Written by Jason Hoover — Most surfers look back on their very first surfboard with a nostalgic feeling. Whether it was a hand-me-down, a dumpster score, or fresh new glass found under wrapping paper, these boards hold a special place inside our hearts — and remind us of that first foray into the ocean during our careless childhoods. Even Virginia Beach fixture Raven Lundy.
Best known today for his aerial antics, his heavywater adventures in the deepest pits, his role as Billabong’s East Coast Marketing Manager/Coordinator, and a budding water photographer in his own right, was once a frothing grom saving pennies to earn his first real shortboard — after dad Frank had him on a gleaming Phil Becker single-fin at the ripe old age of a year and a half.
Phil Becker hand-shaped over 30,000 boards using a Rockwell planer, and Frank was proud to own one and share it with his boys. Because the Lundys were raised not to use leashes, Raven and his brother would ride their boards all the way in to the sand, and the Becker’s worn-down glass-on fin showed proof of that.
Growing up in California, Raven’s earliest surf-related memories include packing into his dad’s pick-up truck, watching Pops ride massive waves, shivering in cold water, and being petrified of the giant elephant seals that seemed to be looming over every wave. Lucky for Raven, his family moved to Virginia Beach when he was around 11 years old.
Raven was still riding a longboard and his dad’s other big boards, but after a trip to WRV, he spotted a used 5’8” Tommy Moore-shaped shortboard with airbrushed orange flames on the rails that called to him — maybe he could even actually carry it under his arm! Raven’s dad had the board put on hold — and then told his son to get to work. Raven started mowing lawns and doing odd jobs to earn the $300 needed to purchase his object of desire. Frank Lundy’s surfboard knowledge had rubbed off on Raven, though, and it paid dividends one day when Raven was looking through a Trading Post magazine and came across an old Hansen longboard for sale for $50.
Knowing that a Hansen was worth much more than that, Raven Lundy used the money he had been saving for the shortboard to purchase the vintage longboard — the very next day, he cleaned the board up and sold it for $250. Raven then marched down to WRV and convinced Geoff “Moose” Martin to knock $50 off the Tommy Moore shortboard, allowing Raven to happily carry the board under his arm out of the store. That spring and summer, Raven went from riding the whitewater to navigating down the line, going on to win his first contest at the Neptune Classic at the end of summer.
Through Raven Lundy’s hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, he had found a way to elevate his surfing, all while learning a valuable lesson about earning something of substance and accomplishing a goal. As the following spring rolled around, Raven’s surfing had greatly improved and he was offered a deal by 17th Street Surf Shop to ride for Pride Surfboards. Back then they allowed trade-ins, so he saved another $100 and traded the WRV in for his first brand-new custom board.
Roughly ten years later, Raven Lundy spotted the orange flamed rails and old stickers on that first Tommy Moore and knew it was his first board in the lineup at First Street Jetty being ridden by a little grom. He immediately asked to buy it from the kid, but the grom told him it was his first board and he was just learning so he didn’t want to part with it. However, after a few waves and talking with his friends, the boy said he would sell it to Raven. But Raven saw the joy that it brought to this young man and told the boy to hold onto it. Raven happily reminisced back to his days of proudly carrying the board under his arm and paddling the same board on the same wave at First Street and knew it was in good hands.