Dick Brewer longboard thruster (late 1980’s)


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Dick Brewer thruster longboard shaped in the late 1980’s. Featuring a T-band stringer with redwood/cedar nose and tail blocks. All original condition. *MORE PHOTOS COMING SOON*

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History of Dick Brewer surfboards

One of the most prominent and noteworthy names of the surfboard making industry is the legendary Dick Brewer. The infamous surfboard shaper Richard Brewer was born in Bemidji, Minnesota. He discovered his love for surfing in the year 1952 and bought his first surfboard, a 9’0” balsa Woody Brown template, which later led to many magical journeys. Brewer joined the Air National Guard and found himself interested in the designing of surfboards. In 1960, he established himself in Hawaii by earning a reputation and divulging his surfing skills in the waves of Waimea and Makaha.

Brewer opened “Surfboards Hawaii”, the first and only surf shop of its kind on the north shore of Oahu. There he shaped and designed boards for surfers riding the amazing breaks along the “7 mile miracle” that was Oahu’s north shore. Brewer took inspiration from legends like Bob Shepherd and Joe Quigg. It was only a matter of time before his boards gained huge popularity amongst the surfing elite. In the year 1962, Brewer shaped and designed a board for Buffalo Keaulana who won the 1962 Makaha Championship. In 1963, he designed a longboard later named as “The Pipeliner” which was ridden by none other than Butch Van Artsdalen. However, the path he followed was not easy throughout. Brewer’s business came to a halt when there was a shortage of materials required to make the surf craft he desired and as a result had to move his business to California temporarily. Unfortunately, due to a certain financial rivalry he couldn’t keep his share of the business and relinquished his stake in the Surfboards Hawaii label. From 1965 onwards, Brewer relentlessly joined many businesses, never giving up on his passion. He started shaping boards for Hobie Alter, a successful sailing entrepreneur, and later on left Hobie and joined Harbour Surfboards, and after that joined Bing Surfboards. Bing really helped Brewer in making his ground firm and allowing him to showcase his efforts and ideas.

Brewer later moved to Maui and founded “Lahaina Surf Designs” where he met Gerry Lopez also known as “Mr. Pipeline”, famous for his skill riding the tubes of Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu. Brewer shaped the infamous “Mini Gun” shortboard which was for the first time ridden by Gerry. “Mini Gun” was the archetype after which came all the ideas for other boards inspiring many different designs and variations. Brewer then relocated to Kauai where he opened a surfboard shop in a community called Hanapepe with the help and support of Lopez. It was there in that historic place where Brewer built the iconic board “Purple Haze” which was of great service to John Sutherland in winning the Duke the following year. Brewer also shaped many boards for Reno Abellira, most notable of which is the “Pocket Rocket” which earned a position in a surfing competition held in Puerto Rico.

The 70’s were a prominent highlight of Dick Brewer’s professional, as well as personal life. He became a renowned surfboard shaper, building and designing boards coming in a multitude of varieties with many surfers winning big competitions riding them. His ideas inspired and gave birth to new methods and techniques. Brewer’s designs had become so immensely popular that a thriving market for his shapes was firmly established. Brewer then went to California and focused on his business and built boards for riders like Byron Wong, David Parr, and many others. Surfboard shaping was a passion Dick Brewer had given his life to. Facing backlash in business partnerships, industrial market and even losing his son Keoki at a very young age were just some of the downfalls he had to deal with, yet his passion always stayed and evolved constantly. After a lifetime of creating innovative shapes for surfers around the world, Dick Brewer is now a legend popularly referred to as the “Shaping Guru”. Dick Brewer gave generational insight into the world of surfing and gave it the importance it always needed. Needless to say, the Brewer name will forever be cemented in the history of surfing along with his masterful shapes which will be cherished for generations to come.

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