International Surfboard Builders Hall Of Fame Inductee Details
For: Pete Dooley
Inductee Name
Pete Dooley
Event Year
2015
Inductee Location
Florida
Inductee Contact
http://www.naturalart.com/
Inductee Brand
Inductee Boardshop
Natural Art
Boardshop Link
http://www.naturalart.com/
Inductee Bio

Not much is known about the background of how Natural Art Surfboards came about, but the main shaper for this organization is Pete Dooley, one of the several East Coast shapers. From Surfingwiki.com

Natural Art was in business before Price brought his reputation and touch to the company in 1972 with another shaper named Tommy Moss. Pete Dooley, 37, had been making boards in a garage with four other backyard surfboard crafters since 1968. He founded Natural Art in 1971, and East Coast surfing champion Greg Loehr was doing the shaping. They packed 23 boards in a truck one time and peddled their way up to South Carolina before selling out. Dooley knew he was on to something. Go to http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1986-08-31/news/0250150166_1_surfboard-natural-art-board-building for a more complete bio.

Rode first wave in 1963. Hooked Spent every waking hour being a surfer. A friend left a 9'8" board in his care in 1965; I was so thin I cut it down to 8 foot. I could turn better then all my friends immediately wanted me to redesign their boards.

By 1966 word got out and I had people coming for miles around to have me 'customize' their boards. Board experimenters gathered together. We bought first Foss blanks. Only twelve footers available in 1967 our boards were down to 6-7' range.
Moved to Cocoa Beach where all the shops still had long boards. We made a lean-to to make boards.  Went to college after graduating high school in 1968, worked part time to raise money for college. More people kept asking for boards. Took tuition money, pooled it with friends and started making boards full time.

1969, made Hope Surfboards. Later joined together with Scott Busbey to make P. Dooley S. Busbey Contact Surfboards. I shaped sanded polished, he laminated hot coated, pin lined and glossed. I had trouble with fumes dust and lungs. Natural Art found a shaper with young East Coast champion Greg Loehr.
Made 72 boards in 1970, Produced 140 in 1971, tried a tour up the coast to New York, with 23 boards, sold out by North Carolina picked up dealers and had forty custom orders.
Dealers were begging for more boards, by 1975 we moved our factory to North Carolina Outer Banks to be centrally located.  Tommy Maus and Rich Price joined us from Santa Cruz. With better production skills we made 450 boards.

Moved back to Florida, to cold for resin work in North Carolina, we then made 1000 boards and grew out of a succession of factories making two and then three thousand boards per year.

By the end of the 1970s, we dealers in France, Japan, South America, the Caribbean as well as the East Coast. Built the first 6000sq ft factory designed strictly for surfboard manufacturing with proper air induction from the roof, each craftsman had his own distinct unshared area. The boys agreed they could do 12 to 15 each day in each area. And did.

The eighties production got to 4000 to 5000 boards per year with fifteen craftsmen. Created the board delivery and rotation system so he seventy-two US dealers could always have a fresh look.

The nineties, Natural art was one of the first companies to add epoxy boards to the line. Blank distributors and materials distributors failed to keep up. Wars, economic crashes, overseas pop outs, seventies and eighties rebel hard-core surf shops got old, soft and lazy. With the return of the pop outs, board 'models', floor planning and banking by surf corporations took the stoke out of the serious production of boards.
Now Natural Art produces custom orders with the finishing done by many of the former Natural Art factory craftsmen who have their own facilities. The cycle is complete.

Pete Dooley, Inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2004. Raised a great family, enjoying grandkids and all the contests I helped start at fine breaks around the world. Honored by great surfers and master craftsmen I have been involved with since I first caught that first wave in 1963.

Pete Dooley

For the complete biography, go to:

Thanks to: https://www.facebook.com/skyshoes for the photo

Links

Facebook Natural Art

Natural Art - About Us

Pete Dooley - Bruised and battered broken and layed up

Pete Dooley Facebook

Spotlighting the surfboard builders in Brevard County, Florida SURFLINE.COM