Price Checks: Vintage Rainbow Fins

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is a bit of departure from what you might have come to expect from this blog in that it’s not about vintage surfboards, for once. Instead, I’ll be taking a quick peek at the market for vintage Rainbow fins.

I do my best to put a decent amount of research into my blog, but for this post, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m not sure why vintage Rainbow fins command such high prices. Rainbow Fin Company continues to operate today, based out of Santa Cruz. Coincidentally, Rainbow Fin co is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2018.

I wish I had more to share on the exact reasons why vintage Rainbow fins are so coveted, but one thing is clear: these things are gorgeous. The examples that get the highest prices have multiple layers of fiberglass and stunning colors. Here’s a selection of recent vintage Rainbow fin sales from eBay with their prices:

Vintage Rainbow Fin #1: 7.5″, $237.50 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 1.jpg

This is the same fin featured at the top of the page, and as you can see, it is an absolute beauty. I can’t quite tell if the color at the right-most edge of the fin is a purplish shade or more of a brown, but either way the feeling I get from looking at this thing is Cherry Coke. Take that how you will. This bad boy went for $237.50 plus another $10 in shipping.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #2: 6″, $237.06 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 2.jpg

Here’s another stunner. I love the multiple layers in this one — looks like there are five distinct layers of fiberglass (blue / white / green / white / yellow), as opposed to the more straightforward three layers in the one directly above. This is shorter than the first fin, but the price is almost exactly the same, even down to the shipping.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #3: 7.5″, $261.78 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 4.jpg

This one is the most expensive fin on the list. Personally, I don’t love the color combo, but I can see the appeal of it.

Vintage Rainbow Fin #4: 8″, $175 (eBay)

Vintage Rainbow Fin 3.jpg

This vintage Rainbow fin is a bit cheaper than the other ones featured in the post. If I had to take a wild guess, it would be the colors. This one is a bit darker and more subdued than the other fins featured in the post, although this reason could be total nonsense. As for me, I happen to really dig the blue on blue color scheme.

Conclusion

Based on the examples above, a quality vintage Rainbow fin in good condition is going to cost you a minimum of $200 or so (and that’s being conservative). Granted, this is a pretty small sample size, and there are tons of other examples on eBay if you want to do some more digging yourself. I was also curious to see one fin with a so-so color scheme (in my opinion) and some obvious wear and tear, that still managed to sell for $86, not including shipping.

I hope to revisit the topic of vintage Rainbow fins soon, with some more details around the early days of the brand and why these examples from the Seventies get such high prices. In the meantime, I hope you find this post informative and enjoyable to read!

Shred Sledz Presents: 4/10 Weekend Grab Bag (Harbour, Surfboards Hawaii, Gordon & Smith)

These “weekend” posts are increasingly stretching into Monday evening territory, so apologies for the delay. With that said, here’s a mix of some interesting surfboards I’ve come across recently.

Harbour Banana Longboard

Today’s post features not one, but two great deals regarding some Harbour boards. First is a Harbour Banana model for sale for $600 on Craigslist in Santa Ana, California (Orange County). You can find the board here. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Rich Harbour is charging an additional $500 just to hand shape a board! This thing is underpriced, considering. The Banana looks like it was shaped recently, it’s in great condition, and the listing has clear pictures of the signature. Check it here.

 

Harbour Spherical Revolver

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This deal might be better than the first (and I’m sorely tempted to pull the trigger on this thing myself). There’s a Harbour Spherical Revolver for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles that’s going for a mere $300. You can find the board here. The pictures on the post aren’t great, but there aren’t any major areas of concern I can identify off the bat. Now is as good a time as any to remind you that Shred Sledz’s Official Policy regarding these matters is that you should see a board in person before pulling the trigger.

 

Surfboards Hawaii Mike Slingerland Single Fin

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First, the good news: there’s a Mike Slingerland-shaped Surfboards Hawaii single fin currently for sale on eBay, and it features a rad alternate logo that I have never seen before. You can find the link here. Right now, the bidding is at a mere $45. The bad news? The board has a pretty gruesome repair that needs to be re-done. Either way, it’s a cool example of a later-era Surfboards Hawaii board.

 

Guy Okazaki Single Fin

Guy Okazaki is a Venice-based shaper who has been plying his trade way before Venice was ever cool. There’s a 70s single fin he shaped that is currently for sale for $475 on Craigslist in Simi Valley, which is right outside of Los Angeles. You can find that link here. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Okazaki himself, but this is a beautiful classic 70s single fin with a great rainbow fin, and it looks like it has been kept in pretty impeccable condition.

 

Bargain Bin

I won’t justify these with pics.

$80 for a Phil Becker-shaped Rick Board. Board isn’t in great condition, but $80 for a Becker Phil is worth mentioning. Craigslist, Orange County: link here.

$50 for a Russell single fin. Shawn Stussy used to shape for Russell back in the day; could be worth taking a flyer on this thing in the hopes that this could be true. Craigslist, Los Angeles: link here.

$300 for a Schroff shortboard. This price isn’t a bargain, per se — the board has the older logo and it’s not one of the obvious 80s versions that the collectors go crazy over. I’m having a hard time telling if this thing is a re-issue or if it really is vintage. Glass on fins are making me lean towards the latter but don’t quote me. It has some cool channels on the bottom, too. Craigslist, San Clemente: link here.