Over the 58 years of doing what we love, we’ve been lucky enough to make a few friends and feel grateful for the chance to talk story with them from time to time. From endearing family moments to epic surf adventures and every sun-drenched moment in between, we’re always inspired by the memories they share and stoked to have played a small part in the stories told by friends around the world.
As the days get shorter and the water turns colder, we thought we’d warm up with a few of our favorite memories. Like your Birdwells, the best stories get better over time.
Mark Churchill (Ceramicist)
I just remember how in the beginning of the summer my mom would put me in whatever pair was too small for someone else, and she would safety pin the waist and then stitch the back so it would fit. And then by the end of summer, she’s gotta take one of ‘em out cause you grew. Birdwells are crazy like that. 1 pair would make it all the way through the 4 of us.
Adam Harriden (Founder: Goodsurfwax)
We did a road trip about 12 years ago down Big Sur from San Fran to Malibu, I discovered them when I visited Zuma Jays little iconic store across from the point, every colour you could imagine, I didn't think you could get boardies in so many colours, kid in a candy store moment, hooked ever since.
Robbie Simon (Artist/Designer)
Ditching class in highschool to make it to the Birdwell factory hours to buy the cheap sample shorts.
Jamie Brisick (Writer/Surfer)
My very first pair of board shorts were Birdwells. I remember coming out of the cold water and laying face-down in the hot sand on a scorcher of a summer's day at Santa Monica State Beach. The sun was bright, the salt water burned my eyes. In my mind was a double scoop of Rocky Road ice cream on a sugar cone.
Jeff Johnson (Photographer/Writer)
The first Birdwells I ever had were issued to me from the City and County of Honolulu lifeguard department in 1993. I’ll never forget my first day at work, knee paddling the rescue board out of Pokai Bay wearing my super short, orange Birdwells. And If I remember correctly, they were used, or faded from sitting in a box for so long at the lifeguard headquarters. I was so stoked.
Eric “Bird” Huffman (Founder: Bird’s Surf Shed)
I found a pair of size 34 Birdwells lying in the street in OB when I was like 12 years old and wearing a size 28 in jeans. My mom darted them in around 6” so they wouldn’t fall off my boney little butt. Each summer she would let them out a quarter of an inch or so. I kept them until I was about 25 and wearing size 30s. I think my girlfriend Amy (now my wife of 40 years) secretly ditched them cuz one day they were just GONE!
Sarah Lee (Photographer)
How about WITH Birdwell? Tanker surfing mission with Jamie Tierney and Kevin Skvarna in Texas … got to shoot a few waves then just as I loaded up my camera in it’s water housing to shoot from the water, we got stuck in a nuts white-out rainstorm for over an hour and the little boat we were on had to draft off a massive tanker to get back to shore. Kev and I were sitting on the bow, getting drenched and laughing deliriously as we were getting soaked from warm rain and backwash, on top of pelican cases, lightning flashing all around us, and everyone else was miserably huddling under the tiny shelter on the boat trying to stay dry.
Matt Hranek (Founder: WM Brown Magazine)
I remember calling the cutting floor in the early 90’s and ordering shorts from the then owner. When they finally arrived in the craziest color combos I could not be happier. I LIVED in those things and travelled all over the world with a pair in my bag!
See photo. Me at Witches Rock in Costa Rica.
Scott Soens (Videographer/Photographer)
I was a lifeguard for 7 years in Avalon NJ. we wore the 312 in Navy Blue. Too many good memories really, but I loved when at the end of the summer my Birdwell's were well worn in and super faded they were almost a grey blue. I'd surf in them before work sit on the stand in them all day and surf in them after work. I remember setting the race flags one year, they are held to the bottom of the sea floor by brick. We use to jump off the back of the boat holding onto the brick till it hit the bottom then swim back up. That was fun.
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