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Hansen pintail 8’4 single fin shaped in the late 1960’s serial #16145. Featuring a transitional era shape, made when surfboards began to be shaped shorter than typical longboards of the early-mid 1960’s. All original condition.
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History of Hansen
Don Hansen of Hansen surfboards
One of surfing’s most iconic craftsman and founder of Hansen Surfboards, Don Hansen, has marked his place in the history of world surfing, although his beginnings were very unassuming. He was born in 1937 in South Dakota and lived in a small town called Redfield. One day in the late 1950s, surfers who were visiting his college showed him some surf flicks, making him engrossed in surfing before even riding a wave. Soon after, he hitchhiked to California and began his adventure with surfing at 18. At the starting point of his career, he was earning about $50 a week as a cement guy, in extreme heat for 10 hours a day. In 1959 he was working as a lifeguard when he got a draft notice. After eight weeks of training in Fort Ord, he went over to Santa Cruz, California, where he picked up the best skills from surfing legend Jack O’Neill. O’Neill ran a surfboard business, so Don asked him if he would teach him how to shape boards in order for Jack to focus on the wetsuit business. “Shaping a surfboard in those days, you just had to be a decent craftsman (…) and teach yourself how to shape.” - recalls Hansen, when he talks about his beginnings and working for O’Neill.
Soon after, having spent two years in the Army and mastering his shaping skills, Don Hansen had gone to the North Shore of Oahu. It was the headquarters of big-wave surfing. He took the six boards that he had shaped, sold them, and lived off this money for the first 6 months in Hawaii. Don lived in Kawela Bay, near the famous Sunset Beach, and that’s where he started manufacturing Hansen Surfboards in 1960. Don wasn’t only shaping handcrafted surfboards to perform on world-class waves. He also surfed successfully, winning the Tandem National Surfing Championships and also placing 2nd at the Makaha Tandem Surfing World Championships. Soon, he got an opportunity to be on a cover of surfing magazine which was quite a big deal at the beginning of his business and allowed him to mark his place out there. After a wonderful time in Hawaii, when there were only a few surfers on the waves of Sunset Beach, Don Hansen decided to set off further. Life on the island was not what he wanted permanently.
With a pregnant wife and two step-children, without enough money for a plane back home, he got an offer to work for Hap Jacobs. It didn’t work out, so he started to shape surfboards with another great man, Hobie Alter. Don would wake up early in the morning, go to work for him, and then drive back to North County San Diego and shape even more. He got a loan from his friend’s father for $1,500 to open his first shop. The demand for his handcrafted surfboards was high, soon making him one of the top manufacturers in the world. At that point, he had created some of his most popular models such as the 50-50, Competitor, Classic, and Superlight which are still being manufactured. He also helped in creating one of the first shaping machines. In the 1970s, he transitioned to retail business, quickly becoming one of the most popular manufacturers in Southern California. Now based in Encinitas, California, Hansen’s is a true heritage shop, famous for providing an all-inclusive shopping experience for core surfers as well as beginners. Up to this day, Hansen Surfboards is the largest surf shop in San Diego County, owned and run by his family.