Don Craig has surfed since age 5. His dad, Doug, would take the family to San Onofre State Beach nearly every weekend. Hermosa Beach was then an early surf city. Acclaimed surfboard craftsmen were clustered there - Dewey Weber, Dale Velzy, Hap Jacobs, Greg Noll and Bing Copeland. The five are charter members of the Hermosa Beach Walk of Fame, founded in 2003.
"These surf icons were good friends of our family and some of my earliest mentors," Craig recalled. "Beginning at an early age, I was recruited to be a team rider for each one of them."
In 1958, he won his first contest. Dozens more trophies were to follow over 50 years.
Of his contributions to surfing, Craig is proudest of Old Guys Rule "because I did it on my own and did it from scratch."
He started the brand by accident. At San Onofre, his dad and two old chums were known as the "Three Wise Men," admired by surfers young and old.
"As a tribute … I had a buddy make some stickers with the slogan 'Old Guys Rule.' I thought it would be fun to put them on all of our cars," Craig recalled. "Soon, other guys were asking for a copy of the sticker. The owner of Dive 'N Surf wanted to buy 100 of them. Sensing a business opportunity, I trademarked the slogan."