Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vintage Car Takes Out Vintage Surf Shop

Vintage car takes out Vintage Surf Shop - but no fear; some Vintage CHiPys are on the scene...

A wayward car takes out the front window of 'The Greek' Surfboard Shop in Huntington Beach.
Photo Courtesy of the OC Historical Blog

Just love this classic black 'n' white image above - which shows Bob 'The Greek' Bolen's retail Surf Shop which was [in those days] located right on the Pacific Coast Highway in Surf City; Huntington Beach in the sixties and seventies.

After an automobile accident on the busy PCH, the vehicle has careered out of control and crashed through the shop's front plate glass window taking some brick work and the supporting frame work.

With his clipboard out, and in attendance on the far left, you can see the classic 'Chippy' - a member of the California Highway Patrol. [Hands up those who can remember the lightweight CHiPs crime drama on TV in the late seventies?]. In the State of California, CHiPs are responsible for patrol jurisdiction and enforcing law on California roads and highways - they also act as State Troopers.

The famous 'Surfboards by the Greek' logo
Surfboards By The Greek was a creation of a true Californian surfing legend; Bob 'The Greek' Bolen, who grew up surfing the beaches of Orange County.

Nicknamed 'the Greek' by high school buddies because of his Greek ancestry, he decided to call his brand 'Surfboards by the Greek'. By his own admission, he figured names like 'Surfboards by Bob' or 'Surfboards by Bolen' weren't going to cut it.

'The Greek', as he is known in the Surfing Industry, started surfing in 1958 and began shaping in 1959. The Greek started out making surfboards for himself and a few friends, but it was a local bicycle shop owner who gave him his first shot at building boards commercially. Witnessing the huge growth in surfing's popularity, he asked Bob to make boards to sell in his bike shop.

Bob in the halcyon days of Surfboards
by the Greek in Huntington Beach.
In 1960 Bob opened his own shop, where he manufactured and sold surfboards. The shop closed its doors way back in 1980. But thirty years after shutting the Surf Shop, Bob is still just around the corner where he sells real estate. His office, at 322 Main St, in Huntington Beach, also features a small 'Surfboard Museum'. The accident photo above came from the Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board.

Even though he shut the doors of the shop in the summer of 1980, Bob never traveled far from the beach he loved or the surfing industry he helped change with his now-famous surfboard shapes such as the The Maui Model, The Eliminator, The Liquidator, The Pickle and The Outlaw (among others). More recently he has added The Stylemaster and The Shorty to his growing list of memorable designs.

In 2011 at 68 years old, Bob 'The Greek' Bolan is still considered by many of his peers to be an all-time master of his craft. 'The Greek' has been designing and shaping custom surfboards for over 45 years. In 2006 he was inducted into Huntington's Surfing Walk of Fame.

Today: Californian Surf Legend Bob Bolan in his unique
Huntington Beach Surf Museum/Real Estate Office
To this day, you can still check-out his surfboard designs when visiting Huntington Beach Realty... a real estate office/surf outlet, where Bob is the Broker/Owner as well as the President of Surf Incorporated.

Bob says; "my office looks more like a Surf Shop than a Real Estate office". The office is located right on Huntington's famous Main Street at 322 Main Street in Downtown Huntington Beach, CA 92648.

After all these years; Surfboards by The Greek are also still available. Click here for their website.

Steve Core

AUG 2011: Check my brand new blog; Swap Surf - a blog [as it grows] that will list, detail and report on Surf Swap meets and dry land surfboard events. Click Here

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