To Bolt, or Not to Bolt? 1970s Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt Single Fin

First, allow me to beg for forgiveness regarding the bad pun in the title of the post. I’d promise not to do it again, but I don’t want to waste whatever little credibility I have left!

More to the point, there is a fascinating example of a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board that is currently for sale on eBay. I have posted pictures of the board below (pics are via the eBay listing).

While a genuine Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board from the 1970s is a holy grail for many surfboard collectors, there’s one catch: it’s often difficult to establish the provenance of true Lopez handshapes. For example, there are the California Bolts, which, as their name suggests, were produced on the West Coast and not in Hawaii. The California Bolts often bear a Danny Brawner-designed laminate meant to approximate Lopez’s signature. The California Bolts were mostly shaped by Mickey Munoz and Terry Martin.

Gerry Lopez Signature Island Trader Surf Shop 1.jpg
Great example of a Mickey Munoz-shaped California Bolt. You can clearly see the rectangular shape around the “Gerry Lopez” signature, which is a laminate that was applied to the board. Click through for more pics of the board, which were originally posted by Island Trader Surf Shop. Their site also has a clear picture of Munoz’s signature.

In addition, I have heard from Randy Rarick, who is the authority on all things relating to Hawaiian surfboards and their creators, that Lopez only signed the blanks of his handshapes — never on top of the glass.

Still, I am a bit confused, given that there are some distinct qualities about the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt being sold on eBay, that matches up with some other boards that were recently sold at auction.

As you can see in the pictures above, “A Pure Source” has been written on either side of the Lightning Bolt laminate. You can also see a Gerry Lopez signature off to the far right in the second picture. Back in the 1970s, “A Pure Source” was the marketing slogan for Lightning Bolt. Based on Rarick’s guidelines — the fact the eBay board has a Lopez signature on top of the glass, and not the blank itself — one might say the board is not a handshape.

And yet there were two boards sold at recent US Vintage Surf Auctions that were advertised as Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolts.

Board #1: 1975 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #180, Sold at USVSA (Link)

Gerry Lopez Lighting Bolt USVSA.JPG
Close up of the first USVSA board. You can see it has the same formatting with the signature. Pic via USVSA

The first USVSA board, pictured above, has the exact same signature formatting as the eBay board at the top of the page: you have “A Pure Source” written across the Bolt laminate, and then a Lopez signature off to the right, signed on the glass itself. The USVSA website dates the board to 1975, and it claims that it is a Lopez handshape. In addition, the USVSA site claims the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt is numbered #180.

Board #2: 1977 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #404, Sold at USVSA (Link)

Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt USVSA 1.JPG

Are we noticing a pattern yet? Same “A Pure Source” logo and handwritten signature in the exact same placement as the other two boards featured in the post. USVSA dates this board to 1977. This time, there’s a closeup of the serial number. The board is #404, which is stamped on the stringer. USVSA board #2 has a wedge stringer, which is an unusual touch.

It should also be noted that both USVSA boards have fin boxes. Rarick also tells me that the vast majority of Lopez handshapes made in Hawaii had glass-on fins.

In conclusion, I’m confused about how to explain this curious trio of Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt surfboards. Based on Rarick’s context, I do not believe any of these three boards are Lopez handshapes. As a refresher, none are signed beneath the glass, and at least two have fin boxes (it’s unclear with the eBay board whether or not the fin is glassed on.)

Second, both USVSA boards commanded relatively low prices at their respective auctions. Board #1 sold for $2,700 and board #2 went for $2,400. Compare this to a 1972 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt (with a glass-on fin, and a unique “signature”, which is a whole different story) sold at USVSA for $4,225, which you can find here.

I guess I can’t figure out why Lopez would go through the trouble of hand signing these boards with “A Pure Source” and a signature on the deck if he didn’t shape them himself. As always, if you have any information, please let me know! If there’s one thing I enjoy more than making bad jokes in blog post titles, it’s hearing from readers.

Joyce Hoffman Model for Hobie Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features the first-ever woman to have a signature surfboard in her name: Joyce Hoffman. As evidenced in the photo above, Hoffman rips! This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Hoffman is a part of the legendary Hoffman / Fletcher clan (daughter of Walter, niece of big-wave surfer Flippy, sister to Dibi, aunt to Christian and Nathan Fletcher…the list goes on). Joyce Hoffman was one of the few women who surfed Oahu’s fearsome Sunset Beach during the 1960s. In addition, Joyce Hoffman was one of the more accomplished competitive surfers of the decade, racking up a number of contest wins and even a famous Sports Illustrated writeup in 1965. Hobie Surfboard produced the Joyce Hoffman Model starting in the mid-1960s in order to capitalize on her growing status.

Joyce Hoffman and Margo Godfrey Oberg Makaha 1968.jpeg
Joyce Hoffman (left) and Margo Godfrey Oberg (right). Makaha, 1968. Photographer unknown; pic via Pleasure Photo

There is currently a Hobie Surfboards Joyce Hoffman model for sale on Craigslist, which is a great opportunity to shine a light on the board and its namesake. You can find a link to the board here.

Pics above are via the Craigslist posting. The Hobie Joyce Hoffman model measures in at 9’9″, and it features a step deck and a removable fin. Before we proceed, can we get a shout out to the poster for providing clear, detailed photos of the board in question? ShredSledz.net would have about three times the number of entries if more sellers posted great pics of their boards, but I digress…

The classic Hobie bolt-through fin clearly indicates the board was made in the 1960s. Check out the picture above on the right, which is a top down shot of the deck side of the tail.

The Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model pictured above is from Hobie’s initial run of boards. You can tell by the Joyce Hoffman signature and the diamond shape. Hobie Surfboards has an excellent blog post detailing the history of the board, including the fun fact that Joyce’s “signature” was in fact drawn by her mother! According to Dick Metz for the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center, the initial Joyce Hoffman model was introduced in 1967. Check out the SHACC’s link here, which has some great pictures, as well as a cool explanation of the board.

Pictured above is the SHCC’s Hobie Joyce Hoffman model. The fins on the SHACC and Craigslist boards look quite similar to one another. There’s a separate post on Hobie’s website dating the SHACC board to 1968.

Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model Terry Martin Signature.jpg
Close-up of the signature on the SHCC’s Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model. You can see it was also signed by Terry Martin, the longtime Hobie shaper. Pic via SHACC

The Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model belonging to the SHACC also has a signature from Terry Martin. I think it’s possible Martin could have shaped the board being sold on Craigslist, but given there are no signatures anywhere, it is difficult to say.

Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model Fin Terry Martin Signature.jpg
Close-up of a fin signed by Joyce Hoffman and Terry Martin. The yellow fin was an extra fin that goes along with the SHACC board. Pic via SHACC

The SHACC board also came with an extra fin, which you can see above. Note the construction: you can clearly see the screw, which was used to bolt Hobie fins through the decks of the boards. Swaylocks also has a thread with pictures of another first generation Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model; you can find the link here.

Finally, at some point the Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model was redesigned with a floral logo. I believe this happened sometime around 1968. As detailed in the SHACC post, Dick Metz believes that less than 400 of the first generation Joyce Hoffman Models were produced.

Joyce Hoffman Model 2nd Generation Logo.jpg
Close-up shot of the logo from a second generation Hobie Joyce Hoffman Model surfboard. As you can see, Joyce’s first name was removed from the board. Tsk, tsk, Hobie! Pic via Swaylocks

The removal of Joyce’s first name from the logo is suspicious, to say the least. One has to believe Joyce’s name was eliminated in order to make the board more appealing to male consumers. Curiously, the Joyce Hoffman Model was still referred to as such in Hobie advertisements.

Hobie 1968.JPG
Hobie ad from 1968. The board in the center is the second generation Joyce Hoffman Model. Note that the second row of photos shows the corresponding tails and fins for each board in the ad. Fitting in with the times, the second generation Joyce Hoffman Model had some vee added to its bottom. Pic via the incomparable DIS•PLACE•MEN•TIA

On the bright side, no amount of cynical rebranding efforts can dim Joyce Hoffman’s radness. The board’s seller is asking $600, and you can find a link to the board here.

Mickey Munoz Hobie Seaboard

If you’re in the Jersey Shore area and you have an inexplicable but no less compelling urge to check out a cool vintage surfboard, I would like to humbly suggest this Hobie Seaboard model, which can be found on Craigslist (Update: dead link removed).

I had never heard of this model before, so I decided to do some research, based on the info provided in the listing (which warns not to call “unless you’ve done your homework”, so consider this a quick crash course).

First, the poster claims this board was shaped by Mickey Munoz. In the second picture you can see what looks to be a Mickey Munoz logo laminate that can be found on the Hobie boards he shaped. Sadly there’s no closeup on the Craigslist posting, but this is consistent with other examples I have seen.

Here’s an example of a 70s Mickey Munoz shaped Hobie semi gun circa 1974 that was for sale at Island Trader Surf Shop in Florida:

Picture from Island Trader Surf Shop

You can clearly see the Munoz logo laminate, and it is also located at the tail.

Surfboardline.com has an excellent feature on Hobie collector Mark Jeremias’ collection. That post features a 6′10″ Munoz-shaped diamond tail single fin from 1976, and it has a great closeup shot of the Munoz-laminate, also at the tail. (Interesting note: the year on this laminate says ‘71…maybe they just never updated these for every year the boards were produced).

Picture from Surfboardline.com

So, returning back to the Hobie Seaboard in question, it definitely seems like a Munoz shape. What makes the Seaboard interesting is the clear “Seaboard” model name next to the logo.

Usually, the incredible Stoked-n-Board is my resource of questions of obscure surfboard information. Strangely, though, S-n-B’s Hobie entry doesn’t have a ton of info, so here is my best effort to provide some context around the Hobie Seaboard model, and put it all in one place.

The Seaboard model is associated with a few other well-known surfers besides Munoz. As you can see in the Craigslist post, the poster claims that well-known Florida shaper Greg Loehr dates the board to 1972. I found this Swaylocks thread that indicates the Seaboard model was a signature model made for Loehr back when he was a pro, and that it was shaped by both Munoz as well as Terry Martin. The Swaylocks thread is a “Hot Seat” feature in which Loehr answers questions posed by readers, so I tend to think this is reliable info.

The Hobie Seaboard model also makes an appearance in the book “365 Surfboards”, as the Craigslist poster says. Here’s the relevant picture, and you can find a lot of the book posted on Google Books:

The outline in the book looks similar to the board above, but it’s hard to see any clear logos.

The entry in “365 Surfboards” confirms that Gary Propper was also involved in the creation of the Seaboard model. Apparently, Propper was instrumental in getting Loehr his own signature model, which of course became the Seaboard.

Finally, I’d like to point out that there were multiple versions of the Hobie Seaboard. Surfboards.com has an example of another Hobie Seaboard, but with a different logo that clearly calls out Greg Loehr’s involvement:

Picture from Surfboards.com

The Seaboard listed on Surfboards.com doesn’t seem to have a Munoz laminate, though, which is interesting.

Anyway, I think this is such a rad board, and as a native East Coaster, I love the involvement of various east coast surf luminaries. It’s being offered for $600 on Craigslist, and unfortunately, I can’t say whether or not that’s a decent price. It looks like there are some scrapes on the right hand rail when looking at the deck, and I think any serious buyer should check that out along with the rest of the due diligence.

You can find the board here.