California Gold Spring 2024 Wrap Up

The Spring 2024 California Gold Surf Auction ended a little less than a week ago. It’s always worth browsing through the selections and seeing where everything landed.

In the preview post I wrote before the lots went live, I singled out four boards: a balsa Diffenderfer single fin (my personal favorite); an 80s Stussy twin fin; a Morey-Pope Green Machine; and a Mike Hynson Rainbow Surfboards single fin airbrushed by John Bredin. The Diff didn’t sell. I have to assume this means the bidding never reached the reserve price. The listed price range estimate was $7,000 – $9,000. The Stussy went for $5,000, just a shade above the estimated $3,500 to $4,500 range. Similarly, the Green Machine sold for $6,500, with the original estimate clocking in between $4,000 to $6,000. Last, the Hynson downrailer sold for $9,000, coming in at the low end of the $8,000 – $12,000 range.

I was a bit surprised by the prices for two killer Skip Frye boards. One is a 9’6″, described as a “hybrid K Model”. It belonged to Skip, who shaped it in 1997, and belonged to Bird Huffman. The 9’6″ went for a whopping $14,000. The other is an 11’2″ Eagle shaped in 1996, which apparently was never even waxed up (which I think is impossible to prove, but either way it’s cherry). The Eagle went for $7,500. Personally, I had doubts that people would pony up this kind of cash for the two boards, but I was definitely wrong. I’ve heard that it’s easier than ever to get a Skip straight from the source, provided you’ve got the cash, and I personally don’t think paying a premium for an auction board — admittedly a very cool one — is worth it. But to each their own.

The two most expensive boards in the auction were a 1942 David Klausmeyer Makaha Hotcurl, which went for $18,000, and a 1997 Pat Curren Waimea Gun, which went for $16,000. I know exactly nothing about hotcurls. And honestly, I’m just not super into this kind of stuff.

Last but not least, this mostly original Lightning Bolt Sunset gun shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni took home a cool $7,000. It’s nice to see vintage, unrestored Bolts — and how beautiful is the beak nose on that thing?

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