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Campbell Surfboards

A recent donation, the black Campbell Surfboard, is pictured above. Photo: Linda Michael

In the winter of 1963, Jim Campbell, Doug and Dan Haut, and Jimmy Hoffman piled into Campbell’s 1950s Jaguar MK sedan and headed to Florida from Santa Cruz, Ca. Doug and Jimmy were fresh from InterIsland Surfboards in Hawaii, where they made surfboards with Dick Brewer. They arrived in Melbourne, Fla., and formed Campbell Surfboards.  This filled a void left when the first board maker in the area Jack Murphy, moved on to Miami. Campbell’s arrival started the first wave of talent from west coast. Jim Campbell was a perfectionist, offering intricate offset stringers as well as standard wood tail blocks, and pre-beaded rainbow wood fins. Most Campbells were custom built, due to the lack of surf shops in the area. The first Campbell shop was located near the Melbourne airport. This is where the Campbell pictured here, was custom ordered. By late summer ’64, Doug, Dan, and Jimmy were back in California. Jim moved to a new smaller shop on highway 192 in West Melbourne. I (Bob Reeves) worked for him as glasser, sander, and fin maker, until he moved to Long Island in early 1965, where he continued to make boards. Jim also started the first sponsored surf team on the East Coast–The Campbell Competition Team–with jackets, t-shirts, and at-cost surfboards. Many of the ’60s hottest East Coast surfers got their start on this team. Since production was low (only a few hundred), surviving Campbell boards are very hard to find. –Bob Reeves 

Our Thanks go out to Ed Clapp and Bob Reeves for helping to facilitate us in getting this board.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother and I bought a surfboard from Jim Campbell from his shop on Long Island in 1968. One of the first "miniboards" , 8'6" Jim was driving a "56 Ford Woody then.
I came to Santa Barbara with Jim in '71 and we met Jeff White then, Jim worked here with Mark Andreni for a while, and I think he worked with Yater in the 60's.
Pray 4 Surf
Jenny Jett

June 23, 2011 at 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Robert "Bob" Caughie said...

My father moved us to Eau Gallie(now Melbourne), Florida in the winter of 1957-1958. It wasn't long before I bought my first board, a Malibu sold by J.C. Penney's, and hit the surf around the old Canova Pier at the end of Eau Gallie Causeway. It wasn't a year before I bought an Atlantic that was made by a company named Surfco which was on US1 between Eau Gallie and Rockledge, in the industrial park just west of the Florida East Coast railroad. Jim Campbell had just settled in his place at the Melbourne Airport and everyone started buying his Campbell boards, including me and my brother. We met Dick Catri and Jack "Murph the Surf" Murphy back then surfing Indianatlantic and south in places like "Spanish House", "The Wells", "Sharkpit" and of course "Sebastian Inlet". Gary Propper, Fletcher and Cha Sharp were tearing up the surf north at Canaveral Pier in Cocoa Beach. Saw Bruce Brown's "Endless Summer" at the Cocoa Beach Playhouse. Went to junior college, in Cocoa with Bruce Valluzzi before he left for California and Hawaii. Loved going to the yearly surf meet at the Canaveral Pier. Moved back to Pennsylvania in 1995 but have kept track with what is going on via the internet. There used to be a guy we called the "Flying Dutchman" back then and I wondered if maybe Dick Catri of Murph might have known where he got off to. Shaggs Surf Shop was a constant place to get info on the newest and the juice bar ripped. Thank you Dick and Shagg for all the great pleasures many years ago.
Robert "Bob" Caughie

June 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM  

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