Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith
Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith grew up in the same Pacific Beach town. It was small by modern standards with a population of about 40,000 when they started Gordon & Smith Surfboards. Although they were a year apart in age, they hung out at the beach with the same group of water-loving friends who had gone through the local schools together. At that time, the schools they attended (Pacific Beach Junior High and newly built Mission Bay High School) were part of the admired school system of California. They received a great college prep education. Included were shop classes involving wood working, drafting and mechanics. The lives of Floyd and Larry merged in high school, where they ran track and during college, where they worked at Gordon Plastics (owned by Larry’s Dad).
The haze was in the air that late summer of 1959 and the swell was strong. The garage behind Floyd Smith’s apartment on Balboa Ave, in Pacific Beach had been converted to a surfboard builder’s workshop. Their experiment with blowing foam at Gordon Plastics had paid off. They were able to use about 70% of their foam blanks. The blanks were taken from Gordon Plastics to Floyd’s garage in Pacific Beach where they were teaching themselves how to shape and glass the boards. At this point, Floyd’s experience included a 9’10”balsa board he had bought the summer of 1957. He had stripped it down to the balsa, reshaped and glassed it.
Where are we now?
To The Future
Where to now? Only the future will tell. We hope to keep producing boards and making products as long as everyone is loving them! We love creating products that people love and keeping the stoke going strong since 1959.