June 30th in Seal Beach History

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

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3 Responses to June 30th in Seal Beach History

  1. Donna Casto says:

    We have a 1960s Ole Longboard.
    Looking for info and appraisal of the board. 10ft in the 2000# range.
    We don’t see any Ole boards on anything we have searched. Why is this..
    We are in contact with a local artist and local museum.


    • Michael Dobkins says:

      Sorry, Donna, I don’t have any expertise on surfboard appraisals beyond doing a Google search on “surfboard appraisal.” It sounds like you already have a couple people you’re working with, but you might try writing Ole Surfboards at 277 Wili Ko Pl, Ste 13, Lahaina, HI 96761 or calling (808) 661-3459. Bob “Ole” Olson was still showing up at the shop as recently as 2019, so maybe you might get a chance to communicate with the man himself. I don’t know if the museum you’ve contacted in the Huntington Beach Surf Museum, but if it’s not, trying contacting them. Here’s their web site address:

      Good luck!


    • Lonnie Brownell says:

      Another big resource is the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center in San Clemente (possibly who you contacted).

      Bird’s Surf Shed in San Diego is a surf shop that specializes in used and collectible boards.

      Good luck!


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