George Draper "2012 Local Hero"

Back then in the early ’70s there must have been 21 surf shops – you could get anything you wanted in Huntington Beach

Believe it or not, George’s Surf Shop – the longtime HB fixture – wasn’t named after George Draper. He actually bought it from George Panton back in 1967 for a mere $1,000. But before he got there, he traversed a memorable path that landed him on Huntington’s Main Street.

George was born in Kansas and moved to Carlsbad, California in 1952. Being the new kid in school, he soon became friends with Murph the Surf, Phil Edwards and LJ Richards. He learned to surf at Terra Mar with a board that Phil Edwards made and eventually became the very first State lifeguard at Tamarack in Carlsbad.

From there, George taught Don Hansen of the famous Hansen Surfboards how to surf and even was a delivery driver for Clark Foam back in the 1960s. But once he lost his driver’s license, George was forced to seek other forms employment, so he acquired the surf shop in Huntington Beach on September 7, 1967.
George’s Surf Shop had all the big name boards and top shapers of the era popping in, from Brewer to Aipa. But, like HB today, he wasn’t alone.

“Back then in the early ’70s there must have been 21 surf shops – you could get anything you wanted in Huntington Beach,” George recalled. “My rent back then was $150 a month.”

George’s Surf Shop was even the birthplace of the famous Jan’s Health Bar and served as a meeting place in Huntington Beach for 27 years. Over the years, HB has changed, but at the root it’s still Surf City USA. Largely thanks to people like George Draper.

PHOTO: PT congratulating George on Induction Day. Photo courtesy Sharon Marshall
PHOTO: George posting with event poster. Photo courtesy of Lew Harrison

PHOTO COURTESY: Russ Rinner (Awnings by Russ) George's Surf Center & Jan's Health Bar

george_drapers_circa_70s_girls
PHOTO: Circa 70's, George with friends
george_draper_surfshop
PHOTO: Circa 70's, George Surf Center

George Draper, founder of the famous George’s Surf Shop in HB is recognized as the Local Hero.

george_jericho_poppler_bob_bolen_485
PHOTO: 3 SWoF Inductees George Draper, Jericho Poppler and Bob "The Greek" Bolen. Photo courtesy of Lew Harrison.