All you surfing buffs may be wondering how much the surfing memorabilia you’ve collected over the years may be worth. Probably more than you think! You most likely highly value your collected items. The fantastic relics of the past you’ve collected are to be admired and treasured. Such relics may take the form of photos, posters, magazines, books, films, equipment, songs, gadgets, and even artwork. Some are worth more than others due to rarity, quality, and demand, all the while contributing to the popularity of surfing. Surfing memorabilia is a part of a worldwide, corporate market promoting surfing and surfer accessories
An early 1960’s Surfer Magazine may bring from $50 to $2500, depending upon the assessed value. Just owning one of these publications is a step in the right direction! The artwork depicted in these early surfer magazines is also highly collectible. Vintage surfboards, on the other hand, such as a Velzy-Jacobs Balsa from the 50’s (which my dad used), usually commands another $1000 added to a current board’s value, and could easily be valued at several thousand more depending on the board. This is true of most original redwood long boards dating from the 20’s through the 40’s.
Even old photographs from several decades ago that feature non-descript surfers can be valuable. Photographs of well-known surfers can be valued at several hundred dollars. Imagine John Wayne (Duke) and Duke Kahanamoku (probably the most famous surfer of all time) in the same photo. BIG bucks!
If you are into surfing movies you may be in luck as well! Particularly valuable are films that show established stars and known experts. Homegrown, self-documented movies, especially those converted to a digital format, are of high value as well, but not nearly as much as the originals of the champs. Even surfer movie posters command a great deal of money. An example is a full-size poster of Bruce Brown’s, “Endless Summer,” that is worth hundreds of dollars. We as teenagers collected these from walls, bulletin boards, sign posts, and fences. You may also remember “Surfer Movie Tonight,” a typical sidewalk promotional phrase from back in the day. It’s now the name of a book by Matt Warshaw, dedicated to surfer movie posters from the past. Fascinating and intriguing!
There are several ways to obtain the approximate worth of your surfer memorabilia. Books, like the one mentioned above, are a great way to get started. Even doing a web search for “surfing memorabilia books” can give you some direction for evaluating your collection. I was referred by Ron Croci (one of our artists), to www.surfwarez.com for magazine values. Some other sites are, www.surfnhula.com, www.sunsetsurf.com, and don’t forget eBay and Amazon. It’s a great idea to visit a quality surf shop like Hobie, Hansen, Jack’s, or RonJon’s to get some info and suggestions for pricing your memorabilia.
For me, it’s important to keep my collection intact to maintain my precious memories and experiences. My collection is for my personal enjoyment and the memories are as valuable as any monetary worth. I definitely have an investment in my memorabilia, or at the very least, my kids do! Happy hunting! dl/SAI