We all love a good reunion story. A lost border collie that is reunited with its 78-year-old owner. An adopted son who finds he has five younger siblings down the road, all with nine toes. A divorcee who rekindles lost love with his high school sweetheart at the 25th Year school reunion (even if one is still married, and was drunk, and later regretted it).
 
But none of those tropes are as heartwarming or emotional as when a long lost surfboard is reunited with its owner. Now we’ve all lost treasured surfboards. I once lent my first ever surfboard, a three-inch-thick, yellow Sam Egan shaped 6’0” known as The Tank, to a neighbourhood scoundrel called Horse. He rode it for a month, I went travelling, and upon my return it was missing. Vague rumours of it being under Johnny Toothbrush’s house never materialised. That was 25 years ago. I miss that board every day. Sob. 
 
Now there are more rare examples of good luck stories. Recently a story did the rounds where Hawaii-based photographer Doug Falter lost a 10’6” Lyle Carlson whilst surfing Waimea Bay two years ago. Just two weeks ago the gun was found by a fisherman; 5,200 miles away off a remote island of the Philippines. He’s learning to surf on it and the pair connected on Facebook. 
 
View this post on Instagram

LOST BOARD!!! - While surfing Waimea yesterday my leash came off and I couldn’t catch up to my board in time before it floated off into the channel and kept goin. If anyone sees or hears anything about a light blue @lylecarlsonsurfboards washed up on the beach or rocks please DM or call me at (614) 580-3100 - This was my only big wave board! 😭 If anyone feels like reposting or sharing on their story I would be forever grateful. I last saw it floating really close to the rocks on the left side of Waimea Bay just before dark at around 6:45pm. There is a good chance it could be washed up between Waimea and Haleiwa Harbor. It could definitely be around Alligators, Lanis, Hultons area as Ive heard or boards washing up around there before. Keeping my fingers 🤞🏽

A post shared by Doug Falter (@dougfalter) on


 
I also remember a recent 15-foot day at Le Nord in France. Surf coach to the stars Andy King had borrowed his good mate Sam Carrier’s precious 9’0”  Dick Brewer single fin. His leash snapped, the board disappeared and a 20-year friendship was almost severed. Cut to two months later and the board showed up in a bay near Mundaka, roughly 300 kilometres due west and was returned. It was hard to tell who was happier; King or Carrier. 
 
And so to this week’s good news story. The great Mark Richards, aka MR, had been trying to track down one of his favourite boards that he’d left in Hawaii many moons ago. 
 
“It went missing from under a friend's house years ago where I had it stored. I'd assumed it was gone for good but I understand it has resurfaced,” MR wrote on Instagram. “ I am keen to get it back, I never sold this board, it still belongs to me. It was a personal Twin Fin of mine. It was not a board I rode in any contests. It's not a historically important board, but I would still like to get it back.” 
 
View this post on Instagram

Some vision of me from 1978 riding the missing board I posted yesterday. I am still trying to track down this board of mine which is somewhere on the North Shore in Hawaii. It went missing from under a friends house years ago where I had it stored. I'd assumed it was gone for good but I understand it has resurfaced. I am keen to get it back, I never sold this board, it still belongs to me. It was a personal Twin Fin of mine. It was not a board I rode in any contests. It's not a historical important board but I would still like to get it back. Please DM me if you can help in any way or have any information. @surfboardempire @markrichardssurfboardsapparel @slimesboardstore #markrichardssurfboards #markrichardscolordesigns #markrichardssprays #mrtwinfin #mrretrotwinfin #twinfinsrule #twinfinfever #twinfinfevercatchit #twinfinsforever #mr1978retrotwinfin #mr1978retrotwinfinmodel #mr1980retrotwinfin #mr1980retrotwinfinmodel

A post shared by Mark Richards (@markrichardssurfboards) on

 
Now unlike my me and the Tank, MR not only is one of the most significant surfers in history, he also has one of the best Instagram accounts right now in surfing. The post of him riding the board, from 1978, was one of the best snaps I’ve seen in 2020. The combo meant a concerted effort to track the board down was launched by friends and fans. 
 
View this post on Instagram

It's been recovered. Holding it in the photo is Luis Real @luisrealcollection who led the search & recovery effort. I'm extremely grateful to him & excited to get it back, repair it & surf it again. Also thanks to everyone who left suggestions & messages of encouragement on my previous Instagram posts. In Luis's words "It was a group effort to get this board back. We got it done This baby is going back to you MR". @surfboardempire @markrichardssurfboardsapparel @vintagesurfboardcollectors @slimesboardstore @rawsonsurfboard #markrichardssurfboards #markrichardsshapes #markrichardsshaping #twinfinsrule #twinfinfever #twinfinfevercatchit #twinfinsforever #markrichardscolordesigns #markrichardssprays #mr1978retrotwinfin #mr1978retrotwinfinmodel #mr1980retrotwinfin #mr1980retrotwinfinmodel

A post shared by Mark Richards (@markrichardssurfboards) on

 
And well, the good news is that with the help of legendary board collector Luis Real the twin was tracked down in Hawaii."It was a group effort to get this board back,” wrote Real.  “We got it done. This baby is going back to you MR.” 
 
Ah, it’s enough to warm the cockles of your heart. And if anyone has seen Horse, Johnny Toothbrush or The Tank, let me know. There’s a squaretail shaped hole in my heart.