My biggest board collecting secret is a little known function on the US version of the electronic auction site ebay. It has brought me some of my best boards and made me some great friends. I'll reveal it to you today. I often travel overseas for work. I try and combine my collecting with my travel. Lets say I'll be in Santa Monica, LA in a week from today and I have a free day cause its going to be Sunday. Log on to www.ebay.com and choose your area of interest, in my case surfboards. Then in the side bar under location type in 100 miles from 90410, Santa Monica. This will cut the boards available from about 1000 to about 200. From them sort by auction date ending. Look for auctions ending about a day or 2 before your scheduled day off in LA. If your lucky there will be one or two nice boards for you to bid on. I then contact the seller and say I plan to bid from Australia and if successful I will come pick up the board COD on Sunday. Often US sellers wont accept bids from overseas. More often the seller is stoked to hear from someone overseas with a similar passion. Every time I have done this I have been invited over to the sellers house or taken out to lunch or taken surfing or given their phone numbers for future hook ups.
Here is a board from my last trip to LA, its a board I could never find in Australia and it has a unique story. Bruce Jones is a legendary Californian shaper who's boards I have long wanted to add to my quiver. This board was made by Bruce in the early 80's for an in store display of Mary Kay make up. Has a beautiful spray on both sides including a hand cut stencil of the Mary Kay logo, single fly swallow tail with clear laminate fins. It has survived unridden and undamaged for more than 25 years. My friend Mark lives in LA and drove me to pick it up and took me surfing at Salt Creek where I immediately got over excited and surfed it into the rock and damaged its previously immaculate fin. But now I have a story to tell.