Windansea Mourns Loss of Club Founder
Chuck Hasley was a natural leader whose competitive and gregarious spirit prompted him in 1962 to start the WindanSea Club.
Mr. Hasley, who was nicknamed "The Coach," started the organization out of a desire to compete in the Malibu Invitational, a contest open to members of established surfing clubs.
Assuming the role of club president, Mr. Hasley hastily recruited a "dream team" of San Diego county surfers to compete for bragging rights at Malibu, which at the time was considered the world's premier wave.
The all-star surfers assembled by Hasley included Skip Frye, Mike Hynson, Joey Cabell, L.J. Richards and the late Butch Van Artsdalen.
Mr. Hasley died Jan. 2 after losing control of his car, which struck a tree on Grand Avenue near Mission Bay Drive in Pacific Beach. He was 69.
His favorite story was how he led the raucous and debauched bus trip from San Diego to Malibu.
Among fans of beach culture, the tale rivals the mid-1960s cross-country bus trips by counterculture leader and novelist Ken Kesey, whose travels with the Merry Pranksters were memorialized in Tom Wolfe's book "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."
The WindanSea Surf Club won the Malibu contest and, under Mr. Hasley's coaching, it dominated California's club surfing scene for the next five years.
The club eventually traveled overseas and helped shape competitive surfing and cross-pollinated ideas about surfboard design and beach fashion.
"I think he will be most remembered for getting the WindanSea Surf Club together and keeping it going over the years," said Mr. Hasley's eldest son, Chip Hasley.
"Surfers tend to be loners to a certain extent, and he brought together a lot of free sprits," he said.
"He was the head cheerleader," said Skip Frye, San Diego's legendary surfboard shaper. "People really rallied around him. Everybody loved him."
Mr. Hasley, born near Tipton, Okla., Dec. 22, 1934, moved with his parents and sister to Seal Beach in 1941. At 18, he became a lifeguard and learned to surf on a rescue board. He excelled at sports and graduated from Huntington Beach High in 1952.
He was awarded a basketball scholarship to attend Whittier
College, where he was tutored in coaching by George Allen and Don Coryell,
both of whom, as coaches, would go on to pro football's Hall of Fame.
By 1962, Mr. Hasley had moved to San Diego and was managing the Hobie surfboard shop in Pacific Beach. Two years later, he opened his own business, in La Jolla, the Windansea Sport Shop, with surfboard shaper Mike Hynson, star of "The Endless Summer."
For most of his adult life, Mr. Hasley was interested in beach fashion and liked to design logos and embroidered lettering for T-shirts and jackets.
Beginning in 1964, he operated a series of clothing boutiques in San Diego featuring his original surf-inspired designs.
He rarely talked about his setbacks or regrets, said George Rotgans, who knew Mr. Halsey for nearly 40 years.
"He always had a positive attitude and was always looking forward and never behind," Rotgans said.
Throughout his life, Mr. Hasley had the ability to connect with surfers young or old. He also knew how to have fun.
"The guy was 69 when he died, but he was still only 18 inside," said a friend, Charlie Barringer. "He always hit me up for a shot of tequila every time I saw him at the (Windansea Beach) parking lot."
Mr. Hasley maintained a continuous presence within the WindanSea Surf Club and was treated by members as its president emeritus.
"Basically, he was the Pied Piper. He played the flute and everybody followed," said Hank Warner, a WindanSea Surf Club member and San Diego surfboard shaper.
Mr. Hasley is survived by a sister, Joyce Capritta of Huntington Beach; sons Chip, 47, of Carmel Valley, Chris, 43, of Del Mar, Charles, 37, of Ramona and Lucas, 32, of Irvine; a daughter, Kari Yates, 47, of Alta Loma; and 10 grandchildren.
A memorial service has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Jan. 17 at Scripps Memorial Park near La Jolla Cove.
Donations for a proposed memorial and to the family can be made to the WindanSea Surf Club, P.O.Box 438, La Jolla, CA 92038.
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