Social Media Roundup: September Sticks

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s time for some more vintage surfboard selections from the interwebs. Keep scrolling for more…

The Surfer’s Journal recently ran a great feature on Skip Frye’s boards. It’s among the best surfboard-related articles I’ve ever read. Photographer and TSJ Photo Editor Shawn Parkin will occasionally post nuggets from this incredible shoot. I still can’t get enough of that lineup of pristine Skip boards! Just gimme one of those, Skip, and I swear I’ll die I happy man…

Good luck finding a photo with more surfboard shaping firepower than the one featured above. Skip Frye and Donald Takayama is a combo that’s hard to beat!

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Good morning With @davidnuuhiwa

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Is David Nuuhiwa the most stylish surfer of all time? He’s gotta be in the conversation. I don’t have the stones to show up to a surf spot rocking a vest without a shirt underneath, but then again, I don’t surf nearly as well as Nuuhiwa does! I wish there were more photos of the boards in front of Nuuhiwa. If you look closely at the one on the far right, it looks like it has the red and white yin yang David Nuuhiwa logo, similar to an earlier Nuuhiwa single fin surfboard I wrote up.

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Nice Liddle 8'0" Find .

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This is an older post — it’s over two years old — but vintage Liddles are timeless. I’ve featured vintage Greg Liddle boards many times on the blog before. The vintage Liddle that Kirk Putnam posted above is one of the cleaner examples I have seen. I love the smaller logo, set perpendicular to the stringer. This is a somewhat unusual setup compared to Liddle’s later boards. The red coloring provides just the right amount of pop, too.

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It’s been a while since I posted a board. ~1976 Gordon & Smith, Steve Griffiths Bonzer 7’3, 20’1/2, 2’7/8 it is beat up, got fungus in the top 1/3 had the leash plug removed and repaired in a seriously dodgy way but wouldn’t change a thing. Speed more speed and a little more speed on top of that, wide point is pushed back for the period and is at 3’3 from the nose. The double concaves start in the nose and are quite prominent down the the entire length of the board narrowing and deepening between the bronzers. It is an awesome board for the era. It is now a favourite to take out Long Reef Bommie @gordonandsmithaustralia @houseofbonzer #bonzer #bonzersurfboards #bonzersurfboard #whatsinyourquiver #stevegriffiths #elouraboardriders #cronullasurfers #gands #longreef #longreefboardriders #longreefbeach

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Finally, I love these Aussie Gordon & Smith Bonza boards (AKA Bonzer for my fellow Seppos.) “Curvaceous” is the word that comes to mind whenever I look at those swooping bottom channels.

 

G&S Skip Frye Longboard

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! Apologies in advance if today’s post makes you weep for missing out on a great deal on an even better board. That’s right, the G&S Skip Frye longboard featured here was listed on Craigslist for a mere $800. Getting one’s grubby paws on a Skip Frye board is hard enough as is, but deals on these coveted sleds are even rarer. Look no further than The Board Source, which has reasonably priced boards: they have a vintage 8′ Skip Frye egg thruster for $1350, and then an 8’1″ G&S Skip Frye egg thruster for $1400. The longboard on this post is in better condition and a good couple hundred bucks cheaper…but that’s all water under the bridge, as I’m pretty sure the board below has already been sold.

Anyway, enough about price — let’s take a look at the board itself. Like all of Skip’s boards, this thing is an absolute beaut. It measures in at a very healthy 9’6″ x 21 1/4″ x 2 3/4″. The board was posted on Craigslist somewhere on the East Coast a few days ago. All pics in the post are via the original listing. The seller claims he bought the board used in San Diego in 1984. It looks a little older, but beyond that I don’t have any information.

Honestly, I’m starting to get upset as I write this post, wondering if I should have called in a favor for some acquaintances who live nearby where the board was posted. Click on any of the photos to enlarge. I particularly love what looks to be a pretty flat rocker on the board — dare I say hull-like on the bottom? — and the amber-colored glass on fin is gorgeous.

G&S Skip Frye Longboard Signature.jpg
Close up of the signature on the G&S Skip Frye longboard. This is unusual for a Skip signature, with way more detail than I have ever seen on any of his boards.

What’s really interesting is the signature on the board itself. I have seen a variety of Skip’s boards both with and without signatures, but never one like this. One of my all-time favorite boards I have ever written up is this insanely clean 1984 Skip Frye pintail, which has a detailed inscription on the stringer, but none of the little drawings like the board above.

If you have any info about this board, definitely let me know! Either way I hope your Frye-day brings you an abundance of vintage sticks and tasty waves.

Social Media Roundup: RIP Charlie Bunger

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here are some of my favorite social media posts I have seen over the past month. Keep scrolling for more.

I hate to start off with one of my own posts, but this time it’s important. Sadly, Charlie Bunger, one of the true OGs of the New York surf scene, passed away earlier this month. The only reason I included my own post is, well, it’s my favorite photo of a Bunger surfboard. RIP to Mr Bunger and thoughts and prayers to all his family and friends.

If, like me, you have an obsession with both Skip Frye boards and their opaque pricing, you’ll also enjoy the post above from Bird’s Surf Shed. (Roperized, for those who are unfamiliar, means the board was fixed up by San Diego local Joe Roper, who runs one of the better-known repair shops in town.) The Modern Machine is a G&S model, not a Skip outline, which Joel Tudor referenced in another recent Instagram post. Anyway, the G&S / Skip Frye board was listed for $1,200, which seems extremely fair to me.

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First gun I ever shaped, in Sumer of 1988. …30 years ago. @renoabellira was in San Clemente, building some boards @herbiefletcher SurfShop ( now @catalyst_sc ) that summer, where I worked. He gave me a little help with the outline and rocker. I took it to Hawaii (on my first trip ever) and surfed fun sized #SunsetBeach…as well as the best #Laniakea I’ve still ever seen to this day. I ran out of money and sold it to a used board surf shop in Honolulu. In 2005, on Hawaiian holiday with my family, I found it sitting in the used racks @ #SurfandSea SurfShop, Haleiwa ( remember that @crawford.eddie ! ). Ofcourse I bought it, and brought it back. Here it is now, sitting in the lam room, @catalyst_sc , exactly where is was first built. Home 🏠. #PacificCoastFiberglass #Suds #MickyT @astrodeck

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Is this pushing the limits of vintage? Maybe. Do I care? Not one bit. I hardly ever write about high performance thrusters — mostly because I can’t surf them! — but I am an unabashed fan of Matt Biolos and his Lost Surfboards label. I’ve never met the dude but he seems knowledgeable without being the least bit pretentious. Anyway, this board has some nice history, as it not only involves Mayhem, but also Reno Abellira and Herbie Fletcher.

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Surfed out Al looking at his watch, futility trying to convince Shaun that he needs to get back to the shaping room. Shaun almost smirking, “as if.” Low tide and firing. 5 minutes later Shaun and the professor are walking back up the point for another go. • These early 80’s session, “Shaun at the Con” with Al are legendary. Al has often cited these surfs as some of his most cherished surfing memories. The presence of Shaun, his board, his surfing were all out of place, not Rincon's status quo. This one seemingly basic image of two guys talking, of cobblestones and sticks, red single fins, of black wetsuits and mustaches at the foot of the cove where the trail empties out, this one simple image represents a relationship and the flash point of all that was to come. • #almerrick #shauntomson #rincon #twinfin #santabarbara #surfinglife #surfphotography #cisurfboards @cisurfboards @cisurfboards_sbstore @oneill #adayatthebeach #cobblestone #mustache #allday @cisurfboardssantamonica @cisurfboards_europe @cisurfboards_japan @cisurfboards_africa @cisurfboards_oz

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Jimmy Metyko is a photographer who has been sharing some real gems on Instagram lately. I urge you to give him a follow. He has chronicled some of the great moments in California surf history, with a particular focus on Santa Barbara and legends like Tom Curren and Al Merrick.

Finally, Pat Rawson is well worth the follow. Despite having a resume that any shaper would envy, Rawson is still going strong. He shares a lot of posts on his modern shapes and the details behind the boards, rooted in his deep knowledge of the craft.

Skip Frye Bonzer 5 Conversion

I’m usually hesitant to share pics that have been posted on other sites (except Craigslist and eBay posts, of course). When I stumbled across this unusual Skip Frye bonzer that’s currently listed for sale, though, I knew I had to share the good word. First, news of the board’s sale was originally posted to Surfer’s online forum (link here). You can contact the seller via that link. Second, the photo of the Skip Frye bonzer was originally shared on Surfy Surfy’s awesome blog. You can find the original Surfy Surfy link here. Hit up Surfy Surfy’s site for more pics of the board. And if you find yourself in sunny Leucadia, Surfy Surfy and its sister coffee shop — yup, named Coffee Coffee — are worth an in-person visit.

As for a bit of background on the board, you can find a more detailed rundown in the link to the Surfer Forum post. The Skip Frye bonzer measures in at 6’10” x 21.5″ x 2.5″ (apparently ‘just shy of 2.5″‘, according to the seller). I freaked out when I first saw the board, as I have never seen a Skip Frye-shaped bonzer before. However, turns out that the board was originally shaped in the Eighties as an egg with a thruster fin setup. The board was later converted into its current five fin iteration. The other interesting thing about this Skip Frye stick is the prominent Moonlight Surfboards logo. I can’t recall off the top of my head if I have seen any other of Skip’s boards with a similar laminate, but it’s definitely unusual.

The seller doesn’t list a price with the board, and I think it’s safe to assume that he’s expecting a Godfather offer. I hesitated to even call this guess an educated one, but I would be surprised if the Skip Frye bonzer changed hands for less than $1,500. As for my personal preferences, if I were to shell out the money for one of Skip’s prized sleds, I would prefer an all-original fin setup. Then again, that’s just me, and that’s not to take anything away from this neat Frye bonzer.

Anyway, you can check out the Surfer Forum link here to contact the seller, and make sure you check out Surfy Surfy’s blog here for more pics of the Skip Frye bonzer.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an awesome example of one of the greatest Transition Era boards of all time: the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom Model.

I’m not sure exactly when G&S produced Skip’s signature models, but they were somewhere in the 1968 – 1969 range. (Sadly, Stoked-n-Board continues to go missing from the SHACC website, though I have been told that there are plans to revive the site).

Pictured below is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in the Santa Cruz area. You can find a link to the listing here. Longtime readers might actually recognize this board from when it sold on Craigslist a little over a year ago and I wrote up a brief post on the board. The asking price for the G&S Skip Frye V Bottom last year was $850, and now the seller is asking a cool $3,500. (More on that later).

There are no two ways about it: this is a bitchin’ board with a lot of neat bells and whistles. Check out the W.A.V.E. Set fin, and the colorful G&S logo on the bottom of the board is an insane trip back to surfing’s psychedelic roots.

As you can see, the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is in very good condition, and there’s even a serial number on the deck (#3153).

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom 11.jpg

Now, as for the price, well, I think $3,500 is a bit ambitious. Now, don’t get me wrong: any example of a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is going to fetch a nice price. And I can’t begrudge the guy for pouncing on the board at $850 a year back, when it was clearly worth a LOT more.

The California Gold Vintage Surf Auction just closed up a few weeks back, during which  another nice G&S Skip Frye V Bottom board went on the block. You can find a link to the auction board here. I’ve also embedded a photo below.

The auction Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom ended up selling for $2,000, a good deal cheaper than the $3,500 that’s being asked for the Craigslist board. (Note that there are fees with the auction board, but it still ends up being cheaper.) The auction board looks to be in slightly better condition, too — note the visible discolored repairs on the bottom of the Craigslist Skip Frye V Bottom.

That said, I personally don’t have a problem with people buying boards on Craigslist and then re-listing them for more. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I don’t think a Skip Frye board should be cheap! Boards like the one posted here are genuine pieces of surf history. Now, do I think it’s worth $3,500? Probably not. But either way it’s a rad board, the Craigslist posting has some great photos, and if money’s no object, you can even take the board him with you. Check out the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom board for sale on Craigslist here.

Happy Frye-day: 1984 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Pintail

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! I have an incredible board for you today that comes courtesy of a reader who goes by Frenchie Fred. Monsieur Fred was kind enough to share pictures of his early 2000s Donald Takayama Larry Bertlemann twin fin a few weeks ago. As it turns out, Fred has even more heat in his collection! Pictured above is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye surfboard. Update 11/3: I originally referred to this board as a glider, but after consulting some far more knowledgeable folks, it turns out that this is simply a pintail, with a more pulled-in shape than a Skip Frye Eagle. The Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board pictured above measures in at 9’6″, and it was shaped in 1984.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 4
Most of the time you’ll see this logo in black. I think the cobalt blue is a nice touch, however.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 3
A nice look at the rocker on the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye pintail pictured above.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 2
The bottom of the board has Skip’s signature hand-drawn wings, versus a laminate. As you can see, it is a single fin setup, and the board is absolutely spotless.

Many thanks to Frenchie Fred for the beautiful pictures of an exquisite board. Here at Shred Sledz HQ we are very serious about conferring any surfcraft with the coveted Cherry Status. But as you can see from the pictures above, it’s clear that Frenchie Fred’s Skip Sled meets the criteria!

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 10Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 9

Believe it or not, this bad boy gets even better! Skip Frye wrote a very detailed inscription on the stringer that sheds more light on the board’s origins. You can see partial pictures of the inscription above. Here is the entire text:

“Shaped for master shaper and craftsman and brother of the sea –Heinrich– by old school advocate Skip Frye on the 101st anniversary of the birthday of the first surfer of the modern age –George Freeth– November 8, 1984”

Frenchie Fred tells me that the board was shaped for a Brazilian shaper named Marcos Heinrich, who is apparently a friend of Skip’s. This was the first I had ever heard of Heinrich. The only info I could find on Heinrich was on a website written in Portuguese, which you can see here. I’m not sure how this lovely Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board found its way from San Diego to possibly Brazil to its current home in France, but I’m stoked to be able to document it.

George Freeth via Orange County Register.jpg
George Freeth. Pic via Orange County Register

Finally, you’ll notice the precise date of November 8th, which signifies George Freeth’s birthday. George Freeth is often credited with bringing the sport of surfing to California from its birthplace in Hawaii, along with Duke Kahanamoku. I recommend reading the Encyclopedia of Surfing’s entry on Freeth, and if you don’t already subscribe to EoS, it’s one of the best deals on the internet (seriously). Just as Skip’s math suggests, Freeth was born on November 8th, 1883, meaning the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye seen above was shaped exactly 101 years afterwards. Frenchie Fred says the stringer inscription sends chills down his spine, and I’m inclined to agree!

Merci beaucoup, Frenchie Fred, for sharing the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board from your collection. I hope all you Shredderz enjoyed this special Frye-day post, and I wish you all weekends full of tasty waves and smiles!

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup: #Fryeday Edition (September 1)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here to take you into the weekend is a celebration of one of California’s finest board builders, one Harry “Skip” Frye. Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal for a comprehensive look at Skip’s personal quiver. In the meantime, here are some social media selections showing off Skip’s shapes…

I wrote about this Skip Frye single fin when it was posted on Craigslist…and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it! This is the only Frye I have seen with a Select Surf Shop laminate, and it’s got a sick little wing pin outline to boot. I’m glad that it found a good home with Buggs, who runs Surfboard Line. The board has been fixed up and looks better than ever. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures!

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A palm reflection off two Skip Frye's

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Taylor Knox owes his long career to his powerful rail surfing. It’s difficult to imagine him laying these gliders into his patented spray-chucking carves, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Taylor Knox! I’m just stoked to see this unexpected but rad union between two opposite ends of the famously varied spectrum that is San Diego surfing. Don’t hold your breath for Joel Tudor to bust out a high performance thruster, though…

I don’t know a word of Japanese, but I do know how to recognize an incredible quiver when I see one…

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Holy Grail. Art and shape by Skip Frye.

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This board is a bit of a mystery, but don’t skip over it because of the abstract picture! Skip Frye shaped this board for use at Jeffrey’s Bay, and it ended up being ridden by Derek Hynd (and I believe Tom Curren, too). You can read more about the board and the session in Andrew Kidman’s forthcoming Beyond Litmus book.

A young Skip Frye holding an early Gordon & Smith board. Interesting to note Skip’s board doesn’t have any Frye logos on it — it must pre-date his signature models for the brand.

Skip Frye Quiver in The Surfer’s Journal

Think of this less as a blog post and more of a public service announcement: there is an absolute must-read feature in the current issue of The Surfer’s Journal featuring Skip Frye’s personal quiver, and a detailed overview of his various shapes. The article covers just about every kind of board Frye has ever produced, from his days with Gordon & Smith to more recent designs. If you at all have a passing interest in surfboards, or you ever think to yourself “Why, yes, I would be interested in seeing the sickest quiver in the Western Hemisphere,” then go out and purchase an issue today.

Picture above via The Surfer’s Journal; photograph by Shawn Parkin (Shawn’s Instagram Account)

Trio of Skip Frye Vintage Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! We’ve got some more detailed posts in the hopper, so please stay tuned. And if you haven’t already, please check us out on Instagram. In the meantime, though, now is a good opportunity to feature three Skip Frye vintage sticks that are currently for sale on eBay, all being offered by the same seller. Based on some of the boards’ various details, it looks like all three of these Skip Frye vintage boards were shaped in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are some cool details on each board, which I have explained below.

Skip Frye Vintage Board #1: 9’1″ K Model “The Diamond Frye” Logo (Link)

This board has definitely seen some better days, but that’s understandable, if not outright required. Click through to the eBay link above for more pics, and you’ll be able to see some obvious places where repairs were made. Board measures 9’1″ and you can see it has a thruster setup with glassed on fins. Starting bid is $1200, which might be a bit on the steep side. Note “The Diamond Frye” logo. Stoked-n-Board lists “The Diamond Frye” logo as having been produced between 1986 and 1988. During those same years, S-n-B claims Frye’s boards were produced at the Diamond Factory in San Diego. That can’t be coincidental. As for the shape of the board itself, I believe it’s a K Model. There’s another picture of a Skip Frye K Model on Daniel’s Longboards, and the outline looks identical. I’m not certain on that, however. As always, drop me a line if you have more info on Frye’s boards, as there is nothing listed on his website.

 

Skip Vintage Board #2: 7’9″ Thruster (Link)

This board seems like the best bargain of the bunch. First, it’s in superior condition to the K Model pictured above, with only a $200 difference in starting price (opening bid is $1400). As far as I can see, no major fixes have been made. The 7’9″ board also has beautiful wooden glassed on fins. They might be Larry Gephart fins, but I can’t be certain. In the last picture you can see an “S.D.” written on the stringer, followed by a number that looks like “19”. Unfortunately, the number is obscured by the fiberglass leash loop. Once again, Stoked-n-Board comes through in the clutch. S.D. does not stand for San Diego, but rather Skip and Donna (Donna being Skip’s wife). The S.D. written on the stringer started in 1990 and continued in 2000. If it is in fact number 19, that pegs the board as having been shaped in 1990. It makes sense that the various boards being listed by this seller were all shaped around the same time.

 

Skip Frye Vintage Board #3: 7’7″ Thruster (Link)

The last board is another thruster, this time with a neat green paint job, and a multi-colored Skip Frye wings logo. The 7’7″ green board is very similar in shape to the 7’9″ thruster. One interesting little touch on the 7’7″ green board is a doubled up version of Skip’s signature hand drawn wings design, located on the stringer right near the fins. This is a pretty unusual touch that I haven’t spotted before. See the second picture above for a closeup. This board has also been signed “S.D. 63″ (I didn’t include the pic, but click through the link above to see). This would squarely date the board in 1990, according to Stoked-n-Board’s very thorough records. The 7’7” green board is also being offered at a starting bid of $1200.

Skip Frye vintage boards don’t always pop up for sale, and when they do, it can often be a little tricky figuring out when they were made. Seeing this trio for sale sheds some light on what Frye’s boards were like during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The prices might be ambitious, especially if these are just starting bids, but I never pass up an opportunity to window shop when it comes to Skip Frye’s creations.

Celebrating Skip Frye: Happy Frye-Day!

Celebrate #Fryeday with some Skip Frye surfboards!

Greetings, Shredderz! If, like me, your thirst for vintage surfboards (and Skip Frye shapes) has long left reason and logic in the rearview, you have no doubt turned to Instagram for your fix. One of the nice little traditions you can find on Instagram is the #Fryeday hashtag, where users share photos of some of Skip Frye’s fine creations.

As a nod to Fryeday, I’d like to shine the spotlight on a few Skip Frye boards that are either currently for sale or were recently listed, along with some prices. Some collectors don’t like to discuss board prices — “throw it on eBay if you want to find out!” is a common (and unhelpful) refrain — but considering most mortals will have to buy a Skip Frye board on the secondary market, I think it’s a topic worth exploring.

Update (8/24): At the owner’s request, previous pictures of the board were removed.

First is a 9’9″ Skip Frye surfboard for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $2,485. I tend to think the price is on the higher end of the spectrum for a Skip Frye board. The listing has been up for a few weeks now, and generally speaking, Skip Frye boards tend to come and go very quickly, thanks to their limited availability. Unfortunately, I can’t say what Frye’s boards sell for when you buy them directly, but the issue is the access, not the price. (Note: The original version of this article had this board described as a K Model, but a reader wrote in with a correction.)

For contrast, there’s a 9’6″ Eagle — Skip Frye’s glider model — being offered in San Diego for $1200. You can find a link to that posting here. There are no pics with the listing, but it’s worth noting to get a sense for prices.

The second board is an 8’6″ mini-glider with a thruster fin setup that was recently for sale on Craigslist in New York (posting has since been taken down). The asking price was $3500. This seems extremely high. The board above also spent a few weeks on Craigslist before the listing was taken down. I know, I know — using Craigslist postings isn’t exactly science — but I take this as evidence that the 8’6″ board was overpriced.

Finally, there’s another 8′ Skip Frye K Model for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The board is going for $650…but there are more than a few catches. There’s current delamination on the board, it looks like one of the fins may have been partially ripped out earlier, and overall it’s not in the great condition of either of the examples posted above, cosmetically and otherwise. If anything, this is a testament to the fact that Skip Frye’s boards command premium prices, considering it’s a $650 project.

Hope this post was helpful. As always, if you have any feedback feel free to reach out using the Contact link, or leave a comment below.