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.
The coolest thing about this board is that it sports a vintage Wave Tools logo. Check the picture below:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are few things more uncomfortable than watching an established older brand clumsily try to adopt a recent and unfamiliar trend. It’s the branding equivalent of a middle-aged guy rocking a pair of fancy jeans with embroidery on the back pockets. (I love Harbour Surfboards, but their 80s logo redesign is not my favorite.) Like any rule, though, there are exceptions. Surfboards Hawaii Mike Slingerland surfboards stand out as the rare example of a venerable old surfboard that managed an elegant transition into producing “modern” shortboards.
There are two Surfboards Hawaii Mike Slingerland shortboards currently up for sale on Craigslist, courtesy of Shred Sledz favorite “Jeff in LA”. I know nothing about Jeff except that he sells a lot of reasonably priced vintage boards on Craigslist, oftentimes with interesting SoCal pedigree. You can see his seller page here. The first board, pictured above, is an 80s 6′ quad fin, and the listing can be found here. Maybe my fondness for these board betrays my love of 80s surf graphics above all else, but I think this thing is so cool.
The second Surfboards Hawaii Mike Slingerland board is a 6’6″ thruster (really a 2+1…or if you want to get technical, a 1+2), and the board can be found here. The “red logo” board has a bunch of Slingerland trademarks, including channels on the bottom with a complementary airbrush, and then a cool fan logo I had never seen before. Neither of the boards is expensive, either: $240 and $225 for the quad fin and the “red logo” thruster, respectively. These aren’t in mint condition, but I think a watertight board without any major surgery for under $250 isn’t too shabby.
Sadly, there is very little written online about the history of Surfboards Hawaii. Founded by Dick Brewer, Surfboards Hawaii produced some of the most elegant longboards of the 1960s. At some point, Mike Slingerland began to shape for the brand. My guess is that was sometime in the 1970s, and he stayed on at least through the 1980s. You don’t see a ton of Surfboards Hawaii examples from the 70s and the 80s, and of the ones I glimpse, many of them have Slingerland’s name attached. Most recently, Slingerland has been shaping boards for San Diego surf shop Surfy Surfy, and I believe he currently lives in San Diego.
The Surfboards Hawaii Mike Slingerland boards could not be more different from their prececessors. And while the Slingerland examples are a far cry from the noseriders and subtle logos of the 1960s, they are undeniably rad in their own distinct way.
Let’s face it: no one would ever confuse Shred Sledz with real journalism. The upside is that we don’t have to pretend to be objective. Case in point: Shawn Stussy is a blog favorite, and until he says something nasty about us, that’s not likely to change. Stussy got his start shaping surfboards in Southern California. He printed up t-shirts for his fledgling brand, and soon his namesake company ended up becoming a streetwear juggernaut. And while Stussy’s best-known and most coveted surfboards are from the eighties, Stussy began his shaping career at a different Southern California brand: Russell Surfboards. For all you fellow Stussy-philes, there’s currently a Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy board for sale on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. I have reproduced some of the pictures below.
The poster claims the board was shaped in 1973. It’s not surprising to hear that date given the outline and the dimensions of the board: 7’5″ x 19″. The coolest part of the board is the hand drawn Stussy logo, which you can see at the top of the page. Stussy’s boards are difficult to find as is, much less a clearly marked example of a Russell board. Rarer still is the logo: this is the only example I have seen of a hand-drawn Stussy logo on a Russell board.
According to Russell Surfboards’ website, Stussy, along with Jeff Timpone, handled the bulk of shaping duties for the brand from the mid- to late-1970s. Stussy’s run ostensibly ended in 1980, when he struck out on his own. I was able to find a picture from his Russell days. If you look closely, you can see the Russell Surfboards logo on his t-shirt.
Russell Surfboards has its roots in Newport Beach, where it was founded in 1967. During the seventies the brand was also referred to as “The Brotherhood” in reference to a tight-knit group of locals that surfed Newport’s best breaks. The Brotherhood included surfers like Junior Beck, Lenny Foster, Billy Pells, Paul Heussenstamm, and Jack Briggs. You’ll see The Brotherhood branding on a number of Russell boards from this era:
There’s an excellent blog post from a site called The Central Shaft that details one of The Brotherhood’s early trips down to Puerto Escondido during the mid-seventies. There are some incredible pictures of some Newport locals surfing Stussy’s boards in the pounding beachbreak for which Puerto Escondido has become infamous.
And if you’re into quiver porn, the article features a shot of a quiver Stussy shaped during his Russell days. The Central Shaft suggests this quiver was shaped for the Puerto Escondido trips, but a recent article in The Surfer’s Journal indicates that this is actually Stussy’s quiver for the 1974 winter, which he spent in Kauai.
In The Central Shaft blog post, Stussy goes on to describe the boards he shaped for the Puerto Escondido trip.
These boards were usually between seven six and eight six, nose and tail blocks from scraps of fin panel that the glass on fin was made from, also the leash mound when that started to happen, yellow tint with full gloss and polish, double and triple touching resin pinlines Russell would lay down, shit was awesome… we were so committed to making what we called “Cadillacs” at the time… a full sixties vibe was alive and well at the brotherhood in that period… love these pictures and this part of my shaping life…
I was also able to find an example of another Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy creation. This one comes courtesy of Board Collector / Damion Fuller. I have added two of the pictures below. It’s a classic twin fin shape, and according to Damion, the board was shaped in the late 1970s. You can see a Stussy signature on the stringer in the second picture; it’s also signed Greg, and I’m not sure who this is. If you have tips, let me know! The Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy twin fin also has a Larry Bertlemann-inspired spray job, which is a beautiful touch. See the original post here. Stussy crafted some pretty fantastic twin fins in the eighties under his own brand, and Damion’s site has some great pictures as well.
Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy twin fin, shaped in the late seventies. Pic via Board Collector.
Sadly, Robert Russell Brown, who founded Russell Surfboard, passed away in 2011. Stussy wrote a tribute to the man on his personal blog. It’s clear that Stussy remains very much influenced by his time at Russell Surfboards.
You can find the Craigslist link to the Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy shape at the top of the page here. The seller is asking $750. The board needs some repairs, particularly on the bottom, but I don’t think this is an outrageous price. Stussy maybe known for his eighties design, with their bright colors and intricate logos, but the Russell single fin is a rare artifact from his earlier shaping days.
Corrections / Updates July 9 2017
Updated the photo credit for the featured photo, which was taken by Craig Fineman. In addition, the quiver shot was originally credited as having been created for a Brotherhood trip to Puerto Escondido; an article in The Surfer’s Journal claims the quiver was made for a Kauai winter in 1974.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is going to revisit a shaper / surfer I covered recently: native Texan turned Hawaiian big wave charger Ken Bradshaw. You can see my original post here. This time, my post will be focused on the market for Bradshaw’s boards, and the prices that are being fetched.
The board pictured above is a Ken Bradshaw thruster, shaped sometime in the 1980s, that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. As of the time of this post, the bidding was a little over $200, with less than six days until the auction ends.
The original Ken Bradshaw post on this site featured a very similar board that went for sale a few months ago. I have posted a picture below.
Both of these boards were originally sold by the same seller (eBay username cashjack). The blue board above was sold less than two months ago, and the final sale price was $725. You can find a link to the blue board’s original eBay auction here.
The blue board has actually been re-listed on eBay. The board has a Buy it Now price of $1500 — almost double its original closing price. I suspect the original buyer is now trying to flip the blue board for a quick profit. In fact, the new listing (link here) contains the exact same description as the original one! The new seller, unlike cashjack, looks more like a professional eBay seller than a surfboard collector. I don’t know that the blue Bradshaw will command $1500, but it will be interesting to watch.
Likewise, it will be interesting to see what the red board sells for. I personally prefer the look of the red board, with the distinctly 80s wave design on the deck.
One thing to note about the red board is that it does not have a Bradshaw signature on it. I don’t know enough to say whether or not this means the board was shaped by someone other than Bradshaw. Contrast this with the blue board, which has a clear Bradshaw signature on the stringer:
Finally, there’s a third Bradshaw board up for sale on eBay. You can find the link to the board here. This one isn’t in nearly the same condition as either of the two boards posted above, and as a result, I expect it to command a much cheaper price. Buy it Now price is $175. As much as I like this board — I love the rainbow gradient logos on the deck — it’s simply not in the same class as either of the other boards. There are also some dings that need repairs.
I’m curious to see where final prices will end up for all three of these boards. As always, boards with distinctive 80s spray jobs seem to command a premium. Check out the listings on eBay and, as always, Happy Shredding!
How cool is this thing?! Yater was the subject of my most recent post, but I might like the board above even more. I can’t be for sure, but it looks to have a bit of a vee bottom. The outline of this Yater hull is very reminiscent of some Liddle and Andreini hulls (specifically, Andreini’s Vaquero model.) The fin — both its rake and its placement — reminds me of Liddle’s boards.
Hull aficionado Kirk Putnam has an excellent pic on his blog that traces the lineage of Andreini and Liddle’s shapes back to George Greenough. I’ve added the picture below. Liddle’s board is at top, and the next two are Andreini Vaqueros. The fourth board from the top is a Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom shaped by John Price, and the board at the bottom is a Midget Farrelly stringerless vee bottom with a Greenough logo. I had been aware of Greenough’s influence on Andreini and Liddle, but had no idea that Yater had tried out some of these shapes as well. Andreini has made no secret of his admiration of Yater, and it’s cool to see a shape that combines the Greenough school of displacement hulls, and Yater’s more traditional side of California board building. If you have pictures of another Yater hull, please drop me a line!
Lopez’s boards for Lightning Bolt are by far the most collectible, but it seems like there’s a growing interest in some of his more obscure shapes. Pictured above is an extra clean example of Lopez’s signature model that he produced for Hansen in the late 1960s. What’s interesting about that board is that it actually featured two different logos. There’s an example of a different Hansen / Lopez board that was recently sold on eBay. It has the alternate logo, which I have reproduced below.
Bird Huffman is a San Diego fixture. He runs Bird’s Surf Shed, where he oversees an ungodly stash of vintage boards. Here Bird has come across two awesome early examples of boards from two separate San Diego craftsmen: Skip Frye and Steve Lis. Make sure you click through all the pictures in the gallery above. The Frye is very similar to the Select Surf Shop single fin I posted about recently, down to the glassed on wooden fin. I love the Frye wings logo towards the tail — never seen that placement before.
The Lis board is a funky shape, given that it’s a wing pin single fin, and Lis is best known for his fish designs. Make sure you follow Bird on Instagram, as he has been posting updates on the Lis board as he gets them!
Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest Shred Sledz Deep Dive! Today’s Deep Dive features a venerable Hawaiian surf brand that has long deserved a closer look: Surf Line Hawaii. Before I get into the history, though, let’s skip right to the good stuff: pictures of awesome surfboards.
First up is a single fin shaped by none other than respected Hawaiian shaper Dennis Pang. Pang got his start at Surf Line Hawaii in 1976, before moving on to some of the most recognizable Hawaiian brands, like Lightning Bolt, Town & Country, and Local Motion. The board below was originally listed on eBay (pics originally found on the eBay post).
Love the clean pinlines! Pic via eBay
A little wear and tear on the bottom, but otherwise very good condition
Clean, clean, clean!
This thing is clean and mean. I love the black & white color scheme and the pinlines, with just a touch of color on the logos on both rails. I was a bit stunned when the board didn’t sell for $450, considering that another Surf Line board by Dennis Pang sold for $1800 ten years ago!
Surf Line Hawaii History
Surf Line Hawaii began as a surf shop on Oahu. It was founded by Dave Rochlen, and I believe Fred Swartz as well. By the time the shortboard revolution started in earnest, the shop began to put out boards under its own label.
I was blown away when I saw all the well-regarded shapers who passed through Surf Line over the years. According to Stoked-n-Board, Ben Aipa, Randy Rarick, Tom Parrish and Michel Junod, in addition to the aforementioned Dennis Pang, all shaped for Surf Line at some point!
However, I was even more shocked when I found out that Lightning Bolt’s famed core group — Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni — were all early Surf Line shapers. Lopez actually spent some time working in Surf Line’s offices on the business side.
Here is a great Surfer Magazine interview with Tom Parrish that expands on how a bunch of Surf Line employees broke away to found Lightning Bolt. Bolt was founded by Lopez and Jack Shipley, the latter being Surf Line’s top salesman at the time. Shortly thereafter, Reno, Barry and co followed Lopez and Shipley out the door. It’s really saying something when it’s hard to find space to mention Dick Brewer‘s involvement with Surf Line, as well!
Surf Line Hawaii Surfboards
The board pictured below was shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni. It was sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007, where it went for a mere $1,000 (anyone have a time machine handy?) Pics were taken from the auction site (original link here). I love everything about this board: the listing calls the bottom a “root beer” color, the purple fin pops, and I love the logo, with its clean lines and two-tone color job.
After Lopez left to found Lightning Bolt, Buddy Dumphy took the lead on shaping boards at Surf Line. Lopez writes about Dumphy in his memoir “Surf Is Where You Find It”. Patagonia’s website has a great excerpt from Lopez’s memoir, “Surf is Where You Find It”, where Lopez describes his early friendship with Dumphy and their early experiences riding new surfboard designs.
I’m fascinated by Dumphy’s boards. While they seem to be coveted by a segment of collectors, Dumphy shapes don’t seem to generate the same excitement as those from shapers like Barry K, Reno, and of course Gerry himself. Still, Lopez’s respect for Dumphy speaks volumes about his abilities as a shaper. Sadly, Dumphy passed away as the result of a car accident sometime in the 1990s.
The single coolest Dumphy board I was able to find online was posted by HolySmoke.jp. I have no clue if the board is for sale but that airbrush is absolutely killer!
Here’s another Dumphy single fin, which was also sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007. I love the plumeria logo on the deck. It looks like this thing was shaped in the 70s for some serious North Shore surf. Pics taken from the original auction listing.
I was able to find a few Dumphy boards currently for sale online. There’s one currently for sale at New Jersey’s Brighton Beach Surf Shop, and it’s only listed at $450. Link to the board can be found here. I think it’s underpriced, considering the history of both the brand and Dumphy, but then again, the Pang board at the top of the page failed to clear the same $450 mark.
Surfboardhoard.com has a different Dumphy Surf Line Hawaii single fin for sale, but they don’t list the price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s north of $450. You can find that board here.
Surf Line Hawaii has such a rich history and a deep stable of shapers, it makes it hard to spotlight just a few boards! Standard Store / UsedSurf.jp are selling two other 70s single fins. Note that because the boards are in Japan, the prices are much higher. But they illustrate the wide variety of cool logos that Surf Line employed throughout the years. Boards can be found here and here (pictures below taken from Usedsurf.jp). The boards are credited to Steve Wilson / Welson (guessing the difference is a translation issue), but I couldn’t find any evidence of a shaper by that name. If anyone has some details, let me know!
Pics taken from UsedSurf.jp: http://www.usedsurf.jp/surfboards/vintage/USV10152.php
Pics taken from UsedSurf.jp: http://www.usedsurf.jp/surfboards/upload/images/USV10374_01.jpg
Finally, no Surf Line Hawaii post would be complete without a mention of Randy Rarick. In addition to organizing the Triple Crown of Surfing, putting on auctions like the aforementioned Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, Rarick restores old surfboards. There is currently a Surf Line Hawaii board for sale on eBay that Rarick restored. The board is not a Rarick shape, but rather, it was made in 1971 by Ryan Dotson. You can find a link to the board here, and I have included some pictures below as well. (Pictures are from the eBay listing.)
Surf Line Hawaii: Odds and Ends
Believe it or not, I haven’t even covered all of the Surf Line Hawaii shapers, like Rick Irons and Sparky Scheufele! If nothing else, that speaks to the incredibly deep collection of shapers that passed through the brand over the years. Sadly, Surf Line Hawaii no longer seems to be in business. It seems as if they stopped producing surfboards long ago (I would guess sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, but that is just a guess), and a Yelp listing indicates that Surf Line’s Honolulu retail location has closed, too.
Nonetheless, Surf Line Hawaii played a prominent role in the Hawaiian surf scene, and remains one of the most impressive collections of shaping talent ever.
I hope you enjoyed this Deep Dive! If you have any pictures of any Surf Line boards you would like to share, or any comments at all, please reach out via the Contact section. Thank you for reading, and may your stoke levels remain high and rising!
Featured Image at top from @aipasurf on Instagram. Original link to photo here.
Skip Frye is a San Diego shaper whose boards are a surf-themed lesson in supply and demand. To even place an order one must have Frye’s blessing, and as a result, there’s a healthy market for Frye’s boards whenever they hit the second market. Pictured above is a unique Skip Frye single fin shaped in the late 1970s.
The board is currently being listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, a decent ways up the coast from its home in San Diego. (Pictures above were taken from the Craigslist post, which can be found here). The asking price is $1100. That is a lot of money for a surfboard — especially one that has some dings that need fixing — but I think it’s fair, considering this is a Skip Frye board, and a unique one at that.
What really stands out to me is the “Select Surf Shop: Pacific Beach” graphic on top of Frye’s famous and timeless wings logo. The biography section on Frye’s website tells the story of how, after leaving Gordon & Smith in the mid 1970s, Frye struck out on his own, shaping in a room located behind Select Surf Shop.
The poster claims this board was shaped in the late 1970s, and this matches up with the timelines given on Frye’s own website. By 1980, Frye was back at Gordon & Smith once again, shaping boards for their label (though he may have also been shaping for himself as well; I am not sure of that).
Other aspects of the board point to the 70s, too: consider all the foam up front in the beaked nose, the wing pin design towards the back, and the glassed-on fin. I wonder if the leash plug was added after the fact, however. I don’t see a signature anywhere on the board, though I wouldn’t read too much into that. By way of contrast, Surfy Surfy, to no one’s surprise, has a great example of a Frye board from a similar era, which does have some signatures on the stringer. See below for pictures of Surfy Surfy’s 70s Frye (pics below via Surfy Surfy’s fantastic blog).
Returning to the Skip Frye single fin pictured at the top of the page, there’s also a chance that the “Select Surf Shop” logo is not underneath the glass, but on top of it. I tend to think this isn’t the case. The logos are very close together, and at the very least, Frye had an association with Select Surf Shop dating back to when this board was likely produced. As always ,though, if you have any more information on the board, I would love to hear it!
(This is part I of a series. For Part II, click here). There’s no debate about it: Al Merrick is one of the most influential surfboard shapers of all time. And in less than a month, Merrick will be honored at the most excellent Boardroom Show in Del Mar, California, as part of its Icons of Foam series.
Merrick founded Channel Islands Surfboards, which I believe is the single largest surfboard producer in the world today. Al’s son, Britt, has continued to put CI boards underneath the feet of the world’s top pros.
But if you’re a surfboard collector in search of the genuine article, there are a few helpful ways to identify whether or not a CI board was actually shaped by Al, or if it’s one of the far more plentiful production versions that can be found in surf shops around the globe. There are a few vintage boards currently for sale online that I will be featuring below, to illustrate the variety of options available to would-be CI collectors.
This is a classic 1980s Channel Islands thruster with great neon lams, and nice vintage touches like the glass on fins and then the logos along the rails. You’ll also notice a slight bump in the tail, which is a common template for CI’s 80s boards. I love these boards, and my personal opinion is that they are only going to become more collectible over time. The asking price for this board is $200, which might be a little pricey considering the condition, but isn’t outrageous. Link to the board is here.
However, Board #1 is not an Al Merrick hand shape. See below for a picture of the signature, which does not have Al’s name next to the distinctive fish icon:
Continue reading to see some examples of genuine Merrick hand shapes…
The first example is listed on Craigslist in Costa Mesa, in the heart of Orange County, California. Asking price is $300. You can find a link to the board here. This thing sports a beautiful two-tone acid splash paint job, with red on the deck and a nice deep green on the bottom. However, there is one significant catch with the board: apparently it has a visible twist, which will take some work to undo (assuming surgery goes correctly). Luckily, the honest seller here called out this fact ahead of time, but now is as good a time as ever to remind everyone that you never know a board’s condition just by looking at pictures.