R.I.P. Pat O’Hare
We were saddened to hear the news that Cocoa Beach shaper Pat O’Hare passed last night. Pat was a highly respected and talented surfboard shaper and his feedback during his 50+ year career has influenced US Blanks and surfboard building at large. He will be sorely missed by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him and his contributions to surfing will live on in perpetuity.
Pat O’Hare began his board building career as a sander in Surfside, California with Rick James and working under Rick Greech before moving on to Dewey Weber. Pat developed as a surfer and was soon riding for Greg Noll. Under Noll’s tutelage, O’Hare began shaping surfboards in ’58 and then made the full-time transition in ’63. That same year he relocated to Cocoa Beach, Florida and launched O’Hare Surfboards (originally named ‘James & O’Hare Surfboards’). O’Hare became synonymous with Cocoa Beach and helped to establish surfboard manufacturing on the East Coast. He was part of the first class to be inducted into the East Coast Surf Legends Hall of Fame in 1996.
“Cocoa Beach was the East Coast leader, and still is, in quality custom surfboards due in large part to Pat O’Hare,” says Tony Sasso, the director of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Museum and a local city commissioner.
O’Hare’s children have also become active members in the surfing community and have helped to foster their father’s legacy. “I saw surfing history sort of slipping away in our town and it kind of broke my heart,” says O’Hare’s son Sean who founded the East Coast Surfing Museum. “And my dad being a big part of that, it meant a lot to me.”
Rest in peace, Pat O’Hare and thank you for your contributions to surfing. Condolences to the O’Hare family.