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Rare Jose Angel model 11’4 balsa/redwood big wave gun shaped by Greg Noll in the mid 1980’s. This is an especially rare Greg Noll surfboard as just 25 Jose Angel model boards were made of wood. Featuring an incredibly sharp pintail outline with triple stringer design complete with solid redwood rails and redwood fin. A simply stunning work of art by the legendary surfer and shaper Greg Noll. Use as a functional big wave surfboard or decorative surfboard art piece!
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History of Jose Angel & Greg Noll surfboards
Jose Angel was raised in San Francisco, California where he was active in swimming, boxing, scuba diving, and tennis among more intellectual pursuits. Angel graduated college before surfing became his passion. While in college he met Mozelle Gooch who would later become his wife and introduce him to the sport of surfing. They moved to Hawaii together, were married in 1955, and had four children together.
The Angels moved to the North Shore of Oahu in the 1950’s and Mr. Angel became principal of Haleiwa elementary school. The powerful waves of the North Shore quickly drew Jose in. He became passionate about charging the biggest waves the island had to offer. Jose was known for sitting way outside of everyone else in the line up, waiting for the biggest and gnarliest waves of the day. He soon made a name for himself and eventually graced the cover of the very first Surfer magazine in 1960, featuring him backside on a huge wave at Sunset Beach. The legendary surfer and big wave riding pioneer Greg Noll called Angel “the gutsiest surfer there ever was.”
Jose Angel was also a fearless diver, regularly free diving 200 feet below the surface without scuba gear. In 1974, Jose was diving off the coast of Kauai when his right leg became partially paralyzed from a severe case of the bends. His injury severely affected his surfing ability so in turn he began pushing the limits of his free diving abilities more and more.
On July 24, 1976, Angel was diving off the coast of Maui and was reported to have gone more than 300 feet below the surface. That was the last anyone saw of him. His body was never recovered. Jose Angel will always be remembered as one of the true legends of big wave surfing.
Greg “Da Bull” Noll was born in San Diego, California on February 11th, 1937. He was given “Da Bull” as a nickname due to his steadfast and obstinate approach towards charging big waves. Noll was 11 years old when he first started surfing and from a young age was taught how to shape surfboards by none other than Dale Velzy. Noll eventually became a skilled shaper himself while continuously polishing his surfing skills. His remarkable abilities as a waterman earned him a spot with the LA county lifeguard. He especially excelled at paddling, a skill that led him to being selected for the U.S. Lifeguard team which competed in the 1956 Olympics, held in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1957, Noll made big wave surfing history as the first person ever to ever ride a wave at Waimea Bay, now an iconic big wave riding break on the North Shore of Oahu. In December of 1964, Greg Noll made history again riding a giant wave at third reef Pipeline. Noll was known for surfing in a pair of black and white striped boardshorts, his way of preventing others from taking credit for his rides.
Noll returned to California with well established notoriety. He then started a thriving surfboard manufacturing business in Hermosa Beach, California and partnered with iconic surfer, Miki Dora to produce the Miki Dora “Da Cat” model longboard. Sales took off immediately and reached a peak production of around 170 boards a week. Noll also produced surf films such as the “Search for Surf” series featuring waves ridden in Hawaii, California, and Mexico.
Greg ended his big wave riding career on a storm swell that hit Makaha in December of 1969, catching as big of a waves as one could paddle into. Fred Hemmings, a fellow big wave rider who was a witness to his ride at Makaha was quoted saying “If there was anyone else in Greg’s place, he wouldn’t have made it alive”. Decades later, one of Noll’s personal big wave balsa guns sold at auction for $40,000. His autobiography, published in 1989 was titled “Da Bull: Life Over the Edge”. Greg “Da Bull” Noll is one of the most recognized names in surfing history and will forever be remembered as a big wave riding pioneer and expert surfboard craftsman.