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One of the best parts of Jack's Surfboards 50th anniversary party Thursday night was hearing surf and skateboard moguls recall old memories of the iconic Main Street surf shop.
Bob Hurley, left, with Steve Zeldin of Water Magazine
Bob Hurley, founder of Hurley International, remembered shopping there as a teen striving to be cool. Legendary surfboard shaper Al Merrick recalled one of the owners scolding him loudly in the store for selling boards to competitor Huntington Surf & Sport and not Jack's. "You are a very, very bad man!" he told Merrick decades ago. Pat O'Neill, son of wetsuit king Jack O'Neill, remembered landing his first big deal as a wet-behind-the-ears salesman when Jack's placed a big order back in the day.
The turnout for the anniversary party was impressive, and speaks to Jack's continued influence in the industry. Also on hand: Pierre André Senizergues of skateboard shoe empire Sole Technology in Lake Forest; Toby Bost, CEO of the La Jolla Group, maker of O'Neill, Lost and Metal Mulisha clothing; a large contingent from Quiksilver - even though they were having a movie premiere at Quiksilver headquarters that night - including Marty Samuels, president of Quiksilver Americas.
Really, the only big names missing were Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight, who was in Hawaii, and Richard Woolcott, CEO of Volcom. Richard later told me via e-mail that he was at the premiere in Hollywood of the new Volcom movie "Let's Live." The movie is dedicated to Volcom skater Shane Cross who recently passed away.Dick and Una Baker
I asked Bob Hurley why Jack's is so influential and could draw this type of crowd.
"They help build companies, they give back to the sport," he said. "I love these guys. They helped build my career."
Later in the conversation he talked about the importance of the corner of Main Street and PCH - home to both Jack's and Huntington Surf & Sport.