Sunday, December 30, 2007

Remembering Dewey

Dewey Weber was the first surfboard builder to use his name as a brand for his logo. He also became one of the largest surfboard manufacturers of the 1960's.
As I remember the story, Dewey asked an advertising guy to design a sticker for him to use on his new boards. The ad man told Dewey to sign his name on a piece of paper, he transposed his signature to the center of a diamond shape and voila, the classic Dewey Weber sticker was born.
I worked for Dewey as a glosser when he had his shop on P.C.H. in Venice, Ca.(1964). My job as a glosser was to put the pinstripes, panels, or any design the customer ordered onto the board. As the business was (and still is) seasonal, I didn't work for him much more than a month or so, but it was a great experience. Later, I worked for other surf shops in the South Bay while in art school.
Dewey was a very aggressive marketer and his longboards were very popular. By the mid sixties, he was the largest builder in the world, turning out 300 boards a week. He did quite well during the '60's, however, as the new shortboards became "the ride" , the customers left Dewey and the other longboard builders. He downsized but it was too little too late and he gave up, built a two man boat and went fishing.
In the early 1980's longboard surfing made a resurgence and Dewey was there to greet it, sponsoring The Dewey Weber Longboard Classic surfing contest. His business started back and he did quite well but his years of hard drinking were starting to catch up with him. By 1993 he died as a direct result of his alcoholism. When he died, newspapers around the world payed homage and eulogies appeared almost everywhere. The California Assembly adjourned in his honor.
The longboard surf contest is still held every year in his memory.

16"x20" acrylic on 140 lb Arches paper $400.00

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always inspired by you, your thoughts and attitude, again, thanks for this nice post.

- Murk