Skip Frye is a San Diego shaper whose boards are a surf-themed lesson in supply and demand. To even place an order one must have Frye’s blessing, and as a result, there’s a healthy market for Frye’s boards whenever they hit the second market.
Pictured above is a unique single fin Frye shaped in the late 1970s. The board is currently being listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, a decent ways up the coast from its home in San Diego. (Pictures above were taken from the Craigslist post, which can be found here). The asking price is $1100. That is a lot of money for a surfboard — especially one that has some dings that need fixing — but I think it’s fair, considering this is a Skip Frye board, and a unique one at that.
What really stands out to me is the “Select Surf Shop: Pacific Beach” graphic on top of Frye’s famous and timeless wings logo. The biography section on Frye’s website tells the story of how, after leaving Gordon & Smith in the mid 1970s, Frye struck out on his own, shaping in a room located behind Select Surf Shop.
The poster claims this board was shaped in the late 1970s, and this matches up with the timelines given on Frye’s own website. By 1980, Frye was back at Gordon & Smith once again, shaping boards for their label (though he may have also been shaping for himself as well; I am not sure of that).
Other aspects of the board point to the 70s, too: consider all the foam up front in the beaked nose, the wing pin design towards the back, and the glassed-on fin. I wonder if the leash plug was added after the fact, however. I don’t see a signature anywhere on the board, though I wouldn’t read too much into that. By way of contrast, Surfy Surfy, to no one’s surprise, has a great example of a Frye board from a similar era, which does have some signatures on the stringer. See below for pictures of Surfy Surfy’s 70s Frye (pics below via Surfy Surfy’s fantastic blog).
Returning to the board pictured at the top of the page, there’s also a chance that the “Select Surf Shop” logo is not underneath the glass, but on top of it. I tend to think this isn’t the case. The logos are very close together, and at the very least, Frye had an association with Select Surf Shop dating back to when this board was likely produced. As always ,though, if you have any more information on the board, I would love to hear it!
Check out the Craigslist link here.