Rare Boards (and an Even Rarer Book) Auction Raises $680k for Surfing Heritage Spot: Update

See the update at the end of page 2 on last weekend's Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction raising $680,000 and other event details.

Rare Boards (and an Even Rarer Book) Auction Raises $680k for Surfing Heritage Spot: Update

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 9, 2 P.M.: The Surfing Heritage & Cultural Center in San Clemente is putting "some of the world's most rare and iconic surf memorabilia" up for auction on Saturday, with bidding allowed online or in person at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Officials expect some surfboards to fetch $10,000-plus, but the "crown jewel of the auction" is believed to be a copy of The Surf Riders of Hawaii, which author A.R. Gurrey Jr. made by hand between 1911-15 and is considered the first book to showcase surfing.

"Initially made to sell in his local art shop in the still desolate Waikiki beach in the early 1900s, A.R. Gurrey Jr. was one of the first photographers to capture the surfing phenomena, thereby opening the sport to world-wide attention," reads the center's description. "With only eight known books in existence, the one available at the live auction was the copy that was found by Gurrey's family in his personal belongings, and features images of some of the first modern surfers in Hawaii, including Duke Kahanamoku."

Other items that should draw healthy bids:


"In 1929, the surfing son of a co-founder of Pacific Systems Homes convinced the company that built prefabricated homes to build and market surfboards creating the first surfboard manufacturer. Meyers Butte custom ordered this board for his son Wilson in the 1930s and it became a family heirloom that was customized throughout the generations. This custom construction, with only redwood as stringers and no redwood to protect the rails, results in a unique board owned by the family that caused it all to happen. Pre-auction estimate: $8,500-$20,000."

"Known best for his 1950s balsa wood big wave guns, the enigmatic Pat Curren didn't shape many boards out of polyurethane foam and fiberglass but almost every one he produced was a work of art. This early 1960s semi-gun is no exception. In excellent condition it features the classic Curren lines, built for no-nonsense performance in serious surf. Pre-auction estimate: $7,000-$15,000."


"This Pat Rawson-shaped gun was custom made for two-time world champion Tom Carroll to use to win the 1988 Hard Rock World Cup at Sunset Beach. Rawson, considered one of the North Shore's premier gunsmiths, foiled this 8'3 super-narrow squash tail specifically for Carroll, who put on what many longtime observers claim is still the best contest performance ever seen at Sunset Beach. Pre-auction estimate: $3,000-$10,000 (no reserve)."


"In the early 1970s, California surfers tended to be fiercely loyal to their regional shapers but none of these developed a cult-like following quite like Dogtown's Jeff Ho, whose Zephyr label came to define the ultimate 'locals' brand. Featuring Ho's characteristic boxy rail and beaked nose, this wicked machine is finished with airbrush graphics reflecting street art from the tough neighborhood this board came from. The art has the look and feel that C.R. Stecyk was known for creating during this iconic time period. Pre-auction estimate: $2,500-$5,000."

In-person bidding can be done at the Orange County Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, where you'll also find exhibits, art, music, food, and VIPs including Greg and Jed Noll, Renny Yater, Peter Mel, Rusty Miller, Peter Townend, Larry Bertlemann, Chris Christenson and others. Bidding packages are available to those who would like to participate in a special dinner reception. For more, "like" this: https://www.facebook.com/VintageSurfAuction or follow on Twitter: @SHSurfAuction. To pre-register for online bidding, visit: http://www.thevintagesurfauction.com/. For more on the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center, go to: www.surfingheritage.org.

UPDATE, MAY 15, 1:33 P.M.: Last weekend's Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction, presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection at the OC Fairgrounds, raised $680,000, according to organizers.

Among the surf legends and industry icons who turned out were Tom Curren, Peter Mel, Keith Malloy, Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, Mark Cunningham, Greg Noll, Larry Bertlemann, L.J. Richards, Mickey Munoz, Peter Townend, Rich Harbour, Rusty Miller, C.R. Stecyk III, Paul Naude and Fernando Aguerre.

Curren, who is known these days as much for his music as his surfing, gave a performance at the event, and Reef co-founder Aguerre was the highest bidder for an item. He laid down $32,400 for the Pete Peterson 1949 California Point Break Board.

The Surf Riders of Hawaii handmade book by A.R. Gurrey sold for $28,000.

Proceeds help the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center continue to educate future generations about the history of surfing, particularly along the Orange Coast.

"I'm stoked that all of the surfers and collectors supported the event's debut in California," says Scott Bass, the auction director, in a statement from sponsors. "The strong demand for the rare surfboards and memorabilia was demonstrated by more than 90 percent of the lots selling. After the solid showing [Saturday], we are looking forward to doing it again in two years."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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