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*RARE* 1964 Buzzy Trent Model Balsawood Pipeliner #6/10 shaped by Dick Brewer. We also have access to serial #1 and serial #10 of the balsa series in addition to several boards from the Buzzy Trent foam series.
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Buzzy Trent: Few surfers in history have had Trent’s measure for pure athletic skill. He was an all-state fullback in high school and ran the 100-yard dash in 10.1 seconds; as a freshman running back for the University of Southern California, he broke his leg while playing against Ohio State, at which time he became a Golden Gloves boxer. According to fellow Santa Monica surfer and future big-wave rider Ricky Grigg, Trent once “hit an opponent so hard it killed him right there in the ring.”
Trent moved to Honolulu in 1952, after seeing film footage of Makaha shot by Walter Hoffman of Laguna Beach. Hoffman was one of the original big-wave specialists, along with Hawaiian George Downing, but it was Trent who became the godfather and patron saint of adventure-seeking big-wave riders. He was a raw, no-frills surfer, using a functional straight-backed squat, and always seeking the highest possible line of attack. Once comfortable in Hawaii, he began looking for the biggest waves he could find, preferably 20-footers or larger at Point Surf Makaha. A 1953 Associated Press photo of Trent, Downing, and Woody Brown on a sparkling triple-overhead wave at Makaha was published in newspapers across the country and encouraged a small but influential group of California surfers—including Peter Cole and Fred Van Dyke— to try their luck in the big Hawaiian surf.
Trent looked at the surf media as a opportunity for performance of a different kind. Asked to speak as a big-wave authority in a 1963 surf movie, the square-jawed Trent begins a lesson on riptides by calling for a blackboard, which is wheeled in by an attractive bikini-clad, lollipop-licking assistant. In a classic 1965 Hobie Surfboards ad Trent played the steely death-or-glory adventurer, standing bare-chested in a surfboard factory and staring coldly at a new big-wave board. Trent, in fact, was the first to describe a big-wave surfboard as a “gun,” and he coined one of the sport’s most famous epigrams, saying that “big waves aren’t measured in feet, but in increments of fear.” The Buzzy Trent signature model big-wave board from Surfboards Hawaii, produced in 1964, was advertised as the ultimate surf vehicle and cost $250, more than double the price of a stock board. (In 2007, a Buzzy Trent gun sold at auction for $33,000.)
Trent was a judge for the 1965 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, and in 1966 he was inducted into the International Surfing Magazine Hall of Fame. He appeared in about 10 surf films, including Surf Crazy (1959), Surfing Hollow Days (1962), and Cavalcade of Surf (1962). Trent quit surfing in 1974, age 45, because he “only enjoyed big waves,” and felt he’d done all he could do in that field. He took up hang gliding, which he accurately described as “ten times more dangerous than surfing.” Trent worked as a lifeguard in the ’40s and early ’50s, as a fireman in the ’50s and early ’60, and as a construction worker until he retired in 1980.
Dick Brewer: Brilliant surfboard designer-shaper from Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii, generally regarded as the sport’s most influential boardmaker; creator of the popular Bing Pipeliner model longboard in 1967, and venerated in the late ’60s and early ’70s as the first master of shortboard design. “He’s got the magic eye,” Hawaiian surfer Jeff Hakman said. “Outlines, fins, edges, contours; he knew how to put everything together.”
Brewer was born (1936) near Duluth, Minnesota, the son of an aircraft machinist, moved with his family to Long Beach, California, in 1939, and began surfing in 1953. In the mid-’50s he worked as a toolmaker and machinist; in 1959 he shaped his first surfboard, and the following year he moved to Oahu where he was informally mentored by California-born shapers Mike Diffenderfer and Bob Shepherd. Brewer opened Surfboards Hawaii in Haleiwa in 1961, the first retail surf shop on the North Shore of Oahu, surfing’s big-wave capital.
Brewer returned to California in 1964 to start a mainland branch of Surfboards Hawaii, but legal problems with royalties and licensing soon forced him out of the company altogether. He worked for manufacturing giant Hobie Surfboards in 1965 as a big-wave board specialist, and produced the Dick Brewer Model; Jeff Hakman, Eddie Aikau, and Buzzy Trent were among the big-wave aces who rode Brewer boards that winter in Hawaii. Brewer himself was an enthusiastic big-wave rider in the late ’50s and ’60s, and was featured riding Waimea Bay in the surf movie classic The Endless Summer.
Brewer switched from Hobie to Harbour Surfboards in 1966, then to Bing Surfboards, where in 1967 he produced a series of models that are collectively regarded as the last word in original-era longboards, including the Pipeliner, the Lotus, the Pintail, and the Nuuhiwa Lightweight. But after Australian Nat Young won the 1966 World Championships on a self-made board that was thinner and lighter than anything in use at the time, the seeds were planted for a drastic change in board design.
The origins of the 1967-launched shortboard revolution are still debated. Brewer claims he began making shorter, more streamlined boards in the spring of 1967, and the radical new designs got him fired from Bing. Australian surfer/boardmaker Bob McTavish, influenced by California-born kneeboarder and designer George Greenough, had meanwhile developed the short, wide-tailed vee-bottom design, and the generally accepted view is that McTavish and Greenough are responsible for starting the shortboard revolution. It was Brewer, however, in the months and years to come, who did the most to bring the shortboard revolution into focus.
Read the full articles @ Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing… http://encyclopediaofsurfing.com/entries/brewer-dick & http://encyclopediaofsurfing.com/entries/trent-charles-buzzy