Point Break: Bodhi’s Surfboard

Shredderz, I have a confession to make.

What got me into surfing wasn’t a desire for a deeper connection with the ocean, or even a sense of adventure.

I’m afraid that my current obsession with surfboards can be drawn back to a little film released in the early 1990s. I call it surfing’s version of “Citizen Kane”…but most of you know it as “Point Break.”

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100% Pure Adrenaline

I humbly ask that you hold your laughter, if for no other reason than Shred Sledz is a space that celebrates inclusiveness. What can I say, though? “Point Break” — directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow — is the spark that ignited those first flames of surf stoke for this overgrown grom.

Frankly, I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to quoting the film. Is it Anthony Kiedis’ hilarious cameo as an aggro LA local? Or would that be (dramatic pause)…a waste of time? The legendary Fifty Year Storm? And how have I made it this far in a “Point Break” post without writing the word Keanu?!

In fact, I’m so frustrated I could lie on my back and shoot my gun at the sky.

With all that said, I’d like to turn your attention to an incredible piece of “Point Break” memorabilia that is currently up for sale. As you may know, co-star Patrick Swayze, who played Bodhi, the movie’s charismatic and impeccably coiffed Svengali character, tragically passed away a few years ago after a bout with cancer. Shred Sledz may not be the world’s most serious blog, but by all accounts Swayze was an awesome dude, and it’s a shame the world lost him so soon.

Swayze’s family has since begun to sell off some of his memorabilia on auction website Julien’s Live. The catalog includes some items from “Point Break”, including one of the surfboards that can be seen in the film. You can find a link to the board here. I have reproduced the pictures below:

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You can clearly see “for Patrick Swayze” on the stringer

Bodhi can be seen carrying this board throughout the film. See below for a clear shot of the same board beneath Bodhi’s arm, where he and Johnny Utah, fresh off a post-surf brawl, have begun to wax philosophical about the vagaries of bro-dom.

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The board was shaped by Dennis Jarvis, a former pro who hails from Hermosa Beach, located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Jarvis founded Spyder Surfboards, and he continues to shape boards under the Spyder label today. The board Swayze is carrying in the picture above clearly sports the old “Black Widow” logo that Spyder used in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Dennis Jarvis, ripping! Photo by Robert Beck; photo via Easy Reader News
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Jarvis on the cover of Surfer Magazine, circa 1982. Pic courtesy Dennis Jarvis

As a bonus, here are some pictures of some boards Jarvis shaped in the 1980s. The photographs were taken from a write-up of a 80s themed contest Jarvis held last year, via The Beach Reporter.

 

Anyway, back to the auction lot in question: there’s another Dennis Jarvis board, which apparently Swayze used when learning to surf in anticipation of filming. It’s not in great condition, but it is rad nonetheless. There are a couple of other gems in there, including one of the shirts Swayze wore during the film, and then a “Road House” tote bag if you’re really in the market for a statement piece.

I actually spoke to Jarvis, and he was able to provide some awesome behind-the-scenes stories about “Point Break.” Jarvis originally auditioned for a role in the movie. Suspecting that he was a better surfer than actor, Jarvis befriended the casting director and talked his way into a role as a technical advisor on the film. Here’s an excellent article from The Beach Reporter that gives some details on Jarvis’ involvement with the film. Jarvis told me he was also involved in bringing on Dino Andino, Matt Archbold, and Vince Klyn, all of whom appeared during the movie. While the auction boards were shaped for Swayze, apparently Jarvis shaped some similar ones for Archbold, who was Swayze’s stunt double for a bunch of the surfing scenes. It’s too bad those boards don’t seem to be available anywhere!

The crown jewel of the auction, though, is the Jarvis board that Bodhi uses throughout the film. Click here to see the listing. The current bid is $2,000, and the estimate is somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000. Honestly, it’s a bit sad going through the auction lot and seeing the various items for sale. More than anything else, it is a bittersweet reminder of Patrick Swayze’s premature departure from this planet.

Vaya con dios, Señor Swayze, and thank you for your contributions to one of the most memorable surfing films of all time.

Note: This post was edited on 4/23 to update some information regarding Jarvis’ involvement in the film and the boards he shaped for Swayze.

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