Van Straalen, Dick

Understated Australian surfboard shaper from Queensland's Gold Coast; best known for the sleek single-fin boards he made throughout the 1970s, designed mostly for the high-speed pointbreak waves found at nearby Burleigh Heads and Kirra Point. Van Straalen was born (1944) and raised in The Hague, Netherlands, began surfing not long after moving with his family to the Sydney suburb of Avalon in 1951, and six years later began shaping boards.

In the early and mid-'60s, Van Straalen worked for B...