“The father of the modern-day surfboard” passes away at 85

The ever-iconic Dick Brewer died at his Princeville home on Sunday, during this Memorial Day Weekend.

He had been very ill for months.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with his wife Sherry and his daughters, Lani and Lisa and all Dick’s family and friends. SNN

The hugely acclaimed shaper was thee “Guru, the man on the mountain, the shaper everybody knelt down before…” Matt Warshaw

Born in Minnesota in 1936 Dick moved to Long Beach when he was 3 years old. He began surfing in ’52 and started shaping around ’59.

In 1960 he moved to the NS where his surfing rep grew at Waimea and Sunset.

Goofy footing around the bowl at the Bay.

He opened a surf shop in Haleiwa and created his legend from there.

“Apart from the boards being gold-standard, and apart from being our first and last and greatest shaping guru,” says Warshaw, “Brewer’s contribution was to look outside of surfing. His engineering background, everything he knew about cars, about machining, about speed and drive and torque—he brought all of that to bear in the shaping room. Lucky for our sport, he wasn’t born and raised on the beach. He loved surfing best of all, but he was smart enough to look beyond surfing. To our great benefit.”

Photo: Dick Brewer Surfboards

Surfing Heritage & Culture Center

Godspeed Dick Brewer. One of the most influential and pivotal shapers to ever pick up a planer, the master has gracefully kicked out to the great lineup in the sky.

Born near Duluth, Minnesota, in 1936, by the end of the decade his family had relocated to Long Beach, California.
By the early ’50s, Brewer had discovered surfing, and by ’59 had shaped his first board.
Moving to Oahu, he was mentored by Mike Diffenderfer and Bob Shepherd.
In 1961, Brewer opened Surfboards Hawaii in Haleiwa.
A genius when it came to designing and building big-wave guns, his shapes have been highly sought after for over half a century.
One of Brewer’s biggest contributions came during the late ‘60s when he found himself in the center of the Shortboard Revolution.
“In Hawaii, the best young surfers, my group of guys—I was still a kook—but Reno Abellira, Jacky Everly, Roy Mescer, Kiki Spengler, Jimmy Lucas, Jeff Hakman, Jock Sutherland, they were all riding Brewer/Bing Pipeliners, the ones shaped by Dick,” recalled Gerry Lopez.
“Jock, who was maybe the best surfer of that time, had two of them.
The 9’5” he rode at the World Championship in ’66 in San Diego, where he got second place behind Nat.
Buddy Dunphy and I would drive out to the North Shore and stop by Jock’s house, and he’d lone us the 9’4”.
We never went out to Rocky Point with that board.
We’d surf somewhere that if we lost it it would go in on the sand and wouldn’t get dinged or scratched or anything.
He were pretty respectful and wanted to take care of it.
One day we were surfing Velzyland lefts and RB [Dick Brewer] paddled out.
I guess he’d seen me ride a few waves, so he paddled out, and he looked at me, and he goes, ‘That’s Jock’s board.’”
“And I said, ‘Yeah, he loaned it to us. This is the best board I ever rode.’”
“So he told me, ‘Well, I’ll make you one of your own. Just bring a blank and come to Maui.’”
As they say, the rest is history.
Rest easy, Dick. Thank you for all the beautiful surfboards, dedication to the craft and inspiring so many to chase their dreams all these years.
Surfing Heritage & Culture Center
His designs have been interpreted, modified, and often copied through the gifted hands of shapers on every coast and in every decade since the 1960’s.

He has mentored, taught, at a minimum inspired, the top shapers in the world.

Today, his rails, his rockers, and bottom are intrinsic in the surfboard you ride.

He is the counter cultural shaper to the brave surfriders.

Our Mission is preserve the legacy Dick Brewer as he was arguably the most influential shaper of surfboards in the world in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Our intention is share and perpetuate the contribution Dick has made to past,

present, and future of the surfboards and surfing!

From the History of Brewer Surfing HERE

Dec 17, 2019, This interview with Dick Brewer is from our documentary BoardRoom Legends of Surfboard Shaping.

Our film covers the evolution of the craft from the 1930s to the early 70s.

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