HONOLULU (July 19, 2009) – A record 379 bidders from around the world turned out last night at Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center for the fifth biennial Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection. Together they battled their way through the bidding wars to set a new high tally of $767,546. Beyond records, one of the most surprising developments of the evening was the heated push for collectibles from the 1970s.
When the final hammer fell, two items had broken through the previous single-item record of $33,000, and five items had reached or exceeded $20,000.
Star of the show was the 11’0″ Bob Simmons foam sandwich board (1949/50) from the James Arness “Gunsmoke” collection that topped the night at $40,000. The same bidder also walked away the second-highest item, a 1955 Matt Kivlin 10’4″ balsa board for $39,000, as well as the record-setting paddleboard to date: $20,000 for a towering 13’8″ wooden Tom Blake Rogers Paddleboard. All three boards are now Australia-bound.
Without a doubt, it was the ’70s collection that busted down the door to a new era of collecting, An 8’0″ Lightning Bolt shaped by Gerry Lopez sparked an online bidding war that resulted in a new ’70s record price of $25,000. An outrageous George Greenough Flextail board from 1972, equipt with roughshod nose leash loop, release fin, and raw two-tone red and blue surface spray job rocked the house when it far exceeded its $7,500 reserve to fetch $20,000.
It wasn’t all about surfboards, either. No-one could be more shocked than 1977 world champion Shaun Tomson (South Africa) to discover his 1975 Duke Surf Classic set of white boardshorts, event program and Oscar-like gold trophy sell for $10,300 – more than his trademark blue 7’10” Tom Parrish that went for $10,000. All proceeds from those items will be going to the Mathew Tomson Foundation.
The top-selling non-surfboard lot was the Kahanamoku family album – 60 pages of incredible family history, original photographs and newspaper clippings. It sold for $14,000 to a young Hawaii bidder who slipped through the door seconds after the item took the stage, and exited just as quickly upon winning it. The local community was happy to know the album will remain here, at home in Hawaii.
Along with a powerhouse bidding pack, the evening experience was made richer by the stunning turnout of surf icons from across the generations. Among them were Greg Noll, Bing Copeland, Jock Sutherland, Mark Richards, and Peter Townend. Also present were legendary shapers Matt Kivlin and Joe Quigg whose, combined board sales exceeded $100,000. Joining them was Dick Brewer, who commanded ultimate respect in his stylish black trousers, deep lilac collared shirt and bolo tie combination that would have earned the envy of another icon of his generation: Roy Orbison.
A portion of every sale made will be donated to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, along with the Surfing Heritage Foundation, and the Surfrider Foundation, with the bulk of the balance going to the individual item consignors.
A sincere mahalo to master auctioneer Joe Teipel; to the extensive crew both on the floor and behind the scenes, led by Randy Rarick, that made this auction possible; to the Surfling Live and iTV360 team for the live webcast; to FWB Consulting for making the online auction such a success; and to the ongoing support of surfing collectors, the surfing community, and the local community here in Hawaii.
All results will be posted online at www.hawaiiansurfauction.com after the official tally is complete, which is expected to be this Wednesday, July 22nd.
All results can be found online at www.hawaiiansurfauction.com .