Vintage may be cool.
But vintage surfboards — and really hip artifacts of surfing culture — are the coolest by far.
And this year’s Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, held July 22 and 23 at the Blaisdell Center, promises to be the best yet.
“This auction attracts a serious gathering of international surf collectors who know their stuff and share my deep passion for surfing history and the unique items this auction offers,” says event organizer and collector Randy Rarick (who also serves as executive director of the prestigious pro surf event Vans Triple Crown of Surfing). “I travel the world on a mission to discover quality, historic pieces and to ultimately make the connection between seller and buyer. It’s a win-win all around.”
This is the sixth event in 10 years, with the first five garnering more than $2.6 million worth of privately owned pieces in the auction, which has included everything from personal surfboards to trophies of famous surfers to original artwork.
This year, 65 percent of the pieces offered will be antique surfboards from the turn of the century through to the mid-1980s. (In order for an item to be considered “vintage,” it must be at least 25 years old.)
And get this: every board on offer is “good enough to hang or take out and ride,” Rarick says.
His ultimate warehouse find was from the Santa Paula, Calif. airport hanger of movie actor Steve McQueen. It’s a pristine 1963 speed board shaped by Pat Curren that was stored alongside McQueen’s famous motorcycles, race cars and movie props.
Surfboards are always the top drawcard at the auction, with some going as high as $40,000. (That was the offer for a 1949 11-foot Bob Simmons foam sandwich board.)
A portion of all auction sales will go to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Scholarship Fund and to the Surfing Heritage Foundation. For those unable to attend in person, the auction will be broadcast live on the internet with internet bidding in real time.