Story by Mike Siordia. Photos by Brent Broza (BrozaPhoto.com
The unveiling of Tyler Hatzikian’s new “Designated Hitter” model, a midsize, user friendly surfboard that can be ridden in all types of waves, was the highlight of Tyler Surfboards’ Annual Factory Open House on Saturday, July 14.
“We have been getting requests to build more midsized board models for years. Now I am ready to start building them and using them as a way to involve more people in the board building process,” Hatzikian said. “They are a way for me to pass on some of my knowledge. They can start working on these boards and once they master that, move up to the longboards.”
The unveiling was accompanied by optimum weather, Santa Maria-styled BBQ by Mike Keller and Joe Lococo of California Rancher and a gathering of the local surf community.
“I love that fact that this event unites the local surf community,”Tylerteam test pilot Mike Siordia said. “The BBQ was delicious and it was cool to post up next to the old ride for the afternoon.”
Siordia lawn-chaired it alongside his 1962 Cadillac in the parking lot adjacent to the El Segundo factory. Other rides in the rumble included a mid-50s Packard, an International Scout, a 1965 Ford Fairlane Station Wagon, an antique tow-truck from the Standard Station around the corner (who threw the after party), and Tyler’s kustom 1960 El Camino and semi-kustom 1950 Mercury. The metallic green Merc had a matching metallic green surfboard.
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Photos by Melissa Neff
An assortment of Hatzikian’s surf sticks provided additional eye-candy, as did art by local artists Jason Baffa and Perry Gillotti.
“It was a great event for all of us who are inspired by Tyler’s work,” said Adam Davenport of Davenport Surfboards. “It was a show and tell from, in my opinion, the premier surfboard builder out there.”
Some of the surf legends and celebrities who made the event included surf artist/photographer/writer and Venice’s Dogtown scene visionary Craig Stecyk, legendary South Bay surfer Bobby Warchola, Tyler Factory shoprat and shopchick Josh Gilberts and Lauren Hawthorne, surf photographer Brent Broza, Hippy Tree’s Josh Sweeney and Andrew Sarnecki, and former Longboard Magazine editor Devon Howard. DZ