This year is all about sharing who we are.

This means we are celebrating the achievements of everyone who is part of Lightning Bolt’s history and life.


True experiences. A meaningful existence. A reconnection with the origins.

This golden era could only begin to be told by the ‘70s: the decade of the foundation of Lightning Bolt and the golden years of surfing.

We feel honored to be able to revisit and share these stories, in the first person, by Gerry Lopez, the co-founder of Lightning Bolt and a legendary surfer.

An informal conversation via video call – a recognition of a new reality imposed by the pandemic, but also a tool to connect worldwide – and the question “How did Lightning Bolt start?” were the starting point!


«We had the opportunity to start our own shop, because another shop was going out of business and he offered us his location and a lease (…). We looked at each other – Jack Shipley and I – and decided to take the chance to start our own shop. So… that’s when we decided: ok, let’s do it!

And then we were thinking about a name for the shop, and it was Jack’s wife, Marianne, who thought: “why don’t you call it Lightning Bolt?”. At first we thought it was a good idea, so we named the shop “Lightning Bolt”. We went to a friend who was a lawyer, and we did a corporation. And the shop was called “Lightning Bolt Unlimited Surf Company Incorporated”.


In the beginning nobody knew what a Lightning Bolt had to do with surfboards. The reason we did was because I could make a slash… I used to draw it when I was talking on the telephone, or just in a piece of paper… Then I put it on the surfboards and it looked pretty good! So, that was the beginning! And then it became more and more popular, and our shop became very well known.»



Here’s to fifty years of history: a golden era. And a lot more to come!





* This video does not have commercial purposes.