Bon weekend, fellow Shredderz! If, like me, you’re in rainy California, I’m here to deliver some sunshine in the form of what looks to be a vintage surfboard in pretty primo condition.
Pictured here is a Hobie longboard that is currently for sale on eBay. It’s not going to be cheap – there’s a reserve on the auction and the buy it now figure is at $1,700 – but it’s a beautiful board.
The poster claims this 9′6″ longboard was purchased in 1965 and kept in pristine conditions in the 50 years since then.
It’s hard to find detailed knowledge on vintage Hobie Surfboards online, mostly because Stoked-n-Board doesn’t have its usual wealth of information on the brand. While there’s a serial number visible here – looks like 16837 (probably?) –one of the few tidbits S-n-B offers for Hobie is that the numbering is not reliable.
To me, it seems extremely likely that this board hails from the 60s. Stoked-n-Board has two other data points that are interesting. First, S-n-B claims that Hobie offered glass-on mahogany fins in 1964, which matches up well with the timeframe for this board. Second, S-n-B claims that Hobie offered 3/4″ spruce stringers in 1966. I can’t say whether or not the stringer is spruce, but it looks 3/4″, and again, this is in the ballpark of 1965.
The board is clearly a pig shape, defined by Surf A Pig as having “weight, belly, wide point aft, a skeg (D fin) and a narrow nose.” There aren’t enough pics to see the bottom of the board and a belly, but the other criteria have been met. The pig silhouette also matches up to the 1965 date mentioned in the post.
If you’re the paranoid type, the one concern is that the board is in almost TOO good of a condition. It is exceedingly rare to see 50 year boards that have aged this well, with no damage or dings anywhere. I can’t say for sure either way, but if I were looking at buying this board, I would be interested in doing some research as to whether or not it had been restored or re-glassed in any way. If the board is indeed all original, this is a pretty stunning example of an original 1960s Hobie.
Today, little children, we are going to do a quick little lesson on one of the most famous boards of all time. This is the first post in a new Shred Sledz series that hopes to shed light on the creations of the one and only Phil Edwards. Today we will be starting with the famous Hobie Phil Edwards model, one of the most collectible boards ever made.
For a certain generation of surfers, Phil Edwards is and will always be a legend. For starters, he was one of the first people to ever ride Pipeline, which is about as awesome as it gets. The picture at the top of this post – taken by the legendary Leroy Grannis, and courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Surfing – depicts Edwards surfing the fearsome Banzai Pipeline. Edwards is one of the rare humans who shaped as well as he surfed, and his name remains associated with some of the most sought-after boards in the world today.
Given Edwards’ resume, you would think there would be tons of information floating around online. Sadly, this isn’t the case. I had always assumed Edwards had passed away, given how little is said of his current whereabouts. But apparently he is alive and well, and he visited the Hobie factory about four years ago for an event. You can find a recent photo on Hobie’s website, which I’ve included below.
Phil Edwards his best known for two surfboards: the Phil Edwards “Honolulu” model, known as such for the “Honolulu” branding written on the board; and then the Hobie Phil Edwards signature model, which was produced over a few different time periods. This post will deal exclusively with the original run of Hobie Phil Edwards models. I will be devoting separate posts to Hobie Phil Edwards model re-issues (post 1960s); the Phil Edwards Honolulu models; and finally, a grab bag of some random boards that don’t fit into any other buckets.
According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Hobie’s Phil Edwards model was produced first in 1963. Today these boards are incredible collectors’ items. This post will examine three different Hobie Phil Edwards boards that were recently up for sale. The hope is to give some kind of context on this wonderful board, as well as what kind of prices it commands on the open market.
Hobie Phil Edwards Model Serial Number #999
The first board featured here was sold at the recent Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction. The picture below depicts a Hobie Phil Edwards model with serial number #999. The estimated closing price was between $2,000 and $5,000; I was unable to find info on the final price for the board, however. You can see the beautiful glassed-on D Fin in the pictures, the triple stringer design (with a wider center stringer), and then the silver foil label.
Hobie Phil Edwards Serial Number #865
The second board is a Hobie Phil Edwards from the 1960s, also in excellent condition. It is a 10′ board that is currently for sale on Surf Garage, and the listing claims it’s all original and dates to 1968. Here you can clearly see an example of the “foil” label that can be found on the earlier runs of the Phil Edwards models. Later on, especially with reproductions, these labels were replaced by silver, non-foil laminates beneath the glassing. This board is being listed for sale at $4,000, which is steep, but if this indeed all-original, that is in the ballpark of similar boards. You’ll also notice this board has the same features as the one sold at the California Gold auction: same triple stringer setup, same D fin, and then the foil label. It is serial number #865, as clearly shown in the picture. My last note is that this board seems to be in suspiciously impeccable condition. I am wondering if it was restored, but I have no further info.
Hobie Phil Edwards Model Serial Number #103
The third Hobie Phil Edwards model was also sold at an auction, but this time it was at the US Vintage Surf Auction. This board has the same hallmarks of a Hobie Phil Edwards model, as explained above: you can see the triple stringer design, a glassed-on D fin, and, of course, the distinctive silver label with a clear serial number (#103). The auction claims that this is the lowest numbered Hobie Phil Edwards they have found in existence; I have no way to verify if this is indeed the case. It’s also curious to contrast this silver label with the one on Serial Number #865. #103 is way more faded, and the deep blue of #865 looks more like a green. There are likely differences in photo editing, etc., that explain the discrepancy, but I found it interesting nonetheless. This board was estimated by the USVSA to go for somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000, but again, there’s no info on what the final price ended up being.
What’s interesting about these original boards is I can’t find an example of a Phil Edwards signature on any of them. I tend to believe that none of the original run of Hobie Phil Edwards boards bore his signature, but I would love to know if there are any examples I might be missing. Edwards signed the re-issued version of the Hobie boards, which will be the subject for a future post.
Hobie Phil Edwards Model from John Mazza Collection at Pepperdine University Serial Number #479
Finally, I’d like to include a shot from a board that Pepperdine University has as a part of their John Mazza Surfboard collection. It’s a 10′ Hobie Phil Edwards model from 1963, and they’ve got some great pictures up on the site. In this shot you can see the fin. I’ve heard conflicting reports, as some sources indicate the fins are made of ash wood, and I’ve also heard they are made from balsa. I can’t say for sure. But I do know they’re pretty awesome to look at.
And as a bonus, I came across this old Hobie ad on Swaylocks. From left to right are the following surfers: Joey Hamasaki, Joyce Hoffman, Mickey Munoz, Phil Edwards, and Bill Hamilton! Note how each name has an Encyclopedia of Surfing account linked to it. That’s a murderer’s row of surf legends right there. In the middle of an ad is an example of a classic Phil Edwards model. You can see the triple stringer and the silver foil logo.
I hope you found this post useful, and stay tuned for parts two, three, and four on Phil Edwards and his boards!
If you’re in the Jersey Shore area and you have an inexplicable but no less compelling urge to check out a cool vintage surfboard, I would like to humbly suggest this Hobie Seaboard model, which can be found on Craigslist (Update: dead link removed).
I had never heard of this model before, so I decided to do some research, based on the info provided in the listing (which warns not to call “unless you’ve done your homework”, so consider this a quick crash course).
First, the poster claims this board was shaped by Mickey Munoz. In the second picture you can see what looks to be a Mickey Munoz logo laminate that can be found on the Hobie boards he shaped. Sadly there’s no closeup on the Craigslist posting, but this is consistent with other examples I have seen.
You can clearly see the Munoz logo laminate, and it is also located at the tail.
Surfboardline.com has an excellent feature on Hobie collector Mark Jeremias’ collection. That post features a 6′10″ Munoz-shaped diamond tail single fin from 1976, and it has a great closeup shot of the Munoz-laminate, also at the tail. (Interesting note: the year on this laminate says ‘71…maybe they just never updated these for every year the boards were produced).
So, returning back to the Hobie Seaboard in question, it definitely seems like a Munoz shape. What makes the Seaboard interesting is the clear “Seaboard” model name next to the logo.
Usually, the incredible Stoked-n-Board is my resource of questions of obscure surfboard information. Strangely, though, S-n-B’s Hobie entry doesn’t have a ton of info, so here is my best effort to provide some context around the Hobie Seaboard model, and put it all in one place.
The Seaboard model is associated with a few other well-known surfers besides Munoz. As you can see in the Craigslist post, the poster claims that well-known Florida shaper Greg Loehr dates the board to 1972. I found this Swaylocks thread that indicates the Seaboard model was a signature model made for Loehr back when he was a pro, and that it was shaped by both Munoz as well as Terry Martin. The Swaylocks thread is a “Hot Seat” feature in which Loehr answers questions posed by readers, so I tend to think this is reliable info.
The Hobie Seaboard model also makes an appearance in the book “365 Surfboards”, as the Craigslist poster says. Here’s the relevant picture, and you can find a lot of the book posted on Google Books:
The outline in the book looks similar to the board above, but it’s hard to see any clear logos.
The entry in “365 Surfboards” confirms that Gary Propper was also involved in the creation of the Seaboard model. Apparently, Propper was instrumental in getting Loehr his own signature model, which of course became the Seaboard.
Finally, I’d like to point out that there were multiple versions of the Hobie Seaboard. Surfboards.com has an example of another Hobie Seaboard, but with a different logo that clearly calls out Greg Loehr’s involvement:
Picture from Surfboards.com
The Seaboard listed on Surfboards.com doesn’t seem to have a Munoz laminate, though, which is interesting.
Anyway, I think this is such a rad board, and as a native East Coaster, I love the involvement of various east coast surf luminaries. It’s being offered for $600 on Craigslist, and unfortunately, I can’t say whether or not that’s a decent price. It looks like there are some scrapes on the right hand rail when looking at the deck, and I think any serious buyer should check that out along with the rest of the due diligence.
I could go on and on about how the people who post surfboards for sale on Craigslist are never the ones with rudimentary photography skills, but hey: who am I to judge. So try to ignore the poorly lit and staged pictures – shout out to the Costco sized box of Hefty garbage bags in the fourth picture – and focus on the surfcraft that is being featured.
Nowadays, most boards you find bearing Mickey Munoz’s name are crappy Surftech epoxy gliders. Those boards speak more to how lucrative licensing can be, rather than the craft of building surfboards.
This is a shame, because Mickey Munoz – incidentally born in New York City – is one of the better known surfers from his era. (Fun fact taken from the link above: apparently he was the stunt double for the female namesake in “Gidget”, wearing a blonde wig and a bikini to do her surfing scenes.)
Munoz went on to shape for Hobie, and one of his products can be found here, on Craigslist in New Hampshire, of all places. The board is a single fin that looks like it’s from the 70s, and no dimensions are given on the post. The bottom is in pretty rough condition – check out all the unfortunate scarring along the rails in the third pic – but hey, it’s not every day that you see one of these boards up for grabs on Craigslist. I love the little Munoz-specific logo, which is found in the first pic on this post. There’s no price listed for the board, but if you’re curious in contacting the seller, here is the Craigslist link once again.
Let it never be said that the good people at Shred Sledz HQ don’t appreciate history!
The v bottom surfboard – named after the deep “vee” shape in the tail – certainly has earned a place in the annals of surfboard design. I can’t say it’s the longest chapter, or the most widely read…but it is interesting, if nothing else.
If you’re in the Santa Cruz area, you can check out this 8′2″ Hobie V Bottom on Craigslist. It’s pretty beat up in places, but I can’t see any glaring flaws in any places. As always, it’s hard to really say unless you’ve seen the board up close.
But man, more importantly, check out that tail and that crazy vee! Such a cool shape. There’s a guy at my local surf spot who has an old Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom that I ogle whenever I see it. Lately the shape has seen a bit of a revival with Bruce Fowler’s V Machine, which is sold at Mollusk and has attracted a bit of a cult following.