I have just learned this afternoon that Dale Velzy has passed away against the fight with Cancer. I was in a shop in Redondo Beach when my friend asked if I knew Dale personally. My friend informed me that he did and that his passed away today. He just saw him last week while picking up a board that he sold to a customer. He stated that he was going to take a camera with him while on the trip there and forgot it and now it is too late.
It’s funny how huge our sport is, but we all know someone and they know someone which all makes us a tight knit family. Ever been somewhere picking materials and mentions some names and they turn out to know them? We lost a great man today who knew a lot about surfing and surfboards and made a lot of people happy while doing it. If you ever run across someone like Dale, learn as much as possible, because they are not all going to be here forever.
Aloha Dale, We shall miss you.
I never met him, but his influence is there on every wave. My sympathies to his family and friends.
Is this a time to shut down Swaylocks for a day out of respect for Dale? I don’t think most of you guys realize the contributions he made to surfboard building.
aloha Hawk, you will be missed.
out of respect we owe it to him to carry on as he were still with us…just so far out side we just cant see him any more.
ride on old man…I will not miss you but rather look forward to seeing you…on the outside.
Is this a time to shut down Swaylocks for a day out of respect for Dale?
Why on earth would Velzy want that??? He’d be stoked to see us doing what we do!
Rest in peace, Dale Velzy!
Now he’ll be in the perfect position to get that big set wave in the sky.
I wonder how many other dead surfers are up there hassling him to get it?
Think how crowded it will be by the time some of us get there!
may we grok Velzy completly in the now and here after
in the name of the fathers
and the eternal spirit
Praise Dale Velzy in rhyme and story at every campfire
to let every campfire carry his name skyward
to mingle with the stars and constelations
where he may rest in comfort for eternity…
aloha ,to the oldest man, from waipouli … ambrose…
sadness, another reminder…
he made a difference …
deepest sympathy , to all those dealing with the pain …
Just this morning, I was helping put the finishing touches on a museum show dealing with the history of East Coast surfing in the local whaling museum (whalers bringing the knowledge of surfing to America - not to forget that they also took the missionaries west who tried to put an end to surfing - and the evolution of the sport specifically on Long Island) and mounted a Velzy/Jacobs balsa pig as one of the premier displays. This one design of Velzy’s revolutionized surfboards and its principles are still used today. It’s an honor to just handle the board.
Also, Velzy was one of - if not the first - shapers to use a power plane to shape boards, first on wood then foam. We could all be riding finless solid wood planks shaped with files and spokeshaves today if not for Velzy and a few others.
Plus the man had Style with a capital “S”.
Take your next wave for “The Hawk”.
Unfortunately I never had the honour of meeting Dale. I admired his work from across the Pond over here in the UK as far back as the sixties. He was a great shaper and surfer and he will be greatly missed by the surfing tribe across the planet. God speed Dale - Aloha.
You know, I’ve had a Velzy hanging on my wall for the longest time…never got around to actually surfing it. I think I’ll take it out for the first time tomorrow in honor of Dale.
P.S. PeteHarwood…I just read about that exhibit the other day. I’m hoping to check it out this summer.
Encircling a North Shore cove
on as many of Dale’s boards,
five hundred thousand smiles
hold each other’s gaze.
He’s in every one.
“All I’ve tried to do is to have fun and do whatever it was as good as I could. Looking back, there’s nothing I would do different except that I’d just do more of it. As far as my boards go, I figure they speak for themselves.” (Dale Velzy)
From “Tales of the Hawk” by Craig R. Stecyk, The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 3, No. 3, Fall 1994.
Photo by Craig R. Stecyk
About 4 years ago I was working in my shop in westside Costa Mesa and I had the big roll-up door up. It was a bright sunny day and the light was pouring in through the big door way. I was working on a paddle board and looked up to see two men standing in the door. The light was so bright you couldn’t see any features, but only silhouettes. But some how I knew it was “The Hawk”. I about fell over trying to get from the far end of the shop to him before he left. He came in and I got to walk him all around my shop and show him what I was doing. He was super stoked and complimentary, and we talked about molding his board. It was one of the best times of my life. The Hawk was actually wanting me to mold his board. How bout that!!
God Bless you Mr. Velzy. Rest in peace.
It’s cool that he will be always remembered at Velzyland. How many of us have a surfspot named for us? What a legend.
pioneer, progressive shaper, ahead of his time, classic surfer free spirit. One of the true legends of the art. I met him and spoke with him at the last trade show he attended here in Florida. A real gentleman.
He will be missed. There are not many of his breed left.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic,”
See ya on the other side Dale.
In the very early 70’s, I worked at a seaside restaurant that was run by a pretty well-known 50s/60s surfer. The restaurant hosted a volleyball tournament which was something really different for that particular locale and the times. Car and vanloads of mostly southern Californians showed up for the two or four day event - it’s as much a fog now as it was then - and Dale Velzy was one of them. I got to wait on his table one night and he and his buddys were trouble from the start. But through all the good-natured hassling and jerking around they gave me, Dale Velzy had a gleam in his eye and it was a dubious honor for me to get that special brand of pranksterism thrown at me. Thanks.
as if Velzy would expect us to log off swaylocks for a day in respect for him. the guy is probably pulling into some perfect 6foot point waves with a few of the other old boys who have passed in recent years having the time of his life, and givin the rest of us who are still stuck down here in phase one the one fingered salute. rock on dale.