From Sebastian Inlet to Margaret River

The museum recently received an inquiry from an individual concerning the history of an old surfboard he had acquired. We get messages like this quite often- mostly from someone wishing to sell it.

*Disclaimer- we do not give estimates on surfboard values. The best way to determine that is to look on Craigslist or E-Bay (be prepared to be disappointed)*.

What does get our interest, naturally enough, is when someone wants to get the history on a Florida label surfboard. Such was the case in a message we received  Down Under from Wayne Winchester. Wayne is a highly regarded Australian surfboard collector with a reputation of being one of the best specialists in surfboard restoration. You can check out his website here: https://www.surfboardresto.com/.

 

 My name is Wayne Winchester and I am a surfboard collector and restorer from the south coast of Western Australia.

One of the boards in my collection that I have just got around to restoring is a Sebastian Inlet single fin. I’m guessing the vintage is mid to late 70’s, but I have no knowledge of the board other than it has the number 1138 written along the stringer. Do you have any further information you would be able to help me with …?

I acquired the Sebastian Inlet surfboard in the late 1980’s. A regular client came to me wanting it repaired after it had been snapped in half whilst surfing waves in the Margaret River region of Western Australia (which is near where we live). It also had quite a large amount of delamination on the deck, but besides these catastrophic structural problems, the rest of the board was in near immaculate condition. I understood at the time that the client bought the board from the Sebastian Inlet area whilst on a surfing trip there from Australia.

In the end, the client didn’t want the board any more so it ended up in my collection and was destined for the back corner of the workshop in the junk-pile for the next 20 years. I recently pulled it out and thought I needed a challenge, so I committed to getting it back to at least some semblance of its former glory.

Kind regards…”

 

 

Sebastian Inlet surfboards came from a surf shop of the same name in Floridana Beach, which is about midway between Melbourne Beach and Sebastian Inlet. It was run by Mike Mann who had originally moved from south Florida in the early 60’s. He later opened Longboard House http://www.longboardhouse.com/  in Melbourne Beach.

The shop was in business in the mid to late 70’s. The surviving boards you see are mostly variations of the stinger design which was the hot shape back then. The legendary shaper Richard Munson recalls shaping Sebastian Inlet surfboards at Creative Shaping which Bob Carson operated in Merritt Island. Carson had opened the business as a contract glassing shop building surfboards for many local as well as international surfboard brands.

Mahalo to Wayne for bringing this to our attention. This bit of history is more evidence that Florida surfers were chasing waves across the globe with the rest of the surfing tribe during golden age of surf travel. Someday we may discover the name of the mystery surfer who snapped his board long ago on a Margaret River bomb.

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