San Diego, California — Polyurethane foam surfboard icon Larry Gordon, an avid wave rider who was among the first to create foam boards, died 1 January 2016 in at 76 of Parkinson’s disease.
Working with surfing partner Floyd Smith, Gordon won an enthusiastic following for their PU surfboards incorporating desirable quality and performance characteristics.
In 1959, while a student of chemistry at San Diego State College, Gordon and Smith began making surfboards out of a garage as a lighter, easier-to-ride alternative to the standard balsa wood boards of that era. In climbing a learning curve, Gordon experimented with foam materials at the plastics processing plant of his father, George Gordon, an inventor, patent holder and early adopter of polymer technologies.
Gordon & Smith Surfboards Inc. gained a following for its long boards, adapted to the popularity of short boards in the 1960s and continued to adapt as market needs changed.
In San Diego, A memorial service is due to be held on 16 January 2016 in San Diego and a paddle-out event is scheduled at 9 a.m. 18 January 2016 at Tourmaline, Gordon’s favorite surfing site.
By Roger Renstrom. This story first appeared in Plastics News, a Crain publication.