Bear Surfboards by Roger Hinds


The Bear Surfboards background


Randy Rarick talks about the BEAR background

While filming the cult classic, “Big Wednesday”, I had the pleasure of being part of the production crew. My job was to act as Gary Busey’s personal lifeguard, which meant I paddled about ten yards behind him during all the water scenes, just in case he needed help.  Prior to the movie he did not know how to surf, so he learned as the movie progressed.  It was a fun task and one that Director, John Millius always thanked me for. To this day, Busey and I are friends.  


With the release of the movie in 1978, the demand for the “BEAR SURFBOARD” logo took off.  A variety of shapers had made boards for the film, some of them included the likes of Lance Carson, Robby Dick, also Bill Hamilton and Tom Parrish in Hawaii.  The logo was an emulation of the old Jacobs outline, with the “Bear” character being a play on Dale Velzy as the “Hawk".  Terry Lamb designed the logo and no one thought it would take off and have legs of it’s own.


During the hey day of the resurgence of long boards in the 80’s, the BEAR label became the most popular long board in Japan. Capitalizing on the new found interest in the brand, licensee arrangements were made with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the USA Mainland, and Hawaii. I had the opportunity to build boards from the very start and eventually was assigned the license for Hawaii, which I have retained since. For the USA mainland, the label went thru a variety of hands, depending on the ups and downs of the various licensee holders. Having worked with Roger Hinds in the past, I suggested he take it on and since 2001 Roger has kept the flag flying for the BEAR brand.


With the cult popularity of the “Big Wednesday” film, 2018 will see the 40th Anniversary of the film being celebrated. For those of us who have been a part of it from the very beginning, it’s very self-satisfying to be associated with something that represents the surfing culture. And to be able to continue that history and heritage by still building boards under the BEAR label is our way of paying tribute to a cultural touch stone of our sport.


Peter "PT" Townend Talks About Bear

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Watch the Surfline Talk Story: Peter Townend, 'Big Wednesday' Video for more backstory footage.