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Pierre-Bernard Gascogne / Basque Country

Pierre-Bernard Gascogne is one of the most important European surf (industry) pioneer: he founded Surf System in the early 80s and in 1986 the first French surf magazine “Surf Session”… Above all, he started collecting surfboard and surf memorabilia some 40 years ago, which makes him the most recognized collector in Europe today.

Who are you? Where are you living?
My name is Pierre-Bernard Gascogne and I am originally from the Basque Country, after some engineering studies in Paris and oceanography in Hawaii and working all my life in the surfing world in Biarritz, I still live there and I am now semi retired .

When and how did you start collecting?
About 40 years ago when I started keeping my old boards. Then I started to buy old boards mostly from California and importing them to France every year.

Which was the first board of your collection?
A 8″6′ Lightning Bolt I was using in Hawaii in 1978 when I was a student there, I still have it.

How many boards do you have?
About 190 boards from 1940 till 2000.

Which is now your most preferred board?
A 1942 Tom Blake wooden board and some Greg Noll DaCats, but I have a lot of boards with some personal history around them.

Are you surfing your vintage boards?
No more, I have some more recent boards I surf but not the old malibus.

Which one do you like to surf most?
A Y2K, 11″ SKIP FRYE Eagle at Guethary.

Who is your favorite surfer from the 60’s-90’s and why?
Barry Kanaiaupuni bottom turn at Sunset and Gerry Lopez at Pipeline. They both inspired me when I was watching surfing movies in the 70’s at the PAX cinema in Biarritz.

Who is your favorite shaper from the 60’s-90’s and why?
Dick Brewer for his performance guns for Hawaii and Mike Diffenderfer for his Californian templates.

Where can we see your boards?
Most of them can be seen at the Cité de l’Océan in Biarritz until September of 2024.

Last words:
I hope my collection will be reunited one day in one place, dedicated to show the surf history, the evolution of surfboards and the surf culture to the younger generations.

Instagram: pbgascogne

Portrait by Stéphane Robin / EuroSIMA
Exhibition pics by Delphine de Castelbajac-Pernaud / Biarritz

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