OCEANSIDE, Calif., Aug. 17, 2011- The California Surf Museum in Oceanside, Calif., has announced its newest exhibit “Hansen Surfboards – A 50 Year Retrospective,” which will open September 18, and include a vivid display of the legendary surf company, its founder and family’s history throughout the past 50 years.
The historical display chronicles Don Hansen’s move from South Dakota, where he was first introduced to surfing in the basement of the Beta Theta Pi frat house at the University of South Dakota. His college roommates, who were from Coronado, Calif., invited him to vacation with them during their summers and it didn’t take long before Hansen knew he belonged in California and he became a regular at San Diego’s best surf spots.
“My dad has a very vibrant past and he’s taught all of us a lot about running a business by the way he lives,” said Josh Hansen. “From the beginning, he has kept this a family business and involved so many key people from the community. We have employees who have worked here for more than 30 years and they’ve become a part of the family. It’s neat to see his life and the people who have played a role in the business chronicled in this display. He’s always told us that there’s no way Hansen Surfboards would be where it is if it weren’t for all the great people involved.”
Don Hansen got his start shaping surfboards for Jack O’Neill and then in 1961, moved to the North Shore of Hawaii where he went off on his own shaping and selling Hansen Surfboards from a small shack located at the end of a dirt road. While living in Hawaii, his love for the big waves became evident when he finished 2nd place in the Makaha Surfing World Championships in Hawaii, He was pictured on the cover of Surfing Magazine at Haleiwa, and was featured in the surf movie, “North Swell,” produced by Grant Rohloff.
After establishing himself as a surfer and shaper, in 1962 he returned to Southern California and opened Hansen Surfboards where the surf shop became one of the largest producers and suppliers of surfboards in the world.
The retrospective shows Don Hansen’s life from the start of Hansen Surfboards, to the days when he and his partners started the OP Clothing Company in the 1970s. It also chronicles his move to Montana where he learned to rope and ride and started downhill ski racing. At one time in the mid 70s, Don Hansen was a two-time national skydiving champion, breaking almost every record there was.
Central to the display are vintage Hansen Surfboards, advertisements, photos and more.
“Hansen Surfboards – A 50 Year Retrospective” is made possible by the sponsorship of Oakley, Nixon, Smith, O’Neill Clothing, O’Neill Wetsuits, OluKai, Billabong, Cobian, Quiksilver, Channel Islands, Toes on the Nose, Rusty, Spy, Sanuk, Reef, Hurley, Volcom, Dakine, Von Zipper, RVCA, and Ripcurl.
Founded in 1961, Hansen Surfboards is San Diego’s largest surf shop. With more than 16,000 square feet of retail space, it offers something for everyone in the family. The Hansen family credits the San Diego community, surf legends and brands that have been a big part of its success.
Founded in 1986, the California Surf Museum serves as an international repository and resource center for the lifestyle sport of surfing through capturing, preserving and chronicling its art, culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations. The California Surf Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit located at 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054. Phone (760) 721-6876 or E-mail [email protected] Please visit the website at [email protected] Open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours Thursdays to 8 p.m. Closed major holidays. Admission is free to members, $3 for adults, $1 for students, seniors and military, free for kids under 12 and free on Tuesdays.