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One of NZs best collections of classic Kiwi surfboards & memorabilia for sale

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Tuesday, 14 November 2023, 11:10 am

Press Release: 
Grant Dyson

One of NZs best collections of classic Kiwi surfboards & memorabilia for sale

One of New Zealand’s finest collections of classic Kiwi surfboards and surfing memorabilia – held in a private collection – is being offered for sale.

The collection, stored in a hangar at Tauranga Airport, centres on more than 130 surfboards, both longboards and short boards, most in excellent condition. 

It also includes a huge quantity of memorabilia ranging from skateboards to posters, movies, T-shirts and diecast models, to wetsuits.

Tauranga businessman Dusty Waddell has spent years collecting the items which represent “a broad spread of New Zealand’s surfing history, from the early 60s to the 80s.”

The drive to establish the collection, valued conservatively at well over $200,000, that at one stage ran to about 800 surfboards, came from a long standing passion for surfing and the ocean, says Dusty. 

He started surfing in the early 60s as a schoolboy at Ohope where his parents owned a bach, travelling over from Rotorua for weekends. 

 Even then Dusty, whose background includes importing yachts and running a surf shop at Mount Maunganui, bought old boards and remodelled the old fashioned ‘D’ fins to modernise them.

In the 60s he also sold new surfboards as an agent for Del and Quane, well known New Zealand surfboard manufacturers.  

“It was about a passion for the water,” he says, “ because I was yachting for a lot of years too.

“I’ve always collected stamps and coins but the surfboards bit me. But I didn’t realise how much space you had to have.”

Dusty began collecting surfboards seriously in about 2005 after he had been out of surfing for some time. His son Scott returned from university and brought a long board with him which rekindled Dusty’s interest in surfing.

“One board went to five, five went to ten, and so on – end of story.”

Dusty has put his collection on display on six different occasions over the years. At one stage he remodelled a medium sized industrial unit at Mt Maunganui to house the collection. 

“We had longboards on the ground floor and we built a mezzanine around four sides and we had all short boards up there (upstairs).”

Also on display were items which had belonged to the late Miki Dora, ‘Da Cat,’ a noted surfer of the 50s and 60s from Malibu in California, who had spent some time in New Zealand. 

 The Dora items included contest trophies, photographs, sunglasses, a leather great coat and other items which belonged to the controversial surfer. These were sold to an Australian collector.

Dusty describes himself as a collector rather than a hoarder. “I’m more of a collector because you could see the history being wiped out and someone had to start collecting the old boards.”

One of the first people in the country to begin collecting classic surfboards, he admits it was to his detriment “as prices went up a lot.” 

The collection for sale offers the finest surfboards in his collection, boards that Dusty classes as 8/10 in condition – after earlier selling off the less pristine of the original 800-surfboard collection.  The boards include Quane, Bob Davie, Del, Roger Land,  and Hannah.

Some of the boards are collectable because of their history, the noted surfboard shapers who had crafted them. “A lot have passed away such as Allan Byrne, Bob Davie, and Tony Waterhouse.” 

Other surfboards in the collection are collectable as “pop art,” with one off airbrush designs. 

Dusty is inviting contact from anyone who has a serious interest in the collection. He notes that the valuation applies to the surfboards only and doesn’t include the memorabilia which is “thrown in.”

He is intent on keeping the entire collection, boards and memorabilia together if at all possible.  

He is at pains to emphasise that the collection is so large and comprehensive that a purchaser with a suitable building can instantly establish a New Zealand surfing museum. 

Interested parties are welcome to get in touch and we can send them a detailed list of the surfboards, a description of the other items, ranging from skateboards to T-shirts, wetsuits and movies and photos, says Dusty Waddell.

FURTHER INFORMATION: For media and other inquiries,
please contact Grant Dyson, 027-6686242, dysong@xtra.co.nz
Or Dusty Waddell, 021- 0761252, dusty9@xtra.co.nz   


The Waddell collection includes 35 skateboards, posters, magazines, books, advertising, signage (wood, plastic – including early surf logos). There are folders with information on NZ’s surfing history – including photos, contest results and magazine and newspaper articles. 


·      Paipo, body boards (including early plastic), early Kiwi foam boards (Skellerup), inflatable mat, skim boards, early surf manufacturers signage (including Lost in the 60s, Toes on the Nose, Rip Curl .

·      Large collection of T-shirts (with branding, contest printed), wetsuits (including early 60s, local company Bodyline, etc).

·      Early wax collection (including Sex Wax, BP early wax, Palmers, Sticky Bumps).

·      Diecast models (including kombis, Fords, woodies. 

·      Early homemade leashes (initially known as leg ropes) .

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