RIP Rich Harbour, the man behind Harbour Surfboards. Harbour Surfboards dates all the way back to 1959, and Harbour was not just the namesake for the label, but person responsible for establishing one of the most memorable labels in California surf history. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of Harbour Surfboards and you’re familiar with its impact, with models like the Trestle Special, the Banana, and the Cheater; and a shaping tree that includes names like Dick Brewer and more recently Tim Stamps. I’ve never surfed one of Harbour’s creations — I hope to address that soon! — but in reading the tributes to Rich, there are a few things that stand out. First is Harbour’s lifelong commitment to surfing, starting his shaping career as a do-it-yourself teenager, and then remaining dedicated to his label and his craft over the decades that followed. Sadly, some of surfing’s heroes are best admired from afar, but one definitely does not get that sense about Rich Harbour. The obituary published in the Orange County Register depicts a low-key yet committed man who was dedicated to giving back to the community and the sport itself.
Rest in peace Rich Harbour and thank you for all your contributions to surfing.