Buying back the past...

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by zEd, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. zEd

    zEd Member

    So I wanted to see how you all feel about nostalgia. Particularly old/first or early boards from your surfing days.

    Here's the scoop: I recently stumbled upon my first "brand new, off the racks" surfboard I ever bought. It's an early 90's longboard, performance-type shape, nothing special (single stringer, white with pinstripes but now yellowed from years of solar exposure and my lack of understanding of its effect on foam) but worked well for me at the time and wickedly light glassing. In fact, when I eventually sold it (ten years ago) it was delammed on the deck from knee paddling. Plenty of dings, too.

    So last night as I was checking Craigslist, sure enough, there it was, just posted as a "beater," which it very much is. I stared somewhat fondly at it, remembering all the great waves and travels we shared over the years.

    Mind you, it wasn't my first board, actually my second. Before that I was given a Velzy pop out from the 60's that my uncle lent to me and I fixed up. That was the board I learned on, which I still fondly own and will never sell, despite the fact that it is, after all, a pop out.

    This board was my first proper "new" board bought in 1988 in my hometown of Narragansett, RI, purchased with graduation money from Warm Winds Surf Shop and, ironically, shaped on the West Coast near where I currently call home. So, in reality, some thirty or so boards in, the board would rank second on my surfboard timeline.

    The board would need a resto to be properly preserved and/or ridden. It's not like it's an old Hobie/Yater/Jacobs etc that has that nostalgia/retro feel. It's a lightweight 90's longboard, glassed in side bites, chined rails, double barrel concave in the tail, not much of a noserider. You get the picture.

    The dilemma: buy it back for maybe a hundred or so bucks, spend some dough on it to get it watertight it? I have a full quiver now, plenty of boards and needing to thin out the overlap, and I don't know if my son—who is four—would really care one way or the other if I gave it to him one day. The Velzy, sure—that just looks like a relic—but just wondering how you feel about old boards. If it were, say, a Jacobs 60's board or Hynson Red Fin or something I'd be all over it again...but's from the 90s. So what would you do?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  2. Freddibetts

    Freddibetts Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2015
    USA New York
    IMO - its the nostalgia your investing in - not the board itself - so to answer your question, how much is the emotional connection to the board worth to you ?

    If my first board was still intact i would do it, but i was the oldest of 2 brothers and that board is long gone.
    zEd likes this.
  3. Gill

    Gill Active Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    Spring Lake Heights, NJ
    If I had room and the extra cash, I would pick it back up just for nostalgia reasons... hang it in the basement or something lol

    I just say that cause I sold my first board years ago (very similar story) and kinda regret it in a way, cause I know it went to a guy who I believe just used it as a summer beater... it was already delamed and yellow so I'm guessing it's either broken now or in the garbage.
    If I had the chance to buy it back for like 50 bucks, I would...
    I guess it's more of a personal issue, like if your the kinda nostalgic kinda person... I wouldn't have plans on riding it cause it probably would never ride the same after being so beat
    zEd likes this.
  4. zEd

    zEd Member

    Solid observation, and I'm with you. Nostalgia is a funny thing. What's the value? It's hard to equate. Like your first car, you could drive it around but it doesn't have the airbags, the performance, etc. But it was "the first." This one is actually "the second." Would I stare at it fondly? Would I ride it and think "there was a time when this was cutting edge." Would I feel like I was 22 again, the world wide open with possibilities (and insecurities)..."

    Deep thoughts.
  5. zEd

    zEd Member

    Yeah, as we age we look back and want to recapture some of that "feeling."

    I sold a yellowed late 60's transitional shape to a guy on the East Coast recently who said my board "looked" like and was shaped by the same shaper as his first board, almost identical. So he obviously was trying to get that feel, that sense of the past. Like if your first car was a '66 Mustang, and you see a restored one and remember the dash, the gearshift, the speedometer. But I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and the "retro" factor is a weird thing to equate compared to decades prior.

    I don't look at those 80's cars like an 80's Mustang and say "man, THAT was style." Unless its an exotic car—and even then, 80's Lamborghinis and Lotus Esprits, while beautiful, are odd birds on the interior. But a '58 Plymouth, '57 Bel Air, '62 you got my attention.

  6. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    Maybe worth buying back but don’t invest more $. Clean it up and keep as is so you can see the history. That way there’s more to talk about.
    zEd and Driftwood like this.
  7. Driftwood

    Driftwood Active Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Would I buy back my first board, a 6'6" rounded squash G&S single? Most definitely. Terrible idea to sell that thing in '84, but to my 13-year old mind, sixty bucks was the difference between a new board or not (a 6'5" Linden thruster that turned out be a neat board).

    It's all been summed up nicely - if you have the space and few extra dollars, why not? One could go on about being too materialistic and not accumulating, and I get that, but still... your first board?

    May be fun, may be that the board is really too dead to be much of a rider. But if it stokes you out just to gaze at it now and again... then it's worthwhile.
    zEd likes this.
  8. Bighouse

    Bighouse Active Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    East End, Long Island
    Go take a picture with it ! I would buy it back in a heart beat.

    I've saved a few boards for nostalgic reasons and for my kids. I have a tough time getting rid of certain things.
  9. zEd

    zEd Member

    I suppose the cool thing is to see something get sold and come back to you, after all the years.

    My best friend had a Jim Phillips 9'2" custom shaped for him when we were growing up in the early 1990s. Picked it up from The Watershed in Wakefield, RI. He later moved out to Santa Cruz for a year and eventually to finance a Stuart Hydro Hull, which he also sold. Then he moved back to RI.

    Fast forward a good fifteen years later, and I'm at Moura's Ding Repair dropping off a board and on the racks is...his Phillips. All restored—I could see the writing on the stringer to verify. Colors were the same, and Moura had made it beautiful again.

    It was bizarre. All those years. The trajectory. Board somehow got down to San Diego from Santa Cruz, and here I am staring at it, shiny and new again. I snapped photos and sent them to my buddy, who was in disbelief as well.

    Small world, our surf community.

  10. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    Devils Lake, Oregon Coast
    no brainer, just buy the end of your life, it will become even more important to you...I have a dented and creased 8'0 semi from the early 90's that was my ride through so many magic day my son will paddle my ashes out on that board, and scatter them on a hike in reef that was my main squeeze for decades..

    why not take your last ride on a favored board..?
    SeniorGrom, deemce and zEd like this.

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