Dora Da Cat Fakes

What’s the name on the board?

I ran into Noll awhile back at a vintage auction in NJ, and truth be told, they only made about 40, (give or take a few), black Da Cats before they realized that you couldn’t keep wax on them. How many black ones do you think are out there? Probably more than that. I also saw a few Da Cats next to each other and noticed quite a difference in the templeting between each board. Fakes? Different shapers? Who Knows?

Noll is in possession of the six copycats that were made in the '95. They all look like the '66 models. He was going to destroy them back then but I don’t think he did.

Please post the whole article, I would love to see it. Thanks!

I am the LAPD Detective that handled the counterfiet Greg Noll DA Cat surfboard case back in the 90's. Thought I'd add my insight for those of you curious about those fakes. We received a call from the Harbor Master at Marina Del Rey, a LA Sheriff's Lieutenant, one day about a fake surfboard he had purchased. He was a collector and had just purchased what he thought was a original DA Cat. He called another collector friend to brag about his find and the friend asked if the guy who sold it to him drove a maroon van. The Lt. said "Yes, how did you know?. The friend said "Cause I bought one from him last week." About the same time Greg Noll was visiting a surfboard shop in San Diego and they proudly pointed to a Da Cat hanging on the wall. Greg informed them that it was not a board made by his shop. 

Being a surfer myself I volunteered for the case. My investigation led to an individual in Thousand Oaks, California. The individual turned out to be a professional photograper who was down on his luck. He had lost his two major accounts, about 90% of his income, and was going into bankruptcy along with a foreclosuer on his residence. In addition, due to the finacial stresses his was leaving him along with their two children. The individual had a strong backhground in fiberglass from priors jobs when he was young working for a surfboard manufacture and a yatch manufacture.  

I teamed up with my section one morning and we staked out the individual's residence. We followed him to a residence, which turned out to be his parents' residence, in the San Fernando Valley.  We waited for a period on time and then I drove down the alley to see what he was doing on in the garage. To my surprise there was the individual, in the garage, shapping another Da Cat surfboard. We took him into custody along with the surfboard.

To compound the problems facing the individual I discovered his mother was dying on bone cancer. I put the word out to the small collectors community and eventually met with a total of 5 owners of boards, made by the individual, along with Greg and Margie, his wife. The get together was document in a newspaper articles by the LA Times and the Daily News. I shared with the victims what posessed the individual to counterfiet the Da Kats and collectively they said that if he returned their monies they would drop the charges. (The fakes were sold for between $1800 and $2500). The individual did just that and all charges were dropped. The counterfiet boards were turned over to Greg.

I happy to say that today the individual saved his marriage, learned from the experience and is sucessfull again in life.


(The screen name comes my 60's surf band)











cool story, thanks for chiming in


cool story, thanks for chiming in



That is an outstanding story.    Nice that the outcome was as positive as it was.  Great life lesson.

I have often wondered about someone producing fake classic boards. If you think about it it really would not be hard to give some classic like a Cat an aged look and construct a providence Like this was my Uncles Board from 1965.  Of course the vintage market ids kind of cooled off.  

Some people do not seem to have gotten the message They are still trying to sell old average Hanson,  Gordon and Smith rental boards for big bucks. 

Some guy in New Jersey is selling a Hobie " Endless Summer" claiming it was the Board used by Mike Hynson in the movie or some such nonsense.

The sad fact is that the Dora name is probably worth more now then when Dora was alive.

There was a post a few years back about a Cat Model selling in the Oahu Vintage Auction that was misrepresented by Mr. Noll and Mr. Rarrick.  Buyer beware at a minimum. 



Greg Noll had no part in that scam. Rarick is solely responsible for the way that board was sold.



I was there. When Randy introduced the board just prior to the bidding…he made a reference that Mr. Noll remembered the board and Mr. Noll was in the room. Mr. Noll probably remembered making similar boards and had no idea of Rarick’s re-do. So he was hoodwinked into an unknown misrepresentation by Rarrick and I expect if he knew the truth he would have called bullshit! I agree that Rarick is solely responsible for the way the board was sold and I should have framed my comments differently!



I'm not buyin' the LA PD story from rocketman.   The guys got more grammatical and spelling eras that an eighth grade term paper.   Can you imagine reading this guys' police report every nite.  Sounds too Jack Webb to me.  Noll supposedly destroyed the fakes.  But that's not verifiable.  Knowing Greg he probably sold them as authentic.  Hell I would.


Well, I know quite a bit about that board, as I was offered a chance to buy it long before Rarick ever got his hands on it. A friend  sent me photos of it in its original state. It had some obvious damage such that no one in their right mind would pay 16 k for if they knew the truth.


OK, Mr English teacher.

You might want to proof read your post, if you are going to call someone else out for grammar and spelling.

I’ll give the cop guy the benefit of the doubt. I know many people who are capable and competent in their chosen field who don’t do well with the written word.


Channin had some of the fakes upstairs at his glass shop, he being as much a crook as the fakers.

He had as wood board that looked like a Pacific Homes, in not too bad a shape, he had me strip the varnish, give it a nice tune up and then wood burnered a Swastika on the tail.

He sent it to Randy for his auction, billed as original / pristine condition, of course he had made enough enemies, that the Doctor buyer of it was contacted with photos of it being restored, it wasn’t me.

The Doc had paid 18,500.00 for the doctored wood board, in the end, a wood Curren and one of the fakes were added to prevent a law suit.

I don’t know if the price got trimmed also

I bought a re-issue out of Tony's loft.  He took me up there and pulled three or four out.  Then told me to take my pick.  He was holding them for costs.  CNC and glassing.  When I made the deal with Greg; he told me to pick it up from Tony and pay him.   It's now in the hands of an Oregon collector.  Atomized did the work.  Black with a red pinline. 

Sammy boy.    I type really fast and don't edit.  Primarily because my internet conection is bad and I lose it before I can get a sentence typed.  If I'd have gone to the Police Academy;  I'd know how to spell and type really fast.   Sorry to branch over into your area of expertise.  Go ahead start some $#!t.  Last word is yours -------.

Seeing the photo of that Lighting Bolt made me think of how easy it would be to build fake Bolts.  There is a local collector here in Florida that is absolutely insane for any item related to lighting Bolt and Lopez from the 1970's

This isn't rocket science.  Any number of us here on this site are quite capable of making nearly exact duplicates of any board we want.  I'm only a back yard beginner but I can build my accurate interpretation of boards with ease so imagine what a really skilled craftsman / counterfiter could do.  While I would never try to nock off someone's brand, the shaping and glassing are not that difficult to replicate.  If someone wanted to duplicate brand logos that would be very easy to do as well.