Published:July 9, 2009

Vintage Surf Auction Bright Spot for Hawaii

Vintage surf collectibles have proven to be a safe financial haven for investors in recent years, so little wonder that next week’s Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection, is luring a record number of serious collectors from around the world. Attractive travel deals to Hawaii are an added boon and bode well for the success of the auction. Registered bidders will travel from as far afield as Europe, Australia, South Africa, South America and the US Mainland, and include both surf collectors and investment portfolio managers.

Based on conservative, low-end estimates, the Vintage Surf Auction is likely to see more than $500,000 worth of storied surf items pass hands when they go under the hammer on Saturday, July 18, at Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center.

The Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction has been held every other year since its inception in 2001. This will be the fifth edition. The record fetch to date was posted in 2007: over $650,000. Curator Randy Rarick says that there has been much interest in this year’s auction due to the current economic climate.

“Surf collectibles are one of the few investments in the world that have seen a year-over-year increase in value,” says Rarick. “Based on purchases over the past two auctions, the appraised value of many of those items has gone up three-fold as opposed to stocks, bonds and other investments that have all plummeted.”

One of the keys to the Hawaiian auction’s success is that Rarick will only accept items that have never been auctioned before, ensuring an exciting, highly prized collection each time.

Featured items of this auction include a 1785 engraving depicting Captain Cook’s arrival to Hawaii that is western man’s first image of a surfboard; an original foam sandwich board from the James Arness set that is the “star of the show”, estimated to fetch $25,000-$35,000; and the Kahanamoku family album, including more than 70 pages of personal family photographs, original newspaper articles, and the only original record of the family lineage – an almost unbelievable offering that could emerge as the highest fetching item in the auction’s history. The most that any single item has ever fetched over the years of this auction is $33,000, paid in 2007 for an 11-foot big-wave “gun” from the ’60s.

Advance bids are now being accepted online. For those unable to attend and bid in person, online bidding will also be offered. You MUST register in order to bid. Registration is now open. Full details are posted at

The complete auction catalog can also be downloaded from the same site.

Auction Details:
Viewing is free and open to the public. If you are interested in bidding for items you must register in advance as a bidder. Pre-registration is filling up fast, so register now to ensure you receive your bidders pack in time to bid. All information is on the web site: