Greetings, Shredderz! This transmission is being sent from the midst of a severe wave drought in Northern California. Please send swell ASAP. There hasn’t been much in the way of waves recently, but luckily there have been a few good finds popping up on Craigslist and eBay. Case in point: featured here is a Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, shaped by Bob Olson.
I can’t in good conscience claim this is the prettiest board I have ever seen, but as a big fan of the interesting shapes that emerged from the late 1960s, I thought it was worth a closer look. The Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $400 for the board, which I find a bit on the pricey side, given the condition. That said, it’s an unusual board with some awesome pedigree. The vast majority of Ole Surfboards I have seen are traditional longboards, like the one pictured below.
Anyway, back to the Ole hull in question: the seller claims the board measures in at 7’11”. He also says that it has a serial number of #70 somewhere on the board, although this isn’t shown in the pics. Given that Olson began his shaping career in the late 1950s, and the hull was likely shaped a decade number, I doubt this is a sequential serial number.
The Ole Surfboards hull also comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which you can see in the photos below. (Click to enlarge).
The photos also give you a good sense of the vee bottom on the board. Again, all of these details point to the board being shaped in the late 1960s, per the description on Craigslist.
As an aside, I am a little stunned to see that Olson doesn’t have an entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Stoked-n-Board is temporarily out of order due to the SHACC website redesign, which means that there isn’t a ton of info readily available on Olson online. Either way, it seems like there should be much more information about Bob Olson given his long and storied career as a shaper. (Olson was also the shop teacher for a young Shawn Stussy, believe it or not, before moving to Maui in 1971). Amazingly, Olson continues to shape Ole Surfboards to this day from his home base of Maui. You can find a listing for his surf shop on Facebook here.
Photo at the top of the page via the Board Room Movie.