Phil Becker Single Fin

Today we’re paying tribute to one of the most prolific surfboard shapers of all time: Phil Becker. Becker comes from a long line of shapers and labels that hail from the South Bay of Los Angeles, in and around Hermosa Beach. Bing Copeland, Hap Jacobs, Donald Takayama and Pat Rawson all can trace lineage back to the South Bay area — and that’s just a partial list. Keep scrolling below for some more background on the shaper, and then some pics of a lovely Phil Becker single fin.

It’s thought that Phil Becker hand shaped more surfboards than anyone else in history. Estimates peg Becker’s total output at somewhere between 100,000 and 130,000 boards shaped by hand — a truly mind-boggling figure. Becker spent some early parts of his career shaping for Rick Surfboards, another surfboard label with South Bay roots. By now, some readers may know that I’m a big fan of the early Rick / Becker boards.

The board featured in this post is an unbranded Phil Becker single fin. I’m guessing the board was shaped during the Seventies, but I’m not certain. The fact the board is unbranded is a bit unusual. From what I can tell — Becker is famously private; the Encyclopedia of Surfing claims he only gave one interview throughout his multi-decade career — Becker mostly shaped for two labels: Rick Surfboards and Becker Surfboards. Becker Surfboards, however, can be thought of a continuation of the Rick Surfboards brand. Becker and some business partners bought the Rick Surfboards label in 1980 or so, and then continued operations under the Becker Surfboards name, until they sold the brand to Billabong in 2010.

That said, I have seen two other labels with Becker shaped boards: Natural Progression and Sunline. The board in this post, however, is the only unbranded Becker shape I have seen to date.

Speaking of the board in question…my goodness, that thing is sexy. I actually love that there’s no branding anywhere on this board. The end result is a surfboard with clean, unblemished lines. It also doesn’t hurt that the board is still in fantastic condition.

As you can see, the board has a triple stringer setup and a gorgeous glass on fin.

Phil Becker Single Fin 4

The Phil Becker single fin you see above was listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County over the weekend. The post is no longer up, so I can only assume that someone leapt on this thing. The asking price was $325, which I think is an amazing bargain for a board from a shaper of Becker’s caliber, not to mention just how beautiful the thing is.

That said, I’ve noticed that Becker’s boards tend to be pretty cheap overall. Maybe this is just a side effect of his prolific output over the years. Granted, the Phil Becker single fin featured in this post is a sample size of exactly one, so take that with a grain of salt. Either way, I think whoever ended up with this stick should be pretty stoked.

 

Phil Becker for Sunline

My favorite Craigslist finds are the ones that require a little extra digging and research, and aren’t necessarily as obvious as, say, a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt up for sale.

During another ill-advised Craigslist binge I came across this board, which you can find listed in San Diego. It’s simply advertised as “Surfboard late 1970′s single fin”, and while that’s technically true, there are some interesting details here that aren’t mentioned in the listing’s title.

First, as you can see in the third picture, it looks like this board was shaped by Phil Becker. Becker went on later to found his eponymous label, where he distinguished himself as one of the most prolific shapers in recent history.

Once again Stoked-n-Board has some great information on the Sunline label. Apparently Becker shaped boards for Sunline from 1977 to 1980, which matches up with the outline and overall style of the single fin pictured here. Moreover, you can see the “Dave Hollander Color ‘78” marking on the logo (see picture #4), indicating the board was shaped in 1978. Hollander would later go on to co-found Becker, making this board an early look at their burgeoning partnership.

The board is going for $275 right now, which seems quite fair given that it’s in good shape and it’s a Becker handshape from the late 1970s. You can check it out here.

Neon Becker

Craigslist Steal of the Week!

Check this thing out…a 7′5″ Becker funshape for a mere $75. Full dims are 7’5″ x 21.25″ x 2.375″. Looks water tight, and I dig the triple stringer as well as the shameless late 80s / early 90s neon logo. Pretty difficult to say whether or not it’s a legit Phil Becker shape without any evidence of a signature on the stringer…but hey, for $75 beggars can’t be choosers, nor should they be!

If you love ridiculous neon surf graphics or if you’re just a trigger happy impulse shopper without a huge budget then check this bad boy out here.