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Hap Jacobs 422 model longboard signed by Hap Jacobs in the early 2000’s. Excellent all original condition.
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History of Hap Jacobs
Hap Jacobs: Surfboard Pioneer
Hap Jacobs was born in 1930, in Los Angeles, California. He moved to Hermosa Beach with his parents as a kid, where he picked up riding canvas surf mats filled with air. Hap remembers every kid was surfing back then- that was until high school. He got his first job working at a surf mat shop. Hap was 15 at that time and the shop was called California Surfrider. After a day of hard work, he enjoyed the entertainment of riding the boards himself. Next, he caught waves on hollow plywood surfboards. However, these were very inconvenient to ride, as they would fill up with water. After that, he got a balsa redwood board by Pacific Homes. Hap would often surf the board at Palos Verdes Cove with guys from the surfing club. Later in his teenage years he tried to spend more time playing football, but surfing was his true calling. He would skip summer practices to go to the beach. When there was a calling for the army, he volunteered to be stationed in Hawaii (it wasn’t a popular choice). He bought another balsa board, that belonged to Peter Lawford, to surf there, and got it reshaped. Hap mentions that he learned more about surfing and shaping in Hawaii than ever before.
After an episode as a carpenter’s apprentice at UCLA, he knew very well that the job that his father got him wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. Instead, Hap partnered with the legendary surfer Dale Velzy and together, in 1953, they opened surf shops in Venice and San Clemente. In 1955 he started a shop on Redondo Beach, called Dive N’ Surf together with Bev Morgan. Hap was making surfboards, and Bev (who was an excellent diver) focused on the wetsuits. Because of working in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jacobs was the last working of the four great Hermosa Beach shapers (along with Greg Noll, Bing Copeland, and Dewey Weber) from the Golden Age of Surfing. Jacobs opened his store in 1960 along Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa Beach. He developed the iconic red-diamond logo. It’s still used by his son, Kent, a shaper in Hawaii. Jacobs stopped shaping in 1971. It was because the shortboards of the day gained instant popularity and there was no demand for the longboards that he was shaping. Instead of putting his skillful crafter longboards on sale, Jacobs carried them out back from his Pacific Coast Highway showroom and sawed them in half. After his career as a shaper ended, Hap made his living running the King Harbor fuel dock and catching swordfish from aboard his boat “Patricia J”- named after his wife Patty. He went back to shaping boards during the early 1990s. It was when longboards were having their revival, but it was only on a small scale, mainly for Hap’s friends and team riders.
Hap Jacobs shaped his final surfboard in April 2019. It was a clear glassed, 9-foot Performance model, with a single stringer. Nowadays it’s Jose Barahona, who continues Jacobs’ legacy. Hap is still a respected member of his community and a legend in the surfing world. He was tapped as a charter member of the Hermosa Beach Surfer’s Walk of Fame in 2003.