June 11, 2021
Eric Diamond, or "E.D.", as most of us know him, has deep roots that started back when his father, Daryl Diamond, drove the Clark Foam delivery truck with Eric riding shotgun. This young toe-head grom was able to see the steady growth of surf culture firsthand and learned about the California surf way of life from the truck's passenger window.
"A lot of my first real memories are from the beginning of the transitional era in surfing and surfboard design in the late 60s and into the 70s. My father was fortunate to be right in the middle of it all, communicating with just about every top shaper both globally and here in California and Hawaii. Dad would share all these top-secret design theories of this early evolution with Grubby Clark, which resulted in Grubby redesigning and altering the Clark foam molds at a record pace; now changing almost monthly as opposed to annually or bi-annually. Vee bottoms, Hawaiian Mini Guns, Diamond Tails, Pintails, Fishes, etc., changes were moving at a record pace and it was fascinating to sit back and see it going down firsthand. There were just so many creative and radical things going on back then, the surf world was moving fast, and I just absorbed it." - E.D.
"Reflecting back, I can see that these experiences were the reasons I founded the Cosmic Creek Surf Event at Salt Creek over 20 years ago. And I'm sure it's why I'm digging My BING Alpha Pin, I can travel back, open my mind and flow, cruise or carve on a nice open face. The Alpha Pin really smooths out my style. I've got a refined version of what turned me on then and what I like now... it's bitchin'." - E.D.
E.D. lights up when describing the early days that he witnessed with his Dad of the California surf scene as they stopped at the major surfboard factories between Dana Point and San Francisco, and on short jaunts south to San Diego. It was a wonderful time to experience the surf spots along the way and paddle out with each locale's prominent shapers and craftsmen, and Eric drank it all in and loved it.
"I loved heading south the most, visiting Billy Caster, the crew at G&S, eating good organic food, and seeing all the cool hippy surf shops in each little town. I was especially keen on the Encinitas area. I rode my first big wave at Swami's, it was like 8' and I was 10 years old."
"The other route was going 'up North'. As a kid some of my favorite memories are from dropping into the South Bay in the very early 70's to visit Bing and Jacobs. Bing was so professional and polished, from the surfboards to the marketing, they were always on point. I remember my Dad and I catching a Dodger game with Velzy, he was hilarious. But I always dreaded being stuck at a shop party with the Dogtown boys or the Natural Progression crew in Malibu... a little too wild for young surf rat from Dana Point."
Our head shaper, Matt Calvani wearing the "Planer Tee". Photos: Grey Lockwood
The other thing E.D. looked forward to were the serious Rincon and Ranch trips he was able to do with his Dad. Hanging out with George Greenough, and watching movies on barns, surfing empty point break waves with just Renny Yater and a few other Santa Barbara guys, pretty special looking back.
Eric's artistic roots were driven by art and music of the period and started early; he was present at the Jimi Hendrix Rainbow Bridge concert in Maui... in diaper's (but mostly naked). He was influenced by John Severson and Rick Griffin, two other Dana Point locals. These local influences along with surfing the local spots he and his family split their time between; Salt Creek, Trestles and San Onofre, formed the beginnings and basics of his future career. By high school E.D. was already trading t-shirt graphics for checks with key surf brands while being mentored by surf gurus like Shawn Stüssy and M.T. while surfing his brains out.
Hunter wearing the "Waves of Change" graphic designed by Eric Diamond. Photos: Grey Lockwood
So after "having a cup of coffee on the tour" and getting a solid university education in fine art at San Diego State (thanks to the support and encouragement of his Mom Shirleen, who is also a good surfer in her own right), Eric got snapped up by Gotcha's Michael Tomson, E.D.'s spiritual mentor in surf fashion. Within weeks E.D. was neck deep in designing and merchandising tee shirts, boardshorts, promotional packages for surf movies and events, and had all the experiences he'd grown up firsthand to fall back on and transform into products that drove the burgeoning billion-dollar surf industry.
Hunter wearing the "New Leucadia Shop" graphic designed by Eric Diamond. Photos: Paul Nett
Fast forward to today, Eric did a couple of designs for us here at Bing; "Waves of Change" and "Planer". They obviously reflect his passion for the transitional period. We are thrilled to have him as a Bing Ambassador / Artist and are proud to present his work for your enjoyment.
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