SURFING FOR SURFBOARDS: Online Auction Site Offers Gems

Do you need a 70s era Parrish to round out your quiver? A Greg Noll / Miki Dora "Da Cat" model? Looking for a 1930’s era Tom Blake surfboard? How about two of them? If so, the United States Vintage Surfboard Auction (USVSA) may have you covered. The USVSA got underway last week and these boards are among many available to the highest bidder.

The USVSA is an online auction that includes memorabilia and classic surfboards in two formats; sealed bid and live auction. The "Live" auctions are similar to eBay. The last man standing wins. "Sealed" bid auctions are all opened at the same time with the highest bidder getting the goods.

Auctions are nothing new to the surfboard world, but what makes this auction unique is that it is entirely online and directed entirely at the surfboard collecting public. Of course, online bidding means anonymity. This seems like a good thing, but the downside for the surfboard collecting community is that when the dust settles nobody knows exactly who owns what. Not too mention the fun, excitement and drama of the auction atmosphere is taken away.

“You miss the action of a live event, there is no social interaction amongst collectors and you can’t touch and feel the items you are bidding on,” said Randy Rarick, a well-respected surfboard auctioneer. “That said, in theory, you can bid from the privacy of your computer and it (the online auction) keeps awareness of collectable items and gives a broad spectrum of current values, so in that sense it does a service for the collectors.”

Although you can’t touch and feel the boards, there is plenty of eye candy to gaze at on the USVSA website. The coveted quiver items are too many and varied to list, and probably too expensive for most of us. There are over 150 items up to the highest bidder in the "live" auction. Twenty five items considered extremely rare are in the "sealed" bid area. If you’ve got an extra $20K lying around you can fill that empty spot in your quiver where a turn of the century Hawaiian Alaia wood plank surfboard belongs.

Go over to the USVSA website and check them out. At the very least it’s worth a good drool. The USVSA auction ends on March 29 at 5 pm PST.