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?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!
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