Welcome to the 8th episode of The Temple of Surf – The Podcast
I’m very happy today to inaugurate a new category of our podcast “The Collector” featuring surfboards collectors from all over the world.
It is not important how big is your collection, but the quality of it!
Our first guest is Fred, vintage surfboard collector, from Bidart, France. you can find him in Instagram at:
Let’s discover more about him, his story and very special collection…
You can find us in Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Soundcloud and many other platforms , or read the interview transcribed right here for you…
The pictures below are surfboards and skateboards part of his collection.
TTOS: Hi, Fred, and welcome to the show. What are you today?
I’m in my home in Bidart in France, next to Biarritz, I’m sure you know Biarritz.
TTOS: How things are going over there in the time of coronavirus? They opened the beaches, right?
Finally it happened few days ago, but these have been closed for almost a month and a half, even if some people did manage to get wet.
There is something different in the air.
TTOS: Today, we’re going to talk about surfboards, surf and of course your surfboard collection…
The first question that I have for you is: in your opinion, what is the most important thing in surfing?
To have fun! This is number one of number ones, to have fun.
I always tell this story.. the best surfer so far is the one who’s got the most beautiful smile on his face when it’s coming out of the water.
I still have it as much fun as I had when I started 45 years ago, you know….this is what is incredible.
TTOS: What was the best memory of your first wave…
I don’t have officially first wave memory, but there’s a feeling that will always be there ….before even I started surfing in 1975 on a real surfboard.
At the beginning, we were used to take some waves with something we called , with what we call the “planky”, it was a piece of wood that you could glide on the wave, I remember the sensation of gliding and it was amazing….
TTOS: What was the first surfboard that you ever bought?
Well, in 1975, when you were living in the area, there was one famous of shop. It was called “Jo Moraiz” which is the name of the owner that unfortunately is dead now.
At that time, it was the only shop that you had in the area.
I remember my first board, I bought my first boat in this shop and I remember I paid it like 200 francs, which was very cheap ….it was from a guy from USA that left the surfboard there and I bought it.
TTOS: Do you still have that board?
No, I don’t.
TTOS: I think that would have been the, the piece of number one of your collection, right? Well, maybe one day you can find it back you know…
You know, I have a Wave Tool, a twin fin Wave Tool from the eco period that used to be mine 25 years ago. I sold it to one of my cousins…..I couldn’t find it anymore.
And one day I found it in a shop selling surfboards and I I’ve been able to buy again….it was more than 25, maybe 35 years old.
And I still have it now.
TTOS: I guess that day you are with a smile on your face all day. Right.
TTOS: When did you start realizing that you became a surfboard collector?
Almost 20 years ago…. I was a lot in the old school, longboards revival.
I wanted to surf single fin boards and I was also very interested in the history behind these old boards. At the beginning I started to buy some boards that I could surf.
TTOS: Tell us more about your collection…how many surfboards do you have and what is the most representative board of the collection?
Well, I have between 15 to 18 boards, from the most representative shapers I like, I have Skip Frye, Donald Takayama, Ben Aipa and many others…
I definitively wanted to have one from Dick Brewer too, I admire the work of art they do have created
TTOS: what is the most representative one in your opinion?
It’s hard to say, but there is one …a Skip Frye 9.8 pintail.
It is very special because, on the stringer is written “in memory of the first surfer of the modern age, George Freeth it’s from November 1984 for the 101 anniversary of his birth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Freeth)
And this has never been surfed!
I love the shape because it’s a pintail and I love the story behind….this one is quite special to me.
I also rediscover one board that I had in my garage , it’s a very simple shape red Dick Brewer, 7.4 or 7.6, Hawaiian, with the old logo “Dick Brewer Surfboards”, 2 fins glass on ……It’s just wonderful.
Number of the board is 109 ….just to have a look at it.
TTOS: In your opinion, what is the most important thing in collecting surfboards?
Again, for me is to have FUN.
The story behind every single board that I buy is important, I bought boards when I traveled to Hawaii, when I went in USA, in ebay, somewhere else, but the story behind each board has always good memories.
Each board I’m looking at reminds me the time I bought it, the people that were with me, when did I buy it , how did I manage to get boards to France…..
And I do the same with skateboards too….
TTOS: How many skateboards do you have in your collection?
Is not about how many, I have maybe 16 decks, very rare and in a very good shape of the era when I was young as I was in to skateboarding quite a lot
When I started skating, I was going in the US when I was 13 years old because my uncle was living in Daytona beach….each summer I was going to ride those brands of skateboards
TTOS: Looking back at all these years of surfing and collecting surfboards, have you ever imagined to become a surfboard collector?
You have to have some money……I know it is horrible to say…….
Today, I don’t have money anymore because I lost my job few months ago and future is not very bright…..
So I think I’m going to stop collecting for the time being, but “I’m so lucky with what I have” and I don’t have any space in my apartment too, to put them….
TTOS: I’m very sorry about your losing the job.let’s see it like this….as we said at the beginning…it’s about quality and not quantity and your collection is really qualitative, you should be very proud of it
Let’s talk about you as a surfer. What is your favorite word to use today?
When I surf longboard I like to surf a 9/6 Tyler board (https://www.tylersurfboards.com) and when I want to surf something a bit shorter I surf a 7.4 k model single fin from Skip Frye I like to ride twin fin because now I have some back problems and I cannot surf shorter boards like in the past…..
TTOS: We’re going to finish our interview of today with a short Q/A session. So please answer the first thing that comes up to your mind. Okay?
The best surfboard that you ever ridden….
9.4 Cooperfish longboard
TTOS: The best shaper of all time.
TTOS: The most promising shaper, like a young talent that you see today.
I love Ryan Burch https://ryanburchsurfboards.com
TTOS: Your favorite surf spot
This is a hard question, but even though the spot is too crowded , I would say La Cote Des Basques.
I’ve been here for 40 years. I know everything, but it’s so crowded now. Completely crazy.
TTOS: The best surfer of all time.
I cannot say, too many….
I like style, I like Gerry Lopez, of course, Miki Dora, Skip Frye, John John Florence, Mason Ho (he kept the fun of surfing)
I’m a lot on surfing history…I just finished to read a biography about Tom Blake, I read (again) the Encyclopedia of Surfing
There is no a single best surfer, there is a best surfer for that particular era
TTOS: The last question is a little bit unusual, has nothing to do with surf, but we ask everybody…..your best relationship advice.
It starts with a smile….everybody can give it to everybody.
Recorded in May 2020