Greg Noll Miki Dora Da Cat longboard (1966)
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Greg Noll Miki Dora Da Cat longboard made in 1966. Featuring the highly desired classic black cat color scheme. An example of the most coveted 1st generation Da Cat, known by it’s prominent step deck and signature fixed Da Cat fin. 9’2 wide square tail. A choice example of a 1st gen. black Da Cat restored by the renowned surfboard restoration expert, Randy Rarick. The Da Cat is undoubtedly the most prized longboard model in the world. A similar 1st gen. Greg Noll Miki Dora Da Cat longboard sold for $30,000 +15% buyers fee (final price of $34,500) at a 2022 auction. Proudly ride or display this iconic Greg Noll Miki Dora Da Cat longboard.
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History of Miki Dora & Greg Noll Surfboards
Miki Dora (real name Miklos Sandor Dora III) became a surfing icon of the 1950s and 60s and picked up nicknames such as “The King of Malibu”, “Da Cat” as well as the “angry young man of surfing”. His character, style, and criminal background make him one of the most interesting people in the history of the sport. He was born on the 11th of August 1936 in Budapest, Hungary as a son of a wine merchant. His parents soon divorced, and it was his stepfather- Gard Chapin, who introduced him to surfing in the late 1930s. Chapin was also a surf legend, and his obsessions with surfboard design brought Dora into contact with California industrial designers such as Charles and Ray Eames.
Stories of Dora’s youth in Malibu consist of a huge number of scams and rebellion- they became kind of urban legends. One of them was a plan to fire-bomb the shack at San Onofre. Above all that his friends described him as smart, witty and iconoclastic- he certainly wasn’t lacking any charisma. Although he competed in a few contests in the 1960s, he denounced them as being contradictory to the spirit of surfing. “Everybody considered Miki to be the best surfer in the world,” said Allan Carter, a friend who began surfing with Miki Dora in the 1950s. “Miki was like the Muhammad Ali of surfing. He had dragonfly reflexes and this extraordinarily graceful style. It was beautiful to watch him surf.” Dora’s signature surfboard, released in 1966, became the best selling surfboard in history- and again on its re-release 25 years later. After Gidget created a cinematic genre, Dora became a stunt double for several of the early ‘60s Hollywood beach flicks beginning with 1964’s Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach (1964), How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) and Ski Party (1965). He was featured as himself in Bill Delaney’s Surfers: The Movie (1990). Despite his anticipated mistrust towards the commercialization of surfing, Dora did enter into a profit-sharing arrangement with Greg Noll to release a limited number of Miki Dora “Da Cat” surfboards, during which time he created magazine advertisements promoting the boards.
Miki Dora decided to leave the U.S. in 1970 and lived around the world spending most of his time in France and South Africa. After he returned to the US from France in 1981, he was arrested by the FBI for violating his parole by leaving the country in 1975 after pleading guilty to writing a bad check for the purchase of ski equipment. While serving time for that, he was sentenced to six months in federal prison after a Denver grand jury indicted him for credit card fraud in 1982. After that, Miki Dora, still with no permanent residence, remained a surf tribe icon over the years. He was invited at legends events- which he sometimes took part in, and lived much of the year in France. He was often seen at Quiksilver functions, giving him a sense of association in the international surfing establishment. Like many of the aging stars, Dora benefited from the nostalgia of the so-called longboard renaissance, and a new limited edition run of 250 longboards made in the 1990s as a tribute to his famous Greg Noll Miki Dora Da Cat surfboards has been a great success.
Miki Dora died at his father’s home in Montecito, California, on January 3, 2002, at age 67 from pancreatic cancer. In 2005, CR Stecyk and Drew Kampion released an authorized biography called “Dora Lives”. Three years later, Dave Rensin published “All for a Few Perfect Waves”. Miki Dora’s legacy lives on- or, as the graffiti at Malibu has shown off for ages, “Dora rules.”
Greg Noll Surfboards
Greg “Da Bull” Noll was born in San Diego, California on February 11th, 1937. He was given “Da Bull” as a nickname due to his steadfast and obstinate approach towards charging big waves. Noll was 11 years old when he first started surfing and from a young age was taught how to shape surfboards by none other than Dale Velzy. Noll eventually became a skilled shaper himself while continuously polishing his surfing skills. His remarkable abilities as a waterman earned him a spot with the LA county lifeguard. He especially excelled at paddling, a skill that led him to being selected for the U.S. Lifeguard team which competed in the 1956 Olympics, held in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1957, Noll made big wave surfing history as the first person ever to ever ride a wave at Waimea Bay, now an iconic big wave riding break on the North Shore of Oahu. In December of 1964, Greg Noll made history again riding a giant wave at third reef Pipeline. Noll was known for surfing in a pair of black and white striped boardshorts, his way of preventing others from taking credit for his rides.
Noll returned to California with well established notoriety. He then started a thriving surfboard manufacturing business in Hermosa Beach, California and partnered with iconic surfer, Miki Dora to produce the Miki Dora “Da Cat” model longboard. Sales took off immediately and reached a peak production of around 170 boards a week. Noll also produced surf films such as the “Search for Surf” series featuring waves ridden in Hawaii, California, and Mexico.
Greg ended his big wave riding career on a storm swell that hit Makaha in December of 1969, catching as big of a waves as one could paddle into. Fred Hemmings, a fellow big wave rider who was a witness to his ride at Makaha was quoted saying “If there was anyone else in Greg’s place, he wouldn’t have made it alive”. Decades later, one of Noll’s personal big wave balsa guns sold at auction for $40,000. His autobiography, published in 1989 was titled “Da Bull: Life Over the Edge”. Greg “Da Bull” Noll is one of the most recognized names in surfing history and will forever be remembered as a big wave riding pioneer and expert surfboard craftsman. Greg Noll (1937-2021)