In early 2006, I was 19-years-old, and shaping my first surfboard. I drew up plans for a 6’5 solid-Balsa single fin with five redwood stringers. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted to take my time. My grandparent’s life-long compadre, and dear family friend, Pete Tresselt recently had his early-60′s Balsa Hobie restored, so I figured it would be worth a quick trip to Laguna to visit Pete and see his Balsa board. I hoped to glean some inspiration and tips in the process, however Pete went above and beyond. After I spoke to him, he called his friend Terry Martin and asked if he could bring me by. I was ecstatic… Terry was possibly the most incredible surfboard craftsman in history…and certainly one of my favorites (and Griffin’s also). Coincidentally, Terry was working on a pair of Balsa longboards the day I went down. I spent a couple hours talking to Terry as he worked. Terry was more than gracious enough to talk me through the basics of shaping Balsa, and how different it was from shaping foam. My time with Terry was memorable, helpful and inspiring… my only regret is that I didn’t bring a camera.
Flash forward to 2014: Cameron, Chad and I made a trip to the Tresselt’s house in Laguna to do a proper interview with Pete, and hear some of his priceless surf stories. Pete lived in Makaha in the 1950′s and shared a Quonset hut with some very familiar names in surf history. He later bought his first lobster fishing boat from Renny Yater. He still has that 1963 Hobie Balsa D-Fin hanging in his living room. This interview includes some of our favorite stories and moments from our day with Pete Tresselt, a true Surfer + Craftsman
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