As well as old wooden surfboards, we also seek and buy:

  • Paintings
  • Posters
  • Photos & postcards
  • Patches
  • Books & magazines
  • Trophies
  • Metal, wood & ceramic figurines
  • Paper items like: Decals, price lists, business cards, brochures, etc.
  • Skateboards and related materials
  • Duke Kahanamoku items

Basically, we will consider buying most anything relating to surfboards or surfers from the past.

Balsa Surfboards

Balsa wood was first used as early as the 1930s following the discovery of better water proof glues.  These board were made primarily of heavier woods such as Redwood with balsa strips incorporated into the construction to help reduce weight.  Balsa was an ideal, lighter than cork, wood for surfboards but was far to fragile to build an entire surfboard until after WW2 when fiberglass was invented.

The earliest surfboards made entirely of balsa wood made it in the water around the middle to late 1940s. Some of the earliest and most well know pioneers of balsa surfboard construction in the 40s would be Bob Simmons, Joe Quigg and Matt Kivlin, all from the Malibu, California area.  Balsa boards were not a common sight in the waves until surfboard shops began opening and producing these boards in mass.

Development of these lighter more buoyant boards made the art of surfing more accessible to the general public. Around the same time, use of a skeg or rudder came into common use on surfboards further making them easier to handle and much more maneuverable. Together these factors greatly contributed to a new and more radical style of surfing that came to be known as 'Hotdogging'.

While there were many people making balsa surfboards in the 1950's some of the larger and most recognizable makers were names like Hobie, Velzy, Jacobs, Sweet, Noll, Curren and Gordie. Balsa boards are still being made and ridden to the present day.

Surf History Preservation Collection
P.O. Box 5637 Hilo, Hawaii  96720
(808)264-2659

Home | Ancient Wood Surfboards | 1900s Wood Surfboards | Tom Blake | Multi-Wood Surfboards | Balsa Surfboards | Contact Us

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Different styles of early wood surfboards :


Ancient Hawaiian Olo Breadfruit

Ancient Hawaiian Koa Alaia
Ancient Hawaiian Alaia Koa

1890's Hawaiian plank with metal
1890's Hawaiian Plank w/ metal 


Waikiki Redwood Plank


Balsa, Redwood & Pine

Tom Blake Catalina Hollow
Tom Blake 'Catalina' Hollow


Makaha Redwood Hot Curl

Hawaiian Aloha bellyboard
Hawaiian 'Aloha' bellyboard 


Bob Shepherd Sunset Beach Balsa

Greg Noll balsa
Greg Noll Balsa


Hobie Balsa

Pat Curren Balsa & Redwood Gun
Pat Curren Balsa & Redwood Gun

Velzy - Jacobs Balsa Pig 
Velzy - Jacobs Balsa Pig

Surfboards Hawaii Balsa Gun
Surfboards Hawaii Balsa Gun


Wardy Balsa


Diffenderfer Chambered Balsa

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