While most surfers I know clamor for recognition, everyone’s favorite pinliner and surfer, Peter “Pinline” St. Pierre, avoids it. St. Pierre’s work along with that of his longtime co-workers and Moonlight co-founders Gary “Lam Master” Stuber, Mark Donnellan, the late great Kenny Mann, along with a brilliant cast of shapers, glossers and sanders have built some of the best surfboards in modern times. From their beginnings with Bahne, Black Dot and Sunset, to the 1979 founding of Moonlight Glassing, there is nothing this crew of craftsmen has not been involved in.
Not since the teaming of Curren and Merrick have amphibious forces combined to form a more perfect storm than Moonlight’s merger with Christenson Surfboards in 2013. While the combining of these superpowers must have required more than St. Pierre’s talent or his impeccable reputation for quality and honesty, it is difficult to imagine the partnership working without him.
Everybody likes Peter, and I, for one, was once so keen to garner his favor that I ran him over in the water more than once. The titanic collisions were the result of my insecurity — something that required I get verification of the cool guys. To his determent, nobody was cooler than Peter, and so whenever he was paddling out, I tried to catch a wave and make sure he saw what a great surfer I was. Not only was my scheme born in immaturity, but it always backfired. What inevitably ensued was not Peter’s witnessing my “brilliance,” but him seeing me catch a rail or mistiming a turn that caused my board and me to part company and send my leashes craft into him. Is it too late to say I’m sorry? Maybe, and maybe that’s why he began riding surf mats — they are not easily dinged.
I first met Peter and his future wife Sally at Doheny in the late ‘60s where we would surf and chat and share uncrowded waves for hours. Sally was a not only a brilliant surfer but a tandem partner to the legendary Hal Sachs.
Not much later Peter and Sally were married and moved to Leucadia where Peter began building his reputation with Bahne Surfboards and sometimes with Mike Hynson on his Rainbow Surfboards.
From the beginning, Peter’s perfect pinlines ranked among the top in the industry. Still, his was a talent easily eclipsed since he consistently deflected attention away from himself and onto his co-workers. Never once in my 50 years of friendship with Peter has he bragged on the wave he caught or the board he made for it, although he has every reason to do so.
Moonlight Surfboards are available through Surfy Surfy on Coast Highway in Leucadia, or directly at the Moonlight factory located at 16665 Rancho Santa Fe Road in San Marcos.
I am sad to report that longtime Encinitas surfer Harley Adrian De Gray Jr., aka Hadjr, passed away on June 23 of this year. Hadjr was an outstanding surfer who could often be found joyfully ripping his home break of Stone Steps. All are invited to join the family in a paddle out to honor this wonderful man. Please join us on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at 11 a.m. We will convene at the entrance to the San Elijo Campground.
Top: Peter and Sally St. Pierre at a recent Board Room event. Photo by Chris Ahrens