Rancho Santa Fe

La Jolla gallery features work by Carl Ekstrom: Chairman of the surfboard

La Jolla gallery features work by Carl Ekstrom: Chairman of the surfboard

Carl Ekstrom shows this reporter a photo of himself surfing taken from the deck at Duke’s La Jolla, sometime in the 1960s. “That’s me, doing a bottom turn on an asymmetrical,” he says, beaming. “I’m going up into there.”

Ekstrom, 76, doesn’t surf anymore, but his surfboard designs still will for decades to come. Working in his garage workshop in Rancho Santa Fe, this fiberglass Picasso shapes boards for top surfers and other clients. (He’s worked for Disney, Nissan and even for Andy Warhol, shaping two boards shot by the pop-art superstar for his 1968 art film “San Diego Surf.”)

“I’m a prototyper,” Ekstrom explains, speaking in the art gallery inside Misfit Pictures on Pearl...

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