Isurus Wetsuits Recommends Checking Out SHF’s Dewey Weber Exhibit
By Bob Driver
San Clemente’s Surfing Heritage Foundation is currently exhibiting the “Little Man On Wheels”… a collection of surfboards, photographs, illustrations and other objects that bring to life the iconic surfer, Dewey Weber (1938-1993).
Weber’s hotdogging style revolutionized surfing; where the old guard had stood and rode waves statuesquely, Weber chose to dance… twisting and turning his body while on the most critical sections of the wave. His approach to wave riding was extremely radically for the time. For those who did witness his surfing, it was plain to see that the wave was his stage and his gyrations the intentional performance art done to position himself perfectly inside the curl.
So radical was his hotdogging style, that if effected the length of his boards. By this time foam had been introduced and surfboards had become lighter, but it was Weber and his crew of South Bay hotdoggers that introduced shorter boards. Boards that allowed them to turn more aggressively across the face of the wave while maintaining speed and control. Today’s modern shortboard can draw direct lineage to Weber’s approach to wave riding as well as his efforts in the shaping bay.
Within the surf industry Weber distinguish himself by creating one of surfing’s first million dollar empires. He expanded his brand by collecting a talented team of international surfers that included Nat Young, David Nuuhiwa, Rell Sunn, Randy Rarick, Donald Tayakam, Peter “Pope” Kahapea, Jackie Baxter and many others. While the most enduring element of his surf dynasty is the Dewey Weber Performer, the single most produced longboard model in history.
Unfortunately, during many of his most productive years, Weber was also deeply addicted to alcohol and it was his alcoholism that the ended Weber’s dance inside the curl.
Make the drive down to San Clemente’s Surfing Heritage Foundation and when you get there; make sure to tell the SHF crew you’re there because Isurus Wetsuits recommended it.
There is much to be learned from Weber’s life, approach to wave riding and innovative board shapes. The SHF exhibit is up until December 22, 2012, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about the collection.