Reynolds ‘Renny’ Yater designed and built the Yater Spoon in Santa Barbara in 1964, a board that Mickey Dora dubbed as “bitchin’” the first time he rode it. Today, the board reigns as one of the lightest and most maneuverable boards of its era, marking it as a centerpiece in progressive surfboard design.
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As a result of its navigability compared to other models of its time, the Spoon provided a platform for a smooth and low-key style of California surfing in which Yater was both purveyor and performer. Eventually, the board made its way the east coast, popping up in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, and though he could have followed the blazing trails of the ‘60s surf market expansion set by fellow boardmakers Weber, Noll, Hobie, and the like, Yater kept his board building business relatively small and hands-on..
Renny Yater began shaping and glassing his own boards in the early 1950s, and by the mid-1950s, Hobie hired Yater to glass his balsa boards in his Dana Point shop. In 1957, Yater moved to Dale Velzy’s shop in San Clemente where he shaped balsa boards.
In the fall of 1959, Yater Surfboards opened in Santa Barbara. It was during the 1960s that Yater’s two most popular surfboard models were conceived. In 1965, he shaped the Yater Spoon, and produced this model until longboard-style surfing went through an evolution in 1968. In 1969, he produced the Pocket Rocket, a surfboard designed with Hawaiian surfing in mind, riding the crest of the shortboard era.
Get out there and ride.