A couple of weeks ago I was in Tokyo and bought a very nice vintage blue checked flannel shirt from Bear Surf. I liked the brand’s name and logo design, but I never heard of it before. Until a week after I was watching the movie Big Wednesday and suddenly Bear Surfboards were all over the place.
In the movie the character ‘Bear’ is an old man who retired surf, but is still making wooden longboards in the old tradition. Big Wednesday covers the friendship of three young fellows from the 60′s on. Bear is like a mentor to them and they all surf on Bear’s longboards rather than the hi-tech shortboards who’re getting more popular.
What appears is that the brand Bear was developed by director/writer John Milius just for the storyline. Then two years after the release of the movie Bill Hamilton, who starred in the movie as the surfing double for Matt’s character, started shaping his own wooden surfboards under the name Bear Surfboards. It became a huge succes in the 80′s and some other surf legends joined the team.
“When boards were made of wood and men were made of iron.”