HANK BYZAK, STILL SHAPING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
Hank Byzak has been surfing
since 1961 and has been building custom surfboards since
the late 1960's. The first Pure Fun Surf Shop
started in Leucadia, Ca. in
1971 and Hank has designed over 30,000 surfboards in his
carreer! Hall of Fame Master Surfboard Shaper and Owner of
Pure Fun Longboards & Surfboards in Leucadia Ca., Hank
Byzak is the true "Old School Intellectual and Creative
Source" of many of the boards that you might allready know
and ride, under other names.
Hank began shaping for Channing Precision Fiber-glassing in
Encinitas California. For seventeen years, and at last
count, Byzak designed and shaped over twenty-five brands of
Surfboards, including: Weber Performers, Hansen Surfboards,
Surfboards Hawaii, Chanin, Bear, Greg Nou, Joel Tudor...and
the list goes on!
Story By Channel 8's Larry Himmel
decades, shaping surfboards has truly been San Diego's
cottage industry. Many of the best boards ever sold were
made right here. One legendary North County shaper truly
breaks the mold.
When Brooklyn-born Hank Byzak
transplanted to the West Coast and started shaping
surfboards, he was like a fish out of water.
doing this since 1971," he said. "I started at the end of
Leucadia, the outcast from New York. Everybody hated
My shop became the Mecca for every guy who wanted to
be a California surfer that came from Queens or New York or
But Hank gained the respect of local surfers by
learning the business from the ground up.
"First I started
out as a fin guy and a pin liner and a sander, then a
laminator and a shaper," he said.
He ended up working for
some of the biggest names in the business.
time I ever shaped my first Dewey Weber surfboard, I was so
proud of it, because I used to buy Dewey Weber surfboards,"
Today in his Pure Fun shop along laidback
Leucadia's "Mile of Psychics," Hank remains a bit of an
anomaly. And despite all his years in the business, he
continues to learn.
"I'm never too old to learn how to
shape better," he said.
He applies new technology to an
old shaper's philosophy.
"If they don't surf good, they're
just art. I'd rather go out with a lumpy, bumpy board that
had all the ingredients that rode well rather than a really
pretty one that's a dog," he said.
In his small shop on
Highway 101, Hank remains happy and humble.
imagine the thousands of great surfboard shapers there are
in the world today? I can name 15 right in the immediate
neighborhood that are great, so I'm just one of them. You
know, one of the good surfboard shapers," he said.
outcast from Brooklyn has shaped his way to become the
toast of the West Coast.