How Much for the Holy Grail?

In my case, we have a pretty precise answer to the question of “how much does your dream board cost”: $3,601, not including packaging and shipping costs. I usually love writing up rad boards, but this one stings a little, because I am not the owner of this impeccable Shawn Stussy 80s twin fin with original artwork.

I wrote up this board two plus years ago, and it just went for sale on eBay last weekend. You can see the completed listing here. The board was located in Tennessee, of all places, and was listed for local pickup only. You have to figure it would have commanded an even higher price tag had it been in Southern California, for example.

I’ve always loved the artwork on these 80s Stussy boards. I think it’s also important to mention Jody Radzik‘s involvement in building them. I don’t know Radzik’s exact contributions, but he worked with Shawn at both Stussy and Gotcha. When I posted a pic of this same board earlier on Instagram, Radzik commented that the script Stussy logos were taped off and cut by hand, which is a very cool touch.

I feel a little strange writing up beautiful boards and ogling at the price. I’m deliberately trying to move away from collecting wall hangers that I have no intention of ever riding, though this might be the one exception to the rule. (As a friend recently pointed out, though, these rules always have more than one exception, despite what we tell ourselves.) Writing about what surfboards cost seems equivalent to writing about how much money you spend taking your wife out to dinner: if your main takeaway is the price, then you’ve lost the plot.

But surfboards cost money! I have yet to find another way to pay for them, so money is unfortunately an unavoidable reality. But what I like about surfboards, and what I think distinguishes them from, say, collecting watches, is the functionality. Surfboards are ultimately an interface for tapping into the grand and infinite energy of the ocean, and that’s what makes them special — not logos, not rarity, not anything else.

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  1. Jody Radzik says:

    With Stüssy, my involvement was as his surfboard painting assistant. I would be the one cutting out the taped off logos with an x-acto knife, but I could never really master taping off the sidewalls very well. With that task done by Shawn, I’d block off the deck from the bottom with the colors chosen by the customer, sometimes adding punk flourishes (usually for my friends,) or sometimes passing the board to Shawn where he’d go off with his flourishes. It was only for about 6 months, I believe, before he got hired at Gotcha, and I got to tag along. He split from Gotcha less than a year later to do his own thing, and I stayed at Gotcha three more years, and then had two additional stints there as a designer. I was definitely super lucky to begin my career hanging out with Shawn in his shaping room in Laguna Canyon.