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All original Dewey Weber 6’9 single fin (mid 1970s).
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Flashy bleach blond surfer and board maker of the late ’50s and ’60s from Hermosa Beach, California; a hotdogging icon; founder and owner of surf industry powerhouse Weber Surfboards.
Early in his surfing life, Weber met and became friends with board manufacturer Dale Velzy, 10 years his senior, and it was the new wide-backed Velzy “pig” design, developed in the mid-’50s, that allowed Weber to develop his prototypical hotdog style. Soon he was the hottest thing on the coast. “In the late ’50s,” Malibu favorite Lance Carson later recalled, “on his best days, nobody could touch him.” The tiny but well-muscled Weber (5′ 3″, 130 pounds) rode in a bowlegged stance, and used jitter bugging foot speed to race up and down the deck of his b
oard; he was soon nicknamed “the Little Man on Wheels.” Weber also had a keen sense of leverage, and was able to turn with more power than his diminutive frame would suggest.
Best remembered for his small-wave performances, especially at Malibu, Weber also rode well in the bigger Hawaiian surf. He further stood out by using candy-apple red surfboards and matching trunks, and by peroxiding his already-blond hair to an incandescent platinum white. Weber was featured in nearly every surf movie of the late ’50s and early ’60s, including Slippery When Wet (1958), Cat on a Hot Foam Board (1959), and Walk on the Wet Side (1963). Following up on his early Buster Brown fame, meanwhile, Weber was a three-time national yo-yo champion by age 14, and performed on the Groucho Marx-hosted television progra
m You Bet Your Life. In high school he was a three-time all-league wrestler, in junior college he was all-state, and in 1960 he made the finals of the Olympic wrestling team trials before dislocating an elbow.
Weber Surfboards opened in 1960 in Venice, and soon became the sport’s second-most popular brand, following Hobie Surfboards. Weber meanwhile became a hard drinker in his off-hours, lived up to his media billing as “the surfing millionaire” by purchasing a gold Ford Thunderbird as a wedding gift for his new bride, and by walking barefoot into the local Porsche dealership and paying cash for a new bright yellow 911. He continued to be a force as a surfer, placing second in the 1964 United States Surfing Championships, earning a slot in the 1965 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, making the finals of the 1965 and 1967 Malibu Invitational, and winning the seniors division of the 1969 U.S. Championships. In 1966 he was inducted into the International Surfing Magazine Hall of Fame.
Weber’s hometown of Hermosa Beach commissioned a bronze sculpture of Weber in 2008; as of 2013 it remained under constru
ction. Little Man on Wheels: Surfing Legend Dewey Weber, a biography, was published in 2012.
Read the full article @ Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing… http://encyclopediaofsurfing.com/entries/weber-david-dewey