I hate it when some stupid rumor goes around that I am dead – so
far, it’s not true.
But every now and then it has surfaced,
and I wonder how it gets started.
Well, smack me in the face, I almost did the same thing to
Orange County surf dude Pat Hanifin. Somebody emailed me and
asked if I knew “whatever happened to” him.
For some lame reason that I don’t know, I thought he was
dead. But I am happy to say he is not only alive, but also still
very funny. That’s right, I said funny. Hanifin is a surfer and
I figured to celebrate the fact that he is still with us I
should do a story about him. He is a big part of Orange County
After surfing for years, Hanifin saw a small store for rent
in 1973 and opened up Hanifin Surf Shop on the Balboa Peninsula.
He had no money and had to borrow $2,500 from his mom. He also
had no previous business experience, but he loved to surf and
went out almost every day. Hanifin is a people person, and
everyone who came through the door he treated as a friend.
After things got rolling, he expanded his inventory to carry
everything from surfboard building materials to a longboard
surfboard model called the Hanifin Bananafin. He even carried
Morey Boogie Boards back when you had to assemble them with
contact cement and tape on the rails.
Hanifin was the type of dude to have a blast with it all. His
lucky break came when he was one of the first to discover
urethane skateboard wheels. Up to that time, everybody had been
using clay wheels, which didn't work that well. I remember
melting a whole set of clay wheels on one run from Top of the
World in Laguna to the bottom.