How to rate your antique surfboard 1-10

Will my old Greg Noll Surfboard put my kid through college?   How about you and I try and figure it out?

Many Collectors use a one to ten scale.  Please note when you are buying something off the net there is that thing called photoshop.   Scammers can lighten up foam, remove dings and water damage, so please beware!  Their handy work makes the surfboard look better than it is.  They can make a 6 look like an 9!

Lets start at the beginning or renew you knowledge to get you on my page.  Here’s a selection of terms used by collectors to accurately rate a board.  Remember not all collectors are surfers!

  • Ding:  a hole in the board (This should include boards which have been broken in half and repaired)  I consider a leash plug a ding!
  • Meshes: Where the board has been hit but did not ding.  This results in the weave of the fiberglass showing.
  • Sun Damage:  Browning, Yellowing, and Creme color of the foam.  These boards generally stored outside sometime in their life!
  • Original:  No restoration what so ever, may include originally repaired dings from the past.  Original means original!
  • Pop Outs:  Mass produced surfboards in the sixties  that have no inhibitor in the foam.  The foam will turn yellow to brown fast and has inlayed stringers.   Pop Outs are generally not high valued antique surfboards.  But, every collector has to have at least one.  I have a Tiki (in the museum in Monterey)- so yes, they do have some value, but they will not put your kid through college, no way!
  • Restoration:  A new gloss coat (new coating to make board water tight),  and/or new color added to hide damage

Note:  Most collectors are sensitive to restorations.  If  a seller is advertising a board in “original condition” and work has been done,  it is a trick to get you to pay more!  Collectors want them as clean and original as possible!  This is not like antique autos were you restore them and sell them for a bundle in Pebble Beach in August!

In addition when you are restoring a board for riding purposes, you are adding weight to the original design.  The surfboard will generally not respond like a board did in original condition.

My rating system:

#1-2   Sunburnt to a crip, several dings, in two pieces and repaired.   Note: should not be restored, unless it is really a personal sentimental surfboard of a family member or friend.  You will never retain your restoration investment.

These boards are Not Collectible,  Value Low

#3-5    Dings,  Sun Damage,  Water Damage,  again very questionable to restore.

These boards are Not Collectible   Value Low

#5-6     Minimal Dings,  Yellow to Creme Color, No Water Damage, possible candidate for restoration

These boards are Low in collectible value,  however new collectors want these boards to get started.   These boards are also called a “Rider”.  People still surf them on small days or in antique board surf contests

#7-8    No dings,  Creme Foam, No Sun-damage, No water Damage

These boards are Collectible,  They have value!

#9-10  White Foam,  No Dings, Look Factory fresh new, Museum Perfect!

These boards have the highest Collectability

Check out these photo examples of  surfboards and how I would  personally rate each board.  Please note: I have an extensive collection and do private appraisals for cash (Insurance companies are very hard to please).  I am very picky on what I think is a 9 or a 10!   The boards are listed by number top to bottom.  Yes, to your question, I have been scammed!

Board 1=  Pop out, I would rate this board at a 6, a surfboard I appraised for an estate sale.

Board 2= This board foam creamy (the picture does not do the foam justice),  I rated it as a 6,  I actually own this board and bought it from the Chuck Dent Shop for $400 in 2010!

Board 3=  This board has some dings, creme foam, resin pigment panels  I rate this board as a 7, considered purchasing this board.

Board 4=  This is a rare one in my collection,  the eighth board Henry Fry made, purchased from the original owner.  No dings, white foam– this board is an 8.  It can be seen on display in the museum in Monterey.

Board 5= Very clean foam, white, appears to have a little mesh on tail,  This is a 9!

Now, send me some question, photos or whatever!  Keep Surfing, Pete

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