Surfboards, characterized by their lightweight yet robust nature, boast a sleek and elongated profile. Surfing has seamlessly woven itself into our daily routines, akin to the practice of yoga.
Within the realm of surfboards, a diverse array of shapes and styles emerge, each bearing its unique imprint. Surfers are inclined to invest substantial sums to stay abreast of the latest surfboard innovations, a trend that’s widely acknowledged.
The price spectrum for surfboards exhibits variance contingent on factors such as materials, craftsmanship, and brand identity. Often, these surfboard offerings are meticulously crafted to beckon a wide consumer base, fostering accessibility.
However, there exist instances where surfboard valuations soar to remarkable heights. Below, we present an enumeration of seven remarkably expensive surfboards that warrant investment consideration.
Most Expensive Surfboards that are Worth It List
1. The Rampant Surfboard
Crafted by Roy Stuart, a skilled surfboard shaper hailing from New Zealand, The Rampant emerges as a distinctive creation fashioned entirely from Paulownia wood. This surfboard reaches an impressive stature of 10 feet 6 inches and boasts a weight of 31 pounds. Distinguished by an elongated concave curvature cascading down to its tail, The Rampant is adorned with captivating scales.
The curvature’s presence induces a lowered center of gravity for the rider, fostering enhanced stability. A singular hallmark adorns its upper surface—a captivating 23-karat gold lion rendered in semi-translucent red epoxy resin. Adding to its allure, the surfboard’s thickness measures 2.38 inches. Notably, it embraces a 6-inch tunnel fin hewn from kahikatea wood, an exclusive tree indigenous to New Zealand. This fin’s properties culminate in a remarkable acceleration capacity.
Drawing inspiration from the artistic lineage of Roy Stuart’s prior surfboard creations—the Baron and the Agile Hotkurl—The Rampant’s design embodies a fusion of their essence. An array of features, including a scalloped-edge wood tunnel fin and a twin laminar flow foil, synergize to deliver a blend of high-performance prowess and an enjoyable ride.
The intricate amalgamation of these elements, complemented by Roy Stuart’s two decades of industry mastery, contribute to the exalted price tag associated with The Rampant. Recent times witnessed the acquisition of The Rampant by an undisclosed individual, purportedly linked to the pharmaceutical sector, as communicated by Mr. Stuart himself.
2. Duke’s Handmade Australian Shooter Surfboard
Duke Kahanamoku, a celebrated surfing icon, found himself the recipient of a notable gift from George Hudson, a timber trader based in Sydney. With this gift in hand, Duke embarked on the creation of his legendary plank. Responding to Duke’s specific request, George Hudson generously offered a section of sugar pine that had been meticulously carved into dimensions measuring 9 feet by 2 feet by 3 inches.
With remarkable skill, Duke proceeded to transform this material into an 8’8″ board characterized by a church window shape. Revered as Duke’s Handmade Australian Shooter, this distinctive creation has found its esteemed place within the glass confines of the Heritage Room at the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club. Remarkably, despite its historical significance and allure, there has been no discernible indication of a potential buyer for this prized artifact.
3. Greg Noll’s Iconic Pipe Gun Surfboard
Mr. Greg “Da Bull” Noll undoubtedly stood as a flamboyant and valiant figure among Hawaii’s wave pioneers throughout the vibrant eras of the 1950s and 1960s. Notably, his indomitable spirit and audacity extended not only to conquering waves but also to establishing a prominent presence within the surfboard industry of that same epoch.
Within the realm of collectors, historians, and devotees of fiberglass craftsmanship, a singular desire often resonates—the possession of the iconic board cradled in what can arguably be deemed surfing’s most renowned beach photograph. This evocative shot, captured by John Severson at Pipe in 1961, immortalized Greg Noll’s distinctive connection with the sport.
According to accounts shared by Greg himself, an offer was extended for the acquisition of his legendary Pipe Gun by his father. However, this proposition was met with a resolute decline. The reputation and prestige attributed to Greg Noll’s famed Pipe Gun evidently rendered the proposal an insubstantial endeavor, deemed unfit to be entertained.
4. Marc Newson’s Nickel-Plated Surfboard
Collaborating with Dick Brewer, the esteemed Australian artist Marc Newson unveiled an exclusive collection of ten singular surfboards, each a masterpiece in its own right, and all commanding a premium price upon sale. Aptly christened as Nickel-Plated Surfboards, these extraordinary creations boasted an impressive stature of 5 feet and were adorned with a lavish coat of 10 kilos of nickel.
Notably, this nickel coating bore more than aesthetic significance, as it’s the very material employed in crafting the fronts of helicopter blades—a testament to the ingenuity embedded in these surfboards. Among their exceptional qualities, this connection to aviation-grade material underscores their distinctive nature.
Intriguingly, a standout detail emerges—Garret McNamara, an illustrious figure within the realm of wave surfing, emerges as the sole individual to be recognized as the proud owner of a Nickel-Plated Surfboard designed by the artistic vision of Marc Newson.
5. Redwood’s Plank Surfboard
A highlight of the 2011 Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction was the presentation of a remarkable artifact—an exquisite 1920 Redwood’s Plank measuring 9’09”, captivating the attention of enthusiasts and collectors alike. This iconic piece was eventually auctioned during the event, setting a remarkable record that stands unchallenged to this very day, a testament to the enduring significance of the Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction (HIVSA).
The legendary “hot curl” surfboard, often referred to as the “hot curl,” occupies a revered place in the annals of surfing history, having significantly reshaped the trajectory of surfboard design. A true icon, this surfboard had been carefully cherished within the hallowed walls of the Kelly family home in Hawaii for an impressive span of 73 years.
The surfboards showcased here share a common thread—a storied heritage steeped in history and significance. While these surfboards command steep prices, it’s not solely due to their material worth. Rather, it’s the storied individuals who rode them, the iconic locales they graced, and the remarkable feats they accomplished that elevate their value. It’s noteworthy, however, that these acquisitions often transcend functional use, as they are coveted more as cherished mementos, encapsulating the rich tapestry of surfing heritage.
6. Damien Hirst’s SAS Surfboard
Renowned British artist Damien Hirst left his creative mark on the surfing world over a decade ago with the vibrant strokes of his paintbrush adorning two distinct surfboards, a spectacle that unfolded on the grand stage of a Christie’s auction. This artistic endeavor by Hirst, known for his eclectic body of work, yielded a collection of 11 exquisitely painted surfboards, each bearing his signature touch. This creative feat was not merely an exercise in aesthetics but a noble endeavor to raise funds for the esteemed UK advocacy organization, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).
Although the SAS Surfboards crafted by Damien Hirst have yet to find new owners, their potential as appreciating assets is noteworthy. If their value has kept pace with the trajectory of Hirst’s broader artistic legacy, then those who hold these boards have undoubtedly made a shrewd investment. Hirst’s designs for these surfboards draw inspiration from the sun-soaked Californian surf culture that flourished during the late 1960s and early 1970s, a world he himself explored on numerous occasions during his visits to the region.
7. Captain Kilgore’s Surfboard
From the annals of surf history emerges a captivating tale involving a piece of cinema and the world of surfing memorabilia. In 2006, James O’Mahoney, a devoted collector of surfing artifacts hailing from Santa Barbara, brought forth what he purported to be an authentic Reynolds Yater-crafted surfboard, a prop that had graced the set of the cult classic film Apocalypse Now.
With high hopes, O’Mahoney stepped onto the stage of the Pacific Coast Vintage Surf Auction, envisioning an impressive sum for the surf relic dubbed “Captain Kilgore’s Surfboard.” This very artifact had etched its name into the record books previously, reigning as the recipient of the highest price ever paid for a vintage surfboard. Although the auction’s gavel did not fall in favor of a sale at that time, O’Mahoney’s persistence would bear fruit.
In a twist of fate, a buyer emerged in the form of the iconic Jimmy Buffett, acquiring the coveted surfboard for an undisclosed sum at a later date. The shared passion between O’Mahoney and Buffett would lead to the establishment of the Honolulu Surf Museum, a haven for surf enthusiasts and history aficionados alike. It was within this sanctuary that Captain Kilgore’s Surfboard found its resting place until the museum’s eventual closure in 2014.