We are stoked to be bringing two iconic surf brands into the Kannon Beach family – Gordon & Smith and Minard Surfboards. Sometimes you pick up a surfboard and you just know it’s made by a master. The subtleties, attention to detail and tiny imperfections that give a board personality and character only exist in a board that has been created by human hands. These two brands are synonymous with that feeling.
Gordon & Smith
Gordon & Smith are one of the largest and most successful surf companies in the US. And one of the longest running – they recently celebrated 60 years in the surf industry. Their logo is instantly recognizable to any surfer worth their salt, and for good reason. G&S surfboards are the quintessential handmade California surfboard and they’ve seen some of the best shapers in the world pass through their shaping bays.
Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith became friends while surfing together in the 50’s. Back in the day most surfboards were typically made out of balsa wood which was heavy, hard to maneuver, and became easily waterlogged.
In the late 50’s Polyurethane foam came on to the scene which was cheaper to manufacture, easier to maneuver, and easier to shape. Larry Gordon was a chemistry student who was able to source PU from his father’s factory, Gordon plastics. With no surf shops within 50 miles from pacific beach San Diego, Gordon and Smith built a mold and started blowing foam in Smith’s garage. In 1959 demand was so great for G&S surfboards that the pair left Smiths garage and opened their first surf shop.
Their three current shapers have close to a century of board building experience between them, and they still shape and glass some of the best longboards, fishes and mid-range surfboards in the world from their San Diego factory.
Bill Minard started shaping in California in the early 1970’s and quickly rose to prominence as one of San Diego’s premier ghost shapers. Early in his career, Bill shaped for some of surfing’s most iconic brands such as Donald Takayama and Diffenderfer. He went on to work with Gordon & Smith as a team shaper, before channeling decades of experience of building surfboards and turning his focus toward his own Minard Surfboards label.
Bill is a true craftsman, shaping each board by hand and leaning on every moment of his 4 decade career as a surfboard shaper. That craftsmanship exudes from every board, and you can feel it from the moment you stick one under your arm.
Minard and Gordon & Smith surfboards at Kannon Beach
Here are some of the models you can expect to see on the racks in the near future.