Phil Edwards Honolulu 49A

A few weeks back I was wasting time on Instagram when I came across a story about a Porsche barn find. Some lucky collector had stumbled across a beautiful sports car that had been stashed away in storage for decades and could not believe his luck. It got me thinking about what the surfboard equivalent of discovering a vintage Porsche would be. Now, I’m not a car guy, and if you’ve seen me surf, you might not think I’m a surfboard guy, either. But after giving it some thought I decided that finding a Phil Edwards Honolulu would be the surf version of stumbling across a Porsche 911 buried deep in some Midwestern barn.

You can imagine my astonishment when I was contacted about a week later by someone who owned a Phil Edwards Honolulu, wanting to know more about the board. The very same stick is pictured here in this post. The original owner’s aunt had purchased the board when she traveled to Hawaii in the late Sixties. Upon returning to the Midwest she put the board in storage, where it remained until her passing decades later.

One of the many cool aspects about the Phil Edwards Honolulu boards is the fact that each one was individually numbered. The PE Honolulu boards follow a straightforward numbering system. There were four series of PE Honolulu boards: A, B, C and D; with A being the first run, and D being the most recent. Each board within the series was then given its own unique number. You can see the PE Honolulu board here is numbered 49A, which means it was #49 within the initial series of A boards.

I’m not exactly sure on the when the Phil Edwards Honolulu boards were shaped, and how many were made. Overall, PE Honolulu boards are quite rare, and I have read that Edwards didn’t shape that many of them to start. I believe Edwards shaped the Honolulu between 1967 and 1969, shortly after he had moved from his native California to Hawaii. Some of the later Phil Edwards Honolulu surfboards have very clear Transition Era influences on them, which supports the date range. The earlier boards, such as the A series one featured here, are classic Sixties noseriders. The closest thing I can find to a reliable date is board 18A, which was sold at a recent auction. The auction listing claims the board was shaped in 1968.

As you can see in the photos above (click to enlarge), the Phil Edwards Honolulu board featured here is a classic Sixties longboard. The length is somewhere in the 10′ range, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have any specifics. The board isn’t in perfect condition, but it is remarkably well preserved considering it is well over fifty years old. It has a beautiful purple resin tint and a contrasting yellow pin line, which matches the fin, too.

There aren’t many examples of PE Honolulu boards online, so I was super stoked to find one that hasn’t made the traditional auction and collector circuits.

I’m also happy to report that 49A will be making its way to a new owner sometime soon. I don’t want to give any spoilers but the Phil Edwards Honolulu surfboard will be returned to its home in Hawaii. All I can say about the owner is that he has appeared on Shred Sledz before and he is a talented craftsman with a deep appreciation for surf history and sweet vintage rigs. Finally, don’t be surprised if this exceptional stick ends up under the feet of a talented pro, but I’ll shut up for now.

Thank you for reading and check out a separate Phil Edwards B series board I posted about below.

Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series

Greetings, Shredderz! This humble vintage surfboard blog might have a soft spot for the loud stylings of the Eighties, but that doesn’t mean we’re total Philistines. In many ways, Phil Edwards can be seen as the exact opposite of the brash Echo Beach aesthetic. By all accounts, Mr. Edwards is a low-key figure, despite his outsize influence on surf history. I can’t confirm that for myself, as I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Edwards. What I can say is that Edwards’ boards — whether it’s the Hobie Phil Edwards Model or the Phil Edwards Honolulu series — are beautiful and understated, which seems only fitting given the man’s sterling reputation.

The board featured here is a Phil Edwards Honolulu model that was recently posted for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The listing has since been taken down, but an earlier Phil Edwards Honolulu board I wrote up is still for sale here. Edwards made very few Honolulu models. The Honolulu models are rare and coveted, but they also give a fascinating look at the evolution of surfboard design as they were shaped during the late 1960s, in the heart of the Transition Era.

Phil Edwards Honolulu C82 2.jpgPhil Edwards Honolulu C82 3.jpg

The Phil Edwards Honolulu model pictured above is from the C series with a serial number of 82. (Stay tuned for a later post explaining the differences between the various Honolulu models). It measures in at a sleek 8’10”. The seller estimated that the board was likely shaped in 1968. The board looks to be a hull shape, with a signature convex belly towards the nose. This makes sense, given the popularity of hulls during the late Sixties. As you can see, despite being nearly 9′, the board is definitely not a traditional nose rider.

The first thing I thought when I saw the board above was how similar it was to my Andreini Serena (which is my all-time favorite board). After doing some digging on Instagram, it looks like I’m not the only one who has noticed the similarity between the two boards. See the posts below for some side-by-side comparisons between the Honolulu model and some Andreini hulls:

I really dig the clean lines of the Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series. The glass on fin is a nice touch, and I love the blue high density foam stringer, too. I envision this thing really delivering on some clean, lined up point break waves.

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Close up of the tail and fin on the Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series. Pic via Craigslist.

Finally, I’m not sure what the final price ended up being, but the Phil Edwards Honolulu was originally listed at $1250. Even though the board isn’t in perfect condition, I think this is a fair price. I don’t have enough data points to back this up, but I will point to a fully restored A series model that sold at the 2018 California Gold Auction, which fetched $4,000.

If you own a Phil Edwards Honolulu board and you wouldn’t mind sharing pics, please drop me a line! As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a future post on Phil Edwards’ classic Hawaiian shapes.

Phil Edwards Honolulu Longboard

Greetings, Shredderz! This post, like yesterday’s feature on a Zephyr single fin, is best suited for surfboard collectors with champagne tastes. What we have here is a rare example of a Phil Edwards Honolulu longboard. I’ve written before about Phil Edwards signature boards for Hobie Surfboards, which remain coveted among longboard collectors. As much as I love the Hobie Phil Edwards Model, which is an undisputed classic, I’m also partial to the Phil Edwards Honolulu run, which were made during Edwards’ time living and shaping in Hawaii during the late 1960s.

The Phil Edwards Honolulu model pictured above is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County (San Clemente, to be exact). The board has been restored, and it looks to be in great condition.

The catch, of course, is the price: a cool $2,900. I won’t get into details on the pricing here, but Phil Edwards Honolulu boards are pretty hard to come by.

If you want to check out the listing for the board, you can do so here. All pics above are via the Craigslist posting.

Finally, I’m keeping this post short and sweet because I’m planning on a longer feature on the Phil Edwards Honolulu model. Stay tuned on that one…