There were many independent surf shops that were dealers for the big surfboard manufactures. However, these surf shops did do their own private label brand and the surfboards were shaped by some prominent shapers and later to become famous shapers!
I have to start with O’Neill’s Surf Shop in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Jack O’Neill blew his own foam formula. Yes, he did use Clark foam also. In his shaping stalls were some first class surfboard shapers. My favorite was George Olson (who later became famous for developing sailboats), Don Hansen, Phil Edwards (Phil did most of the early wood for Jack), Tom Hoye and Mike Foley to mention a few. I am sure if you research any of the information I am going to present you will be greatly surprised!
Jack’s Surf Shop that started in Anaheim also had its famous shaper. When Dale Velzy had his trouble with the IRS he shaped for Jack’s. Take a close look at the outlines of the early Jack Surfboards. You can tell immediately which Dale did. Yes, there were others shapers at Jack’s. While at Jack’s you may recall Surfboards by Dale was started, Velzy re-entering his name in the surfboard industry of the time.
Not to leave you East Coast fans out, the Daytona Beach Surf Shop was another in house brand. George Miller owner and head shaper was self taught the art of shaping a surfboard. One of his back room shapers was Henry Fry from Texas, a Texas Manufacturer and took over the Petrillo Logo in the late sixties or early seventies.
The South Bay Surf Shop, owned by Richard Deese was famous for its Tunnel fin. Richard was the head shaper. In his back room shaping stall was Johnny Rice for a period of time. I am sure that with production demands there were a lot of famous people either getting their starts or continuing their profession. When the boom hit all major manufactures had several reputable shapers to keep up with their productions.
Some of these early surf shops were simply a dealer. That is the case with Val Surf. They were the first Hobie dealer in the San Fernando Valley.
Pismo Beach Surf Shop and Imperial Beach Surf Shops were stocked with local shapers that were shaping in their stalls. We need information on these types of small shops for reference purposes. What, Where and Who are the questions were are seeking.
The Pacific Beach Surf Shop was taken over by the Gordon & Smith Surfboard’s Larry Gordon. However, they did produce surfboards with the Pacific Beach Surf Shop Logo. I have been desperately trying to research this info but have came up with nothing. The fact is that Pacific Beach Surf Shop was a separate business before the Gordon and Smith involvement. That shop was a Gordon & Smith Showroom for years.
Ventura Surf Shop was another shop hiding famous shapers. I believe that is where Tom Morey started Morey-Pope out of that surf shop. There is some fog because there were also pop outs produced by Ventura Plastics an some had the surf shop logo on them! I had an Ole surfboard that was made by Ventura Plastics. Bob Olsen sold to Hobie and then somehow Ventura Plastics ended up with the label. That is why mid sixties Ole Surfboards look like Hobies, the same factory I believe.
There are literally hundreds of surf shops throughout the United States and Hawaii. How many of these shops made their own private labeled surfboards? Who were their shapers? How many boards did they produce? What was their foam choice? You may have an old price lists showing in house board prices, show us? You may have a question or more information about this subject. You’re reply is an important part of the puzzle! As always remember a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Keep Surfing, da Coach