Thursday, November 13, 2008

Harbour Surf Day #6, Nov. 8th, 2008

WOW! What can I say, kicking off the the 50th year celebrations with the new "50th Anniversary" board on display, a new Harbour owner thanks to a raffle, an East Coast Harbour Day, and the best turn out yet...the 6th Annual Harbour Day, the best one yet!

This post is just an example of the stoke Harbour brings, we had more photos than ever, some from JB, (his work here), JDuck, Dinkum (East Coast), SumDumSurfer, Rich, and Old Surfer Dude (his work here).

And this write up, thanks to Laylan Connelly, who has a great blog keeping up with the OC Beach life:

Laylan gave me permission to re-post her story here. I've added a few of the many great pictures, from the day, I wish I could post them all, but refer to above links if you want more. Her article also appeared in the OC Register; Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Harbour lovers honor long-time shaper

Rich Harbour marks 50 years of surfboard shaping and nears 30,000 boards.

Laylan Connelly
Laylan Connelly
Beach columnist
The Orange County Register

Laylan interviews Rich

Trevor Downs gently glides his hand over the turquoise blue Harbour longboard while showing off the small details of what makes it special.

The piece of art could easily go up on his wall, he said. The problem is – it's the only board he's ever wanted to ride.

Downs' longboard was just one of about 50 showcased on the sand at Bolsa Chica State Beach Saturday for "Harbour Surf Day," a beach party with Harbour lovers who take the day to honor their favorite surfboard shaper Rich Harbour.

Harbour is celebrating 50 years of surfboard shaping, a milestone anniversary that kicked off Nov. 1 and will run through 2009.

"You know what, I'm proud of myself," said Harbour, as the 65-year-old sat on the sand taking photos of the crowded waves dotted with Harbour boards."I've never been bummed out on what I do. Every life has its lows and highs, but it's been mostly highs most of my life."

Harbour Surf Day started in 2005 when a group on a message board on the surf shop's Web site decided to get together. Only about 10 surfers showed up, but the event grew every year.

1st Harbour Day

Harbour tries to show up to each one, as well as many former employees who have worked in the shop through the years.

Many of the people who attended Saturday told stories of how Harbour took the time to figure out what they needed. When Todd Saunders came in with his father, Harbour had them give a test ride with two boards before sitting down with them to figure out what they really wanted.

Todd took over organization of the day for the 3rd event, adding t-shirts and a raffle to the fun.

"You walk into the shop, you don't feel like a customer, you fell like part of the crew," said Saunders.

Harbour, the last of a nearly extinct culture of surfboard shapers who work in a back room of the shop, said it's the love of working with his hands that keeps him going. He loves every aspect of the job, from fiber glassing to the creative puzzle-solving process of making just the right board for a surfboard rider.

"I hate changing oil on a car; I'd rather have a root canal. But get dust on me, and I can lay down in it," he said.

Harbour started making boards at a young age, after someone snagged his board, and he had to come up with a way for a new one. Knowing his parents wouldn't fork over cash for a new one, he proposed the idea of making one to his dad, who worked as head of tool and dye for Douglas Aircraft.

The first board came out "pretty pitiful," Harbour said with a chuckle. There were no instruction videos back then, and not many other shapers around to give advice to a kid.

"There were snickers …. I was the joke of the beach. That crushed me," he said.

But those laughs made him motivated to create something greater, to really take time to analyze it and figure out surfboard shaping. His second board turned out much better, and a business was born.

Of all the boards Harbour has created, his favorite is the one hanging on his wall, his 20,000 surfboard that he made for the 40th anniversary collectors series. It's all wood, made of half curly and half balsa.

For the 50th anniversary, he will make five more collectable wall-hanger legacy boards numbered 30,001 30,002… and so on. At a price of $8,000 each, two have already been ordered.

He's already gotten the wood for them, with logs that are so large it takes three people to lift them. These boards are for the connoisseurs of surfboard design who want a piece of art for their wall.

"I have to cut all this up to make surfboards out of it … oh boy," he said.

Also, the same design is available all-year long for a rideable surfboard made of traditional material for about $1,200, depending on length.

"It's not a surfboard for everyday, it's a surfboard for theday," said Robert Hownson, who took over the store in 1993 so Harbour could concentrate on building.

He compared it to a special outfit you'd wear to a wedding, for that perfect 6-foot glassy and peeling day when no one is out but you and your friends.

Harbour and former employee Mike Marshall, who worked at the Seal Beach shop from 1963 to 1968, chatted on Saturday about the early days, and how he met his wife back then, who surfed on Harbour's surf team.

"These people, I can't get rid of them," he said with a smile, humbled by the turnout. "They've become lifelong family."

By Laylan Connelly

Great story, Laylan, Thank you!

Here's some more pics from the day...great times!

Tad can work it all, big to small.

We can't thank Jeff and his family enough, beyond the call, amazing food...thanks buddy.

"I won a leash?" "I won a shirt?" "I WON A BOARD!!!!! WOW!"

Steve on the nose...

Another Steve on the nose...I'm changing my name to Steve.

And let's not forget, the first annual, EAST COAST HARBOUR DAY

From Dinkum:
The EC Harbour Day in Flagler Beach, FL went off nicely with a small turnout (about 12 people had to cancel in the week prior for several reasons). Our small
group was welcomed by the locals who knew we were coming thanks to a local surfshop who had been kind enough to give me advice on local restaurants and the

Until next time...enjoy the ride. Thanks JDuck for the new HOS heading picture.:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

50 year celebration begins!

Amazing really, 50 years of surfboard making. A half century! What a pleasure to be part of history, it's my privilege to ride a HARBOUR!

It's going to be a great year, with collectors item boards;

Seal recognizing Rich (I would hope, if I hear of anything I'll post here), and a nice little kick-off, November 8th at Harbour Day (See below for Harbour Day details, all welcome). Come out, for great food, great people and great boards.


and here for news on the East Coast event.

Here's some info on the 50th year celebrations, from the Official Harbour Blog, located here.

Starting November 1st, Harbour Surfboards will begin honoring its Fiftieth year in the surfboard business.

In 1959, Rich Harbour, Harbour Surfboards’ founder, began shaping surfboards out of his parent’s garage at 15 years old and continues to craft surfboards today. Fifty years later, Harbour Surfboards is the oldest surfboard manufacturing shop that still operates in the same location. Handcrafting nearly 30,000 surfboards and counting, Harbour Surfboards is recognized worldwide as an iconic surfboard label.

Harbour Surfboards was an early pioneer in the Southern California surfboard building industry that has since become a lifestyle and cultural phenomenon with its influence in fashion, advertising, music, movies etc. Today vintage Harbour boards are coveted and by collectors and enthusiasts everywhere.

As a tribute to his fifty years of board building, Rich Harbour is pleased to present the Limited Edition surfboard model. The concept is a culmination of Harbour’s most popular surfboard shapes. A classic pin-tail shape with 50/50 rails and made of classic weight poly-urethane foam, the Limited Edition is decked out with a 5 piece cedar and basswood t-band stringer, offset glue lines, Volan fiberglass and a single multi-colored fin - the Limited Edition will surely become a collectable. The Limited Edition surfboard model is available to the public for one year only beginning November 1st. Contact Harbour Surfboards for pricing and a brochure.

For the serious collectors, Rich Harbour plans to personally glue and shape five high-end Balsa and curly Redwood versions of the Limited Edition surfboard model next year offered at $8,000.00 on a first come first served basis beginning November 1st.

Please contact Harbour Surfboards 562 430-5614 to get your hands on one of these boards!

For those interested, in the much shorter, but stoke filled history of Harbour Day, check the previous years posts:

Harbour Day History and 2005 (2 events)



Gotta' love Harbour...HISTORIC, and HISTORY IN THE MAKING...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Longest Wave for Marc, 10ft to win, new board for TD!

Here's Marc on the H3, dragging the hand....

Check out Marc here, going for longest ride...

Great ride Marc, I was thinking of heading to Malibu for my maiden voyage, but seeing that kid swarming you like a Bee is giving me second thoughts. :)

I've had one of the great weeks in my life as a surfer, and I haven't even surfed yet. I just can't quit finding excuses to go into the garage to run the hands over the egg rails.

As seen in an earlier post, it was a pleasure to sit with Rich and talk out my custom Harbour several weeks ago. But seeing the beauty for the first time, just unbelievable.

The board really is a piece of art, worthy of a place on the wall.

Being a teacher, father of four, and coach; I've had time to appreciate the board in its pristine form, as art. But, the time is near, where I can appreciate if for its true value, a perfectly crafted wave riding vessel...CAN'T WAIT!

Thanks, Robert, for picking and placing the fin for me, and for talking me through the early visions of this board.

For those interested:

It's 9'10
Rapier Outline
Egg rails
Subtle blended nose concave
3 3/16
Lower rocker than normal Rapier

Don't forget, Harbour Day coming up, get your raffle tickets, NEW 10 ft BOARD TO BE WON!!!!!!!!

From BoardHound:

Hello all, Here is an update on the "Raffle" I will have a New 10' Harbour for the Raffle. If you win the board you will be able to pick it up at the shop. If the board needs to be shipped because you missed the Event I will have it boxed but yo will be responsible for the Shipping and Insurance cost. If you decide you want Choose a different board you can exchange it for a board of equal or lesser value (No Cash refund) or if you want to order a custom or exchange for a board of greater value you pay the difference. Again I will promise you a New board
in the Raffle.


Note: I am also buying tickets so I have the same shot as all of you at winning the board.

Monday, September 15, 2008

H-3 and Jeff in action

The "secret spot" where Harbour Owners often surf was in Fall form this weekend. The winds stayed calm, and the swell was big enough to overcome the tide, plenty of very nice peaks with the occasional larger set making it exciting.

Local surfer and pro photographer, Jim Boswell (of JB Photography) has been on hand of recent, and he caught Jeff on the best sequence of the day.

Many other Harbour regulars have some great shots to view at
Once on the site, click gallery, then find a day you were surfing, you just might find a photo yourself.

Thanks Jim, for giving me the pictures to post.

Nice work Jeff, Great ride! Def. shows what the H-3 can do!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September is here...

A classic photo circa 1965, of Harbour Surfboard owner and Surf Talk regular, Screwfoot49.

I'm back...I had a great trip, but I missed the waves and my Harbour surfboards.

I hope you all had a great summer, I've been cramming in as much surf as possible, surfing Camp Pendelton for the first time, San O with Brother John, and a Bolsa Session or two. It's great to be back in the water with my fellow Harbour Owners.

Although I'm loving the warmer waters (most the time) it's time for Fall Off-Shore glass with hopefully some nice swells and dwindling crowds, and I'm excited.

I'm also pumped about the new Harbour Web site, make sure to schedule some time to check it out.

New Blog site, new photo's for boards, and many more new additions make the site a real gem, matching the quality of the Harbour Name.

As always, the New Arrivals are a first stop for me.

And the Surf Talk usually has a nice picture or two...

I especially like the newest post on the new Blog, featuring some old-school Harbour skateboards.
Harbour Surfboards

It was something special, my first Saturday back, some nice waves at 23, then over to Nicks for a burrito, followed by browsing through the new boards on the rack. Some great new Nose-Riders in there.

It's always a stoke filled experience stopping by the shop.

Keep the stoke, I'm hoping to have a new Harbour in my line-up before Nov. 8th Harbour day, so you know that will be worthy of a post with plenty of pictures.

Nice work JDuck.

Harbour Day coming soon, check side panel, or here's the word from Boardhound:

Hello all, We are gearing up for the annual Harbour Surf Day, Please let me know if you want shirts the shirts will be ordered
on Sept 20, 2008. If you are attending the east coast event Please let me know so I can get your shirts either to you or to
james for hand out on the day of the event.

West coast event will be held at Bolsa Chica state beach, Tower 20 (lot just north of campground)
We will start meeting at 6:00 am on Nov 8 2008 .
If you need a room the Sintra Inn in sunset has offerd us a 10% discount on rooms Sanatra Inn
(go to reservations fill out the info and in the comments box put "Harbour Surf Day 10% discount)

Schedule of events
Friday Nov 7th (To be announced)
Saturday Nov 8th- 6:00 am Set-up, meet, Gab & Surf
10:00am Surf Day Photo
10:30 to 1:00 Grub, Gab & mingle
1:00 Raffle
2:00 Surf or gab

T-Sirts 20.00 each (Artwork Attached)
Raffle tickes 1.00 each (You do not need to be present to win) Name & Phone # required