Vintage Wave Tools Surfboard: 1970s Lance Collins Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today I’d like to feature another board from Los Angeles Craigslist celebrity Jeff in LA. Jeff always sells an interesting selection of boards, and today he has come through with a fascinating piece of history: a vintage Wave Tools surfboard. To be specific, it’s a Lance Collins single fin shaped sometime in the 1970s. You can find a link to the Craigslist post here. Pics below via Craigslist.

The board clocks in a generous 6’9″ x 19-1/4″ x 2-3/4″. The tail looks like it’s halfway between a diamond tail and a pintail. There are some lovely pin lines on the board, but some work will be required to get this thing looking right. I’m unsure if the streaks in the blue airbrush on the deck are intentional. The board also has a clear Lance Collins signature. It looks like the signature might be on top of the glass.

Vintage Wave Tools Surfboard Lance Collins Signature.jpg
Lance Collins signature, with a classic fish to the left of his name. Interesting serial number, too: 0685.

The coolest thing about this board is that it sports a vintage Wave Tools logo. Check the picture below:

Wave Tools Vintage Logo.jpg
Closeup of the sweet Wave Tools vintage logo. You can see in the bottom left it’s signed by McCormack.

Stoked-n-Board’s Wave Tools entry says this logo was produced between 1971 and 1974. However, I think that might be slightly wrong. The main counterpoint is that Icons of Surf is currently selling a few replicas of vintage Wave Tools surfboards, which you can find here. Icons dates all of the replicas to 1975. As you can see in the picture below, the replicas all have logos identical to the one on Jeff’s board above. In conclusion, I think the Wave Tools logo above was produced into 1975.

Icons of Surf Vintage Wave Tools Re-issue
Replica of a 1975 Wave Tools single fin currently for sale at Icons of Surf. Pic via Icons

It’s interesting to compare the dimensions of the replicas to the original board at the top of the page. First, none of the replicas have the pin / diamond tail setup of the original board; they either have round pintails, like the one above, or swallow tails. Second, the original board is 6’9″ x 19-1/4″ x 2-3/4″. The replica that’s closest in size is the green one immediately above this paragraph; the green board’s dimensions are 6’8″ x 20″ x 3-5/16″. The increase in thickness from the original board to the recent replica is pretty eye-popping.

Finally, I’d like to share some thoughts on the collectibility of vintage Wave Tools surfboard. I believe 80s boards with elaborate logo laminations and outrageous spray jobs will continue to command premiums, like Jeff Parker model twin fins. Nonetheless, I wonder if the 1970s predecessors to the infamous Echo Beach models will continue to increase in value. For example, there’s a beautiful Schroff single fin for sale on eBay that’s being listed at $300, with three days still left in bidding at the time this post was written. I’d be surprised if that thing closes for anything south of $650 or $700, despite having an older logo and none of the features of the most coveted Schroff designs (caveat: these are the not-so educated guesses of a man who writes about old surfboards in his free time, so take that with a grain of salt). All of this is a long way of saying that the board at the top of the page is going for $275, which I think is a pretty great deal. Again, the vintage Wave Tools surfboard featured here will require some repairs, but as they say, they’re not making any more of these bad boys.

Check out the board here and thanks for reading!

Vintage 1970s Channel Islands Single Fin

Vintage Channel Islands Single FinVintage Channel Islands Single Fin 1

Shred Sledz’s undying love of vintage Channel Islands boards is well-documented, so I’ll spare you the breathless prose. Let’s get right down to brass tacks: pictured above is a 1970s 7′ Channel Islands single fin that’s up for grabs for $250. It’s listed on Craigslist in LA, and you can find the listing here.

I think this is a pretty good price, with the enormous caveat that there’s no real way to know the board’s condition without seeing it in person. From the pics that were provided, though, it doesn’t seem like there are any glaring issues. These 70s CI boards are pretty rare. Mollusk has a vintage Channel Islands single fin from 1971 that’s currently listed for $450, though the price has dropped recently. The board pictured here looks to be in better shape than the Mollusk board, and I also prefer its airbrush.

Then there’s the other $64K question: was this board shaped by Al himself?

I actually have a picture of the signature on the board, which you can see below.

Al Merrick Signature

You’ll notice the example above is very different from the ones I provided in an earlier post I wrote about how to determine whether or not a board has been shaped by Al Merrick. However, I think that the guidelines I offered in my earlier post mostly apply to boards that were shaped in the 80s and afterwards, when CI’s production started to ramp up. My guess is during the 1970s, production was low enough that Al probably shaped a lot of these boards himself. Conclusion: I tend to think the 70s single fin at the top of the page was likely shaped by Al himself, but I’m not 100% sure. (If anyone from CI is reading and has some thoughts, please drop me a line!)

Anyway, while people were off this weekend dropping serious coin for some grails at the California Gold Surf Auction, this is a chance to snag a serious board for a lot less cash. Check out the link here.

Note: This post was edited on 5/9 to include a picture of the signature from the board.

Con 70s Single Fin

Just who is this mysterious Jeff of Palms / West LA?

Without fanfare he shows up on Craigslist and drops some vintage heat. Best of all, it is always at reasonable prices. Jeff doesn’t seem to be into the flashy shit, just some cool surfboards that harken back to a fondly remembered California of yesteryear.

He just posted some rad stuff, including a 1960s Sea King log, a colorful Robert August 70s single fin sporting some rad fluted rails in the tail, and the board pictured in this post, a Con 70s single fin that looks to be unrestored and still in decent condition.

It’s not perfect, and I’ve saved you some of the gore from the dings that invariably build up over time, but it is a cool board. And Jeff, being the generous soul that he is, has listed this at $170, which strikes me as being very fair.

Stoked-n-Board dates the logo to sometime between 1969 and 1974. Similarly, the serial number (#12279) looks like it probably happened sometime in 1970. I know I regularly sing Stoked-n-Board’s praises, but it is truly the single best resource for information on vintage surfboards, and humble Shred Sledz would not exist without it.

Check out the Con single fin here.

WAVE TOOLS: Pre-Echo Beach Madness

Here’s a sweet and kind of unorthodox board, via Craigslist in Santa Cruz (but apparently the owner makes frequent trips down to Orange County).

Wave Tools, founded by Lance Collins, enjoyed the height of its popularity during the late 1980s. During this time Wave Tools boards could be found under the feet of Richie Collins – Lance’s son and one of Southern California’s best competitive surfers. The Wave Tools boards from that era boast some predictably outrageous neon graphics, which, I would like to add, Shred Sledz HQ is very much down with.

This board here is an interesting looking single fin. It has the wings that you would associate with a Sting design, but a pintail where you might expect to see a swallow tail. As colorful as the board is, it’s a bit subdued compared to the signature Wave Tools look. I would hazard a guess that the board was probably shaped sometime in the mid to late 1970s, and Stoked N Board dates the logo from sometime between 1975 and 1982.

It’s a bit pricey, listed at $450, but hey, it’s always free to ogle boards on Shred Sledz. Check out the listing here.