Del Cannon Surfboard

I found a 7’ 6" del cannon surfboard in my neighbors trash today. Its got a surfboard permit on it from 1969 and I know Del Cannon manufactured in the 1960’s, but I dont know when exactly it was made. It’s 22’ wide with a 9" fixed single tail. On the face theres a spliced rainbow design. It has some dings on the underside of the board and a roughly 3" air bubble on the logo as well as the tip of the nose has been sliced off. Ive looked around but I cant figure out exactly what model it is or its value. Below where it says Del Cannon, it says Pierre, but I dont know if that will help. Thanks in advance for your input!

Here are pics

That looks pretty cool - a good find for a free board!  Needs some significant repairs though.  My guess is that it probably is from 1969, or thereabouts.  Looks like a transition shape.  I don’t know anything about Del Cannon or how collectable his boards are, but my guess is that in its current condition you might get up to $50-75 or so, and if it were decently repaired, maybe $150-200.  My estimate is based on browsing Craigslist in the San Diego area.  My recent purchases include a 1978 G&S Modern Machine that I paid $100 for, a 1972 Hansen shortboard for $80,  and a 1969 Bahne for $100.  I also purchased an early 70s Clyde Beatty Jr. Rocketfish, which was in slightly worse condition than yours, for $30 (no pics yet.)  

 I recognize that board! I did the gloss design on this board. I worked for Del Cannon @ his San Clemente Surf Shop between 1967-1971. I was 1st hired in '67 as ding repair. Shortly after that he started training me for other jobs in the shop. I became the “Glosser” (final coat & artwork design). I learned the real craft 1st from “Pierre” also known as “The Fly”, then later by Ronald Patterson. The artwork is my design & work.  It may have been my 1st “Short” board I had made for myself by the Del Cannon Crew.  “Pierre” was also known as Bob Spencer, Jean-Paul Van Swae, Pierre Van Swae. The Fly is famous in his own right & still surfs & makes surfboards & photographs for the major surf magazines. I learned to do all of the steps in making Del’s boards from the other crew & started learning shaping from Del himself just before he closed the shop & I graduated from U.C.I. In my opinion, Del was the worlds best shaper, bar none. His techniques for shaping allowed him to shape any shape with perfect symmetrical precision. Disk Brewer & others were envious; I know that from personal conversations with Brewer & others. I knew Del 1st from his days with Fredrick Wardy in Laguna Beach. I bought 2 boards from Wardy between 1961 & 1964. Del Cannon shaped for Wardy & the Fly was glasser, glosser, sander & sometime shaped. Joe Severson (John’s brother - Surfer Magazine) was the person who developed the glassing techniques used by Gordy, Wardy & Del.  Del was truly the finest surfboard craftsman in the industry @ the time. We all learned to be meticulous @ our jobs.

Aloha John,

I surfed for years with Del, at Windansea.     In 1960 when Velzy opened a shop, in San Diego, Del was the manager and hired me as a backup shaper to him.    Del did the custom orders, and I did shop boards.      Del was a powerful influence on me, both in the water, and in the shaping room.      You were probably thinking of Ronald Patterson.     Ronald showed me how to glass, and mount fins, when he worked for Burland Surfboards, in La Jolla.    Contact Eric (BIRD) Huffman @ Bird’s Surf Shed, he can fill you in as to the value.   Frankly, I think it is quite collectable.    I’ve known Bird for over forty years.      His honesty and opinion can be trusted completely.     Welcome aboard!


That’s some pedigree you have, John S Kent!

Is '69 correct? That was going to be my guess, just going by the shape and color job.

Yes, It was Ronald Patterson!  Incredible person. Very artistic & skilled Craftsman. I was only able to take advantage of Ronald’s teaching for 1 or 2 days. I observed much more that I was able to process @ 1st. I did have a trick to pick out dust particles from the gloss coat that I am sure no-one will ever be able to reproduce that I passed on to Ronald, & the rest of the Crew @ Del’s. All that is moot now that glossing with resin is not used any more.

The board most likely was 1968-1969. I Sold the board shortly after I got it. 7’6" was very Short for those days [I was 5’ 7" & 140 lbs], But not short enough! There were a lot of crazy changes going on then. 1st was the Mc’Tavis “V” bottom (Deep 4-1/2") with wide tail & long fin. Then the Nat Young “gun” followed by the Gerry Lopez models. Followed by a whole slough of “Nose Riders” & other short board designs (Twin, Fish, Thruster, etc.).

Del Cannon Shop Crew (1967-1970):

Del(bert) Cannon; Owner / Shaper

Jean Pierre Van Swae; ”Fly“; Bob Spencer; Pierre (Shaper / Glasser / Sander / Glosser)

John Neubauer (Glasser / Sander)

Chuck Ericson (Erickson) (Sander/Ding Repair)

Larry Bailey (Shaper)

Stwert Burgess (Shaper / Glasser / Sander)

John S. Kent “Crazy Kent” (Glosser / Ding Repair / Sander / Shaper Apprentice)

Del Cannon Shop drop-in regulars:

Bruce Brown

“Whitey” Lou Harrison

Rick Griffin - Cartoonist for Murphy in surfer Magazine.

Hal Sachs - Tandem Surfer -

Ron Stoner - Surfer Magazine Photographer

Ted Sizemore (Ron’s Dad)

“Crazy Jon” was a designer/Engineer for Convair that I only knew him as “Crazy Jon”. Crazy Jon was supposedly a designer &/or Engineer for the Convair F2Y “Sea Dart”. He was one of those Aeronautical hydrodynamic Engineer Genius Types. He had that unique combination of aero/hydro dynamics. We discussed catamaran’s, Tri-maran’s, Airfoil augmented catamaran’s, & submerged hydro-foils. He had some ideas for surfboards that still haven’t been realized by surfboard designers today. I think if someone were to incorporate his ideas into surfboard design, it would be another revolution beyond what was Thruster to the 1970’s. I still have some of his drawing prototypes. I am hoping, some day some one will finally built a board from his ideas.

Since I was the most educated (going to the Univ of Ca.) member of the Del Cannon Crew & since I was forever creating new techniques for the surfboard craftsmanship, they nicknamed me “Crazy Kent”.

Terry Martin - Give my 1st Surf Lesson @ Doheney in 1961.

Mickey Munoz - Give my 2nd surf Lesson. Suggested I switch stance since I was naturally Goofy, but I could also Surf Left foot forward.

John S. Kent @ Doheney Ca. St. Beach; 1961

My 1st board; hand made. Made most of the boards that I have had ever since.

Left to right: Brother (Robert Earl), Mom (Barbara), Dad (William Lyon) & myself.

John,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is a great photo of Delbert!      He had a great smile.     That photo is how I remember him best.       Like so many of the top watermen, of that era, Del was an olympic quality swimmer.      That was true of Peter Cole, Jim Fisher, and many of the other early big wave pioneers.    Several years ago, a group of us flew Del out from Kona, for one of our Windansea reunions.     It was really good to see him again.    Ronald was one of the ‘‘regulars’’ at Windansea, during the 50’s and early 60’s.     I learned quite a bit from him, at the tail end of the balsa era.    Basically  the state of the art, at that time.    Ronald always seemed to have a smile on his face.    Imagine seeing him sanding a surfboard, no mask, covered with dust, wearing only a bathing suit, barefoot, and a ciggarette hanging from the corner of his mouth.   Talk about iron men and wooden boards!    I have fond memories of those balsa era days.


Not to be pedantic or nitpicky, but I get a little miffed when I see people refer to Griffin’s cartoon gremmie as “Murf the Surf”. His name was Murphy. Griffin never called him anything but “Murphy”.

Murf the Surf is the nickname of Florida surfer and convicted felon Jack Murphy. He was in a few early Bruce Brown movies and is best known for being involved in the Star of India jewel theft. He was also convicted of murdering a woman in 1968. Jack Roland Murphy - Wikipedia

This is Griffin’s Murphy:

…and this

and even this:

I stand corrected!  Thanks so much for posting those cartoons of Murphy!  I haven’t seen those for so long. Thanks again.

Hi John, enjoying reading your surfboard building life story!

Just curious- about your avatar picture, what is your interest in the Dalai Lama?

Implies an interesting path; from Del Cannon to Tibetan Buddhism!

“What is your interest in the Dalai Lama?”  He is the Religious leader of Buddhism. He is an amazing person. His Laughing & pointing grounds us all as human.  I am a staunch atheist. Two extremes; food for thought. He has specific thoughts/writings on the differences between being “Spiritual” & being “Religious”.

Right on. I just read a figure that 20% of U.S. people polled said they were “spiritual” but did not affiliate with any religion. If that figure is accurate, that’s pretty significant!

Good reading, and history, for newer members of the forum. Don’t let the history be lost.

There was or maybe still is a nice Del Cannon in the 8’ plus range for sale on Ebay of recent.

Nice board.
Not in the market myself.

Just looked at the ad for the Del Cannon on eBay. What box and fin system is that?