What is a ‘Vintage’ surfboard?

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,248
2,089
USA New Jersey
Really interesting question. It's a funny word because it is basically the same thing as "antique", just with a less dusty and more upscale connotation. I'll frame my answer a little differently but still adjacent to surfboards, and I'll try not to ramble too much. Oddly enough, I am a self-proclaimed vintage bodyboard historian. (Laugh if you will at the idea of boogie boards being considered "vintage", but a notable one recently sold at auction for $11,005 USD.) I played a role in cataloguing them early on and giving the term "vintage bodyboards" credibility, and I was very careful about what was vintage and what wasn't. I usually use 30 years as my starting benchmark for what qualifies as vintage, but it isn't a hard and fast rule. The surf and boogie industries similarly go through different phases, so I think it's important to consider that as well. For example, the bodyboard industry had a certain vibe from 1989-1993 based on company ownership, board specs, certain designers, riding styles, and predominant fashions. There are boards from 1992-93 that are younger than 30 years old but would still qualify as vintage because they were part of that vintage phase albeit on the tail end of it. So many other things to consider for "close enough" older boards to be lumped in as vintage -- maybe a noteworthy design, substantial in some way, maybe very popular, maybe rare, maybe it is even controversial for some reason. Overall, it seems like something starts to become vintage when people who grew up with that thing start to fondly remember it, start researching/seeking it out, and then start buying/collecting it as a way to "finally get that thing that they always wanted as a kid".

Back to surfboards: My own life perspective makes me think that vintage surfboard classification includes and ends with those sweet airbrushed T&C thrusters from the late 80s and early 90s. I didn't always consider them vintage... just over the last 5-10 years or so. I can't wrap my mind around any of those 90's potato chips as being vintage.
 

OceanBreeze55

New Member
Nov 19, 2020
4
1
Los Angeles
Really interesting question. It's a funny word because it is basically the same thing as "antique", just with a less dusty and more upscale connotation. I'll frame my answer a little differently but still adjacent to surfboards, and I'll try not to ramble too much. Oddly enough, I am a self-proclaimed vintage bodyboard historian. (Laugh if you will at the idea of boogie boards being considered "vintage", but a notable one recently sold at auction for $11,005 USD.) I played a role in cataloguing them early on and giving the term "vintage bodyboards" credibility, and I was very careful about what was vintage and what wasn't. I usually use 30 years as my starting benchmark for what qualifies as vintage, but it isn't a hard and fast rule. The surf and boogie industries similarly go through different phases, so I think it's important to consider that as well. For example, the bodyboard industry had a certain vibe from 1989-1993 based on company ownership, board specs, certain designers, riding styles, and predominant fashions. There are boards from 1992-93 that are younger than 30 years old but would still qualify as vintage because they were part of that vintage phase albeit on the tail end of it. So many other things to consider for "close enough" older boards to be lumped in as vintage -- maybe a noteworthy design, substantial in some way, maybe very popular, maybe rare, maybe it is even controversial for some reason. Overall, it seems like something starts to become vintage when people who grew up with that thing start to fondly remember it, start researching/seeking it out, and then start buying/collecting it as a way to "finally get that thing that they always wanted as a kid".

Back to surfboards: My own life perspective makes me think that vintage surfboard classification includes and ends with those sweet airbrushed T&C thrusters from the late 80s and early 90s. I didn't always consider them vintage... just over the last 5-10 years or so. I can't wrap my mind around any of those 90's potato chips as being vintage.
New here but an old timer...into longboard but I have this body board from the 80’s sitting in my shed...BZ Scott..collectable $?
 

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Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,248
2,089
USA New Jersey
New here but an old timer...into longboard but I have this body board from the 80’s sitting in my shed...BZ Scott..collectable $?

Nice one! Challenger X-15, I think generation 2 based on the tail shape. That's from sometime between 1981-1984 (I'd say '83 if I had to guess). That was the short time that longtime legend Bobby Szabad was shaping for Scott Hawaii before leaving to start BZ Bodyboards. Condition is generally good, not perfect. Some might ding it for having aftermarket skegs and handle, though they were common mods at the time. The best places to sell would be eBay* or on the Vintage Bodyboard Collectors group on Facebook. There's more value overseas (especially Australia) if you're willing to deal with the shipping hassle. Definitely collectible, not one of the very sought after models, but it could fill a hole in someone's collection. I'm a bit out of touch with today's values but I'd guess something like $100 but maybe 2x or 3x with the right buyer. Those VBC guys are ravenous for some boards, so you never know!

*eBay: Resist the urge to list it as a Buy It Now on eBay for $600 -- those listings absolutely never sell.
 




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