G&S reunion honors skateboarding pioneer Dave McIntyre

G&S team members at the reunion.
(Karen Billing)

Members of the Gordon & Smith skateboarding teams from the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and 2000s gathered for a reunion on July 16 at Duck Foot Brewing, a chance to come together and say goodbye to a dear friend. The event paid tribute to Dave McIntyre, a key pioneer of skateboarding and the action sports industry in Southern California, who passed away on May 30 at the age of 78.

After a celebration of life on Saturday, July 17, friends gathered for a paddle out at Tourmaline Surfing Park in La Jolla where years ago McIntyre found his first surfboard in the bushes.

Dave McIntyre with skater Eli Smith.

McIntyre, a Fairbanks Ranch resident, had been planning the G&S reunion since last year and had helped special order the G&S red and yellow Vans shoes for the event. The G&S team had been planning to surprise McIntyre with a tribute at the reunion before his unexpected passing.

G&S has been a San Diego surfboard institution since 1959, founded by Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith. The company, near Pacific Beach, is now run by the next generation, siblings Debbie and Eric Gordon.

Dave McIntyre when he was managing the G&S team.
(Karen Billing)

In the 1970s, G&S became one of the top three skateboard companies in the world with its Fibreflex boards—it was the first U.S. skateboarding companies to sell internationally, which is attributed to McIntyre’s efforts. G&S was also one of the first companies to sponsor professional team riders and McIntyre managed the team of skaters that became would become like family.

“This was his life, he had a love of the surf and skate lifestyle,” said 1970s team rider Steve Cathey. “Dave would do a reunion every year if he could.”

A paddle-out for Dave McIntyre was held at Tourmaline Surf Park.

McIntyre was very proud of the G&S team, which is believed to have more inductees into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame than any other team.

At the reunion, friends from the G&S teams reconnected and reminisced over old skateboarding haunts like La Costa, laughed and looked over now-vintage photographs, decks and memorabilia—patches were made of an iconic image of McIntyre from the 1970s, all mutton chops and sporting the trademark G&S yellow and red.

In addition to his work in the skateboarding industry, McIntyre was a past member of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board and was a part of the effort to help open the Carmel Valley Skate Park in 2008.

Bob Denike, president of NHS, said McIntyre never received proper credit for his early contributions to skateboarding. On a Santa Cruz Skateboards’ Instagram post, Denike said McIntyre was part of a group that set the foundation for the skateboard industry.

“Dave was there in the beginning and for this, we thank him for his contributions and vision for the foundation we stand on today,” Denike wrote.