Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Seal Beach and Long Beach Surfing Pioneers

What an awesome night in the history of Seal beach! Thursday September 25th at 7:30pm some of Seal Beach and Long Beach's earliest surf pioneers got together for a Q & A session. Some of the panel members included Harold Walker, Bob "Ole" Olson, Harry Schurch.

Harold Walker of Walker Foam was one of the pioneers in making polyurethane foam cores back in the early sixties. He competed with Clark Foam for forty plus years until finally going out of business in 2007. He is now working with Ice Nine to try to perfect their foam formulas.

Ole is famous as an early master craftsman of surfboards in the beginning foam era. He still makes surfboards in Maui under the Ole name. Ole flew out to Seal Beach to join his old buddies to talk about Seal Beach surfing days.

Another of the legendary crew is Harry Schurch. He was involved in that first attempt at surfing Waimea Nov of 1957 with Greg Noll, Micky Munoz, and Mike Stange. They all paddled out in 15 to 18 foot Waimea Bay on 40 pound planks in an attempt to survive the massive drop.

Shaping and Seal beach legend Rich Harbour attended the discussion that included many hilarious stories from the boys. Of course everyone had something to say about the notorious and ever present Sphinx. It stood on top of Blackie Augusts (Robert Augusts' Dad) house for some forty plus years. They told about how they would show up at the beach to go surfing and there wouldn't be anyone else in the water so they would have to wait until a buddy arrived to adventure out. There were endless classic stories from this eventful Seal Beach night. Unfortunately two guys from the main crew ,Jack Haley Sr. and Lloyd Murray, were not present (having passed away in recent years) but they were memorialized in the many stories.

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