Corky: Nirvana for longboard collectors
I love it that there are so many people who have come to appreciate and collect vintage surfboards and other cool memorabilia.
Last year I got to attend the big vintage surfboard auction in Hawaii and I was blown away by the prices paid for some "collectible" boards. I personally felt that, generally speaking anyway, some of the amounts that some of the boards went for were kind of out of whack. Like some should have gone for more and some should not have gone for so much.
The basic thought being that some of the collectors really did not know what was what, but were enthusiastic buyers nonetheless. Auctions are like that.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, there is a whole different kind of vintage surfboard event: the annual Longboard Collectors Club meet. This is a fantastic event and will be held at Doheny State Beach from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. You are all invited to come down and take part. Bring along your old boards to sell, trade or just to show off. There will be scores of great boards and all kinds of other very cool surf stuff to see, trade for or purchase.
I went last year and it was one of the most fun and truly authentic "core" surfing events ever. This year looks to be even better.
The theme of this year's meet is in honor of the late surfing and surfboard building legend Donald Takayama. There will be displays of many of his classic surfboards and you are invited to bring any of your own to display, too. Many of your favorite surfing icons will be on hand to meet and say hello to and plenty of cool side events. One of which is the annual inductions into the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame.
This year's inductees include Dewey Weber, one of the greatest surfers of all time and a surfboard building icon of the 1960s. Known as the "Little Man on Wheels," Dewey was a frontrunner in the modern radical form of "hotdog" surfing. His "whip turns" and slashing "cutbacks" set the pace for a whole generation to follow.
I remember painting my board red and getting a pair of white trunks at one time just so I could look like him. I am going to leave out the peroxiding my hair part.
Another major icon in both surfing and the surfing industry as a whole being inducted is the great Jack O'Neill, who is known as an innovator in surfing wetsuits for more than 60 years and the originator of the O'Neill brand. Jack was also instrumental in early surfboard design in the Northern California area.
Floyd Smith, the "Smith" in Gordon and Smith Surfboards, is next on the list. G & S Surfboards have been at the leading edge of surfboard building and design since before most of you were born. Floyd migrated to Australia many years ago and has continued to be active in the surfboard industry over there ever since.
Speaking of Australia, another of this year's inductees is the infamous Joe Larkin. Joe's contributions to surfboard design date all the way back to the 1950s and through his father even farther. He's probably not all that well known to the general public here in the U.S., even though he should be. This dude is a real surfing treasure. You will want to say hello and meet him, he's a great person.
One of my favorite people in the surfboard world also being inducted is Doug Haut. Doug has been building amazing surfboards in Santa Cruz for as long as I can remember. Never went for the big time and producing zillions of boards. He always stuck to high-quality, personally attended and functional clean-lined surfboards. Doug might be one of the few people who can be proud of every single board out there with his name on it.
Bill Bahne is the last inductee. This is one of those "behind the scenes" kinda dudes who has had a major effect on the surfboard industry without most people even knowing it. Operating a surfboard fiberglassing factory in San Diego that also served as one of the major surfboard fin and fin box suppliers in the world and much more, Bill was also the manufacturer of Mike Doyle's "mono ski." The mono ski is the link that took the sport of skiing into the snowboard dimension. Bill has been a huge contributor to the development of the surfboard industry since the 1960's.
This is an event you don't wanna miss. Plenty of food and fun for the whole family. If you see an old fat dude that looks like he used to be somebody, say hi, it will probably be me.