San Diego

Paddle Out Honors Surfing Icon Larry Gordon

Hundreds of people gathered on the shore for a memorial to the man considered an iconic figure in San Diego's surfing and skateboarding scenes.

San Diego surfing icon Larry Gordon was honored by hundreds who gathered in La Jolla for a special paddle out Monday.

Larry Gordon, 76, revolutionized surfing as one of the first to create foam boards. Decades later, many surfers around the world are now riding Gordon-Smith boards.

Gordon was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago. He died New Year's Day at his San Diego home.

A memorial was held Monday at Tourmaline Surf Park. After several speakers and some music,  dozens of people donned wetsuits and paddled out just beyond the waves for the special ceremony.

Gordon and Floyd Smith built the Gordon-Smith brand into a very well respected and recognized name around the world.

Professional skateboard rider Jim Gray rode for the Gordon-Smith team. He said the company’s fiber-flex skateboard developed in the 1960s went on to be a dominating force in the industry.

“They have left an everlasting mark on surfing and skateboarding that can never be taken away,” Gray said.

He said as a man, Gordon left his mark on so many in the surfing and skateboarding community.

“He had a wonderful little smiley smirk,” he said. “There are very few humans on this earth that are a kinder, gentler man than Larry was.” 

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