HISTORY: 2009 Dick Brewer Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters — Del Mar
In the fall of 2009 we honored the legendary RB. Wow. We were in the big time now. Brewer and his wife Sherry were very cool: honored, humbled, and enjoyed the moment. They flew over from Kauai. My beautiful wife Katrina and I had a fine dinner at Jakes Del Mar with the two of them. We asked Chris Christenson to join us.
Choosing which board to replicate is always both fun and challenging. Fun because you get to think about all the great boards the shaper has built. Which one is most iconic? Which board oozes Brewer? Is it a Sunset Beach semi-gun wing pin Brewer? Is it the Bing Pipeliner? Is it a slipper nose Hanapepe? A flyer he built Owl Chapman for Ma’alea?
“He’s got the magic eye,” Hawaiian surfer Jeff Hakman said. “Outlines, fins, edges, contours; he knows how to put everything together.”
Once we decided to go with the semi-gun the challenging part is finding the right one, finding a real RB — not just a board with a Brewer logo.
Enter my friend Paul Holmes. Brit. Scribe. Historian. Holmes was a shaper in his own right, and the one-time editor at SURFER magazine. For a few years our friendship grew as I was a member of, under Paul’s directorship, the Oral History Committee at the Surfing History & Cultural Center in San Clemente.
Paul was researching Dick Brewer for an article or book or documentary or some such project. In his digging he came upon a Newport Beach surfer whose collection of Brewer guns was noteworthy. Rack upon rack of Brewers. All sizes and colors, and mostly all true RB shapes from the early ‘70s onward. A stockade. Perhaps 30 or 40 true blue Brewers. From this cache we chose a fine example of a mid ‘70s Brewer semi-gun wing pin: 7’-8”. Flat deck. Full volume rolled rails. Three and a quarter inches thick at the wide point; which was up from center, near the chest area. From that point the rails were foiled down beautifully into a bladey, finely tuned craft. A slayer of beasts. This board had Sunset Beach written all over it. Classic Brewer. Slightly yellowed, bruised, and scuffed. It had been ridden hard which gave it an extra bit of legit.
Again shapers came out of the woodwork to compete in the shape-off. Brewer had mentored quite a few. Not a direct mentorship. If you were lucky enough to work in the same factory or your stall was next door, you may have picked up bits of information from RB here and there. The smart ones retained it. Some worked for Brewer and were afforded face-to-face guidance.
Dick Brewer has been credited with mentoring and/or influencing more shapers than any other designer. Mark Richards, Gerry Lopez, Terry Fitzgerald, Reno Abellira, Pat Rawson, Rich Pavel and Chris Christenson are just a smattering of the hundreds of shapers all directly linked to the Brewer shaping lineage. Quite frankly the list of those influenced by RB is too long to list. His design roots are wrapped around almost every board in the water today.
The shapers competing in the Tribute to the Masters Icons of Foam honoring Dick Brewer shape-off were Reno Abellira, Pat Rawson, Dennis Murphy, Chris Christenson, Gary Linden, and Ricky Carroll. Pat Rawson won the event.
RB with shape-off winner Pat Rawson
BELOW IS THE ARCHIVAL PRESS RELEASE WE SENT OUT IN 2009.
Del Mar, Ca., Wednesday July 29, 2009 — On October 10 and 11 2009, the world’s greatest surfboard festival, the SACRED CRAFT Consumer Surfboard Expo, returns to Del Mar, California for a full weekend of surfboards, live shaping, glassing, art work, board demos, seminars, music, movies, art, exhibits and good times.
The highlight of the weekend is the Tribute to the Masters Shape-off honoring Dick Brewer. Generally regarded as the sports most influential board-maker, Brewer created the very popular Bing Pipeliner model longboard in ’67 and was venerated in the late ’60s early ’70s as the first master of the shortboard revolution. “He’s got the magic eye,” Hawaiian surfer Jeff Hakman said. “Outlines, fins, edges, contours; he knows how to put everything together.”
In 1959 Brewer shaped his first surfboard and the following year he moved to Oahu where he was informally mentored by Mike Diffenderfer and Bob Shephard. In 1961 Brewer opened the first retail surf shop in Haleiwa, Surfboards Hawaii. Brewer was also an established big wave surfer himself and was shown in the classic surf surf film Endless Summer riding Waimea Bay. Brewer returned to California and shaped under the Hobie and Harbour labels. In ’67 he worked under the Bing label and produced a series of models that are collectively regarded as the last word in original-era longboards, including the Pipeliner, the Lotus, the Pintail, and the Nuuhiwa Lightweight.
Brewer’s intense design flame had the shortboard revolution percolating a hot steam. His team during the late ’60s to mid ’70s included David Nuuhiwa, Reno Abellira, Gerry Lopez, Jock Sutherland, Jeff Hakman, Barry Kanaiaupuni, Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman. Dick Brewer has been credited with mentoring and/or influencing more shapers than any other designer. Mark Richards, Gerry Lopez, Terry Fitzgerald, Reno Abellira, Pat Rawson, Rich Pavel and Chris Christenson are just a smattering of the hundreds of shapers all directly linked to the Brewer shaping lineage.* Quite frankly the list of those influenced by Richard Brewer is too long to list. His design roots are wrapped around almost every board in the water today. Brewer is still at it, designing exquisite wooden, as well as foam
, surfboards. Mr. Brewer will be in attendance at the Sacred Craft Expo. Six shapers will honor Dick Brewer’s legacy in the “Tribute to the Masters Shape-off” by replicating a classic Brewer design.
In addition to the Brewer Tribute, SACRED CRAFT offers a chance for every attendee to win a new surfboard in a random chance drawing. The weekend is filled with surfboard demos for the public, insightful seminars, how-to shaping demonstrations for the backyard hobbyist, a vacuum bag glassing demo by Greg Loehr, resin work, pinlines, wetsuits, live music, beautiful surf art, a food court, exhibits, fun for the little tykes, and hundreds of absolutely gorgeous surfboards of all makes, designs, and materials.
WHAT: SACRED CRAFT Consumer Surfboard Expo
WHO: Surfboard lovers from all over
WHERE: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Wyland Exhibit Hall
HOW: $5/day – U16 FREE
WHY: Because surfers really only care about two things – waves and the equipment to ride them with.
*Special thanks to Matt Warshaw and The Encyclopedia of Surfing
About SACRED CRAFT
The SACRED CRAFT Consumer Surfboard Expo is an opportunity for shapers, surfboard craftsman and surfboard manufacturers to come together under one roof and share their passion with the surfboard loving public. It operates with one objective, to unite passionate surfers with passionate surf equipment designers.