Pat Curren shaped balsawood big wave gun (1994)
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Pat Curren shaped balsa big wave gun. 1 of 6 boards Pat Curren made for Steve Pezman in 1994. Stringerless 11′ pintail shape design with gorgeous low profile wooden fin. Recent 2021 auction result of $26,000 (+15% buyers premium = $29,900 sale) for a Pat Curren balsa gun shaped in 1996. A serious collector’s must-have big wave weapon and trophy surfboard.
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PAT CURREN: Waimea 1957, the first day it was ridden — I’m guessing, but in a pretty low-risk way, that Pat Curren, 25, was the least-satisfied of all the first-day Waimea surfers. The boards in use that morning were so wrong for the job, too small and too wide, and while Noll and Copeland were also shapers, Curren was the guy who came back the next year with a fully gunned-out hardcore Waimea board. Steve Pezman bought a Curren gun a few years later. “An 11′ 4″ rhino chaser with five-feet of knife-edged rail in the back end, a one-inch redwood stringer, extremely narrow plan shape and pronounced belly in the nose. The thing looked scary just laying on the floor. Very purposeful. No doubt whatsoever what it was made for.” From ’58 to ’63, Curren continued to make the finest Waimea boards, and arguably rode the biggest Waimea waves.
Impenetrable surfer and surfboard shaper from La Jolla, California; generally regarded as the best big-wave rider of the late 1950s and early ’60s, as well as the era’s finest big-wave surfboard craftsman; father of three-time world champion Tom Curren. Pat Curren first visited Hawaii in 1955, and two years later was among the first group of surfers to ride Waimea Bay; the slim regularfooter wiped out on nearly all his rides, as did the rest of the half-dozen surfers out that day, largely because their surfboards were unsuited to the conditions. Curren had been shaping boards for less than two years at that time; he returned to La Jolla and dedicated himself to making specialized big-wave equipment, and before the end of the decade he’d become the acknowledged master of the big-wave board. “Pat was the first guy to produce the ultimate gun,” California-born surfer Fred Van Dyke later said. “Others were making nice all-around boards, but Pat made the stiletto, specifically for Waimea, where all you want to do is make it alive from Point A to B.”
Read the full article at Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing
Pat Curren Video: