The Surfrider Foundation Turns Twenty

June 17, Los Angeles

Everyone knows The Surfrider Foundation is a worthy cause. How worthy? How about 450-thousand dollars worthy. Though the final tallies aren’t quite in, Surfrider estimates it raised close to that amount last night at its swanky twentieth birthday party at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.

Much of that presumably came from the auction portion of the event, which was hands down the highlight of the evening. With a roster of absolutely legendary craftsmen like Dale Velzy, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Hobie Alter, Greg Noll, and Robert August (to name a few) donating and shaping boards for the auction, expectations were high, but not quite that high, says Surfrider Deputy Director Michelle Kremer. “It went above our expectations, she said. “It was just an outstanding event.

While prices for some boards got up into the 15 to 20-thousand dollar range, none came close to the bidding for a board by luminary Santa Monica surfer/shaper Matt Kivlin. The bidding started out at two thousand dollars, but soon sprang from 10-thousand, to 20-thousand, to 30-thousand and beyond. And as the price rose the crowd responded with an equally escalating volume of whooping and roaring that quickly reached the pitch of a World Cup finals match. As the price breached the 40-grand mark, only two bidders were still interested in raising their paddles: Billabong’s Paul Naude, and Tom Peck.

Earlier in the auction Naude had successfully bid on a Donald Takayama-shaped board for a cool 15-thousand. And for a bit, it looked like he might also have been strapping the Kivlin onto his roof racks later that evening. But when Peck upped the price tag to 45-thousand, the raise apparently hit Naude’s squelch-point. “When it got to 35 {thousand} I was still in the hunt, said Naude, “but I thought it might be starting to get a little bit crazy.

“It’s a very special board, continued Naude, “but it’s difficult to put a value on it. And really, hats off to Shaun {Tomson} for coming up with the whole board concept—that was a really special collection of boards.

While the excitement at the auction was amazing, a musical lineup that included Perry Farrell and Jack Johnson wasn’t bad either. Both musicians were bestowed the “Keeper of the Coast award by Surfrider, and kicked off the award by belting out a couple of tunes. Before the ceremony former Porno For Pyros member Peter DiStefano opened up the show, while former world champ Tom Curren played a set to close out the evening. All in all, it was a great evening for a great cause. Here’s to another twenty years of coastal protection by The Surfrider Foundation.