Progress is and can be bad for a sport. In surfing we do not cherish our landmarks. I have complained several times that the Old Hobie shop is a Taco Shop now. It should be a historical landmark. So let me pick on you for a minute. Most surfers do not care about surfing history. They care more about the next wave and their next board. That is a crying shame because Surfing has recent history. People, Buildings, Surf Spots, Memorabilia and Surfboards are pretty recent. That means you can still see them or at least had a chance to meet the real people. Well, not everything surf spots have definitely changed. What about the old shops? I believe the only company in the same building is Rich Harbour at Harbour Surfboards in Seal Beach. I invite you to correct me.
Today’s blog is intereactive! You provide the information and pictures! Get on your thinking caps because here is your assignment. Look at the pictures and answer the questions.
What two shops are these? Where were their location? What is in the location now? What made these shops special? Who were your favorite employees
What two shops are these? Where were their location? What is in the location now? What made these shops special? Who were your favorite employees?
This is kind of fun? I must mention my friends on the form at longboard.net they have been super helpful finding me photos and providing information, thank you to all who have helped me. Now it’s your turn to help? Send me photos of sixties storefronts of surf shops? I need all the information you can provide. You can use the questions above as your guide. I want surf shops who were dealers also not just manufacturers! One added question from above did these small shops produce local shapers?
You got plenty of homework! Remember a photo with you’re reply is worth a 1000 words. In this case part of the puzzle!
Keep Surfing, daCoach PS: the last three photos are extra credit!!!
Also my wish lists for shops is on longboard.net! Got any for me???
I am pretty good old friends with Kevin Sumlin the Texas A & M Head Football Coach. You would have be simply not a sports fan or dead to know that his Heisman Tropy Winner Freshmen Quarterback signed some autographs for companies this last summer. When I wrote this blog his fate was not known. On a Saturday Morning I saw a beautiful Jacobs 422 on ebay. It was purchased from the now closed Longboard Grotto. The owners took it to Dale Velzy and Dale signed it and did the picture thing. It is true that Dale did shape some of the 422. But here is the question: Does Dales autograph on the surfboard make it more valuable? This owner seemed to think so?
I have been lucky starting in this collecting game early. When a wood board would pop up and the sales pitch would be applied. That famous shaper X shaped the board. With old wood boards there is no way to exactly identify them. So, I simply went to work. I called two people first was Dale Velzy and second was Reynolds Yater. If the board was made in Hawaii Renny had a tremendous memory of what tools the shapers had available when they were in Hawaii. Dale was not as good as Renny’s recall. Foam boards are easier. Some shops like Bing and Harbour have the records available. But for the most part the other manufactures do not keep their written records. First of all to keep up with the demand there were others shapers in the back room. The is no way Greg Noll could have shaped every Greg Noll surfboard made in the sixties. Nor Hobie Alter who made a ton also! All manufactures had to use other shapers. Collectors use terms: Ghost Shaper were another person shapes the surfboard and the known shaper signs the board. Back Room Shapers the men who shaped many surfboards for a maufacture but were given no recognition. Unless the shaper cutomized the serial # there is no way to tell who shaped the surfboard.
Personally I have never been a big autograph guy! The Coach does not like old vintage surfboards signed by the owner of the company. To me it makes you out to be a groupie so to say. Composure around celebraties has always been my style. I have never ran up to famous football coaches I do not know and shake their hands. Nor do I introduce immediately a famous coach to people around me while I am engaged in a conversation because I do not know that person and they may not want to be introduced. The Autograph thing just is not my style. This is my personal beleif. Shapers signature on the outside of the glass does not make it more valuable. Shapers signature under the glass a different story. In fact I believe it detracts from the asthetics of the surfboard. You cetainly would not see Leonardo’s bold signature on the Mona Lisa would you? No you wouldn’t because it would detract from the beauty of the piece of art. Sport signatures/autographs are bold to bring attention to the signature. In my appraising you do not get extra value with the owner of the surboard company signature on the outside of the glass. How do either of you know he really shaped the board. I was once told that there is a 70% chance he did not in the hey day!
It is easy to take credit for something. Some people find it super fun to collect autographs. I do not think it is wise to have someone sign your vintage board. However, you might think it really cool and that is OK! So let us all see your autographed surfboard? Always remember a photograph with you reply is a 1000 words. Don’t be shy convince me there is a place for this in our surfing memorabilia collecting!
Keep Surfing, daCoach