In 1964, a young Dick Rosborough and his friend Joe Roland, both from Atlantic Beach, Florida, mowed lawns together so they could buy their first surfboard. (Joe went on to become the ESA's first East Coast Champ in 1968.) Together, these two childhood friends, along with their pal Larry Miniard, also from Atlantic Beach, competed, with much success, in contests from Miami to Maine in the late 60's and early 70's, ending up in Australia for the 1970 World Contest. It was around this time that Ted James of Fox Surfboards taught Rozo the art of Surfboard Shaping. Soon after, they started Roland - Miniard - Rosborough surfboards. In early 1973, Jim Turner and Gary Chapman "kidnapped" Rozo from Florida and took him to Oahu's North Shore.
Rozo spent the next 12 years surfing Sunset, Rocky Point, and a few lesser known spots, and shaping boards for many of da boys, including Jason Magers, Fielding Benson, Michael Ho, Liam and Garret McNamara, Noah Budroe, Chris Owens, Brian Surrat, and many others. Rozo was a fixture on the North Shore until he moved back to Florida in 1985, where he now shapes boards for a dedicated following, as well as shops along the East Coast. He lives with his beautiful wife in their "North Shore" environment called the Ponderozo, sitting right on the water near the St. John's River mouth. It's 5 minute drive to Jacksonville's North Jetties, one of the best (and secluded) surf breaks on the East Coast. At 60ish, Rozo still has the stroke and skill of a young whipper snapper.
In 1972, Rozo moved to Sunset Beach, Hawaii, where for the next 12 years he would shape boards for some of the world's best surfers, as well as some of the North Shore's heaviest locals. His standout performances at Rocky Point and Big Sunset, combined with a humble yet charismatic personality on land, earned him the respect and acceptance of the established North Shore community. In the mid-80's, Rozo moved back home to North Florida, setting up a laid-back Hawaiian-style scenario on Ft. George Island, complete with surfboard factory and vegetable garden. He still shapes boards for a long list of loyal customers, and surfs more than most.
"Surfing made me what I am today. It’s as simple as that. I revolve my day around what’s happening. If the surf’s good, my house sounds like a beehive hit with a stick."
"I remember it like it was only 40 years ago," reminisces Dick Rosborough about his first ride in the Spring of '64. "Wind in my hair, spray in my face, flying at breakneck speeds down the face of that one foot white water." Rozo hasn't slowed down much, having enjoyed a successful, yet brief, competitive career in the late 60's and a 12 year stint in Hawaii. Today, Rozo lives just minutes away from the best break in North Florida in a secluded little slice of country nirvana he fondly calls "Pondarozo".
Rozo was one of less than a handful of guys from North Florida that skyrocketed to fame as one of the East Coast's leading talents in the late 60's. In 1970, he went to Austraila with the U.S Team to compete in the world contest at Bell's. After everyone went home, Rozo spent the next four weeks surfing epic conditions at every break up the coast before enjoying his last 2 weeks at Kirra and Burleigh for yet even more perfection. That was Rozo's last contest, and the beginning of a long and illustrious shaping career.