Hansen Surfboards 50th Anniversary at California Surf Museum

In honor of Hansen Surfboards‘ 50th Anniversary, seven beautifully hand-crafted tribute surfboards are being auctioned to benefit the California Surf Museum. Six of the surfboards are on display at the California Surf Museum; the seventh is on display at Hansen’s in Encinitas. Bidding is now open on the six surfboards at CSM only through CSM’s Online Museum Store; click here. Online bidding will close at 4:00pm PDT, Friday, September 16th. Winning bidders will be announced Saturday, September 17. Please call CSM at (760) 721-6876 for more information.

Silent bids will be accepted on the tribute surfboard, shaped by Bill Shrosbree, on display at Hansen Surfboards, 1105 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, closing date TBD.

Mahalo nui loa to all those involved in this project — including many thanks in advance to those who will be the winning bidders — on your support of CSM. The winning bidder of each surfboard will certainly treasure this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own such a masterpiece.

The scope and passion of all those involved in this Tribute Board Project cannot be summed up in a few short sentences. For those interested in knowing the full story behind these tribute surfboards, please continue reading.

The Project
Josh Hansen, from Hansen Surfboards, mentioned to Royce Cansler, a CSM Advisor and Specialty Retail Relations Director at Billabong, that he and his brother, Christian, and sister, Heidi, wanted to make a donation to the California Surf Museum in honor of their father, Don Hansen, and Hansen Surfboards. Royce writes that the idea for the project actually evolved pretty quickly: we would recruit the best craftsmen we could to build replicas of one of Hansen’s most popular surfboards as a tribute to Don, and then auction them off, donating everything above the actual cost to the California Surf Museum. Every single shaper we talked to was willing to donate his time and shape the board for free — they were just stoked to be part of this tribute and benefit for CSM.

The Surfboard
The object of this project is to present a tribute to Don Hansen and Hansen Surfboards in the most meaningful way possible through the most legitimate vehicle: the replication and re-creation of one of the most significant Hansen Surfboard Models of the late 1960s, the “Hansen Superlight.”

After considering several options, the best original Superlight from 1967 was obtained from the collection of Billabong’s Paul Naude, selected by Jimmy Phillips, Matt Calvani, Rich Pavel and Royce Cansler because they all thought it had the best overall shape, specifically outline, rails, rocker and stringer configuration and accurately represented the Superlight Model at the height of its popularity.

The Blanks
Jimmy Phillips volunteered to build the blanks himself rather than see the goal to replicate the original model exactly compromised. Jimmy, Matt and Royce selected several different colors of high-density foam that Jimmy had from previous projects. They selected yellow, blue, orange, magenta, dark green and red high density foams for the colored wedges between the center stringer and decided on black glue cuts, or lines, for the outside stringers on all colors. Jimmy’s tedious labor resulted in the most accurately-perfect reconstruction of the original blanks used for Hansen Superlights in the late 1960s and add significant value to each of the individual boards. It is impossible to get a blank like the one used in this Hansen Tribute project unless one can find a shaper/woodworker of advanced ability that not only can secure the correct materials but has the correct tools and knowledge to construct these blanks correctly.

The Templates
Jimmy built masonite templates off the original board for each shaper involved in the project. This way not only would “they all start on a level playing field,” more importantly each board would accurately represent the original in the two most important ways: blank and template. Of course there would be some variation in each board due to size of the board assigned to each shaper and their individual shaping characteristics; while these boards are “replicas of the original Hansen Superlight” each board is, more importantly, a completely custom surfboard created by hand only, by of some of the finest shapers practicing the craft today. No shaping machines were involved at all in any aspects of the project.

The Shapers
Based on their abilities as complete craftsmen and their rich San Diego heritage, the shapers selected are: Jimmy “the Genius” Phillips, Matt Calvani, Bob Mitsven, Rich “Toby” Pavel, Craig Hollingsworth, Hoy Runnels and Bill Shrosbree. These guys still truly make 100% hand-crafted surfboards for the surfing public to enjoy.

The individual shapers were given two specific instructions:
1. Each shaper was to sign the board in the following manor: Shaper’s name: “Tribute to Don Hansen” / “Fifty years of Surfing”
2. Each shaper would have Jimmy’s blank, his template, and the original Superlight to use for reference when he shaped his contribution, the only other instruction, that Royce personally gave to each shaper, was “to make a board that screamed ‘RIDE ME’ when I put it under my arm!” — and this was accomplished!

The Finishing
Matt and Margaret Calvani own and run Bing Surfboards on Westlake Blvd. in Encinitas — one of the premiere surfboard glassing facilities in San Diego County — and it was a mutual decision from all involved that these boards should be glassed by the finest craftsmen available; it is a bonus for authenticity that they come “from the hill.” Armed with order cards for each individual board, once again Jimmy, Matt and Royce, this time along with Sam Cody — one of the finest, most-talented pinliners and glossers in surfboard history — began to choose the colors for the glassing and pinlines for each board.

The boards were glassed with Volan fiberglass cloth, like back in the day, but through modern glassing techniques they are not nearly as heavy as they were back then. The boards have deck and tail patches, which is not the standard in the industry today. Sam Cody painstakingly scrutinized each board to make the pinlines as suitably coordinated to the entire board as possible and each one is a beauty to behold, an art piece that any and every craftsman and surfboard enthusiast will appreciate. The mirrored appearance of the final product is the result of a perfect gloss coat, fine sanded and polished.

The Fins   
Jimmy, Matt and Rich Pavel came up with an appropriate fin template that reflected the era but was suitable to high performance, traditional longboard surfing. Bill, Bob and Todd Bahne of Bahne and Fins Unlimited, were called upon to build these fins and supply the fin boxes, all black of course.

The Tribute  
The goal was to make each Superlight a masterpiece on its own, while creating a display of oozing eye candy for the presentation of the group as a tribute to Don. Royce says, “It was a privilege and a treat to work together as a group and ponder the color combinations for each board, and the result is that individually and collectively we have created and built some of the most beautiful surfboards possible, and a tribute and recognition to the tradition for quality and high performance that Don and the family at Hansen’s have always strived for and upheld for the last 50 years.”

For more information about this auction, please contact:
California Surf Museum
312 Pier View Way
Oceanside, California 92054
(760) 721-6876 .co

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