Iconic Names, They fooled you then and oh boy do they fool you now!? Don’t get tricked!

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We are taught at a very young age to recognize logos, slogans, and names.  Asked any baby boomer that on his or her jeans they looked for that red Levis tag!  The Television and radio were full of reminders.  Oh so true in Surf!  The shapes of logos were extremely important.  The name of the owner Dale Velzy, George Downing and Duke Kahanamoka not to forget the Bing, Yater, Hobie and of course Greg Noll and many more.  Back in the sixties we were all impressionable kids!  A friend dropped a name to us and it stuck in our heads.  Now speculators, antique dealers and memorabilia dealers prey upon that same logo/name recognition.  Were we tricked back in the sixties?  Are we being tricked now?

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I am focusing on three major surfing iconic names: Dale Velzy, George Downing and Duke Kahanamoka.  All three men sold their names.  All three men made a great deal  of money by doing this.  All three men had problems with credibility by doing so.  Thousands of surfboards were produced with these iconic names laminated onto decks.  Just by the sure numbers it would be impossible for these three men to be personally involved with any phase of production.  In fact the men who produced the Velzy Surfboard of Champions were not Surfers!  Let me repeat that, the men who produced the Velzy Surfboard of Champions were not Surfers!  This was big business of the day.

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Velzy sold his name Bohemian which produced pop out surfboards between 1960-1970.  They were financed by Johnson & Johnson.  They produced 3300 surfboards.  Dale actually put his hands on about 150. While others shapers actually touched 250.  Pop out foam was used, stringers inlayed, and tons of colors to hide flaws!!

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George Downing sold his name to Halmark.  Halmark had a exclusive contract with the national sporting good chain “Oschman’s”.  There is little information but after checking the number of Oschman’s Sporting Goods Stores thousands were made.  There is no record  of George Downing ever touching any of these surfboards.

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Duke Kahanamoku sold his name to Pacific Plastics.  There is a possibility that 72 of these boards were  custom shaped for team riders.  Blanks were furnished by Ventura Plastics.  Pacific Plastics also made: Tiki, Ten Toes, Shark, Inland Surfer, and Sting Ray.  All pop outs sold in Sears and Montgomery Wards department stores and else where.  Most of these boards were pigment to cover up production mistakes and flaws.  The stringers were inlayed!  Most had fancy wood fins for sales appeal.  There is no record of the Duke touching any of these surfboards during manufacturing.

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At least when I was a kid a pop out identified you as a hodad or a gremmie immediately.  It was not cool to own these boards.   The Tiki in my collection came from Spreckles California over the hill.  The young lady who it was bought for, (out of Sears for $59.99) refused to take it to the beach she wanted a board from O’Neill’s Surf Shop.  So that board sat in a garage from 1962 til 1986 before I liberated it!  These boards were not desirable.

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Fast forward,  every speculator who gets one of these surfboards (regardless of condition) gets on the internet and sees one of these three names. Bingo, he knows he going to sell the surfboard for $10,000+.  When you try to explain the history on the board they accuse you of the same thing they are trying to do you,  Rip You OFF!!!!

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Iconic logos and names,  what’s your story?  Please don’t tell me they tricked you?  Come on Halloween is a long way off.  Remember a picture with your reply is worth a 1000 words!  Don’t get tricked, listen to daCoach!!!!!!!

Keep Surfing,  daCoach

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Why we should collect Surfing Memorabilia??

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I just did an article with Mike Clancy for the Pacific Grove. California. weekly newspaper in regards to my Classic Surfboard  Museum at On the Beach Surf Shop.  A standard question is always “Why did you  start collecting Surfboards?”.  Well, there is a primary reason and then their developed a second and third reasons.  When I did the previous article on the Longboard Collectors Club, my friend, Steve Collins, when I mentioned it to him he agreed.  Thanks Steve!

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I started collecting surfboards really by accident.  I was at this flea market in Hayward California in the early seveneties.  My father had just given me a $5 portable transistor radio and  I saw this 9-7 Tinted blue Haut for  Pleasure Only model.  The guy in the booth said he would trade me my radio for the board.  The board was way to thin to float me.  At that time of my life I was heavy into Rugby and surfing only 2 to 4 times a summer and spring.  Then it dawned on me,  if I don’t start saving these old boards they are all going to become landfill and what would these kids I was planning with Cathy do to see what dad enjoyed as a teenager!  Collection started my own 9-8 Jacobs and the Haut.

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I collected about a dozen  in the seventies after that inital start.  I surfed them all then and then wised up and started hanging them.  I put a sign up in my classroom at Encinal High School in Alameda they dribbled in.  Most people wanted to get rid of them so it was easy during the seventies.   Then I got the Monterey High School football coaching  job in 1985 and moved to Monterey California.  My collection started to hum, hum not the word it screamed!  I put several of my boards in my brother’s surf shop, Newport Surf & Sport.  Could not afford to keep up with the referrals.  Previous to that I was running ads in local newspapers.  That worked super for a while.  But now everyone knew the Coach was looking for old boards.

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My goal was still intact to preserve surfing history.  There were less than ten collectors then and everybody thought we were all crazy!  We were a close knit group.   All of us friends and that’s when I realized even greater pleasure from collecting surfing memorabilia.  I developed a whole new group of close friends.  Yes, there were many people who I met later on in my collecting who went be the wayside.   Yes, I call them acquaintances now and not friend for one reason or another they didn’t keep contact.  Nevertheless, It was fun being their friend while it lasted.

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Making new friends and #3 reason just plain FUN!  My brother Tommy has enabled me to be well connected in the Surf Industry which opened many new doors.  But the many collectors and just fans of surfing have been the funest!  It is great to have an older person ask me “Do you have one  of those (the name of a board).  Then that person drifts off to a  better time in his/her life, tells a story and bingo a new friend.  Yes, I had fun listening and learning.

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I stayed true to my goal,  preserving surf history.  That is why I do not sell my surfboards. Most of my collection is available to the public at no charge.  My second and third goals all of you make it happen for me.  New friends and more fun it just doesn’t get any better.  What’s your story?  Remember pictures with your response say a 1000 words.  Keep Collecting, Keep making new friends and have FUN!  If your not run a mile and think about, listen to daCoach!

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Keep Surfing,  daCoach

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