Hap Jacobs

Dudley “Hap” Jacobs was born in Los Angeles in 1930. His family moved to Hermosa Beach in 1938, where he started surfing at the age of 16.  His shaping career began in 1953, after returning from a two-year stint with the Coast Guard in Hawaii. He went into business with Bev Morgan, a local diver and manufacturer of early wetsuits, and together they opened a retail store in Redondo Beach called Dive N’ Surf.

After selling his interest in Dive N’ Surf a short time later, he partnered with friend and mentor Dale Velzy, and the Velzy-Jacobs surfboard brand was born. After opening retail shops in Venice Beach and San Clemente, their business flourished. But around 1960, Hap decided to open his own factory showroom along the PCH in Hermosa Beach, where his now-famous diamond logo began. The Jacobs brand prospered; by the mid-sixties, Hap and his crew of shapers were producing more than 100 boards a week. Always considered a master craftsman, the most talented surfers of the time wanted to ride his boards. Names like Robert August, Lance Carson, Miki Dora, Mike Doyle, Linda Merrill, David Nuuhiwa and Donald Takayama were all members of the esteemed Jacobs surf team.

But in 1971, after longboarding had given way to the shortboard revolution, Hap stopped shaping surfboards and made his living as a commercial fisherman. In the early nineties, with the resurgence longboarding, Hap picked up his planer and started shaping again. Then earlier this year, he shaped is last surfboard and announced his retirement from the craft. Long-time friends and former team riders were present, thanking the very soft-spoken, humble and gracious Hap Jacobs for all he had done for surfing. While his extraordinary shaping skills may never be duplicated, Hap handed over the Jacobs brand to such talented modern craftsmen as Jose Barahona and Matt Calvani.

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