Price Checks: Vintage Rainbow Fins

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is a bit of departure from what you might have come to expect from this blog in that it’s not about vintage surfboards, for once. Instead, I’ll be taking a quick peek at the market for vintage Rainbow fins.

I do my best to put a decent amount of research into my blog, but for this post, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m not sure why vintage Rainbow fins command such high prices. Rainbow Fin Company continues to operate today, based out of Santa Cruz. Coincidentally, Rainbow Fin co is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2018.

I wish I had more to share on the exact reasons why vintage Rainbow fins are so coveted, but one thing is clear: these things are gorgeous. The examples that get the highest prices have multiple layers of fiberglass and stunning colors. Here’s a selection of recent vintage Rainbow fin sales from eBay with their prices:

Vintage Rainbow Fin #1: 7.5″, $237.50 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 1.jpg

This is the same fin featured at the top of the page, and as you can see, it is an absolute beauty. I can’t quite tell if the color at the right-most edge of the fin is a purplish shade or more of a brown, but either way the feeling I get from looking at this thing is Cherry Coke. Take that how you will. This bad boy went for $237.50 plus another $10 in shipping.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #2: 6″, $237.06 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 2.jpg

Here’s another stunner. I love the multiple layers in this one — looks like there are five distinct layers of fiberglass (blue / white / green / white / yellow), as opposed to the more straightforward three layers in the one directly above. This is shorter than the first fin, but the price is almost exactly the same, even down to the shipping.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #3: 7.5″, $261.78 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 4.jpg

This one is the most expensive fin on the list. Personally, I don’t love the color combo, but I can see the appeal of it.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #4: 8″, $175 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 3.jpg

This vintage Rainbow fin is a bit cheaper than the other ones featured in the post. If I had to take a wild guess, it would be the colors. This one is a bit darker and more subdued than the other fins featured in the post, although this reason could be total nonsense. As for me, I happen to really dig the blue on blue color scheme.

Conclusion

Based on the examples above, a quality vintage Rainbow fin in good condition is going to cost you a minimum of $200 or so (and that’s being conservative). Granted, this is a pretty small sample size, and there are tons of other examples on eBay if you want to do some more digging yourself. I was also curious to see one fin with a so-so color scheme (in my opinion) and some obvious wear and tear, that still managed to sell for $86, not including shipping.

I hope to revisit the topic of vintage Rainbow fins soon, with some more details around the early days of the brand and why these examples from the Seventies get such high prices. In the meantime, I hope you find this post informative and enjoyable to read!

Price Checks Featuring Yater Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features a bit of a head-scratcher: a Reynolds Yater Seventies single fin that ended up selling for a bargain price on eBay. I’m still a bit shocked that the board didn’t command more on the open market, especially considering it was an auction.

The photos in this post were taken from the eBay auction, which you can find here. It’s unclear what year the board was shaped, but it was almost certainly sometime during the Seventies. The measurements are 7’4″ x 21″ x 3″, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s in great shape.

Yater Seventies Single Fin Logo .jpg
Close up of the logo and signature on the Yater Seventies Single Fin. If you look closely towards the top of the screen you’ll see the textured deck. You can just make out the “Y” right above the serial number (#2152).

The picture above demonstrates two cool aspects of the Yater board in question: first, you can make out the textured deck (look at the top of the picture); and second, Yater’s “Y” signature along with a serial number.

Nowadays Yater signs his boards on the stringer closer towards the tail, as you can see here. The Yater Seventies single fin, however, has a single “Y” signature on the deck located closer towards the nose, and right beneath the logo. I’m not sure when Renny shifted to signing “R. Yater” in script towards the tail, but the single “Y” is commonplace among a lot of his boards made during the Seventies. For example, I wrote up one of Renny’s personal riders that was sold during the 2017 California Gold Surf Auction.

As a quick aside about the date of the eBay board, I would say pre-1974. I’m strictly basing this off a comparison of the serial numbers. The eBay Yater Seventies single fin has the serial number 2152, whereas the 2017 California Gold auction board is dated to 1974, and has the serial number 4294.

The Yater Seventies single fin on eBay sold for a much lower price than I would have guessed, closing out at a paltry $320. If you had told me the board had sold for double or even triple that amount I wouldn’t have blinked an eyelash.

There are two recent comparisons I have, although both of these are Renny’s personal boards, and they were also sold at auction. First, there’s the 2017 California Gold Yater personal rider, which cleared a cool $3,700. At the 2018 California Gold auction another Yater personal rider — a Nineties thruster — sold for $2,000. I would say off-hand that Yater Seventies single fins are among the most collectible of all his shapes. As a result, I’m blown away that a super clean example sold for $320 on eBay, of all places, as opposed to being some random one-off Craigslist bargain. There was no shipping on the board, but I don’t think that’s the only reason this thing sold for at least a few hundred below what I was expecting. Then again, pricing vintage surfboards is equal parts art and science.

Bing Bonzer Surfboard Price Check

Greetings, Shredderz! As you may know by now, I’m an unabashed admirer of the Bing Bonzer (and heck, bonzers in general). I’ve written up numerous Bing Bonzers before, and as long as cool examples keep popping up, that trend will continue. The Bing Bonzer surfboard featured in this post recently sold on eBay, which is a great opportunity to get some good info on what these boards command on the open market. Keep reading below for some more information on the board…

The Bing Bonzer surfboard featured here is in great condition. If you’re dead set on nitpicking, it looks like there might be a few tiny pressure dings on the bottom. Otherwise, it looks pretty pristine. The Bing Bonzer surfboard also has some beautiful colors. I love the combination of the deep cherry red pigmentation on the bottom and the subtle cobalt blue pin lines on the deck. I’m a sucker for the branded side bite fins, and on this board they are in great original condition. Finally, the Bing Bonzer surfboard comes complete with a Rainbow fin. The posting isn’t clear, but if I had to guess, I would say the board is entirely original. All in all, it’s a stunning board.

As you can see from the eBay listing, this Bing Bonzer surfboard sold for a cool $1,100. Even though the board is in great condition and has some wonderful touches, I was still a bit surprised by the high price. Moreover, the board was available only for local pickup in northern Florida.

Is the board worth the money? Well, that’s not really for me to say. Nonetheless, given the rarity of these boards, and the enduring appeal of the Campbell Brothers’ design, I wouldn’t be surprised if stellar examples of Bing Bonzers continue to climb in value over the years.

Price Checks: Herbie Fletcher Egg

Greetings, Shredderz! By now some of you know that Herbie Fletcher is something of a Shred Sledz legend. Of course, Herbie is a legend, period, but more to the point, I have written about his boards many times before, and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. I’m also interested in surfboard prices, and a recent Herbie Fletcher egg popped up that gave a bit of insight into how much his boards sell for.

The board posted above is currently listed for sale on Craigslist, and you can find the listing here. All pics are via the listing.

The Herbie Fletcher egg is being listed at $600, and the price has been reduced a few times in the past few weeks. Initial asking price was $1,200. The same board was actually listed on Craigslist in November 2017 for $700, and it looks like it has changed hands since then. I would guess the board was shaped during the 80s and maybe the early 90s. The Herbie Fletcher thruster measures in at a solid 6’9″.

In my opinion $600 is pretty good for a Herbie Fletcher board, especially one in good condition, like the example shown here. And you know I’m a sucker for fins with logos on them!

Herbie Fletcher Egg 1

What I have seen, though, is that Herbie’s boards can command a wide variety of prices. A Herbie Fletcher single fin recently sold on eBay for $100, but the board wasn’t in great condition, and it was also shaped by Dee Miller. On the flip side, there was a Herbie Fletcher double winged single fin that sold on eBay for $259, despite being in pretty bad condition, including a missing fin box. I’m honestly shocked the double winged single fin sold for as much as it did, given the amount of repairs required to get it water tight again, much less looking good. But I take the $259 price as an indication that there’s a healthy market for some of Herbie’s boards. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are two other Herbie Fletcher 70s single fins for sale on eBay. However, I think both are priced way too high: one is being listed for $3,200, and the other for $2,450.

One other thing that stands out is the fact that I don’t know who shaped the board. We know that Herbie employed some other shapers under his label, both from the Dee Miller board mentioned earlier here, as well as this previous post. But I can’t say either way with the egg thruster featured in this post.

So, how come the Herbie Fletcher egg above hasn’t sold yet? I honestly don’t know. If I had to guess, I would say that Herbie’s longboards and 70s single fins are his most collectible models. It appears the board is still for sale, so if you’re keen on snagging it, check out the Craigslist post here.