Surfboard models became the industry standard and Surfboard by Jacobs turned out some of the most famous models, including the New Shape, Mike Purpus Model, Panasea, 422, Streak, and the Lance Carson Model. With the help of a top-notch sales team made up of surfers including Henry Ford, Robert August, Tim Kelly, Jim Graham, Mike O’neill, Lance Carson, and Richard Crawford, Surfboards by Jacobs was incredibly successful and experiencing peak popularity.

With this change in surfboard design, Jacobs decided to move on. In 1971, he sold his shop to Grant Reynolds, purchased a 40-foot swordfishing boat and kept it at Redondo Beach King Harbor. This particular boat was built for harpooning swordfish, which accounted for the 30-foot plank that extended from its bow. The boat was the first of its kind to be seen at King Harbor,and the owner of the nearby waterfront restaurant asked Jacobs if he had intended to go into the window cleaning business with that long plank attached to his boat. Little did he know that Jacobs was about to embark on a lucrative career in swordfishing for the next 15 years. Many other surfboard shapers, faced with the same challenges of a rapidly changing industry, also followed suit. Dewey Weber also went into the swordfishing business, Greg Noll went into the crab-fishing business, and Renny Yater went into the lobster-fishing business.

The fishing industry, much like the surfboard industry, had its fair share of comical highlights. One day, Jacobs and his friend Doug Moore decided to play a big prank on their competitor, Dewey Weber. They cut the fins off a swordfish and attached them to a wood board. They stowed the board on their boat until they saw Weber’s boat not too far behind them. Then quickly dropped their decoy fish made of wood into the water and took off. A few minutes later, Weber appeared on his boat heading straight for the decoy fish. Soon he knew the board was a hoax, and the “board-fish” prank was born.

Jacobs furthered his fishing career by purchasing a fuel dock at King Harbor. Next, he bought a second boat and was fishing most of the week and returning on weekends. This continued through most of the late ’70s and into the ’80s until swordfish became scarce. As a result, Jacobs took advantage of this down-time to travel, ski and fly fish with his wife and two sons, Kent and Dean.


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