05 Oct TSS Journal 1703/ Weapon or Work of Art: You Decide
Pat glueing up a blank. Photo: Collection Bev Morgan circa 1960s.
Pat Curren: Master Shaper and Big Wave Rider
“Back then, you didn’t need deep fins.
All you needed was a lot of rail… and a lot of guts.” – Pat Curren
If you are interested in owning an incredible piece of surf history, keep reading. Featured below is a one-of-a-kind, ten-foot gun produced by legendary shaper and original big wave rider, Pat Curren. This is the last hand-shaped gun of its kind created by Curren.In my opinion, Pat Curren, Gregg Knoll, Skip Frye, Dick Brewer, and Bob McTavish are the last kings and masters of these functional sculptures. They are all nearing 80-plus years and are still creating. But when they are gone, it’s gone. The next tier of masters in line are Gerry Lopez, Billy Hamilton, Gary Linden, Owl Chapman, and Hank Warner, to name a few. These shapers’ boards will eventually reach the highly collectible list.
Pat’s boards are extremely hard and finding a brand new one is nearly impossible. This is a great opportunity for a surf collector to own a museum quality piece of surf history. The board is currently in Oceanside, CA and can be safely shipped anywhere. The asking price is $12,500. The true value of this board is exceedingly higher. For the right owner, it will have a meaning and impact that is greater than any dollar value. I am sad to say this board is the only one available. Pat is a very private man and has asked Gary Linden and me to help find the buyer. This task is a true honor for me. The board is coming directly from Pat’s archive, not a private collector.
What other human occupation yields art that delivers the fear, dreams, imagination and awe of a giant wave gun produced by one of our surrogate surf fathers? It is kind of like buying the Apollo 13 landing pod but more beautiful. More photos available upon request. Email me anytime for anything.
Hand-made from start to finish, 3-stringer, signed by Pat Curren.
*Although he had done some work with Dale Velzy on the Mainland, Pat first began his shaping career in Hawaii. “I started shaping boards in 1956-57,” Curren said. “I was walking down the beach at Waikiki and a guy at a rental board place asked me who had made the board I was carrying. I said I did. So, I rented a shop in Haleiwa and got into it.”
“When you go hunting rhinos,” Doyle recalls Buzzy Trent saying, “you take a big gun.” Well, Curren’s the guy who makes the rhino guns. What really set Curren apart and won him the admiration of the others was that he made the most beautiful, streamlined surfboards any of us had ever seen. Each one of his boards was a cross between a work of art and a weapon, like some beautifully crafted spear. Curren had learned how to attach slabs of wood to the nose and tail of a board to get more rocker, or curve. And his boards went like rockets. In those days, speed was everything. Riding big waves wasn’t about style, or looking pretty, or making graceful cutbacks, or any of that. It was about going for the biggest wave and hoping you didn’t get killed. Curren’s boards were designed to go straight down the line, hard and fast. They gave you a chance at survival.”
**Excerpt from legendarysurfers.com. http://files.legendarysurfers.com/surf/legends/lsc203.shtml
Pat Curren, Waimea.