The Godfather of Santa Barbara surfing, and the creator of the Yater Spoon. Renny Yater started shaping for Hobie Alter and Dale Velzy before moving to Santa Barbara to pursue lobster fishing and start the area’s first surf shop.
“I have a very strong work ethic, attitude. I got that from fishing...man you have to work hard at that. I got used to getting up at 3:00, 4:00 o'clock in the morning go to work. While I was doing both of those things, I was burning the candle at both ends. I'd come back in at 3 o'clock then go back and work in surfboard shop till dark practically and go home do the same thing the next day. I just spent my whole life doing that, never stopped doing it really.” - Reynolds Yater, 2018
The storyteller who explored Baja with Yater & Grubby Clark, and went on to make two of the most classic sports documentaries of all time: Endless Summer & On Any Sunday.
“I always thank God I didn't go to film school because I wouldn't learn, I couldn't be doing what I've been doing already.” - Bruce Brown, 2017
Al Merrick took surfing from a fringe activity to a legitimate, "eat your Wheaties" sport. In 1968, after watching Bob McTavish surfing a Greenough-inspired shortboard at Rincon, Al decided to exclusively shape shortboards. He focused on shaping for a younger generation of surfers, helping to mentor them into the world’s best. Among his team are Tom Curren, Kelly Slater, Kim Mearig and many more of the world’s top surfers.
“I didn't come intentionally to make a board shorter and intentionally to put a color on it. It's what the kids wanted to do, they wanted the colors and some of them got colorful wetsuits. We had enough guys call us butt wigglers and stuff at Rincon. We get some of the older crew and things change.” - Al Merrick, 2017
Bob McTavish is a passionate board shaper, and Australian surfer who is largely credited with translating Greenough’s influence into standup surfing & kickstarting the Shortboard Revolution.
I've always been intrigued by shapes. At school, I did well in English and in Physics. I love the way things move and try to knot-out- fluid dynamics was a natural for me. -Bob McTavish, 2018
An Australian surf who was the first to adopt Greenough’s “Tuna” fin in competition during the 1966 World Championship setting the bar for hard cutting surfing.
“The tail of George's board, it was the extension of the fin, really. He explained how the fin works and how it stores energy and throws you forward.” - Nat Young, 2017
The first internationally recognized young surfing phenom, Wayne’s 7’0” stubby surfboard & performance surfing showed how shortboards could be ridden.
“It's probably very hard for people to understand how many dead ends, how many failures we had, how much work and discipline and effort that went into [making surfboards] in those years.” - Wayne Lynch, 2017
Santa Barbara native and North Shore transplant who started shaping for a 5 Year old John John Florence, eventually helping him win two consecutive world titles.
“I ride a board at Rincon, catch three waves, and I'm going to do more on those three waves and feel that board more than I will in a week in Hawaii” - Jon Pyzel, 2017
Master craftsman who worked alongside Renny Yater
“Renny Yater is this guy that just embodies an aura of how a surfer should live and what it should look like. How you should go about it. How you should act. He has total self confidence, and no boasting, and no air of ego, he just lives the life. It's the real deal. His influence is unspoken it's all by example.” - Marc Andreini, 2017
1977 World Champion, Pipe Master and prototypical Professional Surfer who emerged from Durban, South Africa to make Santa Barbara his home.
“I like the performance aspect. Certainly, I’ve got some boards that you go out there, you’re going to have fun and have a good time on. But when I want to push myself, I like to take out what's cutting edge.” - Shaun Tomson, 2017
Ryan represents a new perspective in “alternative” surfing experiences, and carries the torch for hand-shaped surfcraft.
“As a young guy there's definitely an overlap. You can't help but be inspired by the same things that inspired George and Renny and all the guys.” - Ryan Lovelace, 2017
Professional surfer on the world circuit, and proud son of Santa Barbara.
“When I was a kid all I wanted to do was ride Channel Islands.” - Conner Coffin, 2017
John "Ike" Eichert
John “Ike” Eichert is a surfboard shaper, an innovator, and a polymath who was central to Santa Barbara's nascent board building industry before moving to Alaska to pursue commercial fishing. George Greenough and Ike became friends in elementary school, and when George needed tips on fiberglassing, he went to Ike. The template for George’s first kneeboard was drawn on tar paper spread on Ike’s shop floor.
“ the best part of the longboard period was from '65 to '68. Those were the best longboards, in my opinion. They got lighter. They got more maneuverable. They had enough flex in them to where the step deck - actually - you could bend the nose down and make it flatter for nose riding.” - John Eichert, 2017
A Southern Californian native who grew up surfing Malibu and working for Renny Yater. He was one of the first American’s to head over to Australia, and bringing George Greenough with him.
When I came to Australia he sent me a letter and said, "Okay what's going on over there? What's it like over there?" I said, "Come over here and see." He said, "Okay I'm on the next plane." -Bob Cooper, 2018
Started Wilderness Surfboards in Santa Barbara, California, then later moved to Australia to keep shaping boards and coming up with new innovative shapes.
“Then we went to the Monterey Pop Festival and they're selling all these posters and I saw the poster with the Indian on the horse. It said, "Wilderness across the top." I'm like, "Oh, my God. This is magic." So, we copied that logo to writing and everything and that's been our logo ever since”. - Michael Cundith, 2018
Mike "Pecker" Davis
Originally from Iowa, later found himself in Santa Barbara by doctors orders. Mentored by George Greenough and Renny Yater he became a skilled surfer and shaper. He later moved to Australia where he started Mike Davis Designs.
“Rincon is a three-part symphony. It's got the opening mode, which is a slurpy takeoff and indicator, which sorts you up pretty quick. You either make that drop or you don't and it usually sneaks up on you because the water coming down from sands, the sands spit up there the top pits comes and meets the wave and indicator. It really trips up and doubles in size and volume, then it runs off the side of the point.” -Mike “Pecker” Davis, 2018
A successful film-maker, bringing the best images forward of the best surfers of the day.
“To think that the biggest influence on the design and evolution of the surfboard was from a guy that didn't really have to stand up to do it is more of a signature on how unique he is. It's his way of thinking is what's more bizarre than anything else.” -Dick Hoole, 2018
From Burbank, but found his way to the ocean. A surfer and shaper, a huge influence on where surfing is today.
“Rincon is still the spot, the link of how surfing progress even to the old days, with the wooden boards and everything, Rincon is always a link. They all tested their boards in the winter at Rincon. Kevlin, Quigg, Bob Simmons, all those guys. Rincon was the benchmark, that's where you go and test your board.” -Kirk Putnam, 2018