Trading cards: surfers are part of the collectibles market

Trading cards are small, collectible cards that typically feature images of characters, athletes, or other subjects on one side and relevant information, statistics, or descriptions on the other.

They can be made of paper, cardboard, or other materials and are often collected, traded, and sometimes used in various games.

Trading cards have been popular since the late 19th century when they were initially used as promotional inserts in cigarette packs.

Over time, the range of subjects depicted on trading cards has expanded to include sports figures, fictional characters, celebrities, and more.

There are many types of trading cards, including sports cards (featuring athletes from various sports like baseball, basketball, football, and hockey), entertainment cards (related to movies, TV shows, and other forms of popular culture), and gaming cards (used in trading card games like Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh!).

The value of trading cards can vary greatly depending on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand.

Some rare and highly sought-after cards can fetch substantial sums in the collector's market.

Authenticating and Grading

The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is one of the several grading services that evaluate the condition of trading cards, sports memorabilia, and other collectibles.

PSA grades trading cards based on a set of criteria that assesses the card's overall condition, including its corners, edges, surface, and centering.

The grading process helps establish a card's value and authenticity in the collector's market.

Here's an overview of the PSA grading process:

  1. Authentication: Before grading, the card is examined to ensure its authenticity and to detect any signs of tampering or alteration;
  2. Grading: The card is then evaluated by PSA's experienced graders, who assign a grade based on the card's condition. The grading scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest grade (Gem Mint) and 1 being the lowest (Poor); Grading criteria include:
    Corners: The sharpness and wear on the card's corners are examined. Cards with sharp, undamaged corners typically receive higher grades;
    Edges: The graders assess the wear and damage along the card's edges, including any chipping, fraying, or rough cuts;
    Surface: The card's surface is inspected for scratches, creases, staining, print defects, and other blemishes that could affect the card's overall appearance;
    Centering: The alignment of the card's image and borders is evaluated, with better-centered cards receiving higher grades;
  3. Encapsulation: Once the card has been graded, it is placed in a tamper-evident, sonically sealed plastic case, known as a "slab." The slab protects the card and displays the card's grade, along with other relevant information;
  4. Labeling: The PSA label within the slab provides details about the card, such as the card's manufacturer, year of issue, player, and other pertinent information;

PSA's grading system helps collectors and investors determine a card's value and condition more accurately.

A higher-graded card generally commands a higher price in the market, as it represents a better-preserved example of the card.

The PSA-graded cards are often considered more trustworthy and valuable compared to ungraded or raw cards, as the grading process provides an unbiased, expert assessment of the card's condition.

Surf Trading Cards

While surf trading cards may not be as famous or widespread as some other types of sports trading cards, there have been a few notable series produced over the years.

These cards celebrate the sport of surfing, its history, famous surfers, and surf culture in general.

Get ready to explore the most relevant surf-inspired collectible card series ever released.

Goudey (1933)

Duke Kahanamoku's trading card: Goudey Sports Kings #20 (1933) | Photo:

Goudey trading cards were produced by the Goudey Gum Company, an American chewing gum manufacturer that was active from 1919 to 1962.

The company, founded by Enos Gordon Goudey, is primarily known for its baseball card sets issued during the 1930s, which are considered some of the most iconic and collectible cards in the hobby.

The Goudey Gum Company released its first baseball card set in 1933, known as the 1933 Goudey set.

This set is notable for its vibrant colors, classic card design, and inclusion of many Hall of Fame players, such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx.

The 1933 Goudey set contains 240 cards and is considered one of the most valuable and sought-after sets in the history of baseball card collecting.

Goudey continued producing baseball cards throughout the 1930s, including the 1933 Goudey Sports Kings set, which is known for featuring 48 sports champions cards measuring 2-3/8'' by 2-7/8'', including Olympic swimming champion and father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku.

Sports Kings

Duke Kahanamoku #20 (1933)


Astroboyz (1987)

Kelly Slater's trading card (front): Astroboyz (1987)

Kelly Slater's trading card (back): Astroboyz (1987)

Little is known about the Astroboyz trading cards.

The collection launched in 1987 featured pro surfers, surfing legends, fictional characters and surf spots, and surf brands.

The cards featured a photo or illustration, a surf company logo, the featured character, and the description of their career on the back.

Each card also comes with a trivia quiz.

In April 2023, Kelly Slater's 1987 Astroboyz rookie card sold for $3,000 to become surfing's highest-selling trading card to date.

The full collection included the following surfers and brands:

Andy Fomenko
Brock Little
Bryce Ellis
Buffalo Keaulana
Burleigh Heads
Chris Schutte
Christian Fletcher
Dale Dobson
Damien Hardman
Davey Smith
David Eggers
Derek Ho
Dino Andino
Don Johnson
Doug Silva
Dru Drop-in
Duke Kahanamoku
Eddie Aikau
Gary Clisby
Gary Elkerton
Gerry Lopez
Glen Winton
Grubby Clark
J Riddle
Joe Scab
Johnny-Boy Gomes
Jonathan Paskowitz
Kelly Slater
Larry Rios
Lorrin Harrison
Luke Egan
Mad Mad Daddy Clyde
Marcel Soros
Mark Foo (1)
Mark Foo (2)
Mark Gonzales
Mark Occhilupo
Martin Potter
Matt Archbold (1)
Matt Archbold (2)
Matt George
Matt Kechle
Mickey Dora
Mike Stewart
Monster Island
Noah Budroe
Phil Edwards
Rell Sunn
Richard Cram
Rick Rietveld
Rory Russell
Shaun Tomson (1)
Shaun Tomson (2)
Steve Steadham
Sunny Garcia
Ted Robinson
Tom Carroll
Tom Curren (1)
Tom Curren (2)
Trevor Christ
Vince Klyne
Wes Laine
Willy Morris
Yoshiaki Fukuda


Futera Hot Surf (1994)

Futera Hot Surf: 1994 trading card series

The Futera Hot Surf is an exciting trading card series released in 1994.

It features 110 cards plus nine inserts and three Nat Young redemption cards.

The full collection included the following surfers:

Main Series

1. Damien Hardman
2. Tom Carroll
3. Derek Ho
4. Barton Lynch
5. Sunny Garcia
6. Martin Potter
7. Todd Holland
8. Rob Bain
9. Richie Collins
10. Gary Elkerton
11. Dave Macaulay
12. Martyn Thomas
13. Jeff Booth
14. Jake Spooner
15. Nick Wood
16. Luke Egan
17. Richard Marsh
18. Michael Rommelse
19. Rob Machado
20. Matt Hoy
21. Cheyne Horan
22. Taylor Knox
23. Shane Powell
24. Simon Law
25. Shane Herring
26. Ross Clarke-Jones
27. Kaipo Jaquias
28. Dino Andino
29. Tony Ray
30. Chris Brown
31. Kelly Slater
32. Michael Barry
33. Shane Beschen
34. Mike Parsons
35. Stuart Bedford-Brown
36. Joey Jenkins
37. Todd Miller
38. Flavio Padaratz
39. Fabio Gouveia
40. Vetea David
41. Glen Winton
42. Ross Williams
43. Graham Wilson
44. Shane Dorian
45. Peterson Rosa
46. Wendy Botha
47. Pauline Menczer
48. Jodie Cooper
49. Pam Burridge
50. Michele Donoghoe
51. Nea Post
52. Lisa Andersen
53. Neridah Falconer
54. Kylie Webb
55. Layne Beachley
56. Kathy Newman
57. Vanessa Osborne
58. Lynette MacKenzie
59. Alisa Schwarzstein
60. Rochelle Gordines-Ballard
61. Andrea Lopes

World Tour Winners

62. Simon Anderson
63. Michael Ho
64. Dane Kealoha
65. Brad Gerlarch
66. Buzzy Kerbox
67. Tom Curren
68. Wayne Bartholomew
69. Mark Richards
70. Barton Lynch
71. Mark Occhilupo
72. Tom Carroll
73. Richard Cram
74. Gary Elkerton
75. Cheyne Horan
76. Hans Hedeman
77. Jim Banks
78. Mark Warren
79. Ian Cairns
80. Jodie Cooper
81. Pam Burridge
82. Freida Zamba
83. Kim Mearig
84. Wendy Botha
85. Connie Nixon-Fookes

​ASP Honours Awards

86. Kelly Slater
87. Wendy Botha
88. Derek Ho
89. Flavio Padaratz
90. Kelly Slater
91. Vanessa Osborne
92. Shane Beschen
93. Kathy Newman

Rising Stars

94. Mark Bannister
95. Shaun Munro
96. Rob Machado
97. Beau Emerton
98. Craig Holley
99. Nathan Webster
100. Past Releases
101. Futera Card Club

World Champions

102. Wayne Bartholomew
103. Shaun Tomson
104. Mark Richards
105. Tom Curren
106. Checklist: 1-40
107. Checklist: 41-85
108. Checklist: 86-110
109. Checklist: Specials
110. Futera Accessories

Inserts Hot Surf

AS1. Mark Richards
AS2. Tom Carroll
AS3. Tom Curren
AS4. Damien Hardman
AS5. Freida Zamba
AS6. Wendy Botha
AS7. Margo Oberg
AS8. Lynn Boyer
AS9. Mark Occhilupo

Nat Young Redemption Cards

Nat Young - Redemption Card
Nat Young - Picture Card
Nat Young - Certification Card


Upper Deck (1989-)

Layne Beahley's trading card: Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #93 (2011)

Upper Deck is a well-known American company that specializes in the production and distribution of sports and entertainment trading cards, as well as collectible card games and sports memorabilia.

Founded in 1988 by Richard McWilliam, the company revolutionized the trading card industry with its high-quality, innovative card designs and packaging.

Upper Deck entered the market with a focus on baseball cards, gaining significant attention when it released its inaugural 1989 baseball set.

This set featured a young and promising player named Ken Griffey Jr. on card #1, which quickly became a sought-after card among collectors.

The company's cards stood out for their premium quality, glossy finish, and crisp photography, raising the bar for trading card production.

Over the years, Upper Deck expanded its product line to include trading cards for other sports like basketball, football, and hockey, as well as entertainment properties such as movies, television shows, and comic books.

The company has also produced a few surf-related collectible cards, including:

Goodwin Champions

Mike Parsons #160 (2009)
Laird Hamilton #129 (2009)
Corky Carroll Autograph Series (2009)
Gerry Lopez Autograph Series (2009)
Mike Parsons Autograph Series (2009)
Tom Curren Autograph Series (2009)
CJ Hobgood Autograph Series (2011)
CJ Hobgood #84 (2011)
Layne Beachley Autograph Series (2011)
Layne Beachley #93 (2011)
Damien Hobgood Autograph Series (2011)
Kelly Slater #157 (2012)
Taylor Knox #125 (2012)
Laura Enever #59 (2012)
Jordy Smith #25 (2014)
Grant Baker #84 (2015)
Quincy Jones #91 (2017)
Makuakai Rothman (2018)
Tia Blanco #41 (2018)
Coco Ho #61, #11 (2019)
Erica Hosseini #9 (2020)

All-Time Greats

Kelly Slater (2012)

Have we missed a valuable surfing trading card? Please let us know.

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