Though it may already be on a 747 to Tokyo, it's probably not super valuable. Hope to see this thing again...
Maybe these tips will help you too? Here's what I like to do when I look at a used surfboard.
Sometimes a board will have some problems and it's just worth picking it up anyway. Sometimes the board looks great, but it's just a dud once it gets into the water. If you get stuck with a dud, you'll learn something.
What do you like to do when shopping for new gear?
I found the ad on CL while I was travelling. A quick email and call to a friend arranged a pickup. J & J completed the transaction for me. They met the seller at his house in SF who told them that he had used the board for tandem surfing. He was leaving SF and didn't want to bring the board along. J & J squeezed it into their hatchback (somehow) and brought it over when I got back to town.
The brand is SF, a small board-making operation and surfshop in San Francisco. It's a sweet-looking board: Nice green tint, 10' x 23" x3.5", triple-stringer, big fin in the finbox. Big, round rails and lots of volume. Kinda heavy though: lots of glass. When it gets into a wave, it really screams down the line. I've taken it to Linda Mar on small days, Ocean Beach on big days: the board works amazingly well in all conditions. Magic.
A few years back, I experienced a mishap. I paddled out at Linda Mar for a rare midweek after-work session. The waves had some energy and the paddle out took timing and paddle-energy. One incoming wave brought a surprising payload toward me: some hairy dude mis-timed his duck dive and ended up catching the wave backwards. The dude's fin jammed into and cut through the nose of my board. Sure, better the board than my shoulder or neck -- still I had a hole about 'that big' in my heart. Would this kill the magic?
I took the board up to the SF surf shop for repairs. Let John Schultze the board's maker fix it and it'll be good as new. John did a great job with it. When I picked up the board, he remembered making it. We talked about it a bit:
John: "Have you tried it in Bolinas? I made it for that wave."
Me: "Why yes, I have. In fact this board seems to really sing on the waves at Bolinas. It's a perfect match."
Me: "Can you make me an EXACT replica? 3-stringers, single-fin, resin tint? that and the magic. Don't leave out the magic. Oh yeah -- and a tail-block."
John: "Nope. Can't work with giant blanks like that anymore."
Me: gasp! "Then I better take care of this thing."
Today, the board is mostly watertight. Lots of little dings and spider-cracks put this thing at risk for getting waterlogged and eventually destroying it (not to mention hairy dudes who can't duckdive). Each year around my birthday I wax this thing up and drag it up to Bolinas for some magic.
I meant to post a rocker-shot too, I'll do this later.
The deck has the dimensions and says 'For Scott at Ocean Beach'. Who is Scott? Why did he sell the board? What's he surfing now?
The guy who sold it to me said that he had done some repair work to the nose. He added the paint to the deck (probably to cover up some of the work on the nose), but mentioned that that was common for boards from this era. He offered the following advice about the leash-hole in the tail:
"Someone drilled that leash hole. Not me. I don't use a leash -- with two exceptions. 1. when there are rocks that will break your board. 2. when you know there's a shark in the water."
Bing Copeland, added some info about the board's history:
"Your board #2699 was ordered by a local Hermosa surfer named Steve Lupo on August 3, 1963. Ill send you a birth certificate for your board to your email address.
Sure, enough, Bing shared a Birth Certificate (pdf) from his log book when the board was born on 8/3/1963. Super cool!
This thing has taken a beating. 2" balsa stringer, neat red lamination job, big d-fin. What's not to love about it? In the water it really screams (once it gets going). It's kind of like riding a torpedo. I rode this board exclusively in all conditions for a little over a year. It really helped my surfing: strength, balance. Maybe even style.
Lots of gaps in the story. Who was Steve Lupo? How did this thing end up in Santa Cruz? I hope to add a few new stories before the stringer rots through.
Oh yeah: Skip Hoard snapped my pic at Linda Mar one day. I ran into this pic on the wall of a cafe after a morning session.
First there's the magic of place... Of course, the secret spots up and down the coast come to mind. Places with shark lore, epic waves, tragedies. There are smaller miracles too. For example: I bought most of my surfboards through Craigslist. Every place I've met someone to buy a board has become a magic spot for me.
I highly recommend you try meeting someone on your commute route next time you buy a surfboard. I bought my last board from a guy I arranged to meet at the BART station parking lot near my house. Now every time I come home, the magic reminds me that there might be waves tomorrow morning.
Then there's the magic of time, which seems extremely elastic when riding a wave. Everything slows down. Why? Because my heart and CNS is on overdrive? Or so I can enjoy the ride? Who knows? Also, photographers talk about a magic hour or golden hour when the sun is just right. Surfers know that the early AM hours are often best for waves because wind tends to stop.
Magic things... magic surfboards. I'm lucky enough to have one. It catches waves in all conditions. Board shapers love to discuss the magicness they've encountered over the years.
It's all true. Every last bit.