The surfboard industry rarely sees two master shapers come together to collaborate after thirty years, but that’s precisely what happened with legendary shaper Dick Brewer and veteran shaper Steve Morgan. Morgan was initially hired as a shaper for Dick Brewer Surfboards in 1979, and their partnership continued for eight years, during which significant changes were taking place in surfboard design. The reunion between Brewer and Morgan not only aims to create a new surfboard line that combines their shaping talents but also serves as a tribute to Dick Brewer’s legacy as the innovator and father of the modern surfboard. In 1967, Brewer revolutionized surfing with the creation of the “Mini Gun,” a unique surfboard that drastically changed the sport.
Departing from traditional design approaches, Brewer incorporated aerodynamic principles into his boards, using airplane wing foils and thickness flow to enhance speed and performance. His innovative designs marked a departure from the prevailing boat hull design concepts that had dominated surfboard shaping until then. Renowned surfers such as Gerry Lopez have credited Brewer with kick-starting the shortboard revolution. Brewer’s visionary designs paved the way for a new era in surfing, and his impact on surfboard design cannot be overstated.
During their collaboration, Brewer and Morgan worked alongside other talented shapers at the Brewer shop in California. The team included Gary Linden, Owl Chapman, Sam Hawk, and Eric Arakawa, among others. Despite having multiple shapers under one roof, the team managed to foster a positive and collaborative environment, fueled by the vibrant energy of the California surf scene. The Brewer shop experienced significant developments in surfboard design during that period. Multiple fins and the introduction of the thruster setup were at the forefront of these changes.
Brewer created new blanks for Clark Foam that played a pivotal role in reshaping surfboard design. Owl Chapman’s contributions were significant, with his adherence to the continuous rocker design of Brewer’s blanks, which influenced the way rail lines, rocker, and foil came together. Gary Linden further expanded on these ideas, recognizing that with multiple fins, volume displacement needed to be pushed further back, leading to industry-wide advancements. Morgan’s California influence and his intuitive ability to shape boards that performed exceptionally were his notable contributions during this time.
He developed unique models specifically tailored to California and the East Coast, while still maintaining the essence of Brewer’s distinctive style. Even the boards he shaped for Hawaii incorporated his own experiences and needs as a surfer, resulting in designs with added surface area and volume.
Longboard shaping influences for Morgan included Bill Caster and Gary Wooden of Challenger Surfboards, as well as Billy Hamilton, who was known for his performance-oriented longboards. Brewer’s influence in longboard design was also significant, and the new Brewer Morgan line pays homage to his earlier work, particularly the “Pipeliner” model. With the Brewer Morgan Surfboards line, the aim is to create limited-production surfboards that are design-oriented. The shape itself becomes the defining element, ensuring that the boards provide a distinct and exceptional surfing experience. The legacy and history of Brewer Surfboards, accumulated over six decades of proven and tested design, are a testament to the quality and performance that surfers can expect from the Brewer Morgan line.
For Brewer and Morgan, their collaboration is driven by a shared love for surfboards and surfing. They believe that the essence of surfing lies in how the board feels to the surfer, and their goal is to capture that pure essence through their craftsmanship. The Brewer Morgan line embodies their passion for the sport and their commitment to building high-quality, precision-driven surfboards that continue the legacy of Brewer Surfboards.
In his final months, Dick Brewer poured his heart and soul into his last masterpiece, “Black Beauty.” Teaming up with his close friend and collaborator Steve Morgan, they crafted 15 limited edition black guns, not only as a testament to their shared passion but also as a means to raise funds for the much-anticipated Dick Brewer documentary. On May 29, 2022, Dick Brewer peacefully departed this world, surrounded by his beloved wife Sherry, cherished family members, and dear friends.
The legacy he left behind, however, continues to shine brightly. Recognizing his immense contributions to the art of shaping and his indelible impact on Kauai’s surf culture, Mayor Kawakami declared July 24 as “Dick Brewer Day,” a cherished holiday commemorated annually in honor of this remarkable individual, as bestowed by Kauai County, State of Hawaii.
Morgan has always been a Brewer shaper and our connection has a long history. The years that we worked together were really important years…..Morgan gave quality and precision to my concepts.– Dick Brewer