Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features an interesting bit of California history. The board pictured above is an O’Neill gun shaped by Tom Overlin that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics above are via the Craigslist posting.
First and foremost, the board above is a beautiful example of a serious big-wave gun. It’s almost certainly an older shape given the outline, the glassed-on fin, and the old-school O’Neill logo. The seller dates the board to 1975. I am not sure where the date comes from, given there are no markings on the stringer or elsewhere on the board. The measurements are 9’5″ x 19″ x 3.5″. And if you still have any doubts about how much foam has been packed into the board’s dimensions, check out the picture above featuring the beaked nose.
I imagine the board must have been crafted for macking days at Steamer Lane’s Middle Peak. The board’s Santa Cruz heritage is clear. First is the old-school logo, which can be found on Stoked-n-Board’s O’Neill entry, albeit without any dates. More importantly, the second picture indicates the board was designed by Pat O’Neill and shaped by Tom Overlin. Jack O’Neill, the founder of wetsuit brand of the same name, has a son named Pat — this cannot be a coincidence.
The board was shaped by Tom Overlin, who has many roots in Santa Cruz. Overlin used to occupy the space behind Doug Haut’s shop on Swift Street in Santa Cruz. Haut Surfboards still occupies its original location, and it remains an important part of the Santa Cruz surf community (Marc Andreini will pass along lightly used personal riders to the Haut shop). Overlin was a well-known surfer and shaper in Santa Cruz during the 1970s, before leaving in 1977 to Oregon. There’s a great thread on Swaylocks with some colorful stories about Overlin’s time in Santa Cruz. Water Brothers’ legendary Sid Abruzzi is a fan of Overlin’s shapes, and there’s a nice video on Vimeo where Abruzzi goes over his mini-quiver of Overlins. Sadly, Overlin passed away around a decade ago.
Finally, a note about prices. The board is listed on Craigslist for $3,000. Despite all the nice things I have to say about the board, I can’t justify the price. It’s also being sold at Surfing Cowboys / 1stDibs.com, and the price is $250 cheaper there. You can find some additional pictures on the 1stDibs link in the previous sentence.