Shaper's Corner


Description: Greg “Da Bulll” Noll was not only one of the most charismatic and fearless big wave pioneers of Hawaii in the 1950s and ‘60s, but also one of the biggest names in surfboard manufacturing. His boards are some of the most sought after in the surfing world, with one of his original balsa guns being sold to a US collector for $US40,000 in 2008. However it is the board he holds in perhaps surfing’s most iconic photo on the beach taken by John Severson at Pipe that most collectors, historians and fibreglass freaks covet the most.

Surfing’s most iconic image and one of its most expensive boards. Photo: John Severson

Cost New: Back in the 1960s a Greg Noll Hawaiian gun cost around 50 bucks. Greg of course rode his own handshapes and so this board cost him nothing, except his time.

Expect to pay now: Starting at $US100,000.

Why so valuable? Two reasons; there’s iconic, and there’s this board. It might just be the most recognized surfboard in history. Secondly, it’s still in the hands of the Noll Family, with Greg’s son Jed, of Noll Surfboards (, having the board on display in his shop in San Clemente. “That board means a lot to me at this point, and I would be hard pressed to sell,” Jed told Surf Europe. “The rumour is that my dad was offered $US50,000 for it, but I have never received any official offer myself. I have never asked any serious collector what they would pay for it. I know US$50,000 wouldn’t even come close for me to let it go. But I’m a little sentimental I guess.”

Anything else? The other Greg Noll board that may rival the Pipe board in terms of surfing history and price is the board Greg rode at Makaha in 1969, riding what was then considered the biggest wave surfed in history. Like the Pipe board, Jed Noll also has this in his collection in San Clemente, and is also unwilling to part with the 10 foot gun. Although everyone has their price…right?

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