Born David Earl Weber in 1938, Dewey moved with his family to California at the age of five. By age seven, he had already become somewhat of a celebrity; he became the poster boy for Buster Brown Shoe Company. Then as a young teenager, Dewey was a three-time national yo-yo champion, and later was invited to join the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
Dewey started surfing at age nine and headed to Hawaii after graduating high school in 1956. When he returned to the mainland, he became known for his innovation both in the water and as a businessman. He was credited with originating the term “hotdogging,” popularizing the “hatchet” fin, and was the first manufacturer to introduce a removable fin. Dewey was also first to give his board models designations, which included “The Performer,” a design that sold some 10,000 units beginning in 1966 and is said to be the best-selling model ever.
Dewey Weber, who died in 1993, is without question one of the few founding fathers of modern longboarding. And according to my good friend Shea Weber, Dewey’s son, he was also a truly great dad. I asked Shea to reflect on what it was like growing up as Dewey’s son…here’s what he had to say:
“Our dad was like Peter Pan…we was just like one of us!! We would have family beach days, and dad would take all the neighborhood kids body surfing, teaching us the subtleties of reading waves…none of us had a clue that we were learning from Dewey Weber!! You could tell that he was much more comfortable hanging with us than he was with “them” (other parents). We’d get out of the water and all lay belly down in a circle, pull the warm sand up to our chests and listen to Dew-Dew tell stories. I can’t remember specifics, but they were never about him or surfing or anything else a self-absorbed surf star might come up with. They were stories for us kids, and we hung on every word. Our childhood was one big adventure; wave riding, trips to Catalina, swordfishing around the Channel Islands, and Baja camping excursions to K181. Now, as an adult,I realize that we were so blessed, because that stuff wasn’t really the norm for most families. To many, Dewey Weber was a surf legend…to his kids, he was a legendary dad!”
Today, Shea is carrying on the legacy that his father started 60 years ago… offering quality surfboards and standup paddleboards, each built with the soul inspired by Dewey Weber. Now, 60 years after Dewey founded Dewey Weber Surfboards, Last Wave is proud to offer this limited-edition 60th anniversary t-shirt to our customers!
We thank Shea and the gang at Dewey Weber Surfboards for the opportunity to offer this very special t-shirt to you. Keep surfing, and always “Stay Close to the Soul”!
Until next time,