Hansen pintail (late 1960’s)



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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.

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