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.

Hobie Phil Edwards Model #463

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a prime example of one of the greatest surfboards ever made: the original Hobie Phil Edwards Model. It is a board I have written up before, and it’s a board that I intend to write about for as long as I keep coming across new examples. It’s also worth noting that it was Edwards’ birthday just a few days ago. One of the coolest things about the Hobie Phil Edwards Model is the fact that every single board from the original run was numbered. Here we have #463, stamped into the board’s unmistakable and beautiful foil logo. This board comes courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Aaron. Many thanks to Aaron for sharing photos of this incredible stick.

Click the photos above to enlarge. The story behind the board is pretty amazing as well. Aaron’s father was working on a house in San Diego about thirty years ago and he found the board stashed in the rafters. Later on, Aaron was working in Donald Takayama’s factory, where he fixed up the board to the state you see it in today. I am very stoked to report that Aaron continues to ride this board today! (Note: sadly, I myself am guilty of being way too precious about not riding some of the boards I own…I’ll have to address that pretty soon.)

One of my favorite features about the Hobie Phil Edwards Model is the gorgeous fin. As you can see, Aaron’s board has the classic maple reverse D fin, and it is gorgeous. Aaron’s Hobie Phil Edwards Model measures in at 9’10”. The owner estimates it weighs about 50 pounds or so, which is no joke!

Thanks again to Aaron for sharing the photos you see in this post. I absolutely love the Hobie Phil Edwards Model, in case that wasn’t already clear. To me, the board seems to be something of an expression of everything I know of Edwards’ reputation: timeless, classic style that will never get old.

Weekend Grab Bag: Donald Takayama Scorpion & More

Greetings, Shredderz! By now you should know the drill: it’s the latest edition of the Weekend Grab Bag, where I spotlight some great boards I have seen listed for sale. As always, all of the postings are live as of the time the blog post was published. Onto the fresh batch of vintage sticks, beginning with a Donald Takayama Scorpion in clean condition.

Donald Takayama Scorpion (Craigslist San Diego)

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The Donald Takayama Scorpion just might be one of the most famous models from Takayama’s long and distinguished shaping career. The vast majority of Takayama Scorpions I have seen are the epoxy versions, which were obviously not hand shaped by DT. (For what it’s worth, I borrowed a friend’s epoxy Donald Takayama egg once and absolutely loved it.) The Scorpion featured above is 7’4″ x 22″ x 2 7/8″ and the seller is asking $800. Takayama himself signed the board in pencil on the stringer. I have also heard that some of these later-era DT boards were shaped with the assistance of a shaping machine. I would guess this board is late 90s to early 2000s, given the FCS fin boxes for the side bites. Either way I think this is a nice price for a very cool board.

Vintage Skip Frye Fish (Craigslist San Diego)

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The seller claims this vintage Skip Frye fish hasn’t been surfed in at least twenty years. As for an exact date, I’m hard pressed to tell you anything. I want to say most Skip Frye fish I see have wooden Gephart keels, but this example has fiberglass ones. Here’s what the seller has to say about the fins: “This board has great fins a modified Keel fin template by JB that is less deep then (sic) a normal keel and rides more loose in the water.” I don’t know who JB is, but I dig the vintage-ish date of the board. It’s 6’6″ long and looks super fun, and the posting has some great pics of the owner surfing it, too. Seller is asking $2,500, which is not cheap, but I have yet to see a bargain on a Skip Frye shape.

90s Hobie Phil Edwards Longboard (Craigslist Orange County)

You can click on any of the photos above to enlarge. I have written up the Hobie Phil Edwards Model a few times, and it remains one of the most classic nose riders ever made. The board you see above was shaped by Phil Edwards, but it’s not a Hobie Phil Edwards Model. For starters, the seller claims the board was shaped in 1995. It also has some interesting details that make it very different from the classic 60s Hobie Phil Edwards Model, such as a triple stringer setup, a wider center stringer, and a different logo. At some point during the 80s or 90s, Hobie also reissued the Phil Edwards Model (with the help of Stewart Surfboards, I believe), that had an imitation foil logo on it, as well as a different outline from the board you see above. So then what exactly is the board above? I’m not sure — it may have even been a custom. The seller refers to it as a Classic Model, but I have never seen that mentioned anywhere. As always, if you have any clues, let me know!

Morey-Pope McTavish Tracker (Craigslist Los Angeles)

Last but not least we have another creation from the mind of Tom Morey, who remains one of surfing’s foremost mad scientists. One of the coolest features found in the Morey-Pope McTavish Tracker model is the psychedelic graphic design of the Slipcheck patterns. The McTavish Tracker was designed by Australian shaper Bob McTavish, and it remains one of the standout shapes of the Transition Era. According to surfresearch.com.au, the Morey-Pope McTavish Tracker was created during a trip McTavish took to visit George Greenough in Santa Barbara, and the rest is history. I actually wrote up an earlier Morey Pope McTavish Tracker here. The earlier post features another example of the board and links to some resources with some history behind the groundbreaking shape.

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.

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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…

Hobie Phil Edwards Model (Part 1): A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

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.

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Phil Edwards at a recent Hobie Surfboards event. Photo via Hobie Surfboards

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.

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Photo courtesy Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction

 

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.

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Close up of the famous Hobie Phil Edwards foil logo. Photo via Surf Garage

 

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.

Photo via USVSA

Photo via USVSA

 

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.

Closeup of a Hobie Phil Edwards fin from John Mazza’s collection at Pepperdine University. I’ve read that the fins on these boards were made of ash, and I have also read that they were made out of balsa. Photo via Pepperdine University.

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!

Old Hobie Surfboards ad. Photo via Swaylocks