I just got back from Randy Rarick’s incredible Hawaiian Islands Surf Memorabilia Auction in Honolulu. Just incredible! It was the feature event in a week of amazing surf events… more on those later.
The auction featured about 70 great boards. On my first cruise along the racks of auction boards, my eyes immediately fell on my favourite, and the one that ultimately took out the biggest price. It was John Kelly’s ( local redwood shaper since the 1930’s, and co-inventor of the Hot Curl) personal board, that he shaped and learned to surf on 80 years ago. It was bought by a collector from Connecticut, for $43,000. He showed up, won the bid, and left. Pretty cool!
My second favourite was the second highest pricer, a Greg Noll racing paddleboard that he brought to Australia in 1956 for the Olympics in Melbourne. It was as sleek and streamlined and functional now as it was then. So advanced, with custom knee wells, a splash spoiler, drain holes, and a glistening white glass job over chambered balsa. Amazingly purchased online by the Australian Maritime Museum for $28,500.
Five boards that I shaped fetched high prices, but nothing like those. My Plastic Machine pulled $5,000. My Greeno-inspired flex tail about $4,500 I think. So much was going on, signing autographs and stuff, that I actually missed the final outcome of that little sweetheart.
All in all, Randy’s Auction is the greatest indoor surf event I’ve ever attended. You think I’m an old shaper. How about hanging with Joe Quigg, shaper since 1927? Rennie Yater, and several others, since the forties. I was a pup amongst the prime pack of surfboard makers on Planet Earth. A real treat.