On Friday, Jan. 21., respected shaper, surfer and longtime Hurley employeeCarl Hayward passed away during a surf session at Huntington Beach Pier.While the exact cause of death has yet to be determined, it is clear thatthe stoked, 48-year-old Hayward left us way before his time. Survived by hiswife and three children, Carl was an inspiration to all who knew him. Hereare just a few golden memories from a handful of Carl’s closest friends andloved ones:
Carl had been a devout Christian, loving husband, caring father and available for anyone who was fortunate enough to call him a friend. There are untold numbers of happy surfers who were privileged in owning one of Carl’s hand shaped surfboards. Guys like Huntington Beach local Chuck Linnen, who visualizes Carl now “riding the never ending wave.” Chuck also had a full quiver of Hayward boards, his favorite being a 9’10″ that he broke on the Southside of the H.B. Pier, some 20 years ago. On another occasion, a young Joe McElroy was caught right in the middle of the OP Pro beach riots running for cover as bottles flew above his head and police officers ran with Billy clubs swinging at anyone that moved. Just as Joe was losing steam a long arm reached out from a door and pulled him to safety. Carl had grabbed Joe and eased him into a corner of his surf shop, locked the door and waited for the mayhem to subside. Carl had great influence on next generation shredders like Troy Eckert who exclusively rode Carl’s boards, as well as Scott Farnsworth who won a world-amateur championship on one of Carl’s great shapes. Fond memories from stoked surfers go on and on. Those that were even closer to Carl had the pleasure of working with him on daily basis. Even though Carl maintained a strong passion for shaping and surfing throughout his life, he hung up his planer and focused his efforts on working with long time friend and at that point fellow recreational shaper Bob Hurley. “Carl was a unique man with a world class gift for riding waves and making surfboards. His amazing surfing talents were overshadowed by a strong silent faith that represented his savior most accurately. A man with no apparent personal agenda, other than solving problems and giving other people credit, Carl would encourage and support his friends and enemies equally in pursuit of worthy accomplishment. He was the most evenhanded person I have ever known. We will miss his backbone. He was a real man-in the classical sense. His love and support for his wife and children were his source of motivation and something we should all aspire to. Carl Hayward was a full time human and this planet will surely miss him”.
– Bob Hurley
Nearly sixteen years ago Bob had hired Carl to oversee operations inside a tremendously growing apparel businesses warehouse. Carl was the perfect guy for such a task. His six-foot-five-inch frame was put to good use breaking up fist bound altercations that rarely made their way across the warehouse floors’. Others remember Carl for his role model character. “I first met Carl Hayward when he was our surf coach at Marina High School. He was a professional surfer and a famous shaper at a time when surfboard shapers had full surf-hero-guru status and he was our coach and we, of course, all rode his boards. After high school I worked at his store on Main Street in Huntington until he closed it and moved to San Clemente. There I met a whole group of surfers with whom I have Carl in common. We’d share a Carl sighting or Carl news and sometimes it seemed like I was the keeper of the Carl Hayward Surfboards flame in downtown H.B. because I am the last of Carl’s employees to still work in a surf shop there. There was a real connection between us that doesn’t seem to form in downtown Huntington anymore. Carl’s passing brings back a lot of memories and I’ve spoken to many people who were dumbstruck by the news. He made a positive impression on everyone I’ve talked to the last few days and, being such an unassuming person, this would have shocked him. I’m saddened by Carl’s passing. I wish we could have shared a last surf session on Southside. My prayers go out to Colleen and the kids. The best thing I can say of Carl is that he was a friend.
Pat Lien – Manager Chuck Dent Surf Center
Carl had a way of helping people turn their lives around. He was known for hiring people who may have struggled in the past with drugs or alcohol while showing them a path to a better life through hard work and renewed dedication towards simple-life values. He took pride in his own children and could often be found on the sidelines of his star-athlete sons, Christopher, Matthew and Shaun’s football games. He and his wife Colleen worked hard to raise their three children and purchased a home together in the safe beach town community of San Clemente, California.
Growing up in Huntington there was always “the man” who ruled the peak on Southside when the big northwest’s came through. I can remember a tall skinny guy, who seemed grumpy to me at the time, that would catch the best wave, out of every set, every time he was out. The thing I remember most is the wingspan. He looked like he was flying on the wave. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing him surf, you know what I’m talking about. In his shop he didn’t say much but if he caught you goofing around and throwing waxballs at the girls on Main Street he didn’t need to say anything, he just gave the look that made you know that he was “the man” After the shop closed on Main Street he simply wasn’t in the lineup anymore. You don’t notice those things when you are a surf starved kid. You are just happy that there wasn’t another guy taking every set. Years later I started working for Billabong and that is where I really got to know Carl Hayward. I learned that the scary guy that ruled Southside and shaped amazing surfboards wasn’t grumpy, he was a hard working, loving, family man of few words. I learned that when he spoke, it meant something. I surfed Bolsa Chica this week and met Carls’ brother for the first time. It was great because it gave me a reason to stop Carl and have a quick conversation with him. I remember two things clearly from our talk. He joked that I should avoid getting stuck in conversation with his brother and Dwight Dunn because I wouldn’t get out for two weeks and the other is that he had surfed Southside that day and how stoked he was to be in the water. The next day he went surfing again at his beloved Southside. He was there again today. He’ll be there tomorrow too. I miss you Carl. God bless you and your family.
Ronnie Brim – Friend & Co-worker Hurley International
Sometimes a life can be measured by how many people it has affected. Like great music or stories, great people affect lives, feed imaginations, and spark dreams. One moment spent with a great piece of work, a song, a story, a magic board can stay with you your entire life. Thank you Carl for your outstanding contribution to the HB surf community to Hurley where we worked together and especially for the two magic boards you made me for north shore 92′-93′. I cherish the memories.
Joseph Whitmarsh – Friend & Co-worker Hurley International
The Hayward Generation
As a young surfer growing up in Huntington Beach, Carl Hayward was a legendary pro-surfer, master surfboard shaper, business owner, friend and mentor. Though it was before my time, he was one of the innovators of the Rocket Fish design. I started riding Carl’s boards when I was-sixteen-years old and worked with him throughout the eighties.
Carl would always take the time and allow us local kids and customers to sit and watch as he hand shaped our new boards at his shaping room. It was on one of these occasions that Carl said to me, “Do you think you might want to work at my shop?” I grinned and said, “Sure.” I remember that day like it was yesterday. That was the day my life was changed forever. Carl quickly became more than a boss to me. He was a friend, a brother and a mentor to me and so many others. We had a really great crew at his shop with employees like pro surfers, Scott Farnsworth and Ryan Keenan along with other locals Brian Wormach, Bill Ward, Billy Breaux, Pat Lien, Matt Lindsey, Todd Rowsell, myself and many others.
I am blessed to say, I had the good fortune of spending seven years by his side at Carl Hayward Surfboards, representing him and his commitment to the surf community. Carl touched so many people in so many ways. He worked hard to make his dream shop a success and there were many good times had during those years. Also during those years he had a number of trials; however, none of them seemed to slow him down. There was the fire that nearly burned down his shop as well as Jack’s Surfboards, who by the way was our landlord; the Riots at the OP Pro, which we had a t-shirt stand across the street at the Golden Bear parking lot selling our own version of Surfing Championship t-shirts; a move from one side of the street to the other during the Huntington Beach redevelopment process, and finally the addition of a second location in San Clemente which was close to his family’s new home.
We had a following of repeat customers that no one in the world could compete with. A loyal, cult-like following of surf-stoked customers that knew and appreciated the art of surfboard shaping. Not a day would go by at his shop that Carl wasn’t getting huge props for a board he just crafted or just for being who and what he stood for. As word travels of his passing, people from close to far around the world will be feeling the emptiness of his no longer being with us.
As coach of the Marina High School Surf Team, Carl took the team to new heights by challenging the team physically and mentally as they had never experienced before. He had a love for the kids and the kids had a love for him. Carl taught us how to compete competitively but most of all, how to respect others in and out of the water. I know I’m speaking for all; Carl was much more than a coach. He was a role model for us to cherish.
For Carl, family really was everything. I was able to watch as Carl and Colleen’s family blossomed from Christopher, their first of three sons, who looks as if Carl reinvented himself, to Matthew who was not too far behind and finally little Shawn who I had the great pleasure of holding during his first few days of life. Words cannot explain Carl’s devotion and love for his family and how very happy they made him. Nothing was more important than Colleen and the kids and he lived by this loyalty in so many ways. Carl was an unselfish person who was always giving a hand out to whoever was in need. He was the guy who always made time for any of us as if we were a part of his family.
On a personal note my family and I owe him a great deal. It was Carl who believed in me at a young age and opened the door to all we have today. He instilled the meaning and value of loyalty, commitment, and honesty which I will never forget.
The news of Carl Hayward’s untimely passing will go down in history for me and many others, I will never forget it. I was in downtown Huntington with fellow old time Hayward employee, Pat Lien, and we both looked at each other in utter disbelief. Carl was an icon in our circle of friends. He represented our youth, our lively hood and our well being. He affected me in so many ways it is hard to get them all out on paper. Somehow I find comfort in knowing that he went while doing what he loved, surfing. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent with Carl surfing on the south side of the Huntington Pier. He could paddle so fast you would think he had a motor on the bottom of his board. Everyone on the pier would yell as his spray from his board would almost hit them as he ripped the lip off. It is there where he spent his last moments. God bless.
Carl, you will be missed and your legacy will live on. Thank you for all that you have done and I am forever indebted to you.
- Lance Varon and Family
Goodbye My Friend
When Carl moved to HB from back east, it was just like what happens in any other surf town, you treat him like an outsider. I can’t remember the first time he came to surf the pier, but I can remember the first time that we got into a fight. I was standing on the sand on the Southside and Carl took off on a shore break left and when he tried to pull into the tube he ran right over one of my friends. As the life guards were putting my friend into the jeep all of the local kids were screaming at him. Carl was still standing there trying to see if he was okay and letting him know how sorry he was. A couple years later we had become part of the new crew that was taking over the pier. We were both with different surf shops and had our own group of friends. At that time Carl and his best friend Mike Rice were always together. They built boards together, surfed together, and chased girls together. During that time he started to ride the fish and the rocket fish that he is so famous for. Even though other people were building them, Carl is seen as the father of the rocket fish.(Sorry David and Clyde). If you surfed the Southside the last person that you wanted to see paddling out was Carl. You knew that all the set waves were going to be his. He was probably one of the strongest paddlers that I have ever seen. I can still remember paddling back out next to the pier and seeing him drop into a set wave and pulling into the tube. He was one of the best tube riders of that time. As Carl made a name for himself as a shaper he worked for Wayne Brown Surfboards. With his amazing surfing and shaping he helped make Wayne Brown one of the top selling surfboards in town. With in time he started his own label and moved over to Sunline Surfboards. Bill Denny was one of the owners and it was at that time Carl and I had joined the same team. It wasn’t long before Bills sister started coming by the shop and before you knew it Colleen and Carl were getting married. The store had its problems and Bill sold out. Bill called to ask if I would start a store with Carl and the next thing we knew we were in business. We had no money but a lot of vendors gave us credit and we were off and running. You take for granted the friendships that you have built over a life time. On Friday and Saturday I couldn’t understand why everyone was calling me to see how I was doing and how sorry they were for me for the loss of my friend. Carl was all of our friends, but I am starting to see that he was more of a brother to me. When Carl and I started the store in 79′ we had a lawyer draw up a contract and I can still hear him tell us that going into business together is like getting married. That this partnership was as important to us as was his marriage to Colleen. That we would have our ups and downs and that for it to last, we would have to work our way though them. I guess most recently that’s when I told him about the new job that I was going to be taking in design and that he was the right person for my old job, that we would be renewing that old partnership. Working with him over the last few months as he was starting to take over the t-shirt department of Hurley International we were having our ups and downs. Letting go of the baby that one builds can be hard and I know that Carl had turned the corner and that things were moving in the right direction. I hope that he knew that is how I feel and that not having that partnership is one of the biggest things that I will miss.
- Dwight Dunn
Carl had recently been promoted within the company he had helped grow so strongly; becoming Hurley International’s new head of printables. Although it will be a struggle to deal with his loss, Carl will most certainly be watching over everything from above. Carl Hayward has left in the wake of his life memories of perfect surf sessions, friendships that will never be forgotten and a family who will remain strong through his spirit.