DEMPSEY HOLDER’S PERSONAL RIDER BOB SIMMONS (10)O No Reserve pre-auction estimate $20K- $30K
Seminal post-World War II surfboard designer and shaper from Pasadena, California; a primary architect of the modern surfboard who almost singlehandedly brought into play the now-fundamental principles of nose-lift, foil, and finely sculpted rails. the lanky 6’2″ Simmons was compelled, almost from the moment he began surfing, to create better equipment. He learned the fundamentals of board-building in the mid-’40s from the talented but surly Gard Chapin (stepfather to surf icon Mickey Dora); in 1946 he acquired a copy of a lengthy MIT study on planing hulls, and began applying its complex equations and theories to surfboards.By 1949, the typical Simmons board was wide (around 24 inches), with a thin, squared-off tail, finely turned and calibrated rails, and a broad spoonlike nose. Pre-war boards for the most part had been redwood-balsa composites coated in varnish; Simmons, working out of his garage in Pasadena, used balsa only and was one of the first to cover his boards with a layer of resin-saturated fiberglass. On September 26, 1954, in eight-foot waves at San Diego’s Windansea, Simmons was struck in the head by his own board and drowned. He was 35.

This board belonged to legendary San Diego lifeguard and TJ Sloughs surfer Dempsey Holder.
Allen “Dempsey” Holder was one of the earliest surfers in San Diego, California’s south county. He was one of the first surfers to ride the big surf off the coast of the Tijuana sloughs. Dempsey was also head of the Imperial Beach lifeguard services for many years. The Public Safety building that houses sheriff and lifeguard services is now named after Dempsey for his important contributions to surfing and public safety.

THIS BOARD HAS IT ALL : Pedigree, Provenance & Patina.


’64 YATER 10′ 4″ WITH UNIQUE TOM MOREY TRAF FIN SYSTEM (8)o Pre-Auction estimate $3K-$8K



Renny says this is the 1st board he made w the TRAF system.

Tom Morey was a traditional surfboard builder/shaper, but looked for inventions and innovation. In 1964, he created the first TRAF polypropylene fin (his term TRAF being FART spelled backward), innovating the first commercial interchangeable fin system. In 1965, the Skeg Works became Morey Surfboards.

A really cool board with two legendary surf icons Yater & Morey. 10′ 4″ Stock – Original condition 8/10

On the auction block September 26, 2015 Los Angeles
Pre-Auction estimate $3K-$8K


Lightning Bolt “Pipeliner” shaped and ridden by Gerry Lopez 10(r) Pre-auction estimate $8K-$15K

click image to enlarge

Lopez_SneakPeek_Web  Gerry Lopez’s personal rider from winter of 1975-76 – this is undoubtedly the most iconic surfer and surfboard from this era.

Gerry Lopez was the first true Hawaiian tube-riding specialist, lauded for his cool-under-fire style at Pipeline in Hawaii, and still regarded as the model of wave-riding        elegance and refinement. “What he does is poetry,” fellow Pipeline ace Rory Russell once said. “For sheer beauty, no one else even comes close.”

Lopez began surfing in Waikiki at age nine, but didn’t take the sport up in earnest until high school, when he was greatly influenced by silky-smooth Hawaiian regular-footer. Paul Strauch. He won the Hawaiian Junior Championships in 1966, was a three-time finalist in the state titles (1968, 1969, and 1972), and a finalist in the U.S. Championships in 1969 and 1970.

Gerry Lopez Pipeline. Photo: Jeff Divine

Gerry Lopez Pipeline. Photo: Jeff Divine

By 1972, progressive surfing was all but defined by images of the sinewy (5’8″, 135 pounds) dark- haired Lopez atop a sleek pintail surfboard decorated with a narrow lightning bolt logo, racing deep inside the Pipeline. Asked a few years later by Sports Illustrated magazine how he was able to keep his cool while enclosed in a exploding funnel of water, Lopez said it was partly from choosing the right waves, but also a matter of focus and concentration. “The faster I go out there,” the soft-voiced goofyfooter told the magazine, “the slower things seem to happen.”

Lopez was the most-filmed surfer of his generation, and a protracted Lopez-at-Pipeline sequence was part of nearly every surf movie made between 1971 and 1978, including Morning of the Earth (1972), Five Summer Stories (1972), Going Surfin’ (1974), Super Session (1975), Tales from the Tube (1975), and In Search of Tubular Swells (1977). Lopez won the Pipeline Masters in 1972 and 1973, and made the finals in a handful of the meets held at Sunset Beach. He also traveled to Australia to compete during the nascent years of the world pro circuit.

Along with surf contest judge and board salesman Jack Shipley, Lopez opened the first Lightning Bolt Surfboards outlet in the summer of 1970. Mentored by board making guru Dick Brewer, Lopez had been shaping for three years, and his boards were in demand. Bolt went on to become the decades’ biggest and best-known surf company.

Lopez and Shipley were both working at a Honolulu shop called Surf Line Hawaii in early 1970; the 21-year-old Lopez was on the cusp of becoming the universally acknowledged master at Pipeline, and had been shaping surfboards since 1968; Shipley was an ace Surf Line Hawaii salesman and a surf competition judge. They joined up and bought the old Hobie Surfboards outlet on nearby Kapiolani Boulevard in the summer of 1970. Lopez had been using a colored lightning bolt emblem on his boards since 1969, and since the dark-haired goofyfooter was going to be the new company’s one and only marketing tool, they named the new shop Lightning Bolt Surfboards. (Hansen Surfboards in California had introduced a short-lived Lopez-designed Lightning Bolt model in early 1970.)

Bolt quickly became a kind of showroom/co-op for many of the best Hawaiian shapers, including Bill Barnfield, Tom Parrish, Reno Abellira, Barry Kanaiaupuni, Tom Nellis, and Tom Eberly, all of whom worked out of their own houses (Bolt had no factory of its own) and brought their finished boards to the Bolt retail store, each one trimmed with the distinctive lightning bolt logo on the deck. A second Bolt outlet opened on Maui in 1972.

Shipley also began distributing free Bolts to nearly all the top surfers who visited the North Shore each winter to compete in the pro contests, which meant the Bolt logo was endlessly featured on magazine covers, and in surf movies. The overwhelming majority of the world’s best surfers rode Bolt surfboards from 1973 to 1978 while in Hawaii, including world champions Mark Richards, Wayne Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, and Margo Oberg, and ace North Shore riders like Jeff Hakman and Rory Russell. Bolt board sales never went above 2,500 units a year (mainly in Hawaii), but no label before or since has dominated the surf media the way Bolt did in the mid-’70s. By 1975, the Bolt logo had been copied by so many boardmakers around the world that the company took out a full-page ad in Surfer magazine asking that manufacturers “create their own symbols, and not use ours.” (Bolt boards were even used to political ends during the tension-filled North Shore winter of 1976–77, when Hawaiian surfers, upset at the way visiting Australians had crowed after winning the big competitions the previous year, demanded that Bolt no longer distribute free boards to visiting pros.)

Not many boards from this halcyon era survived. But this one has. Authenticated and validated by the man himself, Gerry Lopez. This board came to us by way of a collector in Japan: Lopez’s personal rider, in pristine perfect condition, with Gerry’s handwritten signature and the word “Pipeliner” written on the stringer. It has been restored and is a 10 out of 10.

You can see pictures of Gerry riding this board from the Jeff Divine Collection and many other lensmen iof this era.

This board & this surfer mixed and presented to us the elixir of pure stoke that was the Lightning Bolt era in Hawaii, when surfing was at its acme: its cultural pinnacle.

An insanely cool board that’s been in countless deep Banzai Pipeline tubes made by and for an incredibly self aware human being — Gerry Lopez.




California Gold Vintage Surf Auction – September 26, 2015 Los Angeles
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