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(Monday) 9.19.11

Surf Labor Profile – 17th Street Board Shop

We sat down with Bud Llamas and Jerry Mulford a few weeks back to check out their shop and see what the ex pro had cooking. For those of you who don’t know the unofficial mayor of HB here’s a little history lesson.

Bud started surfing when he was 8 years old. The tow head was a quick study and since he enjoyed surfing so much he spent tons of time in the water. Tons of time = getting really good at surfing. He was so into the sport that he convinced his family to let him do 8th, 9th and 10th grade in Hawaii. We’re pretty sure he used an argument about how strong the islands public education was. Whatever he did, it worked! I can already see it now, Bud shows up to the first day, exam day and the last day of school (that’s what I’d do). And with all that free time Bud was able to focus on the warm Pacific waters and the heavy Hawaiian waves that pound the shoreline.

Bud finished high school back here on the mainland which isn’t all that bad, but I’m sure if he could have convinced his family to let him stay on the island he would have. Right at the same time he came back to Cali the NSSA had just formed. Bud saw this as just another outlet to surf so he joined. Bud dominated and became the first ever NSSA champion in the late 70’s. So 1979 rolls around and Bud graduates from Huntington Beach High School. That same year Bud made the U.S. National Team and on his 18th birthday, he turned pro, and immediately went on the ASP Tour. He was in the tour for 7 years and did well but never broke through to the world tour. Which is fine by Bud because it allowed him to grow even deeper roots in our local community…hence the nickname The Mayor.

Back to the shop. 17th Street Board Shop is located on 17th Street…GENIUS! The place is super cool and way chill. They’ve got surf gear, surf boards, and also skate gear and skate decks, trucks, etc. The shop is a throw back to the shops of yester year. Jerry typically has some great tunes on the ipod and there is a surf or skate movie running on the flat screen. What’s best is they won’t run you out if you are there chilling and talking surf or skate. Switch topics to politics or taxes and your ass will be on the street.

You’ve got to swing by, say hi to the mayor, and congratulate him on becoming a recent dad. Bud’s stoked to share family pics and of course swap stories.

Ok, now for the bonus content. When we were talking to Bud he told us an interesting fact. Bud was Kelly Slater’s first victim on tour. Kelly and Bud went head-to-head down at Lowers in 1990 in the finals of the Lowers Pro. Bud happened to have an old VHS of the entire event and we’ve cut down the finals for you to enjoy. Some classic stuff in this video, a must see. If you want to see the entire video you have to go to the shop and ask them to play you the entire contest.

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