In our video series, “Surf Shop Chronicles”, we celebrate the most iconic surf shops in America—and none has a more storied local history than Harbour Surfboards, located in Seal Beach, California. The 60-year-old shop is rooted in the art of shaping high-quality surfboards, an ethos fostered by owner Rich Harbour, who crafted his first surfboard at the age of 16 in his parents’ garage. Since the opening of his eponymous enterprise in 1959, he and his team have created more than 32,000 boards.
Rich Harbour might be best known for his open-door policy–giving a home to some of surfing’s greatest influences. Besides putting together an all-star surf team in the ’60s–which included Jock Sutherland, Corky Carroll, Bill Fury, Herbie Fletcher, Mark Martinson, Richard Chew and countless other legends–Harbour was best known for his hands-on approach and making his surf shop a place for everyone to hang at. Dick Brewer spent his first year shaping under Harbour. Surf photographer and photo editor Larry “Flame” Moore’s first water housing was built by Harbour. Steve Pezman spent his early journalism years hanging around the shop, as did Gerry Lopez during his California travels. Needless to stay, Harbour’s generosity has left a mark on his community and continues to do so today.