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Story of G&S draws crowds to Surfing Heritage & Culture Center



Surf Culture

Surfers and Skateboarders Rolled Into SHACC’s For “One Long Ride,” the Story of G&S 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 July, 2015 - San Clemente - The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) hosted a book signing party on Saturday, July 25 with surfing icons, Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith, for their book "One Long Ride," the Story of G&S. 

The public was invited to meet and greet the two business partners who established G&S and grew it into one of the largest surfboard and skateboard manufacturing companies in the world. Books signed by Larry Gordon had to be pre-ordered, but Floyd Smith signed dozens of books on site.  

SHACC had commemorative G&S tee shirts available for purchase, and a G&S Fibreflex Longboard Skateboard with YoYo Wheels and Paris trucks ($250 value) was awarded in a raffle.  The event featured a no host bar with wines from Longboard Vineyards, beers from Left Coast Brewing Co., and water from Hawaiian Springs.

In the fall of 1959, Gordon and Smith began making and selling boards out of a garage off Balboa Avenue, between Grand and Garnet, in Pacific Beach. Surfboard sales grew rapidly, and Gordon & Smith had to set up a shop in a larger facility at 763 Turquoise Street, in January of 1960.  

Early on, they had virtually no local competition and G&S quickly became one of the largest surfboard makers in San Diego. For several years during the '70s, G&S was the largest surfboard manufacturer in the world. 

Some of the sport’s top surfers of the era were on the G&S surf team. Mike Hynson's Red Fin model, the Skip Frye signature model, and the Quarter-Speed became very popular G&S surfboard models in the '60s. The Modern Machine, introduced in 1974, was the precursor to today's “fun shape.” In addition to Hynson and Frye, Dale Dobson, Billy Hamilton, Butch Van Artsdalen and Barry Kanaiaupuni rode for G&S at one time or another. Rusty Priesendorfer and Mike Eaton were among the label’s early, progressive surfboard shapers. For the full story of G&S, pick up a copy One Long Ride.

Dale Di Pietro

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