Surfline Hawaii

I received a request from a former Oahu resident who bailed in 1973 that kind of got my interest up too: What happened to the old Surfline shop in Honolulu? He also inquired about a shaper named Buddy Dumphy. I’ll forward anything anybody comes up with. Thanks in advance.

where’s your friend been?

Dumphy’s been dead a long time

his busted up northshore specials go for well over a grand.

Rochlan is well into clothing with his Jams and Surfline trademarks (king of resort wear)

The shop closed eons ago…

But in 73’ it was hot…

Dicky Delong and all the boys…

Along with Country gave Lighting Bolt a run for the money…

Piikoi across Ala Moana Shopping Center

Anybody know what happened to Fred Swartz? He of Surfline fame.


Dumphy’s been dead a long time

his busted up northshore specials go for well over a grand

Once again I must say just how cool this forum is…the guy who asked me grew up on the Rock but left after school and has never been back. I had written a bit and posted some SunBums scans about and from that era mentioning the shop in the International Marketplace I think. The interested party just wrote and asked…finding a mention of a time and place long in the past being sometihng of a thunderbolt itself to the old consciousness. Currently the fellow lives and surfs in Florida.

Thanks for responding, oneula. You are going to make someone’s week.

Sadly since Buddy Dumphy is no longer around, but his boards still sell at a premium, would anybody care to thumbnail his story for those of us who did not know him?

Some of my fondest early memories of surfboards came from visits to Surfline. At one point they stocked all the major brands of boards except Hobie and Greg Noll, who had their own shops. I still remember gazing upon Morey Pope Penetrator and Blue Machine models with their unusual turned down noses, that looked like they would make the board pearl. They also had Bings, Hansens, Webers, Harbours and a few others. When the short board revolution exploded we freaked out on “short” 8 foot Hanapepe Surf Designs (by Dick Brewer) Hansen Hustlers and Bing Karmas. Sometimes you’d see Brewer talking with someone from behind the counter after mowing some foam in the quonset hut behind the main building. On one visit there was a board shaped by a Brewer disciple named Gerry Lopez, then a little later on a few by Reno. Randy Rarick was one of the salesmen and had a few boards he shaped in there too. The Plastic Fantastic boards that came thru there were state of the art narrow spears and later on when turned down rails came into they were one of the first ones on it. They also had their own shapers, Buddy Dumphy,Ron House and Dennis Pang are the ones that come to mind. I even remeber getting a Steve Walden round pin back then too. They kind of faded out in the late 70s with all the competition from the then emerging T&C, Lightning Bolt and HIC but in their heyday, Surfline Hawaii was THE place.

While in grad school in the islands, Buddy made me an unreal summertime ‘speed’ shape that was just amazing—however i didn’t tell outright what colors to use----in his wristed sence of humor, it got done up with a pink deck and dark red rails and bottom!i rode that thing to death and stuck it under the house on thenorth shore down from the pipe walk through—two years later , i got back to the islands for a seminar—went to get the board to bring back to the east coast—Gone! guys said that it had been snapped at sunset during a mackin’ swell the year before—o well, a good finish…

I can’t recall the shop myself, I was one years old. But through a rather odd sequence of events, I’ve inherited this baby from there. My story about this board is about thirty four years long.

Can anyone identify it? (see attachments)

I was glassing for wilson fiberglass down Kona street about a block away from surfline, i started in 1972 there… shapers included dennis pang, dumphey, randy rarrick, , i’m not remembering more, brian hinde shaped some surfline’s… later when ben aipa left Downing Hawaii he shaped behind surfline for them…the name surfline hawaii belongs to a clothing company, Fred Schwartz rented the name, he died around 1975 or thereabouts, and gave the store to his manager Donny Mailer, another shaper was ryan dotson, i’ll remember more as i go to sleep i’m sure… lots of fun times in honolulu in the 70’s… God bless… danny

Kind of looks like a Surfline model I rode in 72-73 even down to the split tail which I got turning right at pipe when I should’ve turned left… (boy did that one hurt).

That’s a classic hawaii shape for the period although I don’t recognize the fin…

seems like we had shorter ones with a wider base ala “brewer”. (drive and release)

RB could be for brewer, while “STONE” could be for Tom Stone who was a northshore heavy during that period.

Just guessing though

Love that shape!

Turns out I got in touch with Tom Stone and he thinks it is one of the couple he shaped there. Does something like this belong in a museum or anything? It is a family heirloom at this point as it was my late father’s board. And dang it, it is a hard board to ride on the East Coast. :slight_smile:

Aloha Danny

Glad to see you found your way to Swaylock’s with a little proding. I got the Glycerin soap you dropped off. Will try it tonight!

I have an old Surfline Buddy board in near perfect condition in my limited collection. It is a big tanker with pigment colors. I will try to get around to taking a picture of it some day.

Hey Danny, start a new thread with some photos of the boats you have been building. I am sure everyone here would love to see what old surfboard makers do to pass the time in their old age…Ha!

Thanks Billy for showing me this place it’s fun… i’d like to post some pictures of my biodiesel room, soap room, boat building room…but my limited abilities keep me from doing that, i’ll bring some pics down to the shop and ask you to post them and show me how to start threads…as long as you don’t charge me more than 15% over retail to do it… i saw Billy Blankenfeld today, good to see him, maybe you remember him from pipe, maybe you’ll drag me out there on some 3 or 4 foot day this winter?! thanks again for putting me up to this place… God bless… danny

OK Danny, will do! And of course you will get a Seniors discount on my services! Ha!

I was just thinking…if you get the oil from Cholo’s next door, will I be able to recognize it is you when you drive down Kam Hwy, smelling like mexican food?


Would you perhaps be Danny Nichols? I rode a short Lightning Bolt shaped by him in the late 70s that was magic…

Mr. foamdust… i’m afraid i’m one of the many danny nichols’es around , and i’ve always thought it was the 70’s that were magic… the surfboards were just fun… or maybe it’s just that the 20’s are the magic part and the 50’s have just become a little more real?.. i did make boards for Jack and Gerry from 73 till they closed, (i still have a photocopy of the first check i got from them,$330.oo for 3 surfboards), the weekend after i took the boards into the shop, the store was broken into and 3 surfboards were stolen, but the thieves were caught in the parking lot putting the boards on their car, 2 of the 3 boards were my stingers, so jack told me to hurry up and make some more, needless to say i was thrilled, i’m glad you liked the board… God bless danny

Bill, interestingly enough, the smell of the biodiesel that i make , to me smells like a candle burning, the smoke is white, not black like diesel, but my barbequeing friends say they smell barbeque when i drive by!.. go figer…

I have a Surfline Hawaii board that was given to me by my father. It is in pretty rough shape but looks to still have a lot of life left in it. It is a single fin, diamond tail with the dimensions 5’11’’ x 19 1/2’’ x 2’'. There are no markings that I could see so could anyone help me identify what year this board was possibly made and by who? If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated. 




Good damned guess;  I would say!  Lowel


The shortness and diamond tail would date it around 1970-71, pretty much. Those years were plagued by a ridiculous trend toward shortness started in Australia. There was a time on the East Coast around then when you could not find a board over 6’ in the racks of local shops. Of course, the damn things were useless in EC waves.

I wish I could impart more info, but this one is for the guys who were on Oahu back then. Check back in a day or two. You never know who you’ll meet in this establishment.


On second thought… 2" is mighty thin for the period. This might even be a kid’s board.

Thanks for the info. The dimensions I gave are all estimates because there are no markings whatsoever. I am in the process of repairing the dings because it is still a board I would like to take it out. Thanks again, because any info is more than I knew aboutt it before.