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Ken Merrill’s Surfboard Museum Tour – VIDEO, Part 2

DENNIS – Part 2 of the video tour of Ken Merrill’s surfboard museum of more than 100 classic surfboards begins with a second tour guide, Chick Frodigh, and with a surfboard made in New Jersey by a shaper named “Tinker.”

To understand Merrill’s interest in the Jersey-made board, turn to Chapter 17 of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, “Born To Run.”

** This is a 5-Part Series **

Ken Merrill's Surfboard Museum, Part 2

Did Bruce Springsteen make this surfboard fin? Ken Merrill says it is possible. CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO

The chapter is called, “Tinker (Surfin’ Safari),” and in it and in several subsequent chapters, Springsteen writes of his long friendship with Carl Virgil “Tinker” West, a shaper of surfboards and tinkerer with many things.

Part 3, Ken Merrill’s Surfboard Museum Tour, VIDEO

Part 4, Ken Merrill’s Surfboard Museum Tour, VIDEO

Part 5, Ken Merrill’s Surfboard Museum Tour, VIDEO

Springsteen actually lived on the floor of Tinker’s surfboard factory, and Merrill believes that he may have also spent time making surfboard fins for Tinker’s surfboards. Springsteen was an avid surfer. Merrill has one of Tinker’s boards from that time period.

And while that is celebrity-interesting, wait, there’s more, so much more.

This part of the tour also includes a mention of the TV show Gunsmoke, and James Arness, who played Marshall Matt Dillon. Okay, it’s actually a mention of Arness’ son, who was a champion surfer.

Part 2 also includes the best type of board to ride a Cape Cod wave in 1967. (A Cape Cod wave; we like the sound of that.)

Do you like surfboards?

There is still more to come.

If you are interested in a tour of Merrill’s surfboards, contact him at [email protected]

See also:

Ken Merrill’s Surfboard Museum Tour – VIDEO Part 1


PART 3: Ken Merrill’s first board. Also, a board once ridden by New England Cable Weatherman Tim Kelley. It’s the same orange board! Plus, more classics and the most famous part of Merrill’s collection.


About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
For more information, see
Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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