible with his busy schedule. Three or four months later Buddy came up with a plan. Dumphy was always irreverent when it came to the establishment. I thought I was an anti-establishmentarian but compared to Buddy, I was a phony. He always took a path away from the mainstream in everything he did and when he presented his new plan to me, all I could do was nod my head and say okay.
Buddy said we should just make our own surfboards. We had watched it being done by others enough times that I couldn’t disagree. Why not? We drove down to Fiberglass Hawaii and told owner Ken Culler what we wanted to do. He was a sweet man who later would sell his business to Ted Wilson. For $15, Ken sold us everything we would need to glass a surfboard and made sure we knew how everything worked.
Dumphy and I had been fixing dings for long enough that we had a basic understanding of catalyzing times and hot coating procedures, but Ken dialed us in completely. We had some old longboards. We stripped off the fiberglass and on a pair of sawhorses, Buddy going first; we started shaping our first surfboards in his father’s garage. We made quite a mess, sweeping out the foam dust into the street where the trade winds blew it away into the neighbor’s yards.
Our new boards were both around 7’-6,” shorter than anything else anyone had but what the heck, we didn’t know any better. Buddy had found some Hare Krishna posters of blue elephants with six arms that he thought would look good on our boards. Glassing proved a lot easier than we anticipated and before long we were sanding our new boards. The next day we went down to Ala Moana and paddled out. The shorter length made the boards turn so unbelievably well that everyone else took notice. When I got back into the parking lot, one of the guys walked over with money in his hand and offered me $80 for the board on the spot. I took the money and just like that I was in the surfboard business. When I look back now, after almost 40 years of building surfboards, I have to think that my life’s path was laid out for me and I just followed it. The first surfboard from Joe Quigg was a piece of surfing history even though at the time I didn't know it. The next board by George Downing opened my eyes to how a surfboard built by one of the top surfers could be refined to perform better. Then all those beautifully crafted Wardy boards showed me that the making of surfboards could be an art form. The Ramsey-Jay period was a lesson in how to start a surfboard business without a lot of money or much business sense, just a lot of desire. Jocko's Pipeliner revealed how much better one surfboard could be than another. But it was the 8’-6” Brewer that told the greatest story, about how you could build a surfboard from your dreams and make those dreams come true. Brewer’s dreams made that board, but the board in turn helped me to understand how I could dream those same kinds of dreams and then live them. I have been living my dream ever since. Keep surfing, its one of the best things there is to do in life.