Few things warm the cold hearts of Shred Sledz’s crack editorial team like surfboards from the eighties, and especially boards associated with the infamous Echo Beach scene. Technically a stretch of sand in Newport Beach, Echo Beach has come to encapsulate the bright colors and over-the-top personalities of pro surfing in the eighties. Echo Beach is remembered fondly today, and that affection is reflected in the high prices commanded by pristine examples of Schroff, Wave Tools and Stussy surfboards. However, earlier boards from some of these shapers — Schroff and Wave Tools in particular — can be had at cheaper prices. This post will explore some recent listings of pre-Echo Beach boards. Pictured below is an earlier Schroff twin fin that recently sold on eBay for $436 with no shipping.
Now, $400 for a used surfboard isn’t cheap, especially one that has signs of wear and tear. But I believe the Schroff twin fin above is priced cheaper to its equivalents from the Echo Beach era. The board has some yellowing, and there are some repairs throughout, including an area in the tail. You’ll notice that the board lacks the black & white Schroff parallelogram logo from the 1980s, and bears the older Schroff script logo instead. The starfish logo is a throwback to Hanifin Surf Shop, owned by Pat Hanifin, where Schroff got his start. See below for an example of a board from around 1972, as estimated by Pimp himself. On top you’ll see the Hanifin starfish logo, and beneath it an extremely early hand-drawn Schroff Designs logo!
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Before they were famous…I believe this is an early @peterschroff design for Hanifin Surfboards (which later became Surfside Sports). According to @surfingheritage Stoked-n-Board, Schroff shaped for Hanifin / Surfside during the mid to late 1970s, before founding his own label. Pic taken from a Craigslist posting. If you have more info on these boards please let me know! #schroffsurfboards #schroff #echobeach #vintagesurf #vintagesurfboard
I recently wrote up a separate Schroff twin fin that also sold on eBay. That board, pictured below, ended up selling for $388. Again, the red Schroff twin fin below doesn’t have the attributes of the most desirable Schroff boards from the 80s — black & white logo, “Blaster” laminates, geometric airbrush graphics — but given the bright colors and the good condition, I’m still amazed it sold for less than $400. As a bonus, there was a recent Schroff single fin (from the same seller as the red Schroff twin fin) that sold for a mere $380, which I estimated would go for almost double.
In summary, I am pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of some pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards. Now, standard caveats about surfboard prices supply, given that only a handful of boards sell for any period of time, and there’s no way to keep track of private sales, which is how I suspect many of the real gems trade hands. Nonetheless, if eBay is any indication, there are some beautiful Schroff boards from the late 1970s and early 1980s that can be had at decent prices.
One sees a similar trend with Wave Tools, where pre-Echo Beach Lance Collins boards can often go for much cheaper prices than the 80s versions. A few months ago I wrote a post about a vintage Wave Tools single fin that was being sold at $275. There is a nearly identical Wave Tools single fin being listed for sale on eBay, which you can see below.
The yellow Wave Tools single fin isn’t in great condition by any stretch. I have excluded pics that show some ugly repairs on the rails, and there are some open wounds on the board, too. The price on the yellow Wave Tools single fin has dropped a few times, and it can currently be yours for $200. The relatively poor condition of the board makes a straight apples to apples comparison a little more difficult. Even so, there’s a classic 80s Wave Tools twin fin that’s currently for sale on eBay, and the seller is asking $850, even with some discoloration on the deck.
While Lance Collins will forever be associated with Wave Tools, you can also find boards he shaped under different labels. The prices on non-Wave Tools Lance Collins boards are also a bit cheaper, but again, this isn’t scientific. Here is a Hot Lips sting shaped by Lance, and we also wrote up a Jack’s Surfboards single fin he made.
One small note about the numbering scheme on the Wave Tools single fin: the yellow board above is numbered #0678, and the previous board was numbered #0685. I’m not sure how Lance numbered his boards, but it appears that the two Wave Tools single fins were created within the same time period.
Finally, if you have a pre-Echo Beach Schroff twin fin or a Wave Tools single fin you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!