Thanks to some Craigslist lurking skills – at what point do skills devolve into an unhealthy obsession? Asking for a friend – I stumbled across this Tanaka Charger single fin on Craigslist in Oahu.
I had never heard of Ernie Tanaka before, but by all accounts he was a well-known Hawaiian shaper who started making boards in the 1960s and continued through the 21st century. The Surfboard Project has a cool post about an older Tanaka board which you can find here. Tanaka’s son, Tommy, continues to shape for T&C Surf today.
In the Craigslist ad the poster indicates that this board is a Paul Strauch model. I was initially confused, because it looks nothing like the photos of another Tanaka Strauch model I found online.
However, after doing some searching on Stoked-n-Board, I think the board picture here may be a Charger II. The Charger II looks like it is also a Strauch model, and the Stoked-n-Board listing for Tanaka mentions that the Charger II has a pinched diamond tail. You can clearly see the diamond tail on this board in the second to last pic. Moreover, the timeframe listed on Stoked-n-Board indicates the Charger II was only made in 1970, which matches well with the general silhouette and single fin design of this board. I’m curious to learn more about the fin, too – as you can see there are two screws, and I’m not sure what kind of fin box that is. The only thing that gives me pause about saying this is a Charger II is that the decal clearly only says “Charger”, whereas on Stoked-n-Board’s page you can see an example of a Charger III logo where the roman numeral is clearly visible. (Oddly, S-n-B doesn’t list a Charger I anywhere).
The poster is asking $400 for the board. It’s not in fantastic condition, and there is at least one ugly looking ding on the bottom, but this is a cool single fin. And if the auction I linked to above is any indication, these might be collectible boards. Can’t comment at length on how fair the price is, but maybe someone can chime in with more info.
You can see the board here.