Passionate about all things surf, the Katin couple helped sponsor early California surf contests and organizations, including the "Katin Underdog Contest" for competitors who had never won a contest. When Walter passed away in 1967, Nancy not only kept the surf shop business intact, but she also expanded her involvement in the surf world by providing surfing scholarships. She even went on to start the Katin Pro/Am Team Challenge in 1977. The annual Pro/Am held at the Huntington Beach Pier not only featured some of the world’s best surfers, but also provided an arena for the young, talented surfers from beaches all across the U.S. to compete alongside their heroes.
By the early 1980s, the surf industry had officially skyrocketed, and many manufactures were quick to take advantage of the trend, aggressively attacking the market with advertising and worldwide surf promotional blitzes. Though there were many offers made to Nancy to sell her business, she was determined to keep Katin a cherished surf haven for all. Nancy continued to make the surf trunks in the back room of the Surfside Kanvas by Katin store, selling them up front and relying on the existing loyal network of surf shops for additional distribution.
Over time, Nancy became known as the “First Lady of Surfing,” not only because of her quality clothing, but also because she genuinely befriended the surfers that came to her shop, and even acted as second mom to most. Despite the initial local dislike for the sport of surfing, Nancy always made sure that Katin’s small surf shop had a counter, with a couch and chairs, for any and all surfers to kick back, relax and swap stories.
Sadly, in 1986 Nancy passed away, leaving the surf industry and all of the Katin-wearing surfers with a heavy heart. However, when Nancy passed, she left the company to Sato Hughes, her loyal seamstress since 1961, who is still sewing strong today at that very same Kanvas by Katin surf shop at Sunset Beach.
Sato and her son Glenn have since continued to run the original surf shop with the same love, dedication and care as Nancy and Walter, sewing custom surf trunks with the same quality, durability and good looks since 1954.