Surfboard Pioneer Gordie Duane Dies

Helped found "Surf City, U.S.A."


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Gordie Duane, a pioneering surfboard maker and a key figure in Huntington Beach, California’s surf community, died last week at age 80. Duane, who was instrumental in helping Huntington Beach earn the moniker Surf City, opened his first surf shop at the Huntington Beach Pier in 1956, the same year he received the city’s first ticket for surfing illegally. The shop quickly became a hangout for the town’s surfing youth. Duane was also one of the first board makers, in 1958, to incorporate a wooden strip, or “stringer,” down the center of foam-core surfboards. “They’re still like that,” Duane told The Los Angeles Times in 1980. “I have a reputation for being a rebel, okee dokee, but history is still history. God, if I’d have patented that!” Duane was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1997; the Hole in the Wall Gang, a group of amateur surfers to which Duane belonged in the 1970s, was inducted Thursday. Born Gordon Patrick Duane on Feb. 2, 1931, in L.A., Duane learned to surf while serving in the Navy at Pearl Harbor.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times