Barland, Michel

Pioneering surfer and board manufacturer from Bayonne, France; inventor, in the late 1970s, of the computerized surfboard-shaping machine. "He was one of the sport's foremost innovators in shaping and design," fellow surf industrialist Gordon Clark said of Barland in 1993. "For many years, any person seriously interested in surfboard construction was in regular contact with Michel."

Barland was born (1929) in Bayonne, grew up in the nearby beach resort town of Biarritz, and in 1957 became on...