If, like me, you are a mere mortal in pursuit of a Skip Frye board, the secondary market will have to do. Frye’s shapes are probably the most coveted surfboards in the world, and unless you personally know the man, you’re not going to be able to put in the order. Frye’s customers are a satisfied bunch, meaning that on the rare occasions when his boards do hit the market, they are snapped up almost immediately. When I recently spotted a vintage Skip Frye single fin pop up on eBay, I was curious to see where the dust would settle.
The board pictured to the left is the vintage Skip Frye shape in question. According to the seller, the board was made sometime during the 1970s, although I can’t personally confirm this date. I also don’t have an idea of what model this might be. Last year The Surfer’s Journal ran a definitive overview of Skip’s quiver and the various models he makes, but your guesses are as good as mine. The vintage Skip Frye board is a single fin, although it’s missing the original fin.
The final closing price for the vintage Skip Frye board pictured to the left was $1300 (including a likely $200 shipping charge, as the board was located in Florida). My first reaction is to say that it’s a decent price. Granted, I love vintage boards, but Skip’s boards are impossible to find, and vintage examples are rarer still.
That said, there’s also a case to say that $1300 (or likely $1500, when it is all said and done) is a lot of money for a board with some visible heel dents and a couple of discoloration spots. I don’t think this is an outrageous stance. But maybe my indecisiveness is a sign that the price is right on the money.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Skip’s boards continue to increase in value. For more pics of the vintage Skip Frye single fin, including a close-up of the signature hand drawn wings on the bottom, check out the original eBay auction here.
Few things warm the cold hearts of Shred Sledz’s crack editorial team like surfboards from the eighties, and especially boards associated with the infamous Echo Beach scene. Technically a stretch of sand in Newport Beach, Echo Beach has come to encapsulate the bright colors and over-the-top personalities of pro surfing in the eighties. Echo Beach is remembered fondly today, and that affection is reflected in the high prices commanded by pristine examples of Schroff, Wave Tools and Stussy surfboards. However, earlier boards from some of these shapers — Schroff and Wave Tools in particular — can be had at cheaper prices. This post will explore some recent listings of pre-Echo Beach boards. Pictured below is an earlier Schroff twin fin that recently sold on eBay for $436 with no shipping.
Now, $400 for a used surfboard isn’t cheap, especially one that has signs of wear and tear. But I believe the Schroff twin fin above is priced cheaper to its equivalents from the Echo Beach era. The board has some yellowing, and there are some repairs throughout, including an area in the tail. You’ll notice that the board lacks the black & white Schroff parallelogram logo from the 1980s, and bears the older Schroff script logo instead. The starfish logo is a throwback to Hanifin Surf Shop, owned by Pat Hanifin, where Schroff got his start. See below for an example of a board from around 1972, as estimated by Pimp himself. On top you’ll see the Hanifin starfish logo, and beneath it an extremely early hand-drawn Schroff Designs logo!
I recently wrote up a separate Schroff twin fin that also sold on eBay. That board, pictured below, ended up selling for $388. Again, the red Schroff twin fin below doesn’t have the attributes of the most desirable Schroff boards from the 80s — black & white logo, “Blaster” laminates, geometric airbrush graphics — but given the bright colors and the good condition, I’m still amazed it sold for less than $400. As a bonus, there was a recent Schroff single fin (from the same seller as the red Schroff twin fin) that sold for a mere $380, which I estimated would go for almost double.
In summary, I am pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of some pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards. Now, standard caveats about surfboard prices supply, given that only a handful of boards sell for any period of time, and there’s no way to keep track of private sales, which is how I suspect many of the real gems trade hands. Nonetheless, if eBay is any indication, there are some beautiful Schroff boards from the late 1970s and early 1980s that can be had at decent prices.
One sees a similar trend with Wave Tools, where pre-Echo Beach Lance Collins boards can often go for much cheaper prices than the 80s versions. A few months ago I wrote a post about a vintage Wave Tools single fin that was being sold at $275. There is a nearly identical Wave Tools single fin being listed for sale on eBay, which you can see below.
The yellow Wave Tools single fin isn’t in great condition by any stretch. I have excluded pics that show some ugly repairs on the rails, and there are some open wounds on the board, too. The price on the yellow Wave Tools single fin has dropped a few times, and it can currently be yours for $200. The relatively poor condition of the board makes a straight apples to apples comparison a little more difficult. Even so, there’s a classic 80s Wave Tools twin fin that’s currently for sale on eBay, and the seller is asking $850, even with some discoloration on the deck.
While Lance Collins will forever be associated with Wave Tools, you can also find boards he shaped under different labels. The prices on non-Wave Tools Lance Collins boards are also a bit cheaper, but again, this isn’t scientific. Here is a Hot Lips sting shaped by Lance, and we also wrote up a Jack’s Surfboards single fin he made.
One small note about the numbering scheme on the Wave Tools single fin: the yellow board above is numbered #0678, and the previous board was numbered #0685. I’m not sure how Lance numbered his boards, but it appears that the two Wave Tools single fins were created within the same time period.
Finally, if you have a pre-Echo Beach Schroff twin fin or a Wave Tools single fin you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!