INSPIRATIONS WEIGH-IN FROM TOM WEGENER
Tom Wegener's thoughts on the pantheon:
I look for the initiators of change. Those who’s boards and surfing change the way we see ourselves riding waves and, really, who we are as surfers. Tom Blake brought surfboards into the modern era by utilizing plywood with lightness as a goal. But he did much more. He was a lone wanderer or a beach bum. He had deep thoughts proclaiming Nature = God. He created the image of surfers as counter culture.
Gerry Lopez mesmerized us with grace at the pipe. He shaped boards which set him deep in the pocked with control. But he was also an astute business man with Surfing Magazine and Lightning Bolt clothing. He was a savvy guru who may have created the mental mold behind the creation of the he homogeneous big three.
Donald Takayama was a great shaper, but equally he was a mentor to hordes of other shapers and surfers. His generosity was legendary. For example, he threw many hundreds of beach and shop BBQs which brought many threads of surfing together. Donald largely weaved the tapestry of surfing today.
Ryan Burch smashed the divide between longboarding and shortboarding. The two schools were at war even after the Joel Tudor years. Burch on the Lord Board and alaias made the shortboarders look like longboarders. Then Burch on his 14’11 glider makes the longboarders look like shortboarders. He shapes his own boards and has made the old divide insignificant. He is humble yet excels at surfing and shaping. He has set a new bar for what a person can achieve in surfing.