Stolen surfboard to be replaced

  • Gus Fore holds his custom longboard, which was recently stolen in Atlantic Beach. (photo submitted)
    Gus Fore holds his custom longboard, which was recently stolen in Atlantic Beach. (photo submitted)

A custom surfboard stolen recently in Atlantic Beach will be replaced with donations raised by members of the local surf community.
The board, which belonged to Gus Fore, 19, was stolen from the 16th Street beach access in Atlantic Beach.
Fore paid $600 for the board which was specially designed in red, white and blue to represent his journey from Guatemala to the United States. It features the fishbirdsurf logo which can be used to identify the board.
He left the board in his usual spot high up on the beach to get a drink of water from his Atlantic Beach home, which is across the street. In less than 10 minutes, it was gone.
“It was made that way because I was adopted from Guatemala when I was 11 months old and brought here to the United States,” he said. “I just want them to know the story behind the board more than just me losing it. It’s much more important than people may think … It represents my American story.”
A witness reported that a woman was seen with the board near the site said it had washed up on the beach. Another sighting was reported near the same access when a man was seen with the board. The witness knows Fore and recognized the stolen board down the beach but by the time he reached the spot, the person was gone.
“There is no reason for anybody to take a board off the beach, unless it truly looks lost. This has been in front of so many people at this point, that if the person didn’t mean to steal it, and it was truly just something that they found, we would have it back already,” said Taylor Hazelhurst, whose husband, Tal, created the custom board. “It’s about principles, and about respect … We treat people with respect and we respect their stuff. If we can’t go to the beach, leave our stuff in the sand, and walk on the beach, or go in the water, or run back to our car, then what kind of country do we live in?”
The original cost of the long board was $850 but Hazelhurst gave him a “friend discount” of $600. The donations of $450 will be used to cover the cost of materials to recreate the 10-foot longboard, nicknamed the “Gus Bus.”
The community is encouraged to keep an eye out for the recognizable board. If the original board is located, Fore has vowed to donate the new board to a worthy cause. He’s also made a charitable contribution in gratitude for the community’s generosity.
“I’m so grateful and thankful for this,” he said. “We live in such a caring, loving community.”