A board collectors philosophical quandary
A problem shared is a problem halved. So I share with you my good friend, Gavin's, quandary. We welcome every one's opinion in the comments box.
Remember the MR twinnie that was MR's own comp board?
I have talked to two local restorers and Randy (Rarick in Hawaii) about the best way to get this board restored.
The local guys believe it should be kept as original as possible, which obviously means limited restoration work.
Randy on the other hand recommends "glass off restoration, which involves foam reshaping, but a much better looking final board - like new really.
The cost of the glass off restoration would be approximately $1000USD. But the final board could be worth quite a bit.
My quandary lies in my feelings that to go to glass-off means that in reality you are getting a reproduction of the original, as the subtlety of shapes are lost.
Most collectors wouldn't be so concerned, but I can't help but agree with your claim that this is the pinnacle of twin fin development by the master - hand shaped, painted and glassed by MR.
In which case it seems wrong to mess with the board too much.
To clean it up as it stands involves either leaving it strictly as it is, re glassing and no new logos, or new logos, sanding back a little to clean up foam and touch up with some paint on foam, or Randy's route.
Obviously Randy's would be worth more financially long term, but is it MR's board then?
I'm really challenged by the idea.
I have seen Randy's work. He is incredibly talented and obviously has a deep love and respect for vintage boards. The restoration he did on the Rory Russel Lightning bolt at the Surf Heritage museum was absolutely amazing.
I am personally interested in the design and history of old boards, so to me the dings and breaks in the board are a valuable record of the life and times of the board. I would also be interested in riding the board, to experience how it works. So I would do a minimal restoration, clear and watertight.
I collect vintage guitars. If I found a vintage guitar that had been broken on stage by a famous musician I would simply build a wooden box frame for it and hang it on the wall as it. It would be worth a lot more preserved this way than restored to original.
I was at a vintage car auction recently and saw a Mercedes 2 door that had had over $65,000 spent on the restoration sell for $23,000. A similar model can that had been raced in the 60's that was in original, rough, condition sold for more because of the obvious history in the car. The restored car ending up being bought by someone who was going to use it as a everyday commuter car.
This is like the problem they are facing at the ancient Hindu temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia. There are two teams working on its preservation. The French team are trying to preserve it in 'as is' condition. They want to protect it and not let it deteriorate any further. The Italian team what to restore it to original condition, recreating the stolen statues etc. I can see both sides of the argument.
The board is not much to look at as is. I say do a full clean up and restore it to its original beautiful condition. Then it can be cherished forever.
Randy Rarick's opinion-
I really like it when different people weigh in on their most favorite status of a collectable board. As Gav pointed out, I'm a true believer in taking a board that is this trashed and bringing it back to as original as possible condition. It requires a full glass off restoration. I equate it to a full "frame off" restoration of say a classic Holden. If you find one with the paint peeling, the upholstery ripped, the engine blown up, it is "all original", but what's it worth in that kind of condition? So, you do a frame off, respray it to the original color, use NOS upholstery and redo the interior and then rebuild the engine to original specs. When you are done, you still have the original car, but now it is totally presentable. The same goes with boards, if they are that beat, then that is the way to go. Of course, if you find one in what car parlance is known as: "preservation class", that is an original, that maybe you clean the wiring, and detail the inside and out, but no repairs, no new paint, just an original that has been cleaned up. Then you have a clean "all original" car. The same goes for surfboards. If you find one that maybe is slightly tanned, or has some shatters, but all you do is clean the wax off and not do any major repair or restoration work, then you'll have something that is both desirable to the hard core aficionados, but at the same time can be appreciated by the discerning collector. I approach all old boards with what I call "The 3 R's". You assess if it needs: repair, refurbish or restore. Each has it's own degree of involvement, but the ultimate goal is to try get it to look as original as possible. I know guys who tell you to not even take the wax off a board! Well that might be great if it was last ridden by a world champion, but no board went out of the showroom with wax on it! So, my recommendation is always leave it as close as possible to the original, or do what is necessary to make it look as close as possible to the original and in a case like this MR, it's too far gone to just repair it. It's probably too far gone, just to try refurbish it, so that only leaves the last resort of a full blown restoration to bring it back to life!
Hope that sheds some insight, from someone who has worked on over 10,000 used boards!
Sunset Beach, Hawaii