Lightning Strikes: Vintage Lightning Bolt Surfboards Auction

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going to cover the recently concluded Lightning Strikes auction. Put on by the folks at California Gold, Lightning Strikes focused specifically on Seventies Lightning Bolt Surfboards single fins.

I was curious about the auction for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Lightning Bolt is still likely the most famous surfboard label ever. The brand’s enduring popularity is remarkable. This isn’t exactly an original point of view, but Lightning Bolt is classic for all the right reasons. The brand boasts an iconic logo, an incredible roster of shapers and an equally talented team representing some of the most famous folks in surf history.

Secondly, I was also curious to see what kind of prices these Lightning Bolt surfboards would fetch. This is particularly true given that California Gold was experimenting with a new auction format for the first time, with a lineup exclusively made up of Lightning Bolt sticks, versus the usual, varied selection.

A lot of the boards ended up selling for less than the expected prices listed alongside each piece. I’m not sure why that’s the case. I think pricing surfboards is difficult, period. There is an incredible amount of variance between individual boards along numerous attributes: color, condition, dimensions, etc. Add to that fact that boards are somewhat illiquid — how many Bolts are publicly sold every year? — and you have a recipe for inconsistent pricing.

That said, while it’s interesting to talk prices, that’s not why we’re all here. At the end of the day the Lighting Strikes auction had a really nice collection of Seventies Bolts, covering a number of notable shapers. Below you can find some of my favorites. These aren’t necessarily the most well-known or most collectible boards, but the ones I thought were cool.

1978 7’6″ Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt Pintail Pipeliner – $20,000. (Est $8K – $10K)

Well, this one blew it out of the water! This wasn’t my favorite board, per se, but covering the auction without mentioning the sole Lopez in the lot would be like writing about the Chicago Bulls in the Nineties without mentioning the words “Michael Jordan.” What I really love about the listing is that they show the condition of the board before and after. You can also check out the super clear signature on the board, too. My general rule of thumb — which I do not claim is infallible — is that it’s a really Gerry hand shape when he signs his name on the stringer in call caps, just like the photo above. (Here’s another blog post on the topic.)

1975 8’2″ Hakman Parrish Single Fin – $4,200 (Est $6K – $8K)

This Tom Parrish-crafted missile was one of the two unrestored boards in the entire auction. The other was an original, gorgeous “California Bolt” shaped under license at the Hobie factory, by either Terry Martin or Mickey Munoz. I really don’t mind an older board that shows some of its age. The Hakman Parrish logo with the two palm trees is a favorite, and the details on this board are so killer, whether it’s the gorgeous original fin or the nice triple stringer setup. Apparently it’s unclear if the black resin pin lines were added after the fact, but count me among those who aren’t bothered at all by this.

1975 7’8″ Lightning Bolt Mike Diffenderfer Wing Pintail – $3,700 ($5K – $8K Est)

I’ve had a long fascination with Mike Diffenderfer‘s shapes. As is the case with the Gerry Lopez board above, you can see the before and after photos of the board’s restoration process. This is true of a number of boards listed for sale at the auction site, and I definitely recommend checking it out. Anyway, in my humble opinion there are few surfboard designs as beautiful and pure as the winged pintail single fin, and this Diffenderfer delivers in that regard.

Photo at the top of the page by John Durant

Skip Frye K Model

Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I’ve never been much of a hashtag guy, but there are exceptions to every rule. In this case, I have wholeheartedly embraced the #fryeday movement, which is a weekly crowdsourced tribute to San Diego’s very own Skip Frye. Pictured here is a gorgeous Skip Frye K Model. The photos were originally posted to the Surfy Surfy Facebook Page. Surfy Surfy was actually a huge influence on this humble little blog, as it was (and still is!) one of the few places online to feature great photos of notable surfboards. You should also check out the physical location, now the Bing Surfboards store in Leucadia, and their cool little coffee shop, which is unsurprisingly named Coffee Coffee. The Frye K Model featured above is currently listed for sale on The Board Source; you can check out the listing here.

According to “The Caretaker of Intangible Ingredients“, the excellent overview of Skip’s shapes published in The Surfer’s Journal, Frye has been producing the K Model since 1978. Here’s what the article has to say about Skip’s K Model shape:

“The K might be the closest thing to a ‘shortboard’ in Skip’s orbit. The shape blends a tight, rounded pintail (something you might see on Occy’s old Rusty boards) with a racy shape that feels like you’re riding a stretched shortboard. Gun-length K Models have been well-surfed by local underground chargers on major swell days at Todos, Salsipuedes, and Little Makaha. While many hold that the model-name references Skip’s Mission Bay High classmate, Barry Kanaiaupuni (who rode Hynson Red Fins), the actual namesake is Pacific Beach surfer Timmy Kessler, who helped with the design.”

“The Caretaker of Intangible Ingredients”, The Surfer’s Journal

More than anything else, I just wanted to post pictures of this stunning surfboard. As we all know, the market for Skip’s shapes is pretty frothy these days. I have no one to blame for this but myself, as I have definitely considered shelling out way too much cash for one of Skip’s coveted sticks. The Skip Frye K Model measures in at 8’4″ x 21 1/4″ x 2 5/8″, and the asking price is $2,800. (Here are two previous posts I wrote on the topic of prices for Skip Frye surfboards.)

The details on this bad boy are killer. I love the triple stringer and the glass on marine ply keels. You simply cannot go wrong with a coke bottle resin tint; I’m confident I will never, ever get sick of boards that look like this one.

It looks like there’s a slight bit of fading near the nose, and the Boardsource link indicates some expected pressure dings on the deck. But I don’t mind visible signs of usage on a vintage board, especially one like this K Model, which is begging to be ridden regularly. I have exactly zero say here, since I won’t be buying this board, but part of me will be very disappointed if this Skip Frye K Model just ends up as a wall hanger.

And of course we have to go with an obligatory shot of Skip’s signature hand drawn wings logo:

Thanks again to JP at Surfy Surfy for sharing the pics of this beautiful Skip Frye K Model. You can see the listing for the board here.

Vintage Skip Frye Fish

Greetings, Shredderz! Right as the weekend comes to a close we’re sneaking in with a quick entry in the Price Checks series. Most of the time Price Checks features a few different boards with a common theme, but today we’ve only got one sled for you. Pictured below is a vintage Skip Frye fish, and the price tag is not for the faint of heart.

The board you see above is 5’5″ vintage Skip Frye fish that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Skip’s hometown of San Diego. You can find a link to the listing here. According to the original listing (it has since been edited — hold that thought), the board was shaped in the Seventies. [CORRECTION: Thanks to the knowledgeable folks who have helped date the board. Pacific Surf Glas was opened in 1988 or so, and it’s like this fish was shaped around 1990.]

For starters, the vintage Skip Frye fish is a beautiful board. Frye has spoken before about how his fish designs were influenced by Steve Lis, who is widely credited with creating the shape in the first place. The board is by no means in perfect condition, but I don’t mind. Would I prefer a completely flawless board? I suppose. But I think the slight discoloration and the few blemishes actually lend it a bit of character. The leash plug looks like it was added after the fact, but that’s my only real quibble.

I’m also intrigued by the Pacific Surf Glas laminate, which you can barely see peeking out from between what I assume are Larry Gephart fins. If I had to guess this is probably an old San Diego glass shop that is no more. I love these little details on boards, though, and the more obscure the better.

The rub here is the price. The board was initially listed for a $3,995, which almost made me fall out of my chair. Before the grumbling starts, let me be clear: my goal is to analyze the price, not the character of the person setting it. As boring or soulless as it might sound, I tend to believe in free markets (though my grades in the one econ class I took in college would indicate otherwise.) Like it or not, Skip’s boards are expensive, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Still, I thought I was immune to Skip Frye sticker shock, but seeing this board proved otherwise.

It looks as if others agree, as the price has been cut to $3,500. I still think that’s too much. It’s also worth noting the board has been listed for almost two weeks now. As a general rule of thumb, if there’s a Skip Frye on Craigslist and the price is anywhere close to being justifiable, it won’t last very long. Consider the board below, which didn’t even last a week on Craigslist. The board below is a 10’7″ Skip Frye Eagle glider and it was listed for $3800 — which, by the way, is still an absolute shitload of money for a surfboard! I don’t think you can look at these two boards and determine that the Skip Frye Eagle is worth only $300 more (or $200 less, if you go by the original price on the vintage Skip Frye fish.)

I’m all for vintage boards and for paying extra for something with historical significance. And yes, you can likely say that any vintage Skip board is historically significant. You won’t get any arguments from me there. But as much as I dig this rad Skip Frye fish, I suspect the price will have to take another haircut before the board moves. Who knows, though, and now is as good a time as any to remind you that I’m just someone who has nothing better to do than write about vintage surfboards in his free time.

Anyway, hopefully you weren’t offended by the talk about prices, and enjoyed the pics of a rad board from one of California’s all-time great shapers. Thanks for reading!

Price Checks: Vintage Liddle Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be talking surfboards and cold, hard cash. Yes, I know: some people out there hate the financial aspect of surfboard collecting. (If you have any tips on how it can be done for free, well, I’m all ears.) But more than anything else, I think it’s helpful to give people an idea of what prices to expect for certain collectible boards. Today we have not one but two vintage Greg Liddle boards, both of which are still for sale. Without any further ado, here’s an overview of the sticks and some thoughts around what the sellers are asking.

7’2″ Vintage Greg Liddle Surfboard (Craigslist Los Angeles): $1,000

Two things alert me to the fact this is an older Liddle surfboard: first, the purple logo seems to have been mostly used for older shapes; and second, the logo looks oversized as well. That said, it’s really hard for me to say when Greg’s boards were shaped. I tend to think this one was shaped during the Seventies or the Eighties due to the laminate, but I’m not 100% sure.

I can’t believe I’m going to type this, but I don’t think the price is completely insane. That said, the fact the listing is still up makes me wonder if it’s not priced a tad on the high side, as vintage Liddles tend to vanish whenever they pop up on Craigslist. The more I look at this board the more I think it’s likely it’s not a hull (thanks to Jesse for confirming), which would explain why it hasn’t been sold. Compare the purple laminate board above to this vintage Liddle gun that I wrote up earlier — you’ll notice some similarities between the two.

Finally, here’s a photo of another vintage Liddle board with a purple laminate, courtesy of artist / hull aficionado Alan Casagrande.

7’0″ Vintage Greg Liddle Downrail Single Fin (Craigslist Santa Barbara): $300

Whenever possible, I prefer all-original surfboards, even if it means making some compromises on the cosmetic front. But in the case of the Seventies Liddle single fin you see above, I think a full on glass off restoration job is likely the best route. Given the board above will likely have to be fully restored, I think the $300 price tag is ambitious. It’d be one thing if the board were a classic hull design, but it’s a more unusual (and traditional) Seventies downrail single fin. Don’t get me wrong, I dig that it’s a little different, but at the end of the day, most collectors want to see the classics, which in Liddle’s case mean his displacement hulls. I hope someone snags this board and does it justice, as it is a very cool design.

Price Checks: G&S Skip Frye Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve taking a very quick peek into the market for Skip Frye surfboards. Anecdotally, I would say the market for Skip’s boards has gone bonkers recently. I say this without judgment. As someone who would love to own a Skip Frye surfboard, I’m disappointed, as the chances of me acquiring one just got slimmer. But I try not to take it personally. I have no more control over what strangers are willing to pay for Skip’s boards than the surf forecast. And if talk of used surfboard prices really makes your blood boil, well, then I’d hate be waiting in line next to you at the DMV. Anyway, here are two examples of vintage Skip Frye sales that illustrate my point. Two years ago I wrote up a rare, amazing Skip Frye single fin that sold for a measly $1K on Craigslist. I’m still kicking myself for not pouncing on it. In contrast, Mollusk was selling a 10’6″ Skip Frye Magic model for a cool $4,375 not even six months ago. It’s not an apples to apples comparison — the single fin is a vintage board that needed work; the Magic model looked newer and untouched — but I feel comfortable in saying that prices for Skip’s boards have been steadily going up and to the right.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this G&S Skip Frye surfboard that recently sold on eBay. You can find a link to the original listing here. (Note: eBay will automatically redirect you to a new listing; you’ll have to click on the G&S Skip Frye board listing to see the post). All the photos here are via the eBay listing; you can click them to enlarge.

The G&S Skip Frye surfboard pictured above is a single fin. I’m not sure which model it is, and frankly, I have trouble keeping them all straight. I’m also too lazy to look it up in the excellent Surfer’s Journal feature on Skip’s all-time quiver, but that shouldn’t stop you. The G&S Skip Frye surfboard measures in at 7’2″ x 21″. I’m not sure how thick the board is, and I’m having trouble figuring out when it was shaped. If I had to guess I would say sometime in the Eighties or the Nineties.

The final sale price for the G&S Skip Frye surfboard was $1725. I think there are two factors that potentially drove down the price. First, the board had a couple of open dings on the rails and the tail. However, according to the listing, there were limited pressure dings, and the board didn’t have any twist or delam. Second, the board was available only for local pickup from Ormond Beach, Florida.

Even so, I would say this is a relatively well-priced board — only when measuring by the insane standards for Skip’s boards, of course. $1725 for a board you have to pick up from Florida and still requires a little ding repair is a lot to swallow. On the other hand, it’s a Skip Frye. On a personal level, I love the boards Skip shaped for G&S over the years. There is something timeless about the combo between the G&S bowtie logo and the septuagenarian San Diego craftsman’s signature angel wings.

If you think I’m crazy for even attempting to justify this price for a used surfboard, well, I can’t say you’re wrong. Ultimately, a surfboard is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and in the case of this G&S Skip Frye surfboard, the market Gods — benevolent or otherwise — have spoken.

Mike Diffenderfer for Da Surf Hut

Yes, it’s true: here at Shred Sledz we love vintage surfboards. And while you can never go wrong with the classics, there’s something to be said about rare and unusual examples. Today’s blog post features a board made by a legendary shaper for a brand that is likely unfamiliar to most. Pictured here is a Mike Diffenderfer shaped Seventies single fin, which was produced under the Da Surf Hut label. I don’t even know if it’s correct to refer to Da Surf Hut as a label: the original eBay listing makes it seem as if Da Surf Hut was a shop in Haleiwa.

Any Diffenderfer shaped board is worth paying attention to, given Mike’s incredible resume. Diffenderfer came up with the name for Oahu’s infamous Pipeline, and was an incredibly accomplished shaper before his untimely passing in 2002. Diff’s boards are still prized among collectors, and to a certain generation of shapers, he is still widely acknowledged for his influence. In particular, Diffenderfer was known for shaping exquisite guns, as well as chambered balsa boards.

I am most familiar with Diffenderfer’s production under his own name, whether it was Diffenderfer Surfboards or Channin / Diffenderfer. However, if you dig around on the internet you’ll run into a few cool examples of boards Diffenderfer shaped under different labels. Inter-Island Surf Shop employed Diff as an in-house shaper in the Sixties, and I’ve seen Diff boards for both Lightning Bolt as well as Surfboards Hawaii. See below for an example of another interesting Diff board, courtesy of Buggs’ Instagram.

The board featured below is a 6’10” x 19″ x 3″ winged single fin that was just sold on eBay. All photos in this blog post are via the listing, which can be found here. The final sale price was $995, not including shipping. The Diffenderfer board is in all original condition, which is pretty amazing considering its age. As you can see, there are some absolutely killer details, including some beautiful pin line work and then an original wooden fin. You can click the photos below to enlarge.

Usually I would be leery of declaring the board a Diffenderfer shape without evidence of a signature. However, I believe this board was at least identified by Randy Rarick, and there aren’t many (if any!) people on the planet who are more knowledgeable when it comes to surfboards.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this rare Mike Diffenderfer surfboard as much as I did!

T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin: Price Checks

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick check in on a very cool board: a T&C Surf Glenn Minami twin fin from 1978. Put your wallets away, though, because the eBay auction is already done and dusted. All photos in the site are via eBay; you can find the original listing here.

T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin 1.jpg

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: as much as everyone loves the 80s T&C Surf boards, I think the earlier single fins and twin fins are a bit underrated. As is always the case with noteworthy surfboard labels, T&C Surf Designs has its foundation in the combo of talented craftsmen and gifted surfers. According to T&C’s website, T&C Surf founder Craig Sugihara was inspired after riding a Mark Richards twin fin during the early 70s. Sugihara then enlisted Glenn Minami to continue to iterate on the design. Shortly thereafter, Dane Kealoha joined the roster and the rest is history.

T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin 2.jpg

As for the T&C Surf Glenn Minami board you see here, it measures in at 5’8″ x 20″ x 2 3/4″. According to the seller it was shaped in 1978, during the relatively early days of the Town & Country label. Overall the board looks to be in pretty good condition, although it looks like the swallowtail underwent some surgery. The board is super colorful and eye-catching, and while it’s not quite as crazy as the neon airbrushes that would define T&C’s look in the 80s, I really dig it. In particular, the fins are a super cool touch, especially with T&C’s classic yin yang logo on them.

And yes, this is a Price Checks entry, so you know we’re going to discuss the price tag on this bad boy. The final price was $860. This is a shade lower than what I would have guessed, but even so, it’s a healthy price for a forty year old board. The board looks to be in good condition aside from the aforementioned work on the tail. The T&C Surf Glenn Minami twin fin is no longer for sale but you can check out the eBay listing here.

Finally, Glenn Minami continues to shape surfboards today. He shapes under his own name, rather than the T&C Surf label, and you can find more about Glenn’s boards on his website or follow him on Instagram.

Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another installment of Price Checks, coming in hot off the press. The subject of today’s entry is a unusual vintage Larry Bertlemann surfboard shaped under the Hawaiian Expressions label. All of the photos of the green Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard you see in this post are via the original eBay listing, which can be found here.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the vintage Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard is a Seventies single fin that looks to be in great condition. According to the seller, the board was shaped in 1974. Amazingly, the swallow tail is mostly intact. Given how delicate swallow tails are, it’s great to see one that is still sharp and undamaged.

According to the listing, the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions board measures in at 7’6″ x 19 3/4″ x 2 7/8″.

Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions Signature.jpg
Close up of the signature on the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard featured in this post. The “L.B.” indicates this board was shaped by the Rubberman himself.

The board was hand shaped by Larry himself, given the “LB” signature that can be found on the stringer. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see a 7’6″ inscribed on the stringer, and then a very faint “L.B.” to the right.

The final bidding for the vintage Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard ended at $1,901, not including $150 for shipping. I was very curious to see where the bidding might end, considering that Bertlemann’s famous Pepsi boards are some of the most collectible vintage surfboards out there. I most recently wrote up a Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Pro Designs surfboard that sold on eBay just about a month ago. The HPD board sold for $1,085, nearly half of the price of the Hawaiian Expressions board featured here. However, the Hawaiian Pro Designs / Bertlemann board was in much worse condition, and it had also had some restoration work done. My guess is a classic Seventies Bertlemann Pepsi board in impeccable condition will command more than just about any other kind of vintage Bertlemann shape.

That said, the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions boards are unusual. In my opinion, this makes them very interesting collectors’ boards. I had personally never even heard of the Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions model until Buggs posted one on his Instagram about two weeks ago. In fact, I still can’t find any info on Hawaiian Expressions, and whether the label produced any other surfboards. See below for more pics of Buggs’ stick.

Buggs’ board and the green board that just sold on eBay have almost identical airbrush designs and laminates, except for the color differences. It’s interesting that Buggs’ Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions board is almost a foot shorter than the green eBay board; otherwise the width and thickness are pretty similar.

Finally, eagle eyed readers may have noticed that Bertlemann’s name is actually mis-spelled on the logo! Yikes, that is not the mistake you want to make when producing someone’s signature model, but I digress. At some point, I believe this logo was updated. Buggs has an excellent page on the Larry Bertlemann boards in his ridiculous collection, where you can see the refreshed Hawaiian Expressions logo.

As you can see in the photos above, the copywriters at Hawaiian Expressions got around to adding the second ‘N’ to Larry’s name. The updated version is the red board on the left, which comes courtesy of Buggs’ site. They also changed the image to a picture of the Rubberman doing a cutback, instead of the silhouette of Bertlemann walking with a board under his arm. I have to say I prefer the misspelled version, but that’s just me.

You can check out the original eBay listing here and make sure you check out Buggs’ Instagram and also his Surfboardline site.

Price Checks: T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be examining one of the most coveted signature sticks out there: a T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard. As I have written about before, getting concrete information on surfboard prices can often be tricky, but eBay makes things slightly easier, thanks to the fact it keeps up posts on completed listings even after the sale has closed. The Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard featured here just closed earlier today on eBay, and thankfully, the listing still has pics and prices. You can find the listing here; all photo in this post are via eBay.

This Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard closed at a cool $1,085, with an option to ship the board within the US for an additional $100. The board is a swallow tail twin fin and it measures 5’10” x 20″ x 3″. On one hand, I can’t say I’m that surprised, as these Larry Bertlemann boards are super popular among collectors. On the other, this board has discoloration throughout, and some additional restoration work has been done, too. The board is in decent condition, all things considered, but it’s also clearly not a perfect example. I see the price as an indication of how collectible Bertlemann surfboards are, given that it still went over $1K, even with its various imperfections. I’m curious to see what a similar Larry Bertlemann surfboard in excellent condition might fetch — I can’t see one going for anything less than $2,000, but that’s only a guess.

Larry Bertlemann Surfboard via Juice Magazine.jpg
Larry Bertlemann, AKA The Rubberman, going vertical. Photo by Jeff Divine and via a Juice Magazine interview between LB and Zephyr’s Jeff Ho

I still can’t quite figure out whether the Larry Bertlemann surfboard you see here is considered a Hawaiian Pro Designs board, or a T&C Surf Designs board. As you can see it has laminates from both brands. The T&C Surf Designs yin yang features prominently throughout the board, but all of the Pepsi Larry Bertlemann logos have Hawaiian Pro Designs on them, too. Hawaiian Pro Designs is best known for being Donald Takayama’s label during the later part of Takayama’s career. However, I simply don’t know about the earlier history of the Hawaiian Pro Designs brand. See here for a Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard that has a rare Olympic rings logo, but no mention of T&C. And here is another Larry Bertlemann surfboard, which has the T&C Surf Designs yin yang logos, but otherwise no T&C branding (looks like the sticker on the fins was added after the fact). Long story short, I don’t know how to classify the brands and/or labels for Larry Bertlemann’s various signature surfboard models.

I also don’t know who shaped the board. Bertlemann shaped some of his own surfboards. According to SurfboardLine.com, Takayama also shaped some twin fins for Bertlemann during the Seventies, but I’m not sure when. These Larry Bertlemann surfboards were produced under license in Australia for a while, too, but again, I’m not clear on who the production shapers were.

Finally, see below for a little video produced by Buggs Arico, the collector behind the aforementioned SurfboardLine.com. Buggs’ site has a great entry on Bertlemann, including a killer Larry Bertlemann surfboard producer under the killer Hot Lips Designs label, so check that out if you get the chance.

Price Checks: Skip Frye Glider Edition

First and foremost, because surfboard pricing can often be a sensitive subject, and because Shred Sledz is a blog that celebrates surfboards and the craftsmen who make them, please do not interpret this post as a criticism of any sort. That said, I wrote this post because it seems like the prices for Skip Frye’s boards have recently reached new highs. Few, if any, shapers generate as much interest about pricing as San Diego’s very own Skip Frye. Most of this is due to the fact that Skip’s boards aren’t available to mere mortals like myself. The most realistic option for buying one of Skip’s boards is on the secondary market, putting regular joes like you and me at the mercy of those lucky enough to have a Skip board to list.

Skip Frye’s surfboards command a premium thanks to the sheer difficulty of getting a board made, and of course his stature as one of California’s premier shapers. That said, I was still taken aback when I saw the prices for a trio of Skip’s boards that ended up at Mollusk Surf Shop in Venice.

Starting from left to right — the red board with the thruster setup is a 10’6″ Skip Frye Magic model. The board is no longer for sale, and the last price listed on Mollusk’s site was $4,375. The green board in the middle — which I am guessing was never even surfed, as mentioned in the caption on the Mollusk Instagram post — is an 11’2″ Skip Frye Eagle glider, and the price was $5,625. The Eagle is no longer listed for sale, either. Finally, the board on the right is a 8’6″ Skip Frye K Model. The K Model is still for sale and the price is $2,500. All the photos above are via Mollusk’s website.

From what I can tell, these prices are the highest I have ever seen for any of Skip Frye’s boards on the secondary market. It should be noted there’s a chance that the boards sold for cheaper than what they were listed, and only the folks at Mollusk will know for sure. (Side note: I believe that Mollusk lists a lot of boards for consignment, so I imagine these prices were set by an independent third party. Either way, if it is at all unclear, Mollusk is a super rad surf shop and you should definitely support them, even if it’s not to the tune of a $5K surfboard.)

I recently wrote up some Skip Frye boards that were listed for sale, and many of them are still up for grabs. For starters, there’s still a 7’6″ Fish Simmons in pretty good condition for $2,000, which you can find on Craigslist in San Diego. The last time I wrote up the Fish Simmons the board was listed for $2,200. Look, $2K is still a TON for a used board, but relative to the ones at Mollusk, I think that represents a bit more bang for your buck. I also think that you should expect higher prices for boards being sold at retail, as a place like Mollusk obviously has to pay for rent, etc., which your usual Craigslist poster does not.

Skip Frye Eagle Glider 2

Skip Frye Eagle Glider Fins.jpg

And even if you want to go the ultra premium route, there’s a beautiful 11′ Skip Frye Eagle glider for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, priced at a comparatively cheap $3,500. The Eagle pictured above has been listed for sale for some time now as well.

Hopefully this has been a somewhat informative post. It’s hard — frustrating, even — to try and apply some consistency around surfboard prices, as it’s definitely more art than science. Either way, though, I think we can all agree that Skip Frye surfboards are things of beauty, and they’re not cheap for a reason!

Photo at the top of the post via Waves Forever.