A company that produces surfboards for which people all over the whole world crave, dating back to the 50s with one hell of a story.
This is Bing surfboards.
Let us take it to the beginning. A young 13-year old boy named Herbert Bingham Copeland hanging out on the pier at Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles watching the older guys surf big heavy Redwood boards. He used to do this every day, but one day, in 1949 Dale Velzy offered to let him try his 8 foot 80lbs board. Bing was hooked the same day. Shortly after he started helping out in Velzy’s shop, he started shaping while he attended high school. In 1959 he created the brand Bing Surfboards and started to make his own unique surfboards.
Today it’s a brand that has survived the ”shape-it-yourself” backyard-period, the shortboard revolution, the introduction of thrusters, the mass production companies and every other thing that could happen to a company in 50+ years. For a while no one even surfed longboards, no one, it’s hard to think for us youngsters that now experience the new longboard era but that’s the truth. Bing Copeland put shaping on hold, sold his shaping tools and as the drug scene in LA worsened, he moved to Idaho to find work and security for his family. As the enterprising man he is, Bing managed to start a new business that had nothing to do with the surf industry and build a new home.
The tools and the brands were in the hands of different people for some time.
Until 2000 when a young talented shaper, Matt Calvani, was on a surf trip down in Baja, Mexico and ran into Bing on the beach and started talking about boards. Matt recognized Bing as the shaping legend and asked if he’d allow him to take over his legacy brand, luckily for the surf scene today he said yes.
The main persons behind the brand is Matt & Margaret Calvani and Bing Copeland himself. Yes, Bing is still very much apart of it but mostly from a MacBook or iPad in Idaho where he surfs the Facebook page of Bing Surfboards almost every day, leave a comment I’m sure he’ll answer.
Matt and Margaret moved the factory from Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles to Encinitas, San Diego just over a year ago. It’s now situated on a hill overlooking the ocean, the perfect board-making-place. A normal day at the factory starts after a surf at one of Encinitas local surf breaks, that’s the vibe in southern California; surf comes before work and many people make surfing apart of their work somehow. For the Bing employees it’s the deluxe version. While in the factory Matt is in his blue shaping room designing new models and shaping each board and Margaret is upstairs in her office working with everything from this year’s budget, marketing, foreign dealers to organizing which board is going where. In between them are up to 12 guys working, everyone with their precise task.
Bing boards are the dreams of many, shipped worldwide, handcrafted, “Made in California”, with every inch of soul. Matt, Margaret and Co. are producing them with a bunch of awesome people. It’s all very amazing, I would live there or any of their employees’ lives any day. You probably gotta watch it to understand how real their dream is.
Just as amazing, Matt & Margaret open their home in Encinitas for dealers, teamriders and friends from all over the world, including Swedish bloggers they’ve never met before. We were fortunate to hang out with them and the whole team for a few days.
Here’s our view of it.
You guys are awesome. Thanks for keeping Bing and Jacobs alive.
Silver Spoon 9’8″
Thanks Petter and Lin, That was a great piece on our brand. Wonderful photos as well.
Go Matt and Margret, Great photos on the web site!
Beautiful and amazing boards, a dream come true, wish I had one. Fantastic story and great photos. Keep on living, loving and surfing.
Beautiful boards from beautiful people (inside and out)hugs and kisses
Very well done!!!!!!!! it’s a real honor to be a little part of the Bing family!!
Thank you Chuck!! Yes, we feel that honor too! Amazing people and boards!
You guys make such awesome boards! From the south bay to north county! Bing Surfboards are the upper echelon of proper longboards!!!!!!!
Congrats to the Bing Team, one and all…..
Keep up the fantastic work guys.
Livin’ the dream
Great article. Love my Bing and the great work you do
Thanks! For us Swedes Bing is new stuff, we just found them when we travelled to California. Instant love.
Bing, good job on letting Matt carry the brand forward. There isn’t a better person on the face of the planet to do so. What talent! More importantly, Matt is a true friend/surfer/shaper/artist…I’m sure he is a good husband as well! Great piece!
Many thanks for countless hours of stoke! So much known and said about the long boards but your short boards rule as well! Congrats to the whole team on beautiful peace!
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So cool to hear it all happened because of a Baja encounter. Great images Petter and Linn, some of your best!
Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and exposure!
Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal
[…] Today the the main persons behind the brand is Matt & Margaret Calvani an inspiring power couple you can read more about here. […]