Shortly after Bing Copeland and Rick Stoner returned from New Zealand they opened their first surf shop at 1338 Strand in Hermosa Beach in the Fall of 1959. The shop was only two rooms, each room being about 15’x 15′ in size. The front room was where boards were shaped and the back room is where they stored them. The front of the shop looked across the boardwalk at the ocean and quickly became a popular hangout spot.
The shop originally opened under the Bing & Rick name but 5 months after they opened Rick became a full-time lifeguard and so the shop changed to Bing Surfboards.
At the time boards were mainly being made from balsa and fiberglass but after their recent success in New Zealand making boards with polystyrene cores and epoxy resin Bing worked on creating more boards with the new materials. Unfortunately there were no blank makers at the time so Bing had to cut raw foam blocks with a hot wire system that was designed by his father. Once cut they had to be glued-up with stringers. Bing remembers how difficult the process was. He even made a shaping jig but said it was terrible. It was slow and tore up the foam. In the end it didn’t really work. Fortunately, Harold Walker started blowing polyurethane foam so Bing Surfboards quickly moved to using these blanks. The process was still crude by today’s standards but started what is still be used today.
If you want to learn more about creating surfboards and what was going on in general at this time pick up the Bing Surfboards book here: https://www.bingsurf.com/product/bing-surfboards-book/