What's in a Nickname?
What’s in a Nick Name?
I first Started making Infinity Surfboards in 1970. Soon, I opened the first Infinity shop in an old abandoned gas station on the corner of 6th street and Pch. in Huntington Beach where I could also shape the boards.
Later, in 1972, I moved the shop to a better location also on Pch. between Jacks Surfboards and next to Eldon Liquor.
The problem was that now I needed a new place to shape the boards. My friend, Bob Mandic, owned and operated Mandic Motors on Main Street. He ran a long established business and was kind enough to rent me an old building on the back of his property where I could do my shaping. The rent was $25 each month. I was young and inexperienced enough not to even realize that this was about 70% below the rental market. (About a decade later after we had moved the shop to Mission Viejo, Bob Mandic actually became the mayor of Huntington Beach!)
I was in there working by myself for about a year, when a big skateboard boom hit the USA. The Bahne company, maker Fins Unlimited and surfboard fin boxes and fins innovated a solid fiberglass skateboard made from pultruded fiberglass. I found a company nearby that pultruded fiberglass and ordered $5000 worth of 8 ft. long pieces of fiberglass. That was like $50,000 in now day’s dollars, a big risk for a new shop owner. I hired my two best team riders from San Clemente (fresh out of high school) Terry Senate and Max Mc Donald. They would cut out, sand and drill the decks while Barrie, my wife and her girlfriends assembled the wheels onto the trucks. In those days you had to insert the individual ball bearings into the wheels. Then assembled the boards and shipped them all over the USA. For a while we made one of the most popular skateboards around.
Later that year, our glass shop lost their polisher, so I offered for us to polish the new boards in my new little factory. So I made another work station next to my shaping stall and hired Norman Chapman, one of our H.B. team riders to polish all the new Infinity boards. Norman was a very good surfer and top quality polisher so things were going great.
Here is the gang at the old shop. Norman is the guy on the far right
We all spent hours together every day making skateboards and shaping and polishing new Infinity surfboards. I was shaping all of the Infinity boards at this time. After a few months of this repetitious work, it becomes a bit tedious so your mind starts wondering. However, it still takes about 75% of your brain capacity just to do your job, so that only leaves about 25% of your brain left for wondering. Norman was a down to business, no nonsense kind of guy, so I wanted to kind of mess with him a little. I started working on my verbal attack, but since I only had 25% of my brain available it took the next two or three boards that I shaped to come up with the perfect “Normanization”.
Finally in the late afternoon, I walked over to his work area and loudly proclaimed: “ Nightly, Norman nimbly nibbles naked nymph’s nipples”. Man, I thought I was so smart, it took me two hours to assemble these words, but they were GREAT! Norman, without the slightest hesitation, replied: “Well, at least I don’t
Well somehow this episode leaked out around town and my new nick name became Master Boehne. Now some 50 years later, that nick name reappears now and then, but most guys probably think it’s from all the years I have been shaping and the many guys who I have taught that art form to. Little do they know?