Sunday paddleout honors Rich Harbour’s memory

More than 500 pay tribute to local businessman and surfing icon

Photo by Jack Satariano A drone photo shows the procession circiling the family of Rich Harbour at last Sunday’s memorial for the surfing industry legend.

More than 500 people came from all over the world for the celebration of Rich Harbour’s life on Sunday morning, Aug. 29, according to Robert Howson, owner of the Harbour Surfboards shop in Seal Beach.

The ceremonies included a Seal Beach Police Department color guard, speeches, music, and World War II vintage aircraft flying overhead.

Howson called it “a beautiful event for a beautiful person.”

The weather was beautiful that day.

According to Howson, hundreds watched from the pier.

The speakers began at about 9 a.m. The family hit the water around 10:30 a.m. According to Howson, the rest of the procession paddled out about 15 minutes later, formed a circled around the family, holding hands.

They blew the conch horn for Harbour.

They paddled out on the north side of the Seal Beach Pier, where Lifeguard and fireboats sprayed water.

“Rich was a huge, huge figure in the surfing community,” Howson said.

When Harbour passed away last month, Michael Pless of M&M Surfing School said Harbour was a great person for Seal Beach and the surfing world. At the time, he said that Rich Harbour strived to make the surfing world better for everyone.

For more on the life of the Seal Beach businessman and surfboard legend Rich Harbour, read the profile provided by his own family on the occasion of his passing: “Richard Harbour iconic surfboard maker passes at 77,” at