Here is part 2 of our full interview with Bing Copeland. These interviews are from our film BoardRoom – Legends of Surfboard Shaping.
Bing was born in Torrance, California in 1936 and grew up just a few blocks from the Manhattan Beach pier. When he was 12, Dale Velzy–working as a lifeguard at the time–asked Bing if he wanted to try one of his old boards. As Bing recalls, “the board was about eight feet long and weighed about eighty pounds…we pearled for the first ten or so waves but then finally I remember standing up and riding straight off all the way to the beach.” I knew at that moment that this was the sport for me.”
Dale Velzy mentored many of the best-known shapers of the ’60s and early ’70s, and Bing Copeland was one of them. In the early ’50s, he helped Velzy by gluing up balsa blanks, shaping wood fins, sanding boards, but “mostly sweeping up balsa shavings.” He also worked as a lifeguard between 1954 and 1955, the savings from which allowed him to make his first trip to Hawaii in September 1955. Money ran out in a few months, so Bing and good friend Rick Stoner joined the Coast Guard. Fortunate enough to be stationed near Honolulu, they surfed Ala Moana every afternoon and the North Shore during their annual 30-day leave.
You can see the full list of our interviews at boardroom-documentary
Purchase your copy of the film at www.boardrooomfilms.com.