Vintage Board Price Checks Featuring 80s T&C Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick check-in on the market for 1980s boards, many of which feature the bright colors and loud graphics that came to define the decade. Trying to find information on fair prices for boards can be a frustrating experience. By referencing some recent eBay sales, including examples of some 80s T&C surfboards, the hope is this post can help collect useful information on board prices.

Board #1: 1981 Town & Country Twin Fin (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $495.00

This board is pictured above (photo via the eBay listing). The board is in good condition, but it has some obvious flaws, including sun damage on the bottom, and some obvious ding repairs. This next part is pure speculation, but I believe the paint job, while recognizable as an 80s design, is less coveted than some more over the top examples. Nonetheless, the closing price says it all. Vintage T&C 80s surfboards remain incredibly popular among collectors.

Board #2: 1983 Town & Country Thruster (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $285.00

I was a little surprised that the price on Board #2 came in so far below Board #1. Board #2 has a cool spray job on the deck and then a bright pink color on the bottom. Unfortunately, Board #2 features a huge piece of Gorilla Grip traction covering a good chunk of the deck. You can also see a bunch of small dings covering the bottom of the board. I tend to think this is at the lower price range for T&C 80s surfboards.

Board #3: 1980s Town & Country Quad Fin (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $202.50

While Board #3 is the cheapest of the vintage 1980s T&C surfboards covered in the post, I think it’s a pretty fair price. First, the board is pretty faded, and there are multiple spots on the deck. Considering that T&Cs are coveted for their graphics, anything that will compromise the visual aspects of the board are likely to mean a discount in price. Board #3 never had a statement paint job to begin with, either.

Board #4: 1980s Local Motion 2+1 (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $620.00

In general, I would say Local Motion boards are not as coveted as their Town & Country counterparts. I think Board #4 is an example of the fact that graphics and condition can often be the most important variables when considering the end price. The board has a beautiful paint job; the only reason I am not including a picture here is because I have already used many of eBay seller cashjack‘s photos in previous posts. Please click through to the listing! There are two other interesting aspects about this board: first, it originally sold for $511 about a month ago, and when the original buyer didn’t want to pay shipping to Hawaii, the board was re-listed on eBay. I can’t say if the price increase has anything to do with market trends or just randomness. Second, unless it’s a typo on the listing, the board is 5’0″ x 17″ x 2-1/2″, which is quite small. If these measurements are correct, then I suspect most buyers are looking at the board as a wall hanger.

Board #5: 1980s Local Motion Single Fin (eBay Link). Current Bid: $480.00

I saved the best for last. Board #5 is also being sold by cashjack. You must click through to the listing and check out the pink and purple checker spray job on this bad boy. There are still three days left in the auction, but the price is already hovering just below $500. I would expect this board to eclipse the price set by Board #4. Again, I think this is a testament to how important visuals are with these boards, given that Town & Country is a more coveted brand than Local Motion (generally speaking, of course).

I hope this was a helpful snapshot at the state of the market for vintage surfboards from the 1980s. As always, if you have more info or context, please give me a shout!

Shred Sledz Presents: July 17 Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s been a while since I put one of these together. What better way to stave off the slow and inexorable encroachment of the work week than by perusing some of the cooler vintage sticks to go on sale over the past few days? Here’s a little selection of boards that have caught my eye recently:

Town & Country Single Fin by Dennis Pang (eBay)

T&C boards have become incredibly collectible over the past few years. This is especially true of 80s T&C boards with outrageous spray jobs. Given the board above is a bit earlier than the most famous T&C models, I’m a little surprised that it seems to be commanding a premium with five days left to go in bidding, as the price is already north of $350. It’s also surprisingly small, clocking in at a cozy 5’9″. As an added bonus, the board was shaped by Dennis Pang (see here for an earlier post about his work for Surf Line Hawaii.)

 

Rick Hamon Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting & 80s Single Fin (eBay & Craigslist)

I’ve written before about how to distinguish whether or not an Aipa sting has been shaped by the man himself. And while I think it’s useful to know whether or not a board is an Aipa hand shape, let’s not forget that there are plenty of other non-Aipa shaped boards that are still awesome. Pictured above is a Rick Hamon-shaped Aipa sting, under the Surfing’s New Image label, that recently sold on eBay. Asking price was $600 but the listing makes it seem as if someone came in with a higher offer. Hamon is a well-renowned shaper in his own right who can currently be found mowing foam at Rusty Surfboards.

The second board in today’s Rick Hamon doubleheader is a Surfing’s New Image 80s single fin that can be found on Craigslist in Charleston. The seller is asking $475. The board looks like it’s in absolutely beautiful condition. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but hey, some covers just happen to be way more beautiful than others. The board has an interesting shape, too. It looks like Hamon’s take on the famous McCoy Lazor Zap model. I’ve reproduced a picture of one below, courtesy of excellent online vintage surf purveyor Von Weirdos.

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A real McCoy Lazor Zap. Note the similarities between this board and the Rick Hamon single fin above, from the geometric paint job down to the super wide swallow tail. Pic via Von Weirdos

 

Choice Surfboards Steve Lis Fish (Craigslist and Craigslist)

We’ve got two separate Choice Surfboards / Steve Lis fish here, both of which are linked in the header above. The blue quad fin on the left is 5’8″; the twin fin on the right with the wooden keels doesn’t have any dimensions listed. There’s no price on the blue board, and the twin fin is going for $1K. I’m not sure what to make of these Choice / Lis fish boards. As I wrote earlier, I’ve heard these Choice / Lis models are not shaped by Lis, but rather, made from a template he designed. If anyone has any additional info, please drop me a line!

Surf Line Hawaii: Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest Shred Sledz Deep Dive! Today’s Deep Dive features a venerable Hawaiian surf brand that has long deserved a closer look: Surf Line Hawaii. Before I get into the history, though, let’s skip right to the good stuff: pictures of awesome surfboards.

First up is a single fin shaped by none other than respected Hawaiian shaper Dennis Pang. Pang got his start at Surf Line Hawaii in 1976, before moving on to some of the most recognizable Hawaiian brands, like Lightning Bolt, Town & Country, and Local Motion. The board below was originally listed on eBay (pics originally found on the eBay post).

This thing is clean and mean. I love the black & white color scheme and the pinlines, with just a touch of color on the logos on both rails. I was a bit stunned when the board didn’t sell for $450, considering that another Surf Line board by Dennis Pang sold for $1800 ten years ago!

Surf Line Hawaii History

Surf Line Hawaii began as a surf shop on Oahu. It was founded by Dave Rochlen, and I believe Fred Swartz as well. By the time the shortboard revolution started in earnest, the shop began to put out boards under its own label.

I was blown away when I saw all the well-regarded shapers who passed through Surf Line over the years. According to Stoked-n-Board, Ben Aipa, Randy Rarick, Tom Parrish and Michel Junod, in addition to the aforementioned Dennis Pang, all shaped for Surf Line at some point!

Aipa Surf Line Hawaii
Aipa for Surf Line Hawaii. Board was made for Tony Moniz in 1981. Tony is a former pro and father to Josh and Seth, two up-and-coming Hawaiian pros in their own right. Pic taken from Boardcollector.com

However, I was even more shocked when I found out that Lightning Bolt’s famed core group — Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni — were all early Surf Line shapers. Lopez actually spent some time working in Surf Line’s offices on the business side.

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Gerry Lopez working at his “first real job” in the Surf Line Hawaii offices on Oahu, 1972. Picture via Gerry’s personal website.

Here is a great Surfer Magazine interview with Tom Parrish that expands on how a bunch of Surf Line employees broke away to found Lightning Bolt. Bolt was founded by Lopez and Jack Shipley, the latter being Surf Line’s top salesman at the time. Shortly thereafter, Reno, Barry and co followed Lopez and Shipley out the door. It’s really saying something when it’s hard to find space to mention Dick Brewer‘s involvement with Surf Line, as well!

Surf Line Hawaii Surfboards

The board pictured below was shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni. It was sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007, where it went for a mere $1,000 (anyone have a time machine handy?) Pics were taken from the auction site (original link here). I love everything about this board: the listing calls the bottom a “root beer” color, the purple fin pops, and I love the logo, with its clean lines and two-tone color job.

After Lopez left to found Lightning Bolt, Buddy Dumphy took the lead on shaping boards at Surf Line. Lopez writes about Dumphy in his memoir “Surf Is Where You Find It”. Patagonia’s website has a great excerpt from Lopez’s memoir, “Surf is Where You Find It”, where Lopez describes his early friendship with Dumphy and their early experiences riding new surfboard designs.

I’m fascinated by Dumphy’s boards. While they seem to be coveted by a segment of collectors, Dumphy shapes don’t seem to generate the same excitement as those from shapers like Barry K, Reno, and of course Gerry himself. Still, Lopez’s respect for Dumphy speaks volumes about his abilities as a shaper. Sadly, Dumphy passed away as the result of a car accident sometime in the 1990s.

The single coolest Dumphy board I was able to find online was posted by HolySmoke.jp. I have no clue if the board is for sale but that airbrush is absolutely killer!

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The 70s were a great decade for surfboard airbrushes…

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Here’s another Dumphy single fin, which was also sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007. I love the plumeria logo on the deck. It looks like this thing was shaped in the 70s for some serious North Shore surf. Pics taken from the original auction listing.

 

I was able to find a few Dumphy boards currently for sale online. There’s one currently for sale at New Jersey’s Brighton Beach Surf Shop, and it’s only listed at $450. Link to the board can be found here. I think it’s underpriced, considering the history of both the brand and Dumphy, but then again, the Pang board at the top of the page failed to clear the same $450 mark.

Surfboardhoard.com has a different Dumphy Surf Line Hawaii single fin for sale, but they don’t list the price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s north of $450. You can find that board here.

Surf Line Hawaii has such a rich history and a deep stable of shapers, it makes it hard to spotlight just a few boards! Standard Store / UsedSurf.jp are selling two other 70s single fins. Note that because the boards are in Japan, the prices are much higher. But they illustrate the wide variety of cool logos that Surf Line employed throughout the years. Boards can be found here and here (pictures below taken from Usedsurf.jp). The boards are credited to Steve Wilson / Welson (guessing the difference is a translation issue), but I couldn’t find any evidence of a shaper by that name. If anyone has some details, let me know!

 

Finally, no Surf Line Hawaii post would be complete without a mention of Randy Rarick. In addition to organizing the Triple Crown of Surfing, putting on auctions like the aforementioned Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, Rarick restores old surfboards. There is currently a Surf Line Hawaii board for sale on eBay that Rarick restored. The board is not a Rarick shape, but rather, it was made in 1971 by Ryan Dotson. You can find a link to the board here, and I have included some pictures below as well. (Pictures are from the eBay listing.)

Surf Line Hawaii: Odds and Ends

Believe it or not, I haven’t even covered all of the Surf Line Hawaii shapers, like Rick Irons and Sparky Scheufele! If nothing else, that speaks to the incredibly deep collection of shapers that passed through the brand over the years. Sadly, Surf Line Hawaii no longer seems to be in business. It seems as if they stopped producing surfboards long ago (I would guess sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, but that is just a guess), and a Yelp listing indicates that Surf Line’s Honolulu retail location has closed, too.

Nonetheless, Surf Line Hawaii played a prominent role in the Hawaiian surf scene, and remains one of the most impressive collections of shaping talent ever.

I hope you enjoyed this Deep Dive! If you have any pictures of any Surf Line boards you would like to share, or any comments at all, please reach out via the Contact section. Thank you for reading, and may your stoke levels remain high and rising!

Featured Image at top from @aipasurf on Instagram. Original link to photo here.