Stab Magazine | Larry Gordon's the reason for what we ride today.
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Larry Gordon’s the reason for what we ride today.

On New Years day surfing lost one of its greatest innovators, Mr Larry Gordon. Larry was 76 when he passed from a Parkinson’s related illness. He and good friend Floyd Smith partnered up in 1959 to create the aptly named Gordon and Smith surfboards in Pacific Beach, San Diego. G&S at one point would become the […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

On New Years day surfing lost one of its greatest innovators, Mr Larry Gordon. Larry was 76 when he passed from a Parkinson’s related illness. He and good friend Floyd Smith partnered up in 1959 to create the aptly named Gordon and Smith surfboards in Pacific Beach, San Diego. G&S at one point would become the largest surfboard manufacturer in the world.

In a time period that transitioned from the traditional balsa wood boards, Larry and Floyd were of the first to experiment with polyurethane and set the mold for the sleds that currently glide beneath our feet today. His influence weighed heavily on shapers who would later be known as “influential”. Esteemed men such as Skip Frye, Rusty Preisendorfer, Mark Richards and Barry Kanaiaupuni shaped for G&S before going their own ways.

Matt Warshaw could not have put it better: If you surfed in California during the Nixon years, you owe Gordon a debt for the 1974 introduction of the full-templated, soft-railed G&S Modern Machine, which helped wake us up from our collective North Shore-worshipping hypnotic state and thus give up the Sunset-ready pintails we’d been riding at Hermosa Pier, Trestles, and every other gun-inappropriate break up and down the coast.

“We still shape and glass surfboards about a mile from where his first factory was,” his daughter told the Guardian. “The reason he made surfboards and the reason we keep making them is for the love of surfing and the stoke it brings in giving people the best ride of their life.”

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