Behind the Brand: Dewey Weber was a driving force of performance surfing in the late '50s and early '60s. His showcase style earned him the "Little Man on Wheels" moniker at Malibu during its heyday, where he was a central character in a renowned cast of legends. He started his own surfboard label in 1960, where Weber's creativity, ingenuity, and celebrity-status led to tremendous success in design, manufacturing, retail, and promotion. With the help of his head shaper (and best friend) Harold "Iggy" Ige, Dewey brought to market the Weber Performer, which became the best-selling longboard of all-time. Dewey was also one of the most forward-thinking manufacturers and was instrumental in the push toward a shorter, more performance-oriented surfboard. After his death in 1993, Dewey's family kept the label going. Today, the business is still owned by the four family members and is run by Shea Weber (one of Dewey's kids.) In 2010, the brand will celebrate its 50th year in existence.
Behind the Brand: Ben Aipa's impact on shaping, surfing, and the sport as a whole is really too big to measure. He's been a larger than life father figure steadily guiding us toward the future for generations. He assumed his role in the 60's and 70's with the respect he earned for his performances in the water. Aipa was a standout competitor who used his 250-pound frame to write the book on aggressive power surfing, while his shaping prowess led to the ushering in of a new era in performance shortboarding. It was his stinger design of the mid 70's that opened up the performance floodgates for likes of Larry Bertlemann, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Mike Ho and Mark Liddel, who were the undisputed performance leaders of the time. Aipa's influential role with other design leaders has earned him his own branch on the shaping tree, and his paternal role continues to this day as he's coached generations of Hawaiian talent to global prominence.
Behind the Brand: While it probably won't happen anytime soon, Bruce Jones' iconic surf shop on the Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach deserves historical site status. It's been in operation as a surf hub since 1965, when it opened as the Ole Surfboards center. At the time, Bruce was a shaper for Ole, but he took the shop over in 1973 when he finally decided to launch his own label. With a board building background that makes him the envy of legends, he was certainly prepared. Jones got into the mix at the Clark Foam factory in 1962, gluing stringers and delivering blanks. That role soon evolved into cutting down stringers, or pre-shaping, at the world famous Hobie factory, where he absorbed the craft from guys like Phil Edwards, Dale Velzy, Terry Martin, Ralph Parker, and countless others. His technical skills were soon so sought after he began writing his own ticket, shaping for Gordie, Brewer, Russell, Vardeman (where he did all the Jackie Baxter models, which have become rare collectors items), and Ole.