Larry Gordon, who revolutionized surfing when he created foam boards at his California company, has died. He was 76.
Gordon’s wife, Gayle Gordon, told The Associated Press Saturday he died peacefully on New Year’s Day at his San Diego home after a lengthy illness.
An iconic figure in California’s surfing and skateboarding scenes, Gordon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago.
Gordon studied chemistry at San Diego State University and it was then that he started experimenting with foam materials at his father’s plastics factory.
In the late 1950s, Gordon and fellow surfer and friend Floyd Smith used Polyurethane foam to build their own cutting edge boards. The demand for their foam surfboards forced the pair to move from Smith’s garage and start their first legitimate surf shop, Gordon & Smith Surfboards & Skateboards.