2018 ICON – Bahne Skateboards

2018 Inductees

Bill and Bob Bahne grew up in San Diego during the era of hot cars and surf music. Bill, a Jack-of-all-trades, has been an instrumental part of nearly every action sports movement for the past 40 years. He started shaping in the 50s, before foam and fiberglass had entered the picture, and grew Bahne Surfboards into a dominant brand. In 1964 he identified the need for a removable fin system and started Fins Unlimited. In the early 70s he teamed up with friend Mike Doyle to create an early version of the snowboard called the “monoski.”


At about the same time, Bill drove past a skater at a local shopping center and had a sudden epiphany about what to do with thousands of feet of pultruded fiberglass that weren’t suitable for fins. Soon afterwards, Bill and brother Bob launched Bahne Skateboards.
Between Bill’s engineering genius and Bob’s financial acumen, they almost singlehandedly reanimated skateboarding in the 70s. Synergized by their almost cosmic meeting with Frank Nasworthy of Cadillac Wheels, they became the Fords of the industry, manufacturing over a million skateboards in their Encinitas factory in roughly four years.
On top of that, they produced important competitions – including the 1975 Del Mar Nationals that launched the careers of many future legends. They also kick-started SkateBoarder Magazine into its second incarnation and included a copy with every board they shipped, inspiring generations around the world. Denis Shufeldt even once stated, “Without Bahne, I never would have started skating again.”

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