Phil Edwards Honolulu

A guy brought one into my shop yesterday.

I’d only seen one or maybe two prior to this.

He said his Father bought it for him in 1967 or so while living in Hawaii and stationed at Barber’s Point.

I’d heard that Phil moved to Hawaii and built boards right at the end of the longboard era and that he didn’t have this business for long.

Can anyone confirm or correct this?

The guy is bringing the board back in a few days and I’m going to take a series of photos which I will post.

This board is very clean, only a few minor dings and not very tanned. The guy said he surfed it mostly at Barber’s Point and proof of that can be seen by the wear on the bottom tip of the cutaway fin. He probably ran it up on the sand there more than once. It’s been in his garage ever since.

The Phil/Honolulu period, was short lived, but I’m not sure of the dates. I think It may be later than indicated. In spring of 1965, Phil was shaping his Edwards Model, in the racks next to me, at the Hobie factory in Dana Point. Perhaps someone else from the later period, at Hobie, would know the timing.

The reference to a ‘‘cutaway fin’’ seems to indicate either modification, or later time period. Is the fin glass-on, or in a box? If in a box, what kind? Also, the material the fin is made of, might offer a clue. As I recall, Phil had a fondness for foiled wood glass-on fins. I recall the boards being around in the 1969-1970 time period, and I recall seeing, what are today called, Transition Models. Don’t know if that helps.

I was in Hawaii in '72, and Phil was making those Honolulu boards then. They were not “state of the art” short boards, but they were so clean and beautiful. I wanted one bad, but I was another broke surfer.


Iconic shaper, rare label, limited production, good condition…

This thing has collectible written all over it. Can’t wait to see the pics.

This is definatley not a “transition” shape. It’s a parallel rail outline 50/50 rail board about 10’ long. I’ll measure it when he brings it back.

Glassed on glass fin. Real similar to the fins Hynson and Frye were putting on their G&S models in '66 or '67. I’ve got a '67 9’8 Frye (with the original factory invoice) and the fin is a similar shape. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t modified and the guy said it wasn’t. I believe he is the original owner. He wasn’t totally sure of the exact year. He was just going by when his Dad was stationed at Barber’s. He rode the board while in Hawaii and then never again. He’s kept it all of these years.

I’d heard that the Edwards/Honlulu period was short lived. I remember that Rick Renken, publisher of Waves (the newspaper) went to interview him in the early seventies and he was living in Dana Point and working at Hobie Cat I believe.

Based on the size, the shape, the fin, etc. I think that '67 is a reasonable date although I’ve heard that he did build boards similar to this into the short board era.

It seems like the guy, being a teenager, would have wanted the latest thing. So later would have meant a shorter board. Although the way he described going and ordering the board it seems as though they would have bought whatever Phil told him he should have.

When I get a chance this week to shoot a series of pictures I’ll post them.

The guy would have left the board with me but considering it might be quite valuable I told him to just keep the board and come back in a couple of days when I could take the pictures. I’ve had consignment boards stolen before and had to pay for them since my insurance didn’t cover them so I’m reluctant to hold these.

I was really busy and didn’t have a lot of time to spend with the guy. But I did want to get a look at the board since he’d been in before and told me about it. I hear a lot of stories about boards but don’t believe most of them until I see them. I once had a guy tell me he had a balsa “Dextra”. When he brought it in it was, of course, just a mat blank popout Dextra. Very tanned as those blanks did after a short time in the sun. The glass was worn away on the nose and tail and the wood nose and tailblocks (redwood) made the guy think it was all balsa since the board was tanned to the same color as the wood. He even told me that he had verified the information with the Dextra company (yeah right). And that is was one of the few balsas they had ever made. (Whew!) So I’ve just about heard it all when it comes to old boards. You never know what’s going to walk through the door though.

Seeing a lot more old boards coming out for sale lately. Probably due to the economy.

Saw a very clean Phil Edwards Honolulu quite a few years back('90"s) at one of the auctions in California. I believe it was at Brawner’s auction in Newport Beach. It was pulled as the reserve( can’t remember$) was not met. The guy seemed to know what he had and wasn’t gonna let it go cheap. Seymour or Brawner would probably know something about Phil’s boards from that era. Seymour has a website. Can’t remember what it’s called.

Bill, Phil and Boscoe Burns, father of Ronnie Burns was Phils partner, doing the glassing.

I have a collector who wants one of these REALLY bad and has the $ in his pocket, call me

Hi Jim. I’ve got laryngitis today and can’t talk but check your emails.

By the way. Rode the pintail yesterday and it worked great as usual. I’ve been sick all week and I think going out yesterday did me in but it was worth it.

Good Morning Jim,

I remember these quite well. Hobie Surfboards on Kapiolani was the dealer in Town. If I remember correctly, the time period was approximately 1966/67. The last of the boards by Phil and Boscoe were on the cutting edge of the “minigun” phase of the transition. Thanks to Jack Shipley, I was fortunate enough to have had two of these. The first was a 10’00" and the second a 9’2" minigun (the board that started me down the road to shorter and shorter boards). Always regretted selling the 9’2", as it was a great board. Influenced my board choice long after that. I was really disappointed when Phil moved back to the Mainland.

For years, Jack had a balsa board that he had Phil shape for him. Geez, I loved that board. What a beauty. I think it may have been sold during one of the auctions that Randy has.

I think I saw that board at Jack’s house one time.

Saw one last year at the appraisal part of the the Randy Rare It Auction on Oahu. I was drooling all over it as the guy waited in line. Said it had been hanging in a car port for most of it’s life. An exquisitely simple and elegant design. Don’t recall what they said it was worth…but it was in the thousands.


That was most likely the Phil Edwards Balsa that Jack owned. He used to have the board in his house in Niu Valley. Just a flat out beautiful board. One of those boards that one never forgets.


A guy brought one into my shop yesterday. I’d only seen one or maybe two prior to this. He said his Father bought it for him in 1967 or so while living in Hawaii and stationed at Barber’s Point.

Aloha BalsaBill

I have one of these hanging in my shop (Raging Isle). I am pretty sure it is from 67. It is light green tint with a long sickle type sweeping blue tint fin. It is a Pintail, almost a double ender. These boards have a Letter Code on them that can denote more accurately when they were made. Mine is an “E” model. Rarrick knows the details of the code. I can’t remember it anymore.

Back around that time I surfed on a similar one that Mike Turkington shaped. These were the Hawaiian boards that bridged the gap between long boards and short boards. Shortly after this, boards got more minigun looking and lost all resemblance to long boards. I have a beautiful John Mobley board hanging in my shop that is a classic example of this.

The reason time frames are hard to pinpoint is because changes were happening in 2-3 month intervals. It was a wash of development, experimentation and guesswork. What made it into shops as “models” is what many remember but there was tons more going on behind the scenes and nothing existed very long as any kind of “standard” other then what was presented to retail customers for obvious economic reasons. Customers all profess to want the “newest thing” but for it to be the “newest thing” in their minds, it has to be accepted as the “newest thing” by others and that takes time. Meaning it won’t really be the “newest thing”. Retailers can sell the “newest accepted thing”, but they can’t easily sell the truly “newest” thing nor sell it to enough customers to stay alive economically.

Greg Griffen’s boards are a classic example of this. For years he has worked as a shaper for some of the biggest names in Retail Surfboards with only minimal success in spite of his exceptionally unique designs and talent. Since he has now taken on the responsibility for his own future, he is seeing great interest in his boards, but still very few retailers would be willing to stock his 5 fin models because customers wouldn’t yet be up to speed on them. Though this is beginning to be possible. When they do hit the stores, everyone will think they are on the “newest” thing but it will all be old news to those who have watched his progress and been cheering for him over the years.


Yes. Well I can certainly remember those days. Things not only moving very fast as far as changes but conversely some things hanging over longer than you would think.

For example: A guy called me who had a G&S Skip Frye model. The photos he emailed would have dated the board as a '67, from the deck view. But the bottom revealed a w.a.v.e. set fin box. The '67’s had glassed on fins. I checked the serial # against some G&S invoices that I had and sure enough it was a mid '68. Skip’s models in spring of '68 were slightly shorter (4-6") and wider (23"( and often had foam t-bands. This was definately a '67 model but made in '68. By summer of '68 he was making his v bottom with the v in the middle and the wing nose.

I remember that at G&S we would occasionally get orders for older models in that transition period ('68 to '72) and of course we would make them. An order was an order. But it sure can drive the collectors crazy today.

Great stories Bill!

tight redwood. How many rings / 1/4"?

That board had me dreaming prior to the auction last year. A lovely piece of craft. I have always had a thing for Phil Edward’s shapes, so much so that my Mom recently reminded me of how I’d beg her take me back to look again on the rare occassions that we saw an old one in a shop. Pretty atypical behavior for an 11 year-old grom in the early eighties in Southern California, and she was very kind to oblige.

As Bill Barnfield said, Randy Rarick is probably the best expert on these boards. Poke around his website,, he has sold some of these over the years. He has also restored several boards. I think the boards were numbered A1 through A100, then B1 etc. There was no clear cutoff between letters, more of a continuous evolution of design. I have a late C series and an early D series and both boards are quite similar. The early longboards in the A and B series are worth more than the later transition boards.

Hi Nick,

Dan Roscioli here.

Was digging around for some info regarding PE Honolulu models regarding serial #'s / letter designators and I saw your name on the thread.

I picked up a 10' triple stringer PE Honolulu model in a trade and it's seems to be IMO in a 6.5 to 7 out of 10 condition.  This particular board is numbered 51 witout a letter designator.  Thinking it was shaped in the first run prior to A?  Snaped a few low res pix with my cell ph.

hi BB…

wingnut here…was at one of the Auctions in Hawaii 6+ years ago with a friend Nick…he scored a great Phil…one of the last with a Hobie decal…no Phil decals left so Phil just signed the Lam…really neat semi-gun board…the one in the pic with Nick standing next to it…the others are the full set of A-B-C-D-E that were also on sale…really neat to see the evolution of his work all in one place…