Weber Competition Team: The Legacy
Star surfer Dewey Weber, realized his dream of designing and shaping surfboards out of his own surf shop in 1960. In the late 50′s and early 60′s, many considered Dewey the best surfer in the world and everyone thought he was the best “hotdogger. In 1993, Surfing Magazine honored him by paying tribute to him as “the father of modern surfing.” Referring to his “radical” style of surfing as being the basis of short boarding as we know it today. Dewey always pushed the envelope and operated “outside the box.” As Dale Velzy’s star rider in the 50′s, Dewey knew the value of functional design and high performance equipment.
Dewey wasn’t just a great surfer, he was a champion spring board diver and a state champion wrestler who participated in the Olympic Trials in 1960. He brought his sportsmanship and the love of team participation to the world of surfing. Dewey believed that a “star” athlete lives inside of every good surfer and when given encouragement, support, and the right type of equipment, a dedicated surfer can push a little harder, stretch it further and give their best performance.
Every surf break in the universe has “star” performers and in 1961 Dewey took some of these young surfers under his wing and provided them with better equipment and coaching. This was the year that organized amateur competition began and Dewey was delighted at the prospect of having a surf team. When there were enough surfers riding for him to bring together as a team, he put them a “uniform” that would visibly designate them as an elite group of surfers who all rode Dewey Weber surfboards. The Redcoats were respected as a group, and when they showed up at a break, they got all the waves. And in a contest, everyone knew that red meant, “hot” and “Weber”.
Team competition was born and other manufacturers followed Dewey’s lead developing their own teams and uniforms. The Redcoat “uni” began as a red twill jacket and trunk, white stripes were added later. In the seventies red was not “groovy” and the uni switched to black for a few years.
This is the early uniform of the original team, all in red and affectionately known as “The Redcoats”. The white and black stripe was not added to the jacket and trunk until later. This picture was taken on the sand dune at Sycamore Canyon north of Malibu. The team was formed in 1961 and team members first competed in the Santa Monica contest that was a part of the 1961 Surf-A-Rama trade show at the Santa Monica Civic auditorium.
The team grew over the years and had representatives on the west, east and gulf coasts, as well as Hawaii. The team was mostly made up of “grass roots” surfers; hot guys representative of their local area, but we did have some members that became legendary surfers such as: Rell Sunn, Jimmy Blears, Randy Rarick, David Nuuhiwa, Nat Young, Mike Tabeling, Tak Kawahara, Bruce Valluzzi, Fletcher Sharp, Jackie Baxter, JoJo Perrin, Rosemary Reimers-Rice, Josette Lagadere, Shelly Merrick, Pat Magee, Chris Schlickenmeyer, Harold "Iggy" Ige, Donald Takayama, Joey Hamasaki, Dave Rochlen, and Phyllis O’Donnell among others.