On this date in 1961, the Los Angeles Times ran this ad for Ole Surfboards. Bob “Ole” Olson’s first shop was located in a quonset hut in Sunset Beach, but he soon moved to 223 Bay Boulevard (now renamed Seal Beach Boulevard).
Olson first became fascinated with surfing in 1937 when he witnessed early surfers catching the waves at Palos Verdes. He caught his first wave off the Huntington Beach Pier in 1948, spent some time inland as an industrial arts teacher at Rancho Alamitos High School, and learned to shape boards from Hobie Alter and Harold Walker before setting up his own shop in 1958.
In 1971, Olson moved to Hawaii where he still shapes boards at the age of eighty-seven in his Ole Surfboards shop in Lahaina. He was the 39th inductee into the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame, and the 23rd Ole Longboard Classic was held at Launiupoko Park in August 2016.
223 Seal Beach Boulevard is now a private residence, but Growing Tree Preschool was the last business at that address before moving to 215 Seal Beach Boulevard.
– Michael Dobkins