If you were to walk into Infinity Surfboards in downtown Dana Point, California, past the racks of hand-crafted boards and the front desk with the fin collection encased in glass, you’d find Steve Boehne’s shaping bay. Foam shavings cover the floor and every type of craft adorns the walls from longboards to shortboards to SUPs and even wave skis. Steve–along with his son, Dave–is one of my favorite people in the surfing world.
To talk ocean sports with Steve, there’s not a single air of contempt or standoff-ishness about him, ever. No “holier than thou,” attitude that you might find in many Southern California establishments. In fact, it would be weird to see the man angry. And arrogance just isn’t in his DNA.
So open is he about shaping any craft usable in the ocean, that he just welcomes you into his life of fun. Because that’s what he loves about the ocean, whether riding a tandem SUP or otherwise. “We’ve always been a really versatile brand,” says Dave, who now runs the family business and who Steve often credits with keeping Infinity relevant well into the 21st century. “A lot of (companies) are afraid like, ‘oh, we’re a hardcore shortboard brand, we’re not going to make you a paddleboard.’ But my dad’s always been like, ‘cool, that looks fun, I’ll make it.'”
And that’s how Steve’s approached nearly every aspect of his life. He and his wife Barrie have been a tandem surfing team since the 1960s when they met while competing in the Santa Monica scene. Tandem wasn’t always cool. But they made it cool with their focus on fun, competing in the sport for nearly 40 years while winning a pair of world championships.
Barrie and Steve opened Infinity Surf in the 1970s in Huntington Beach, then moved the shop to Dana Point and raised their children. Dave, and Dan–who shapes most of the brand’s shortboards in between his work as a dentist–have followed in their parent’s footsteps. As you can see in the piece we put together, above, Dan actually competes with his daughter in tandem surfing on occasion. It’s hard not to admire what the Boehne clan has created. It is a family whose foundation is truly built on fun.