Vintage Surf T Shirts


Over the years a family joke and favorite teasing  by my surf buddies and coaching colleagues is “People Like the Noble Brothers, they give them things”.  I would like to think that Tommy and I are super friendly, generous and loyal people.  It is nice to be nice, and do we need more of that in  today’s world.  Things that are given to me or from a team  deal,  I believe it is important to pass the stuff on after I have enjoyed it.  You will find 100′s of items I have given away to big guys while traveling.  It is the right thing to  do!  Several of my buddies have taken old surf event t shirts and have them made into quilts.  A lot of people do that.  However, there are a lot of people who sell their old stuff.  There are people who love to wear old T Shirts.  There are just as many who collect Vintage Surf T shirts.  The are hundreds of dealers for Vintage Clothing,  especially T Shirts.


Let’s first review Vintage Surf Clothing.   Insects, moisture and washing are not friends of any vintage clothing.  A smart person has these items dry clean.   Yep, expensive to maintain your vintage clothing.  Museum have examples of vintage clothing in sealed cases,  a hint to how delicate they are.  While coaching football at Monterey Hight School we had to hang the football jerseys so they wouldn’t mildew off season! moisture evil.  So this stuff is worn and delicate.  You have issues to deal with if you choose to collect and or wear this stuff.



Some important T Shirt Collecting keys:  Give Away Shirts at the ball park/store/events are the most valuable,  shirts with date more valuable than without, and events that have stopped and or business no longer in business valuable.   Watch out for knock offs!  Know your T Shirt labels an Manufacturers.  Research old surf ads for prints on shirts.

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Dealers buy old clothes for as little as a dime.  Not many of the dealers I contacted paid more than $10 a shirt.  For a dealer to pay you $10 it would have to be never worn and in perfect condition or very special.  That is where and how you stored it comes into play.  Vintage clothing sales are sporadic.  So dealers have to sit  on this stuff.  Like you they have challenges storing items.   But, Yes,  they know and have customers/collectors that are constantly looking for these T Shirts.  These T Shirt that I researched vintages ranged from the 70′s to the 8o’s.  On Ebay all were dealers and had other Vintage Clothing items.  Starting bids ranged  from $20 to $120.  Older T Shirts listed most had no bids!  Condition ranged from New to Nice.  I couldn’t determine what nice met nor could I get a reasonable answer from dealers.


I have sold a Con Surf Team Penny’s Towncraft to a collector.   Sat on that shirt for 10 years.  I stored it in a vacuum sac bag!  Do you have any stories about Vintage Surf T Shirts?  Remember with your reply a photo says a 1000 words.


Keep Surfing, daCoach



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Duke Kahanamoku Surfboards: Are these surfboard that valuable?


With the economy what it is,  we see people trying to make as much money as they can regardless of the reason on anything.  Now don’t get  me wrong, this is no excuse to cheat somebody. However, we have seen a consistent listings on Ebay of way over priced Duke Kahanamoku Surfboards.  I have done research on these boards all summer.  All but one for sale was by a surfer I think.  All others were from non-surfing people.  Please forgive them because they know not what they are doing!


Let’s review by taking part of Iconic Name blog, 8/25/14: 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.  Do I need to ask all you surfboard collectors:  Are any Pop Outs worth big bucks???  I think we all already know your answer, NO!

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So I googled Duke Kahanamoku to see what these people’s research would look like. Wikipedia said the following.  Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Hawaiian competition swimmer who was also known as an actor, lawman, early beach volleyballplayer and businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing.[1] Kahanamoku was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming.  No were did it mention these surfboards.  I checked all reference sites off Wikipedia.  I read Surf Line’s biography of the Duke, no mention of these surfboards.   In fact there was no mention of these surfboards and Duke’s name on any biography I researched.  Those key words “businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing“.  These words leads the uneducated to their price.  Duke’s our king of surfing so his boards must be the most valuable?  They don’t see “businessman”.


In any in any collectibles as I have mentioned before, an object is only worth as much as a person is willing to pay!  The Ebay/Craig’s List Listing that sets up the novice sellers is the one board on the East Coast that started out at $12,000 and no bid/offers for a year.  The board moved to $10,000 last year same results.  Now the board at $9500 is the Duke Kahanamoku price standard for novice sellers.  I have asked every seller the same question? “What makes your surfboard so expensive and or so valuable”.  Every seller has quoted “If that guy can ask $9500 my board is in half that shape so mine is worth $4/5K”.  I have turned down offers of $3500 and $4000 (pure Whiskey Talk!,  we also have other words to describe those claims).  None of these surfboards received bids! Again, Novice/non surfer sellers who want to make as much money as they can because someone told them “It a Duke and has to be worth a lot of money?”.  More Whiskey talk!

$_14 $(KGrHqR,!n4FCo2!l)!8BQ)Mt5EuV!~~60_14$_14

If it’s not a Duke Kahanamoku its a Da Cat,  What your  way out of the ball park asking price story?  Remember a picture with your reply is worth a 1000 words.  But you picture won’t get you an extra Thousand Bucks for the board!  LISTEN TO DACOACH!!!

Keep Surfing, daCoach

PS:  None of  this is the Duke’s fault, it’s the sellers greed!  Not inteded to offend Duke.

Note:  Blue board asking price $1500,  all other photos asking price between $5000-9500


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