Downing Hawaii was established in 1949 when George Downing shaped his first redwood board in a garage in Waikiki with his close friend Wallace Froiseth, thus starting a waterman’s journey as a Beachboy, surfer, canoe paddler and shaper!
1964 George Downing Champion – Delux Model 11′ 0″
George Downing is in a class of legends reserved for only a very few people. Downing’s surfing and surfboard design accomplishments could fill volumes. He was one of the original designers of the Hotcurl, the granddad of today’s big wave guns. He went on to design and surf the first modern big wave guns in 1950.
George Downing was one of the first to surf some of the now famous breaks of the North Shore and Maui. Downing was also one of the first to understand how weather and bottom contours created and affected waves. He is further credited with developing the first removable surfboard fin. Through his many advancements in surfboard designs, he became one of the first to ride giant surf in Hawaii in excess of 20 feet. Generations of surf champions and world class shapers were shown the ropes by Downing.
Downing won a number of major surf contests from 1954 through the mid 1960s. He also appeared in some of the stand-out surf movies of the day like The Endless Summer (1966),Search for Surf (1958), Gun Ho (1963), Surfing Hollow Days (1962). More recently he appeared in Legends of Malibu (1987) and Great Waves (1999). Downing has been inducted into the Huntington Beach Walk of Fame.
This is the George Downing International Surfing Champion ‘Deluxe’ model, serial number 21708. Still in decent condition, this board has a 2″ balsa redwood t-band stringer and light blue pigment comp stripes. The multi-laminated rising sun wood fin is truly special. This is an all original, untouched George Downing!
A 10′ 6″ George Downing, in similar condition, sold at auction back in 2003 for $2,800.
Because of its rarity, this great piece of surfboard history will appear in the full color hardcover coffee table book, Vintage Surfboards II, available later this year.
KEY: O=Original, R= Repaired, RF= Refurbished. Condition of board rated: 1(worst)-10(best)