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Rancho Santa Fe

Vintage surfboard swap meet to benefit the surf museum

OCEANSIDE — The annual California Surf Museum and Longboard Collectors Club Surf Swap Meet will set up shop in the parking lot on Pier View Way and Tremont Street April 26.

Plans are fluid until the morning the swap meet opens, but about 30 vendors are expected. Merchandise for sale ranges from vintage surfboards, to no-longer-published surf magazines and collectables.

Some rare finds that have seen their day at the swap meet include a 1930s Dale Velzy balsa gun, a Gerry Lopez Pipeline surfboard, and 1980s surfboards shaped by Jim Fuller and Lance Collins.

Browsing the swap meet is like taking a walk through a time machine of surf history.

Extremely rare surfboards can carry an asking price of $25,000.

Vendors at the swap meet make salvaging and selling a hobby, and can share a lot of history on the items.

“I find them, fix them up, and sell them (vintage surfboards),” Jim Fors, of San Clemente, said. “I call it a hobby. My wife calls it a problem.”

Browsers enjoy the atmosphere. Collectors recognize the value of preserving California surf history.

“I grew up with surfing and have surfed all over the world,” Robert Brunner, of Ventura, said. “I think it’s important to keep the history of surfing alive.”

The California Surf Museum and Longboard Collectors Club Surf Swap Meet will be held from 6 to 11:30 a.m. Part of the proceeds will support the California Surf Museum.

The California Surf Museum Surf was founded in 1986 in order to preserve California surf history. It got its early start at former George’s Restaurant in Encinitas, and moved to several temporary locations throughout the years before finding its permanent home at 312 Pier View Way.

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