California Surf Museum 2011
California Surf Museum Set To Open Newest Exhibit Featuring Hansen Surfboards, 50 Year Retrospective
The California Surf Museum in Oceanside, Calif., has announced its newest exhibit
"Hansen Surfboards - A 50 Year Retrospective," which will open September 18, and
include a vivid display of the legendary surf company, its founder and family's history
throughout the past 50 years.
The historical display chronicles Don Hansen's move from South Dakota, where he
was first introduced to surfing in the basement of the Beta Theta Pi frat house at the
University of South Dakota. His college roommates, who were from Coronado,
Calif., invited him to vacation with them during their summers and it didn't take long
before Hansen knew he belonged in California and he became a regular at San
Diego's best surf spots.
"My dad has a very vibrant past and he's taught all of us a lot about running a
business by the way he lives," said Josh Hansen. "From the beginning, he has kept
this a family business and involved so many key people from the community. We
have employees who have worked here for more than 30 years and they've become
a part of the family. It's neat to see his life and the people who have played a role in the business chronicled in this display. He's always told us
that there's no way Hansen Surfboards would be where it is if it weren't for all the great people involved."
Don Hansen got his start shaping surfboards for Jack O'Neill and then in 1961, moved to the North Shore of Hawaii where he went off on his
own shaping and selling Hansen Surfboards from a small shack located at the end of a dirt road. While living in Hawaii, his love for the big
waves became evident when he finished 2nd place in the Makaha Surfing World Championships in Hawaii, He was pictured on the cover of
Surfing Magazine at Haleiwa, and was featured in the surf movie, "North Swell," produced by Grant Rohloff.
After establishing himself as a surfer and shaper, in 1962 he returned to Southern California and opened Hansen Surfboards where the surf shop
became one of the largest producers and suppliers of surfboards in the world.
The retrospective shows Don Hansen's life from the start of Hansen Surfboards, to the days when he and his partners started the OP Clothing
Company in the 1970s. It also chronicles his move to Montana where he learned to rope and ride and started downhill ski racing. At one time in
the mid 70s, Don Hansen was a two-time national skydiving champion, breaking almost every record there was.
Central to the display are vintage Hansen Surfboards, advertisements, photos and more.