Pensacola Icon: Hutson Hardware and Surf Shop

We received this classic photo from Tom Hutson- a lifelong Pensacola surfer :

“This is Hutson Hardware and Surf Shop in Pensacola. This was after my grandparents sold their hardware store to Mr. and Mrs. Waters (pictured here), who eventually changed it to a hardware and surf shop. I’m guessing this photo was taken in the late 60’s, 1970 at the latest. If you look closely, you can see a classic G&S Skip Frye model in the window. There was a block building behind the store where Scott Bush and Tom Grow made Unit 4 Surfboards, and then Hutson Surfboards. In the 70’s Brian Waters made Islander Surfboards, for a decade or so.”

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  • WoW!! I lived in Fort Walton, in the early ’60s. In the mid-’60s, I bought a Hutson board – actually 3 of us pooled money – could not afford to by one, by myself. Those were the daze!! If we got decent surf, we went to the Casino Pier – ran out the pier, threw our boards in the water and surfed in. Round and round, ’til we dropped from exhaustion. These days, I’m a retired CEO in NM – great beaches, BUT a real hike to the water, lol!!

    Hank J30 September, 2016
  • I just picked up a islander surfboard out of someones garbage here in NJ and wanted to know the history. And i found this site. This is awesome. I found a 6’0″ islander ocean products surboard made by steve bredeson its 99% intact and i was thinking of restoring it since it has a single fin setup with a fin channel setup like ive never seen before i would say ths is a late 70’s board

    Tom Decker30 January, 2017
    • That brand doesn,t sound familiar. It is probably local to New Jersey. Try googling the names- you may be surprised by what you find.

      John Hughes2 February, 2017
  • Got a 11″ Islander paddle or wind board shaped by Brian waters. Few dings and a little dirty but other then that in good shape. Its signed by Waters with the #24 next to it. Not sure if i should repair and use it or not. Just now realized how old it is.

    Michael Pearce15 May, 2017
  • Islander was Hutson’s brand. If you lived in Pensacola, chances are you had an Islander at some point.

    Cam Villar12 June, 2017
  • Brain and I went to Escambia High school togeather.His Mother and Father owner the hardware store and Brain had a little shop out back here he had a shaper teach him the trade.My first board was a 9’ 6” Hutson.It was stolen-from a friends house but later reovered cut down to 7’6”.Short twin fins-were becoming popular so I had a 5’6 made at Hutson in 69- 70. We took the boards to California and was able to surf what was called The Ranch for 2 weeks.I still have the board and Birdwell Beach Britches .Would not take anything for the board.Hope to pass it down to a grandson one day

    MACK LAMBERT30 May, 2018
  • I bought a 6’8 Half Blue and Half white Islander by Brian back in 78,it was stolen at the FloraBama, man I would love to see that board aging,great surf board, Brian latter judged a skateboard tournament in Gulf Shores during the shrimp festival, I finished 3rd in it, great times back in the 70s ,the old Hudson , Interlight ,Tropical Expression in Gulf Shores, great places and people, thanks for the memories, surfers rule??‍♂️

    Clark Huguley22 January, 2021

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