Hollow Feeling: W.A.V.E Surfboards

The 1970s saw a lot of funky surfboard designs. Even by that decade’s standards, though, the infamous W.A.V.E. hollow surfboards stand out as one of the more interesting experiments to have been brought to market.

W.A.V.E. – an acronym, of course, standing for “Water Apparatus & Vehicular Engineering” – was the brainchild of Karl Pope and Tom Morey. Pope has gone on to work on things like collapsible surfboards, and Morey – who I guess has since renamed himself “Y” – is responsible for a bunch of surf-related inventions spanning the weird, the useful, and everything in between. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that these two had a hand in creating one of the few modern surfboards featuring a hollow core.

Found on Craigslist in Hollywood, Los Angeles is a nice W.A.V.E. board from sometime in the 70s. Judging from Stoked-n-Board’s entry for W.A.V.E., I would guess this model is the “73 DT”. 73 likely refers to the length of the board – confirmed by the Craigslist poster as 87″, or 7′3″ – and DT refers to the diamond tail. Looks like this board was made in 1973 and 1974. You can also see pics on Stoked-n-Board’s page about the fin box and its curious dual screw configuration. No idea if the fin pictured is the original; a cursory search for other W.A.V.E. boards seemed to turn up some Rainbow fins, but your guess is as good as mine here.

I have no clue how these boards ride, but I personally think the W.A.V.E. logo in the first screenshot is so rad. It’s very 70s, and it gives the board a ton of character. Sadly, some of the paint seems to be fading, especially around the rails, but otherwise the board looks like it’s in good condition.

Oh, and it’s only $150. That seems like a fair price. I wish there were a standard price book for surfboards (it seems insane that there isn’t such a thing), but here’s a thread where people are offering double for a similar looking board.

Anyway, check out this board here if you are so inclined.

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