One day in 1957, my resin salesman at Reichold Chemicals came by and handed me a piece of polyurethane foam. I poured some styrene and resin on it, and it didn't melt. So I started building a fiberglass mold for a surfboard with it, which I knew was the future. I rented a building in Laguna Canyon that became a secret shop, and after two years of experimenting, we built the molds and got it done. We replaced the balsa wood with the foam, and the boards were strong and light. We started selling the foam-core boards, kicking up production to 20 boards a week.
I was making enough to cover everything. We lived in a cheap house on Dana Point. We cleared more than $10 a board, which sold for $100 each, and we made 200 boards a week at the peak.It's neat to learn how chemistry helped the surfing industry. (Think he was using PPE with that styrene?)