Dogtown Double Up Featuring Nathan Pratt

Greetings, Shredderz! For today’s Sagas of Shred entry we have not one but two ads featuring Seventies LA fixture Nathan Pratt. Both ads also feature legendary South Bay labels of yesteryear.

First up we have a Body Glove advert from the June 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 20, No 6). Look, I know this is ostensibly a vintage surfboard blog, but I gotta say what we’re all thinking: who knew Nathan Pratt had such a spectacular head of hair? That’s not even counting the mustache, by the way. I say this about all of the old vintage wetsuit ads I write up, but I love the wetsuit itself. That original logo with the old font on the white background would look great on a t-shirt today. The side panels on the suit are another unmistakable Seventies touch.

The second ad, scanned from the same issue of Surfer, finds Nathan Pratt in a more familiar pose: about to deliver another slash to an unsuspecting Malibu wall. From what I can gather, Horizons West was a Santa Monica surf shop that was part of the extended Zephyr universe. Pratt was a Zephyr Surfboards team rider. At some point Pratt went on to shape and ride for Horizons West, but I’m not sure when.

One final bonus: if you look closely at the Horizons West ad, you’ll notice the photo was taken by none other than CR Stecyk III. It’s not every day that you see a small surf shop ad featuring the work of a famous American artist, but this would be the exception.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in a week with more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred!

Weekend Grab Bag: MTB & More

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of the Weekend Grab Bag. Keep scrolling for a selection of sticks that are currently listed for sale somewhere across the World Wide Web.

Eighties MTB Thruster (eBay)

I’ve been on a bit of an MTB kick lately (more on that later). Here’s a classic Eighties MTB thruster that’s listed for sale on eBay.

The Eighties MTB boards are completely over the top…and I’m there for every last second of it. This board comes with no less than ten laminates (and that’s not even counting the Clark Foam one), just in case you’re afflicted with temporary amnesia out in the lineup. The bidding is up to $431 and the auction closes in two hours, so get cracking if you’re looking to snap it up.

I’ve been on a bit of an MTB kick as of late. See below for a Donald Takayama-shaped MTB from the Seventies.

McCoy Lazor Zap (eBay)

Here’s a sweet McCoy Lazor Zap. Sadly, it doesn’t come with the fin that’s pictured. I can never quite get over the outline of this board and how heavy it is in the hips. But hey, I’m much better at writing about surfboards than I am at riding them.

Carl Ekstrom Asymmetrical Model (Craigslist San Luis Obispo)

Here’s a sweet San Diego gem lurking on Craigslist. Sadly, the board is need of a serious amount of work. Nonetheless, I’m always on the prowl for Ekstrom’s shapes. Here’s a video of Richard Kenvin, the surfer behind Hydrodynamica, surfing a Carl Ekstrom asymmetrical long fish. Ekstrom’s long fish was in turn inspired by a 6’9″ Skip Frye long fish. Cool stuff.

A Special PSA from Tom Curren

Greetings, Shredderz! Today on Sagas of Shred we have a special announcement from then-two-time World Champion Tom Curren. The advertisement you see below originally appeared in the June 1990 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 31, No 6).

I’m not going to spend too much time on the actual message of the ad — I’ll just say that there are some things I agree with, and others I don’t — but I did think it was an interesting throwback. That’s especially true considering how many pro surfers can be found hawking CBD nowadays.

I also loved the artwork, which does a great job of capturing Curren’s relaxed, inimitable style. I don’t recognize the signature, unfortunately. If you know who the artist is please let me know!

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with more Sagas of Shred.

Eighties Stussy Thruster

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick peek at a cool Stussy thruster that’s currently up for sale on eBay. You can check out the listing here.

What you see above is a 6’6″ Stussy thruster that was shaped sometime in the Eighties. The board is a bit more restrained than some other Stussy surfboards from the era, but it’s still got an unmistakable artistic flair. I think the relatively subdued color scheme is gorgeous.

I’ve written many times about my fondness for the intricate logos and artwork on Stussy’s boards. The “Equipment for the Modern Age” tagline is one that Stussy used throughout the Eighties. However, this is the first example I have seen of the atom-inspired logo you see above.

Sadly, the bottom of the board isn’t in great condition. I’m not really a full glass-off restoration kind of guy, but I can see the temptation to turn this one into a wall hanger, especially considering that the deck is still in good shape. The board still looks great but it must have been an absolute head turner back when it was still new.

The board has an interesting signature on it. I’ve seen a few Stussy boards with playful inscriptions, but I’m not quite sure what to make of the “semi-portly express.” You can clearly see Shawn’s handwriting on the signature, though — compare the board featured here to one I wrote up last month, which was almost certainly shaped by Terry Martin.

The seller is asking $1,600 for the board, not including an additional $150 for shipping. I love Eighties Stussys (who doesn’t?), but I think this is high, especially given the condition of the board. You can check out the listing here.

1979 Lightning Bolt Surfboards Ad

Greetings, Shredderz! Here on the blog I’ve been writing a lot about the storied Lightning Bolt brand quite a bit: here’s a cool Rory Russell Model twin fin, and then I also happened to feature not one but two Darrell Beckmeier single fins. So for today’s installment of Sagas of Shred I figured why not keep the roll going, and dig out a vintage Lightning Bolt ad for all of you to enjoy.

The ad you see here originally ran in the June 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 20, No 6). For many years Lightning Bolt ran ads on the back cover of Surfer Magazine. Oftentimes Bolt featured its incredible roster of team riders, and for good reason. I love that this ad also specifically calls out each team rider’s Surfer Poll results.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with more vintage surf ads for your perusing pleasure!

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model Twin Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! There’s been a lot of coverage lately on this humble little blog about Lightning Bolt Surfboards — and for good reason, considering Bolt is likely the most famous surfboard label of all time. Today we’re back with even more Bolt coverage, as there’s a sweet Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here.

The Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model twin fin pictured above is 5’10”. According to the seller, it is in all-original condition.

What’s interesting about the Rory Russell Model is the fact it’s a twin fin with a channel bottom. One of the earliest posts on this blog — nearly four years ago! — featured a Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model with a similar twin fin / channel bottom setup.

I’ve seen a variety of Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Models, ranging from single fins all the way to thrusters. This isn’t exactly scientific, but I’d say that most of the Russell Bolt twin fins I’ve seen are not channel bottoms. I believe the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model was produced starting in the late Seventies and into the early- to mid-Eighties. This is based off the templates and the fin setups. I know at least some of these boards were shaped by Tom Eberly, but most of them are unsigned. See below for an example of a early- to mid-Eighties Eberly Bolt Rory Russell Model, with a 2+1 fin setup. I’m almost certain these boards were shaped in California, too.

Finally, I really dig the airbrush design that can be found on many of these Rory Russell Model Bolts.

The board on the left in the photos above was listed for sale on Surfboard Hoard; the one on the right I wrote up in an earlier post, and it was listed on eBay. Both boards are absolutely gorgeous (although probably worth noting that the one from Surfboard Hoard was fully restored). Surfboard Hoard claims Laura Powers airbrushed the board on the top left. I don’t know if Powers created this design, but as always, if you know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks for reading and you can check out the Rory Russell channel bottom twin fin on eBay here.

Another Darrell Beckmeier Lightning Bolt

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a nice follow up to two sweet vintage Bolts I wrote up a little while back. The owner of the Darrell Beckmeier board in the previous post actually reached out and contacted me with pics of another Beckmeier shape he owns.

You may recognize the board on the left from the same post I linked to earlier. The board on the right is another Darrell Beckmeier-shaped Lightning Bolt single fin. It’s an 8’11” gun that was made for some serious Hawaiian juice.

The board has some killer details, including a glass on wooden fin.

There is also some incredible resin work on the board, courtesy of a lovely double black pin line on the deck. The owner tells me the colors you see on the board are not an airbrush, but rather resin tints! This is pretty mind-blowing. (An earlier version of the post referred to the coloring as an airbrush.) Upon first appearance it’s a somewhat simple board, but a closer look reveals an incredible level of craftsmanship.

Thanks again to the board’s owner for sending over these pics!

Gordon & Smith HY-I and HY-II: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an old advertisement from one of California’s most venerable surf brands: the one, the only Gordon & Smith. Here we have a very cool breakdown of G&S HY-I and HY-II models, which are both Mike Hynson signature models. I believe the document you see below is marketing collateral that G&S distributed to surf shops, hence the “Surf’s Up” stamp on the lower left hand corner. The ad was generously sent to me by someone from whom I bought a fin (more on that later). The thing I love most about these ads are the detailed descriptions of the various models. I also love looking at the prices — how about $10 for a tint job! I’m not quite sure when this ad was produced, but if you have any clues don’t be afraid to get in touch.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in seven days with more Sagas of Shred!

Photo at the top of the page via Swaylocks — check out the thread for some detailed pics of a cool G&S HY-I model.

Social Media Roundup: 2020 Vision

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the very first Social Media Roundup entry of the new decade. I know you all came here for the pics and not my blathering, so let’s get right to it.

Here is Joel Tudor posing with an unusual board: a Donald Takayama-shaped Nat Young model. According to Tudor the board was likely shaped in either 1986 or 1987. During this time Takayama was beginning to experiment with side fins. There’s also a good chance that Takayama shaped this board for when Nat Young started the then-ASP longboard tour. Happy to have played a tiny role in getting this board to Joel’s hands, where I think we can all agree it belongs, given his relationships with both Takayama and Young.

I remember John Bilderback as a regular contributor to Surfer Magazine in the late Nineties. Someone once told me that he then shifted his focus to kitesurfing photography. Either way Bilderback has been dipping into his archives to post some rad photos lately on Instagram, including this killer shot of Tom Curren and a quiver of fresh Al Merrick / Channel Islands Surfboards shapes, circa 1988.

You know you rip when you can wear a wetsuit with bell bottoms and not get laughed out of the water. Granted, this was in the Seventies, but something tells me Reno Abellira could still pull this off today. Don’t miss the caption on this one, either — MR gives some great detail on how Reno shaped him some of his favorite boards.

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Christian Fletcher-September 1982. #photogordinho

A post shared by Paul Cohen (@photogordinho) on

I’ve been very much into Max McDonald’s boards lately, and I was stoked to see his logo on this board under a young Christian Fletcher‘s arm. This looks very similar to the infamous McCoy Lazor Zap. Check out that early Astrodeck on the board too!

Photo at the top of the page via this excellent Nat Young video from the Encyclopedia of Surfing

1967 Russell Surfboards Step Deck Nose Rider

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick hit for you, featuring a nice Sixties longboard from Russell Surfboards. I’ve written up more than a few Russell boards on the blog over the years, mostly focusing on Seventies single fins. Shawn Stussy cut his teeth shaping for Russell, and the label was home to many other talented shapers as well — folks like Jeff Timpone, Bruce Jones, Mike O’Day and others. Russell Surfboards continues to operate today, still based out of Southern California.

You don’t see a ton of Sixties Russell Surfboards sticks, so I was surprised to see a 1967 step deck nose rider pop up on Craigslist recently. You can find the Craigslist post here.

According to the seller, the board you see above is 10’2″ and it was shaped in 1967. The board has the classic lines you would expect out of a Sixties nose rider. I can’t quite make out the step deck that’s in the nose, but it’s a beautiful photo. The board looks to be in pretty good condition, although there’s noticeable discoloration around the nose and the tail.

The board has got an absolutely killer fin, and I love how it matches the overall color scheme.

Finally, I was stoked to see a Russell board with this logo. I haven’t seen many Russells with the “Surfboards by Russell” rectangle laminate. I’m guessing this must have been one of the label’s earlier logos, but I don’t have any details on it. See below for an example of a Seventies Stussy-shaped Russell with the same laminate.

Thanks for reading and you can check out the Russell Surfboards nose rider on Craigslist here.