Living legends and living masters...

Living legends and living masters…

Hey dude - did you know that the old guy who hobbles around our block is Bud Browne, the pioneering surf film maker from the 50’s? No way!!! Man, I’m gonna get his movie and have him sign it and tell him how much I enjoyed his work and how he inspired me to buy that Hobie and learn how to surf. I’ll just order it over the phone - dum-de-dum. Yeah - I’d like to order “Surfing the 50’s”, by Bud Browne. Be here in two weeks? Great! I can’t wait.

Aw gee - I finally got the movie, but Bud’s not making the walk around the block anymore, I hope he’s OK… I guess I missed my chance.

How many of you have got one of your family members a computer and an internet subscription so you could e-mail them some pictures of junior and assorted what-nots?


I bet someone out there knows someone who knows Gerry Lopez or Dick Brewer or Simon Anderson or Rabbit Kekai or on and on and on…



i gota get my uncles set up …

i always heard stories when i was a kid , but hey that was just my family…

alot of them i thought were tall stories , you know the ones you tell to kids…

then as i grow up in the surf industry and meet crew who i looked up to , who were leaders and pioneeers of the surf industry …i start hearing the same stories from them that my family told me ??what the hell , they were true…

until recently i had no idea my uncles were held in such high regard by others , i end up finding out i was born into one of the west coasts pioneering surfing families…

my oldest uncle found alot of the breaks around here and was the regions first surfer…the next one is still regarded as west oz’s first bigwave extreme hell man …i heard a story just recently from a guy , well respected , that to this day he has never seen waves surfed as big as what he saw my uncle riding in the early seventies …and the youngest uncle pioneered the south coast all from the 50s onward , no legropes ,no wetsuits , and the best part is my grandfather was into home movies , when i was a kid i would fall asleep watching massive margrets being surfed in the 60s or watching an old valiant bashing some track on the south coast finding new surf spots…or seeing a homemade beachbuggy with boards strapped on …from the late 40s onwards my grandfather was exploring the coast taking his young family along for the ride…

all on super 8 ,reckon theres enough stuff there for a major documentry…

i cant beleive how lucky i am to be born into a family like that…im only just starting to realise the value of all the old photos and movies…

i was force fed surfing as a kid , proud of my heritage,



I always thought that Dick Brewer would be fascinated by the exchange of ideas that is here on Swaylocks, although it’s usually pretty hard to get him to “toot his own horn”. I think that Dick is very humble and keeps a low profile, he seems pretty happy with who and where he is, although everyone else out there more or less regards him as a legend. RB just hangs in Kauai making designs and shaping for the pros (way more than you think), playing golf and selling real estate. Does’nt sound like a bad life to me. I’ve heard he still surfs Hanalei Bay on occasion as well, but guys like Kokua would probably know that aspect better.

Personally I’d love to see RB get out there more (especially since I’m the Rep.), but then again who am I to tell a guy like that what to do? Maybe he’ll get the itch one day and start logging on.

I’ve only owned 2 real Brewers, both semi guns 7’9" sizing.

But I’ve owned over 20 Steve Morgan Brewers, some out of Kaui, most from SoCal.

Best board for weak paddlers like myself.

Is Wise still selling Morgan Brewers? Might need an 8’er this year. Don’t really want a Plumeria real Brewer, as Morgans suit me just fine.


Let me first say that this is not intended to comment in any way against Steve Morgan and his shaping skills. I hear a lot of good things about him from a lot of folks.

If you want a Morgan shape, you need to go to Steve Morgan direct (I think he works with HIC now).

As for the Brewer/Plumeria labels, all boards under the Dick Brewer Surfboards and Plumeria labels are now made with Dick’s input. This means either Dick hand shapes them or they are machined from his master designs by KKL.

I know that there is always some conjecture in Swaylocks over machine shapes but in our experience they are way more true to the original designs than something “eyeballed” by a no name ghost shaper whose sole motivation is to scam the public (and I’m not at all referring about Steve Morgan here, but other than that I can’t name names).

To dispel any lingering conjecture over of the two different labels, let me clear the air somewhat. Plumeria was started by Dick at a time when he himself did not legally own the exclusive rights to the Dick Brewer Surfboards label in an effort to regain control over what was going out under Dick’s name. With the success of Plumeria the other (non RB designed) boards sales shrunk so low that the outside interests decided to cut their losses and sell the sole rights to Dick Brewer Surfboards back to Dick himself. As by that time both labels had a following, Dick decided to keep making boards under both.

Having seen some of the lesser product being sold under Dick’s name, I have to say I welcomed the day when we were finally able to get the “lei” label back under Dick’s watchful eye.

Asfor Plumeria, I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the Plumeria boards from people I respect. We’re up to about 30 different production shapes right now, and you can still get hand shapes from Dick if you want (probably best to go direct to him in Kauai if you don’t have a lot of time).

Hope this helps.

Howzit Mmanzi, Dick paddles out at Pine Trees occasionally but not out to the bay anymore, might be to far to paddle. But when you get to be as old as Dick is the paddle out to the Bay can be hard. Aloha,Kokua

Hey Kokua, thanks for the update, I guess the years do add up eventually. (I know they do for me). I do remember that when I saw Dick in 95 he was scoffing at Pine Trees as being “grommets only” material, but that was almost 10 years ago. Hopefully I’ll be in as good shape as he is when I’m his age.


We got Cheyne Horan posting here. Working on Mccoy. We got Rich Harbour posting here. I bet many more check it out.

Thanks for the update, Mmanzi.

Good to get info from the source. And good RB got his name back.

I’m just driving thru ordering up one from each column and going big! That’s all I meant

Wow Bert, shouldn’t you get that footage on video in case the film deteriorates? I will buy a video if you make one and if it is for sale. Regards, Roy


I know that there is always some conjecture in Swaylocks over machine shapes but in our experience they are way more true to the original designs than something “eyeballed” by a no name ghost shaper whose sole motivation is to scam the public (and I’m not at all referring about Steve Morgan here, but other than that I can’t name names).

I’ll school you and your shaping machine any day of the week. -Carl

Bert -

By all means, do yourself and future generations a favor and get that stuff recorded on a DVD. There must be places that’ll do that kind of thing?

My brother and I set up a projector and projected old 8mm home movies on a piece of white foamboard. With a video camera set up on a tripod behind the projector, we focused on the foamboard and let it rip. Once we got it on video tape, he jacked it into his computer and recorded to DVD. There must be easier ways to do it but we pulled it off and glad we did. 8mm film ends up getting moldy, faded or even eaten by projectors. Save the raw footage for archives.

I’ll give you Dick Brewer’s phone # in Kauai, I’m sure he’s waiting for your design input before he shapes Laird’s next towboard… Get over yourself.

By the way, I don’t recall having mentioned any name specifically when referring to the ghost shaper that was doing the Brewer designs in past, so not sure why you would think this was slamming you specifically. (I do note that you list your occcupation as a “ghost shaper” for Pearson Arrow in the User Profile). I also do not recall stating that other labels should use KKL, just that Brewer chose to based on our bad experience with the ghost shaper in question, and the last time I checked it was a free country. I do not see any further reason for RB to defend the way he does things, I think by now he’s earned the cred. My regrets if you don’t agree, but no one’s stopping you from doing your thing.

I’ve had some email conversations with Malcolm Campbell and am going to try and meet up with him when the LI bonzer crew meets him later this month in NYC…

Mmanzi- Sorry, got you a little defensive… I wonder why? Anyway I was having a bad day, and I generalized your post to read more like “Machines do a better job than a ghost shaper “eyeballing” a plug.” From my experience the opposite is true. Of course, maybe you just needed to find a better ghost. Just because one guy sucked doesn’t make everyone a hack. Sorry I miss read your post. -Carl

Defensive… perhaps. Probably because I’m the Rep. and Dick is so low profile. We took a lot of flak at Plumeria for the DBS boards that we did not make even though we had nothing to do with them. As this was primarily due to misinformation I regard it as part of my job to clear the air. At least now everyone should know the deal with the labels and make their decisions accordingly.

Neither board is an acurrate representation unless the guy who’s name is going on it actually signs it and is very hands on in aproach. Merrick himself once said that “magic” is in the screen, meaning the finishing touches, funny but he seems to be one of the most hands off of the big guys, look in his racks at your local mall store, it shows.

you can definately get good boards off the computer

best case-- finnished by designer

next best-- finished by ghost and looked over by shaper who cares and whos name is on board( yes I think some still do care)

worst case – farmed out to distant machine(out of state or local area) and finished by generic ghost

Howzit Mmanzi, Rick Holt was Dick’s primary ghost shaper here on Kauai for many years until they had a falling out at the end of 2003. Since then He’s used John Riddle and Mark Angell to do the job. Dick checks every shaped blank to make sure they are done right. I’ve glassed boards(not Dick’s) for both Mark and John and they are both pro shapers who do beautiful work. Aloha, Kokua