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Bing Copeland gets museum treatment

 

 

Surf History

Exhibit features timeline of Bing surfboards 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 March, 2014 - San Clemente - Surfing Heritage and Culture Center announced today it will launch its newest exhibit, "The Legacy of Bing," with a reception / opening this Saturday, March 8th from 6 - 9:00pm. The exhibit will run through May 5, 2014.  
 
Bing Copeland is among the living legends of surfboard design and innovation. This new exhibit at SHACC will be anchored by a timeline of Bing surfboards with an emphasis on original classics-up through the transition years. The surfboard display will culminate with a some of the latest models being produced today by shaper Matt Calvani at the Bing factory. The exhibit will also showcase historic photos, vintage ads and other memorabilia from Bing's 55 years in the board-building business. 
 
"I'm excited and honored to have the very best of my classic surfboards as well as beautiful examples of our present day surfboards gathered together for this exhibit at the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center, which is considered to be the 'Smithsonian' of the surfing world". -Bing Copeland

Bing Surfboards was one of the sport's best-known brands in the 1960s. Copeland was born (1936) in the Los Angeles County oceanfront suburb of Torrance, raised in nearby Manhattan Beach, and began surfing at age 13, with future big-wave crusher Greg Noll. Copeland and Noll both learned how to make surfboards from American board-manufacturing pioneer Dale Velzy.

Copeland joined the Coast Guard and was stationed in Hawaii from 1955 to 1957; the following year he and surfing friend Rick Stoner set out on a six-month oceangoing surf cruise across the Pacific, with stops in Hawaii, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Fiji. They ended their journey with a two-month stay in New Zealand, where they introduced the Malibu surfing style to the wave-ski-riding locals, and together built about 10 boards to leave behind as gifts.

In September 1959, a few months after returning home, Copeland opened Bing Surfboards on the Hermosa beachfront (Stoner opened Rick Surfboards shortly after); in 1963 he moved the shop to Pacific Coast Highway and went on to become one of the most popular boardmakers of the decade. Surfer/shaper Donald Takayama was an early Bing team rider; shaper Dick Brewer produced the Bing Pipeliner model in 1967 (a board, as surf historian Mark Fragale later noted, that "forever changed the parameters for big-wave guns and speed designs"); California surfer Rolf Aurness won the 1970 World Surfing Championships on a Bing surfboard.

Read the full EOS Online Bio for Bing

For the opening night reception, a limited supply of Bing's biography, Bing Surfboard: Fifty years of craftsmanship and innovation, will be available for purchase and signing by Bing and the book's author, Paul Holmes.
 
Bing shaper, Matt Calvani and team rider Chris Del Morrow will also be on hand to discuss the new line-up of Bing Surfboards. Richard Knight will be performing Slack Key Guitar, and appetizers will be provided by Daphne's California Greek restaurant. A no-host bar will be serving Primo Beer, and bottled water from Hawaiian Springs. 

Admission is $5 for the general public and free for SHACC members.

Author: 
Paul Strauch
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