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Iconic California shaper Renny Yater focus of new exhibit

Renny Yater © SHACC/Severson



Surf Culture

SHACC to open Renny Yater exhibit November 7th from 3 to 6pm

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 October, 2015 - San Clemente - The craftsmanship and innovations of iconic California surfboard shaper, Renolds “Renny” Yater are the focus of the next exhibit at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC).

One of California’s First Commercial Surfboard Builders, “Renny was at the forefront of the shaping scene during the emergence of California’s surf culture in the mid ‘50s,” said Paul Strauch, Executive Director at SHACC.

“A talented surfer himself, Renny excelled in the art of crafting beautiful boards that worked especially well at Malibu, Rincon and other point breaks. SHACC is very pleased to be collaborating with Renny to share his amazing career with the surfing community.”

Yater began surfing at age 14 and started making his own boards at 21. He apprenticed in the mid- and late '50s with the two biggest board-builders in the world. He worked as a laminator at Hobie Surfboards in Dana Point from 1955 to 1957, then as a shaper at Velzy Surfboards in San Clemente from 1957 to 1959.

When Yater moved north and opened Santa Barbara Surf Shop in 1959, he was already renowned up and down the coast as a master designer / shaper. Yater’s surfboards were ridden by some of the best surfers of the day, including Mickey Dora, Joey Cabell, Felipe Pomar, Kemp Aaberg, and Bob Cooper. Renny was also a favorite board maker among surf industry leaders, including filmmaker Bruce Brown, Surfer magazine founder John Severson, and Clark Foam founder Gordon Clark.

Yater's two most popular surfboard models were introduced in the ‘60s. From 1965-66, the Yater Spoon was one of the most innovative surfboard designs of the time. From 1969-72, after the onset of the short board revolution, he produced the Pocket Rocket, a surfboard designed with high performance surfing in mind.  Perhaps even more remarkable than Yater's early accomplishments has been his ability to change and grow with the industry, staying on top of emerging trends and new materials and continuing to produce innovative new boards.

In 1991, Yater's retail showroom was established at the Beach House, 10 State Street in Santa Barbara, which today remains the exclusive dealer of Yater surfboards in Santa Barbara. Yater’s son Lauran has been shaping since the early 1980s and is committed to upholding the high standards of the Yater label for generations to come.

The surfing community is invited to celebrate the exhibit’s opening, Saturday November 7th from 3 – 6 pm, with a no host bar featuring Longboard Vineyards wines, Left Coast Brewing beer and Hawaiian Springs Water. Admission is free for SHACC members and $5 for non-members. 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672

Barry Haun

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