Carl Hayward Interview May 2002
I happen to had had the opportunity to know Carl Hayward since his days of surfing the southside of the Huntiongton Beach in the early 70’s, his days at the RC shop on 17th st near PCH in Huntington Beach and after. So one day at the Hurley complex in May of 2002 we talked about his surfing and shaping. Tom Takao (TT)
Carl: I was fifteen years old and Walden twin fins were happening. Then when I was 16 which would have been 73’ I would have been riding Petrillo Surfboards. Everyone was riding single fins and the twin fins thing kinda went away. I was making a lot of single fins and oh; that’s when David started riding the nose before the full round fishes around 73’. Dyno came in and Dyno was big.
This guy named Dick Lippencott bought Dyno, which was located on 3rd Street. David had just come out riding the Rainbow and he was getting Rainbow surfboards and those guys were making Dynos too. Then the Dyno factory burned down in December during the Holidays. Dyno kinda went into a tail spin and guys were still not, you know fishes were around and not that big a deal. Ah, then for about a year, so I was about, that covered about 73’ 74’ 75 ish, somewhere around there. About 75’ is ah, I went to work, I was hanging out at, let see, I was 16, 17 old and I went to work for Dyno, he moved to Santa Ana up here. So I went and did my first maybe fifty boards, eighty boards, hundred boards.
Then I went up and shaped some boards at the Dyno shop but there was Steve Braum, he was the shaper at Dyno. Steve Braum was best buddies with Clyde Beatty and all of the same time I was hanging up here shaping and ah think Clyde was making some of the first, I guess Rocket fishes and so I was seeing some of the first ones made. But Dyno was making; just making single fin called Dynomites, there were like fun shape, egg nose thing. So I was shaping some of that stuff. I did that for Oh, ah about 6 to 8 months. Wayne Brown opened his shop and I went to work with my friends and ah my roommate Randy Steingard who was a salesman had gone to work for Wayne Brown. So we worked for Wayne Brown and at that time that’s when I made the first Rocket Fishes, really in that transition, ah that would have to be about 75’, 76’.
TT: Were you riding short boards back then?
Carl: Yeah I was riding, yeah I was riding I would say 6’4’s, and I was 6’4” most guys were riding short boards about their height. I’d say give or take a couple of inches longer, some guys couple inches shorter. But I think I was riding a diamond tail, the last single fin I had was a diamond tail. But I was riding some longer boards too, I mean ah before I was riding fishes. But when I was over eighteen and I’d would have a diamond tail gun; (laughter) I think everyone had a diamond tail then.
Not really a square tail, usually everyone rode pin tails or diamond tails. Then at that time when I was at Wayne Brown still doing a lot of single fins. Then ah the tail end of Wayne Brown, I went, I did a skateboard deal with this guy making skateboards. I went off making skateboards for about 6 months of the year, but that closed down. I went back to Wayne Brown and then I was pretty much full court twin fins and rocket fishes, but still twin fins and rocket fishes were only 20% and 80% still rode single fins boards at that point. It wasn’t until I open my own store and that was in 70 let see 67, dating myself here.
TT: You and Dwight had the old Dyno retail shop which was the old Chuck Dent shop?
Carl: Yeah we opened that store in 1979. And ah in the middle of that is when I was shaping Lightning Bolt boards, I was making ah, shaping production; like stingers, fishes, and everything for Sunline boards and Lightning Bolt. That’s when I met Harpo, at that time and I was shaping a little bit still a lot of single fins at that point. But when I open my store that was in 79’ I was full bore. 50 % of the boards I did were Rocket fishes.
TT: Did your boards have your decals ?
Carl: Ah that was through my brother-in-law Bill Denny, Sunline Surfboards. he use to own part of Plastic Fantastic. Bill and a couple other guys started Sunline Surfboards (on Main Street, Huntington Beach) and at that time I had been just a shaper around town and Bill goes man they really want your boards, why don’t you make your own logo. That was around 77’, 78’.
TT: Your logo, the same one that?
Carl: The same one, always had boomerangs. The first, the very first ones, that that logo actually, how that logo started was I was shaping Lightning Bolt surfboards and there was a guy name, can’t remember his name, he own, he opened a shop on Beach Blvd. in Buena Park that was called Zags Surf Center. He was an engineer and kids wanted to surf. So, he wanted to opened Zags. His first kid’s name was Zag and his last kid’s name was Zag that’s why Zags.
Carl: He says Carl, let make some boards!!! So I made my very first Carl Hayward surfboards for him. A really nice guy and I didn’t even have a laminate (decal) my, my friend Michael Rice was my pinliner and glosser, he was the one who said here lets do a offset, and you know everyone was doing those tinted pinlines, you know inklines. My first logo was actually him pinlining, inklining my logo which was the boomerang, whatever you call it. He would sign my name in ink, in the middle of the logo. So my first 20 to 30 boards were done like that for Zag.
Carl: Then I had Sniffer, do you remember Sniffer?
Carl: He designed my first logo, he was a local guy, local artist who lived above the bar. He did my first logo and I had my first laminates done. So Bill Denny, I use to shaped boards for Sunline and I would do my own logo. So I was a contract shaper at the time. At that same time Dwight Dunn left Infinity Surfboards, he had been store manager for 3 or 4 years. He came up to the shop and Harpo taught Dwight how to hot coat and fin boards ah cause Dwight wanted to make boards. So he was at the Glass Shop and all at the same time, so it was like 6 months, Dwight working at the Glass Shop hot coating, boxing, and finning. At that time I was dating Bill Denny’s sister, my wife, ah and we got married, and Bill, they bought Bill out at Sunline. So, all of a sudden I didn’t have a relationship with Sunline Surfboards anymore.
TT: That was located by…?
Carl: There was Jack’s, International Bizarre, Dyno, then the alley and then Sunlines which use to be a gay bar years ago and it burned out. Bill and his buddies went in there and fixed it up, Oh it was actually Pacific Surfboards cause I use to hang out there.
TT: Was Plastic Fantastic there too or ?
Carl: Plastic was around the corner, the original Plastic Fantastic was on the north the next street over from Main St. which was 5th. The original was on the corner building which is a still an open lot next to El Don’s liquor. That was the original one I remember.
Oh my brother-in-law says I can’t compete with Sunline, but you should go rent the Dyno store next door, they have been closed 6 months. They never reopened and ah here's the guy name. So go call him, so Dwight and I go talk to this Dick Lippincott guy. After which nothing happened. Bill goes I have the name of the owners of the building, why don’t you call them. So I called the lady who lived in Irvine and she rented us the shop. I sold my wife’s volkswagon bug, and I put in 3 grand and Dwight put in 3 thousand bucks and we opened the store in 79’.
TT: That was a great shop for you guys?
Carl: That was great, it was awesome, so it was a great store. It was the good days, it was the good days I mean we sold 30 boards a month, we made 60 dollars a board you know. We had 300 a month over head, I shaped them, Dwight hot coated them you know. We sold wax, surfboards, leashes, leashes were just coming around then. You didn’t sell too much else and you didn’t worry you know. Fur Cat use to surf and work for me and his younger brother. Smiley was one of our first sales people. There was Smiley, then there was Bill Ward later. Mostly I remember Bill and Smiley there until the end. About 2 years later Dwight decided to get married and at that time he decided to sell his interest in the shop.
Then the store was mine and (Carl had a shaping room on 17 St. at the RC shop ) things were good, still good for quite a few years you know. Until all the downtown, they started tearing up the street up and all that garbage, just killed business. Downtown was just deteriorating. So in 86’ it was so bad in Huntington that I said I’m going to open a store in San Clemente. So I kept the store in Huntington until late 88’. Then in late 88’ early 89’ I opened a store in San Clemente. I put all my heart and soul and money into it, then the Gulf War began and business went flat. Then I started working for Bob after that. His office phone rang and Carl answered it “Hi Bob” and would continue their conversation as I waved good bye and he did the same.
photo Mike Moir