Phil Becker

South Bay,, 1993

It was always a neat job because I didn’t have to drive to work. I ride my bike, and come and go whenever I want.

“Phil Becker: A Chat With Surfing’s Most Prolific Shaper,” by Sam George, ran in the December 1993 issue of SURFER. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.

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When you started shaping balsa in the early ’50s, who showed you the ropes?

Hap Jacobs and Dale Velzy. They had the Velzy-Jacobs shop. And they were the only ones around who you could actually go and watch ’em work. I’d done some wood carving when I was younger, so I knew a little bit about wood. It was kind of a nat...