The Big One: Vintage Surfboard Collector Club Swap at Doheny

Greetings, Shredderz! This Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the Vintage Surfboard Collector Club‘s annual “Big One” swap, which was held at Doheny State Beach. Many thanks to the VSCC for putting on such a great event. There were tons of fantastic boards on display, and a few early birds got their grubby little hands on some primo boards before the sun came up. See below for a selection of some of my personal favorites from the event. For more comprehensive coverage, I recommend checking out the VSCC’s corresponding gallery on Facebook. I have embedded a few of their pictures below as well. I’ve also included a few of the photos I took at the event, which should answer any questions as to why I write in my free time instead of taking pictures. Without any further ado, here are some selections from the swap.

This board was my absolute favorite, and I kind of wish I had shelled out the cash for an early Christmas present for myself (isn’t that always the best kind?). Pictured above is a custom Shawn Stussy thruster shaped in the 1980s for none other than Michael Tomson, cousin of Shaun and founder of Gotcha. I will never pass up the opportunity to geek out over Stussy’s intricate graphics, and this board has a fantastic little planer logo on the deck, and then a Stussy team design on the fins. The seller was asking $1200 for the board, which I think is more than fair.

Rare Dick Brewer Logo .jpg

The board pictured above is a super rare 1972 Dick Brewer / Full Force single fin, which was apparently raffled off during the show. I have included a close-up shot of the logo. This is a very rare Dick Brewer logo, which even includes a mention of Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman, who were Brewer’s team riders and shapers during the 1970s. I believe the logo below is a precursor to Brewer’s now-iconic plumeria wreath logo.

Channel Islands Al Merrick 1970s Single Fin Jack Meyer Airbrush 1.jpg

Pictured above is a Channel Islands Al Merrick single fin from the 1970s sporting an incredible Jack Meyer airbrush. Buggs ended up snapping up the board and he posted more photos, which you can find on his Instagram account. I love the simple two-tone airbrush, which in my opinion makes the whole board. I wrote up another Jack Meyer / Al Merrick combo, which you can find here.

Again, I am so, so sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. Anyway, while we’re on the topic of Channel Islands boards, is it possible that Al Merrick / Kelly Slater boards are underrated? I mean, we’re talking about probably the most legendary shaper of all time, and then the unquestioned greatest athlete in the history of the sport…and no one seems to care that much! I think you’re starting to see a real divide among collectors, and I imagine that Merrick / Slater boards will get their due in just a few years. I didn’t bother asking the seller for the price of the board, which I should have done, but enjoy the crappy pics anyway. You can clearly see the Al Merrick signature in the second pic and the fact it was made out for Kelly.

There were a ton of Herbie Fletchers at the show, which I guess shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering its proximity to Herbie’s Orange County roots. Here was what I believe is either a 1980s or 1990s noserider, complete with a deck shape for better noseriding grip! I have seen this on other Herbie boards, but this was the first time I got to witness one in person.

Pictured above is as Herbie Fletcher single fin that I imagine was made during the 1970s. The board had comically thick rails — well over 3″, from my guess. I have literally never seen a single fin with that much foam up front. This thing was a beaut. I love the logo layout on the bottom, with the four arrow logos flanking the larger logo in the center.

There were a couple of Herbie Fletcher square nose “Nose Jobs” for sale. I had never heard the Nose Job name before, but that was the description attached to the yellow one on the left. The yellow board looks suspiciously similar to an earlier Herbie Fletcher square nose board I wrote up.

Last but not least we have a fascinating mystery board: a 1960s O’Neill triple stringer longboard that was maybe shaped by Phil Edwards (or, if you believe the tape, likely shaped by the man himself). I’m not sure where the story comes from, but I would love to hear more. And all jokes aside, the crowd at the event is an extremely knowledgeable one, so I imagine this wasn’t just scribbled down for the heck of it. For a writeup on the legendary Hobie Phil Edwards model, click here.

There are tons of boards I am leaving out, including some beautiful vintage Yaters, a Hot Buttered single fin, and a ton of 60s longboards. Again, I really recommend the VSCC’s Facebook album on the event, which I have embedded below. See you guys next year!

Correction (12/7): An earlier version incorrectly referred to Michael Tomson as being Shaun’s brother. In fact, Michael and Shaun are cousins! Many thanks to Shred Sledz reader Wild Bill for pointing this out.

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