Antique, Vintage & Collectible Surfboards and Memorabilia
Surfboards and surfing related collectibles have consistently proven to be solid investments even during times of a weak economy. Because of the Internet, some of the common or poorer condition items have lost some value. However, the rare, pristine and highly sought after pieces have continued to appreciate in value regardless of other outside influences.
Putting a price to surfboards and surf memorabilia can be complicated. Some of the obvious factors affecting worth include demand, rarity, provenance, condition and whether it’s original or restored. The less obvious issues that can effect value could be size, logo, shaper, coloring and region of origin.
Most people use a numbering system when grading the condition of surfboards, with a 1 being the lowest – ready for the dump, and 10 being the highest – mint condition.
This can be very difficult and even misleading because of the subjectivity involved. One person’s 10 may be another’s 8. Also it’s important to consider if restoration was done, what kind, how much and quality. Having a standard scale is helpful for everyone and makes mistakes and misunderstandings less likely.
- C 10 – Like the day it left the shop. No dings, scratches, repairs or restorations. The exception here is wood boards pre fiberglass (1945+/-).
- C 6 – More scratches, slightly more serious damage or repairs. Faded with suntanning. May not have original fin. Repaired it could still be used as a rider and occasionally a nice wall hanger.
There are exceptions: in the case of very old wood boards, for example a 1930s wood board, a condition 10 would not necessarily be a perfect ‘mint’ board. And because of the scarcity factor, a condition 4 or 5 wood board may very likely still be investment grade.
For more details on how to grade and appraise antique and vintage surfboards and surfing related memorabilia, see the chapter Grading and Valuation in The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Surfboards & Collectibles.