Pan’s involvement with Bic Sport Surfboards began in 1979 when the company introduced the first ACS production 7’9” Natural Surf Model. As an addition to the large rental and lesson fleet at the Watershed Surf Shop, this new molded surfboard proved to be invaluable in its’ durability and performance.
As Bic Sport expanded the line in the 1980’s, the Bic Surfboard line became one of the top selling brands in the surf shop. By 1998, the Watershed was the top Bic Surfboard retailer on the East Coast. In 1999, Pan was offered the job as the East Coast Representative for sales of the surfboard line and he took it.
For the past 11 years with the company, Peter has been able to design several of their best selling surfboard models, all in the ACS line. In the tradition of an easy riding and learning surfboard shape like the Hobie Peter Pan Slug, he created the 8’4” Magnum for adult beginners and intermediate surfers. Two years later, he designed the 5’10” Fish for youngsters and lightweights. Pan has won numerous East Coast titles riding the Bic 9’ Longboard CTS model shaped by Gerard Dabaddie. He has been riding this surfboard in long board competition for over 10 years. He has also ridden his 8’4” Magnum in several ESA regional championships and won on it.
In the past year, he utilized his stand-up paddleboard skills into input on the versatile 10’4” Peter Pan SUP and the 11’4” Peter Pan SUP, both in the ACS range. He is currently working on a new and smaller design for lightweights and children. He is also actively competing in both surf and flat water standup competition. Pan won both the 2009 and 2010 New England SUP Championships in the Senior Men’s Pro-Am division in both surf and flat water racing. He rode a 9’6” Oxbow Pilot in both the surfing events and an 11’ Oxbow Cruiser Model in the flatwater races. The 2009 contest took place in Narragansett, Rhode Island and the 2010 event at Second Beach in Newport, Rhode Island.
Pan’s Competition Record
Peter Pan began his competitive surfing career in 1967, when he surfed in the Connecticut Open Championships at Matunuck Point, Rhode Island. He surfed in several other open and ESA contests that year, and never advanced past the first round. His breakthrough in competition success came in the summer of 1968, at the WPRO New England Invitational Surfing Championships. This was considered the biggest and most popular surfing contest during that time period, drawing thousands of spectators and hundreds of competitors from all over the northeast. With big merchandise prizes at stake, the competition was fierce.
Pan finished a controversial 2nd behind Californian Will Needs in the Men’s Division in the final, and solidified himself as a top competitor as well. Soon afterwards, he was given the nickname of “Peter Pan” courtesy of the announcer at the 1968 Newport Surfing Championships, Brad Stoner. While calling out names for up coming heats, Stoner stumbled over Pan’s last name, and said, “Oh…forget it. Peter Pan.”
Since that time, according to the ESA competition record books, Pan has won more contests on the East Coast than anyone else in the history of right coast surfing. His last two major wins coming at the 2010 ESA Northeast Regional Championships with a first place in the Legends Division, and at the 2010 ESA Eastern Championships with a win in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Final. Both are short board contests.
Peter Pan’s Competitive Achievements:
Pan is the only surfer on the East Coast to win four separate events at one contest when he won the short board, long board, knee board and body board finals at the 1993 Northeast Championships. He repeated this feat in the following contest three months later at the 1994 New England Mid-Winter Championships. Both contests were held in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Pan is the only surfer on record, to advance to the finals in five separate events at an East Coast Surfing Championship Regional Championship Surf-Offs when he placed in the short board, long board, knee board, and open events at the 1996 contest in Montauk, New York.
Peter is the first surfer from New England to place in a professional surfing contest. This occurred when he finished 3rd in the Pro Open Longboard Final at the Brave New World/O’Neill ASP rated event in Seaside Heights, New Jersey in the summer of 1996.
Pan is the only surfer from the East Coast to ever place in a final at the Noosa World Longboard Championships, when he finished 6th in the Legends Final at the 1999 contest held at Noosa Head, Queensland, Australia.
Peter is the only surfer known to have nine signature models being produced at the same time by different manufacturers. Currently, Hobie Surfboards makes a Peter Pan Slug short board, a Peter Pan fish, and a Peter Pan long board. Surf Tech Surfboards is producing an 8’6” and a 9’6” epoxy Peter Pan Slug model. Bic Sport makes a Peter Pan 5’10” ACS fish and a 8’4” Peter Pan ACS Magnum model, as well as two Peter Pan stand-up paddle board models, one 10’4” and one 11’4”.
In 1996, Greg Noll organized an Ad Hoc group of West Coast manufacturers and surf legends and created an East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame committee. Pan was selected as one of the members of this inaugural group of twenty-one inductees. They are considered as the original core group of “pioneers” of East Coast surfing history.
Peter became the oldest competitor to win the Ironman Trophy at a major surfing contest anywhere, when he finished 2nd in the Shortboard, SUP, and Open Bodyboard finals, and 5th in the Legends Longboard, at the 2017 East Coast Championships Northeast Surf-Offs in Belmar, New Jersey.