Legendary surfer and surfboard maker Greg Noll will be making another run in Los Angeles – but not on water.
Noll, who built his board-making business in the L.A. area in the 1960s, is now based in San Clemente and in an effort to support that city’s nonprofit Surfing Heritage and Culture Center he provided an 11-foot board that he rode in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship held in Oahu, Hawaii, in 1967 to an auction to be held at Culver City’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Sept. 26. The center will receive 15 percent of whatever the board goes for.
Sixty boards, valued at about $680,000, were auctioned off at the last event two years ago, said Scott Bass, executive director of the California Gold Vintage Surf Auction and a member of the center’s board.
Bass and his network of surfing experts investigate the authenticity of boards that people want to sell, and if they are sold at auction, the center keeps 15 percent of the price, he said.
This year’s event will be held in Los Angeles, which Bass called the center of the nation’s surfing industry, and more than 2,000 are expected to attend.
“We moved the venue to coastal L.A. as a way to spread the reach of SHACC and to make it easier for L.A. influencers to be involved in the auction,” he said.
Noll is credited as a pioneer big-wave surfer and is among the first, perhaps the first, to surf the dangerous big waves at Waimea Bay in Hawaii.
Bass expects the Noll board to sell for close to $35,000.
Noll will have two other boards in the auction, and the 78-year-old surfing legend is scheduled to attend the event.
“There’s a definite market for these boards; it’s just like fine antiques,” Bass said. “There’s a certain amount of lore and heritage and legacy attached to (the surfers), and this equipment and the work that goes into them.”
– Carol Lawrence
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