T&C Surf, Dane Kealoha, Larry Bertlemann Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and by now readers will hopefully know that means a heaping helping of vintage surf advertising goodness is about to be served up, courtesy of Sagas of Shred. If I do say so myself, the blog has been on a bit of a tear lately with regard to quality cuts of the Hawaiian variety. Here’s an absolutely killer Dane Kealoha T&C single fin shaped by Glenn Minami, and I also wrote up a tidy quiver of Hawaiian single fins, which included a different but no less bitchin’ T&C Minami stick.

For today’s Sagas of Shred entry we turn the clock back to 1982. Check out the classic T&C Surf ad you can see at the top of the page. The ad ran in the December 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 12). It features some stalwarts of the storied Town & Country Surf Designs brand. In the larger picture, from left to right, are Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha and Randall Kim. Inset is a picture of Craig Sugihara, T&C’s founder, and Kealoha again. The photos in the ad were taken by Warren Bolster. Bertlemann and Kealoha need no introduction as two of the most famous Hawaiian pros from the Seventies. Rounding out the roster is Randall Kim, a standout big wave surfer from Hawaii who was later killed in a tragic shooting.

Since this is a vintage surfboard blog, we’re going to have to take a second to geek out on the photo props. Dane is posing alongside an incredible stick in the main picture. I can’t tell what the fin setup is, but the airbrush on the deck is insane. You can detect some wings towards the tail, but that’s about it.

The smaller photo in the ad was part of a larger photoshoot for the T&C brand. Here’s another photo from the same shoot, which I featured in an earlier Sagas of Shred post.

I’m calling it: the polo shirt tucked into short boardshorts is overdue for a comeback. All royalties can be paid to Shred Sledz Inc, thanks in advance.

In both ads Dane Kealoha can be seen posing with an awesome T&C twin fin. I can’t say who shaped it, sadly. But I can say that the airbrush is just as an incredible as the other board. It’s also cool to see Sugihara front and center, as he isn’t present in the brand’s marketing during its Eighties heyday.

Finally, I think these ads depict the T&C brand during an interesting point in its history. I would say T&C hit its peak popularity later on during the Eighties, and in the ads here you can see early signs of the aesthetic that would become world famous in just a few years. And for anyone with a passing interest in surf history, you simply can’t go wrong with the combination of the Rubberman, Kealoha, and one of Hawaii’s iconic surf brands.

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

Social Media Roundup: May 2019

You know the drill, Shredderz! See below for a selection of some of my favorite social media posts over the past month or so.

This is the only example of a Hakman / Parrish laminate that I have seen. Wish I knew more about the board but it’s gorgeous. Lately I’ve become more interested in Tom Parrish’s career — even more so after reading his Encyclopedia of Surfing entry, which mentions how Parrish became a lawyer in the Eighties. Photo at the top of the page features Hakman on a Parrish shape; photo is courtesy of the excellent Lyttle Street blog.

I haven’t seen Buggs’ collection myself, but judging by what he posts, both on Instagram and Surfboardline.com (which sadly appears to be down right now), it’s filled with gems. If you the photo above doesn’t immediately make you bring your phone within two inches of your face and start frantically zooming in, then I might not be able to help you.

Pictured above is one of my favorite boards that I have seen online: an all original Jeff Ho / Zephyr surfboard with some incredible colors. Apparently the owner was able to snag this for a song, too.

Here’s Carl Ekstrom, the creator of the asymmetrical surfboard, posing alongside a newer shape via Ryan Lovelace, on a fancy new Varial Foam blank, too. I love it when surfboard design comes full circle like this.

Mike Diffenderfer for Da Surf Hut

Yes, it’s true: here at Shred Sledz we love vintage surfboards. And while you can never go wrong with the classics, there’s something to be said about rare and unusual examples. Today’s blog post features a board made by a legendary shaper for a brand that is likely unfamiliar to most. Pictured here is a Mike Diffenderfer shaped Seventies single fin, which was produced under the Da Surf Hut label. I don’t even know if it’s correct to refer to Da Surf Hut as a label: the original eBay listing makes it seem as if Da Surf Hut was a shop in Haleiwa.

Any Diffenderfer shaped board is worth paying attention to, given Mike’s incredible resume. Diffenderfer came up with the name for Oahu’s infamous Pipeline, and was an incredibly accomplished shaper before his untimely passing in 2002. Diff’s boards are still prized among collectors, and to a certain generation of shapers, he is still widely acknowledged for his influence. In particular, Diffenderfer was known for shaping exquisite guns, as well as chambered balsa boards.

I am most familiar with Diffenderfer’s production under his own name, whether it was Diffenderfer Surfboards or Channin / Diffenderfer. However, if you dig around on the internet you’ll run into a few cool examples of boards Diffenderfer shaped under different labels. Inter-Island Surf Shop employed Diff as an in-house shaper in the Sixties, and I’ve seen Diff boards for both Lightning Bolt as well as Surfboards Hawaii. See below for an example of another interesting Diff board, courtesy of Buggs’ Instagram.

The board featured below is a 6’10” x 19″ x 3″ winged single fin that was just sold on eBay. All photos in this blog post are via the listing, which can be found here. The final sale price was $995, not including shipping. The Diffenderfer board is in all original condition, which is pretty amazing considering its age. As you can see, there are some absolutely killer details, including some beautiful pin line work and then an original wooden fin. You can click the photos below to enlarge.

Usually I would be leery of declaring the board a Diffenderfer shape without evidence of a signature. However, I believe this board was at least identified by Randy Rarick, and there aren’t many (if any!) people on the planet who are more knowledgeable when it comes to surfboards.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this rare Mike Diffenderfer surfboard as much as I did!

Dane Kealoha Surfboard by Glenn Minami

Old surf ads are fun and all, but let’s face it: if you’re reading this blog, you came here for one thing, and that’s the straight dope on vintage surfboards with some heavy hitter pedigree. I think you’ll all agree that today’s stick fits that description. And, if for some reason, a Dane Kealoha personal rider shaped by Glenn Minami still doesn’t have you convinced, drop me a line and we’ll set you straight ASAP. Yes, pictured below is a Dane Kealoha surfboard shaped by Minami under the storied T&C Surf Designs label. The board comes courtesy of a private, anonymous collector. Thanks to the owner for sharing the photos you see in this post!

You can click the pictures above to enlarge. The Dane Kealoha surfboard you see was shaped in 1979 and it measures in at 6’3″ x 19 1/2″ x 2 3/4″. The owner contacted Glenn Minami to get more info on the board. Minami believes the board was shaped for Kealoha as a personal rider, based on the “D” in the signature, which you can see below.

Close up of the signature on the Dane Kealoha surfboard featured here. You can see Glenn’s “GM” on the far left. The first two digits of “791603” indicate it was shaped in 1979; and the “D” at the end means it was a board shaped for Dane.

The owner was unable to find any pics of Kealoha surfing this board, and I couldn’t either. That said, you’ll notice it has a similar color scheme to the red and yellow Dane Kealoha surfboard seen at the top of the page. (Not sure who took the photo of Dane riding the red and yellow board; let me know if you have more clues.) Moreover, according to Minami, the fact the board was 6’3″ indicates it was likely a step up. Apparently Dane liked to surf shorter boards in powerful surf.

It looks like this board is unusual in the sense it was shaped for Dane as a personal rider. From what I can tell, T&C produced a Dane Kealoha Model for everyday consumers. There appears to be an example of a Kealoha model available on eBay right now. The eBay board doesn’t have a shaper signature anywhere on the board, and according to the listing, it was shaped somewhere in Australia, likely under license. I think Dane Kealoha Model boards are likely to command high prices on the open market, but as cool as those boards are, I love the fact the single fin featured on this post was made for Dane to ride himself. It’s also worth noting that the eBay board is a twin fin.

There are some interesting subtleties found on the laminates on this Dane Kealoha board.

Click the photos above to enlarge. The logo found on the deck of the board is on the left; the pic on the right is the logo found on the bottom. You’ll notice the Dane Kealoha surfboard has two slightly different laminates. The deck laminate reads “Dane Kealoha Hawiian Designs” and the bottom says “Dane Kealoha Designs Hawaii.”

Close up of the fin. The fin alone is gorgeous and the fact the sticker matches the rest of the board is such a rad little touch.

 Last but not least, the Dane Kealoha surfboard comes with an absolutely bitchin’ fin, which I believe is original. And yes, I really dig the fact the T&C Surf sticker on the fin matches the color scheme of the board.

Thanks again to the individual who shared pics of this incredible surfboard, and I hope you enjoyed learning more about this awesome stick!

O’Neill Ad from 1988: Sagas of Shred

If neon isn’t your thing, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and close this tab immediately. Likewise, if you’re not into seeing a handful of all-time surf greats all in one photo, this one might not be up your alley. But if those two things are your kind of deal, then you just might enjoy this O’Neill ad from 1988 as much as I do.

This ad is just beyond classic. It’s taken from a full page spread in the May 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 5). The O’Neill roster at the time is chock full of talent: Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons (I’m rather partial to Snips’ first Sagas of Shred appearance, courtesy of Uggs), Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter all rode for the Santa Cruz-based wetsuit label at the time. To be honest, I’m not sure who either Anderson or Farnsworth are — my apologies, but this ad is a little before my time.

For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, Carroll seems to dominate this ad. He looks completely relaxed, confident, and in his element. Then again, Carroll had won two world titles by the time this photo had been taken, and this was about three years before his famous under the lip snap at Pipe. If you look at the top right photo, you’ll notice Carroll riding one of his Byrne boards with the signature swooping airbrush. Or maybe it’s just his Oakley blades.

Pottz, on the other hand, is almost subdued in the main spread. Granted, at this many words in, I am definitely guilty of reading way too far into a random wetsuit ad from the late Eighties. Still, it’s odd to think that this ad ran shortly before Pottz won his world title on the back of his progressive surfing.

Anyway, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred. We’ll have another fresh scan of a vintage surf ad next Thursday evening, California time. Mahalo for reading!

Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick hit for your viewing pleasure: a Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson single fin that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist. The board you see here was originally posted early last month, but the listing has since been taking down. All the photos you see in this blog post are via the original Craigslist listing and the board does not belong to me.

As you can see, the main draw of the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board is the combination of the label, the shaper, and of course, the psychedelic airbrush spray on the bottom. Click the photos above to enlarge them.

Closeup of the airbrush on the Rainbow Mike Hynson board; artwork done by Peter St Pierre.

According to the original listing, the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board you see above sports an early airbrush from Peter St Pierre. St Pierre still sprays boards today, out of the Moonlight / Christenson factory in San Diego. You can find St Pierre on Instagram here.

I thought the board was particularly interesting in light of the recent sale of a somewhat similar board at the California Gold Surf Auction. (See here for my writeup of some boards I liked best at the show.) A different Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board was auctioned at the show, and it ended up closing for a tidy $26,000. You can find the auction board here. Granted, the auction board is in impeccable condition. Likewise, the auction board sports a Peter St Pierre airbrush. See below for a closeup of the airbrush on the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board that was sold at the auction.

Close up of the airbrush on the auction board, also done by Peter St Pierre

As you can see, there are some clear similarities between the two boards. The Craigslist board is in far worse condition, but it was listed for a way more modest $1,000 originally. There’s no saying what the final sale price was, but in general, auction boards tend to attract higher price tags, given that they’re usually carefully selected for condition and rarity.

Anyway, here are two rad examples of Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson sticks, and I hope you enjoy those insane airbrushes as much as I do!

Lightning Bolt at the Bu: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sagas of Shred, it is a series on the blog in which I feature a scan of a different vintage surf ad every Thursday night. If, like me, you live in California, this time of year means it’s time for south swells. And of all the spots in the world that light up during a proper south swell, I don’t think there are any more famous than Malibu. This ad is an old Lightning Bolt ad that originally ran in Surfer Magazine in the early Eighties (February 1982, Vol 23 No 2, to be exact.) During this time Lightning Bolt ads commonly graced the back cover of Surfer Magazine, and there are some real gems from their run. This Lightning Bolt ad features Mark Richards, Margo Oberg (the subject of a recent Sagas of Shred entry), and I believe Buzzy Kerbox. Instead of going the standard graphic design route, the ad itself has been spray painted on the infamous wall at Malibu. I’m not sure why they went with the “Boo” spelling over “Bu”, but I’m not a local there. The only thing I know for a fact about LA’s most famous right hand point break is you should never, ever drop in on Allen Sarlo AKA Wave Killer.

Mahalo for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!

Hawaiian Single Fins: Quivers of Distinction

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have something short but very, very sweet. We have a new series here on the blog titled Quivers of Distinction. As the title suggests, this series will highlight notable quivers. (Friendly reminder to get in touch if you’ve got some boards you’d like to share!)

This lineup of Hawaiian single fins belongs to an anonymous collector in Southern California. As you can see in the photo above, he’s got impeccable taste in boards. From left to right (based on the top picture; order is reversed in the shot showing the bottom of boards)

  • 4’10” Hawaiian Island Creations channel bottom single fin, shaped by Cino Magallanes;
  • 5’9″ Lightning Bolt single fin shaped by Tom Eberly;
  • 6’4″ Local Motion swallow tail, Kailua laminate, shaper unknown (unclear if the Buttons logo sticker was added afterwards)
  • 5’9″ Local Motion (yellow board), Kaiula laminate, Dane Kealoha-inspired airbrush, shaper also unknown
  • 5’8″ T&C Surf single fin shaped by Glenn Minami

Needless to say, this is a really killer lineup of boards, brought to you by some of the finest Hawaiian craftsmen in recent history. I’m a little blown away by the 4’10” HIC / Cino single fin. Part of me wonders if this wasn’t originally created as a kneeboard. Either way I have never seen anything like it. The two Local Motion boards and the T&C / Minami single fin are incredible, too. I can’t decide between those three as my favorite. And of course, it goes without saying that any Tom Eberly Lightning Bolt board is worth any surfboard enthusiast’s time, too! Overall, this is an insanely deep lineup of vintage sticks. I love that the owner has taken the time to see that all of these single fins have been outfitted with era appropriate fins, too.

Mahalo to the owner for the rad pics! Hopefully we’ll have some more killer quiver shots in the near future as well.

Herbie Fletcher Surfboard: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick hit for you, but I promise it’s a good one. The Hoffman / Fletcher clan is the closest thing surfing has to a first family — a counter culture version of the Kennedys. For all you hear about the Hoffman / Fletcher clan, it’s still amazing to me that people don’t talk more about Herbie Fletcher surfboards. And who knows? Maybe people just don’t care as much as I do. But any time I see a rad Herbie Fletcher surfboard pop up for sale, I think it’s worth a few words and some accompanying photos.

The Herbie Fletcher surfboard you see above was recently listed for sale on eBay. All the photos in this blog post are via the original listing, which you can find here. The Herbie Fletcher surfboard was taken down before the auction closed; I’m guessing the buyer received a decent offer and pulled the listing.

I dig Seventies single fins in general, but the Herbie Fletcher surfboard pictured above is not only super clean, it’s also from one of the most colorful characters in surfing history. That said, it’s unclear to me whether or not the board was actually hand shaped by Herbie himself. I have seen boards with the Fletcher logo that were signed by others. It doesn’t appear the board above has any sort of signature or distinguishing marks on it.

The Herbie Fletcher surfboard measures in at a buoyant 6’4″ x 20 1/2″ x 3″. If you look at the photos immediately above, you’ll notice there’s a single wing that ends in a round tail. Overall, the outline is pretty classic for the era in which the board was made. According to the original listing, the Herbie Fletcher surfboard is all original.

Herbie’s entire career is a trip (and it’s still going strong!) But I have a special affinity for his surfboards, square nose and otherwise. If you have a rad Herbie stick you think the world needs to see, then don’t hesitate to drop me a line! Mahalo for reading and stay tuned for more sweet vintage sticks.

Clipz: Mikey February & More

Greetings, Shredderz! While the rest of you are probably ogling the goods at the Boardroom Show, I’m here in Northern California, trying to work up the enthusiasm for some blown out slop and otherwise wishing I were in San Diego. But hey, that means I’ve got some free time to write up some of the better surf videos I’ve seen recently, so I figure someone should benefit from my misery! Keep scrolling for more.

Nü RYTHMO: The Surfer’s Journal / Michael February / Sam Smith & Wade Carroll

We’ve been blessed with some quality surf clips as of late, but Nü RYTHMO just might have all of them beat. It should come as no surprise that this unique film comes courtesy of The Surfer’s Journal, which remains the standard for surf media. I usually associate TSJ with beautiful photographs and well-written articles, but I for one am extremely stoked to see them branching out a bit into videos. The latest issue of the magazine covers this trip, with some accompanying photos by Alan Van Gysen. If you don’t already subscribe, you need to. Van Gysen also shot the beautiful photos for Stab’s most recent Electric Acid Surfboard test with Steph Gilmore. February’s surfing is silky and unhurried, and for alternative surfboard nerds, it’s cool to see him schralping on an MR twin fin and a Campbell Brothers bonzer. This is a must watch.

The Shakes: Ryan Burch & Ryan Lovelace

Ryan Burch is a talented surfer / shaper from San Diego, and here he can be seen riding the creations of another craftsman who shares the same first name. Understandably, you mostly see videos of Burch surfing his own creations, but somehow I came across this older vid of Burch on a 7’10” v.Bowls. The v.Bowls is probably Lovelace’s most famous model, and Burch puts the board through its paces, managing to make some unremarkable surf look way more fun than it should.

Larry Bertlemann 16mm Footage

Here’s a super rad video that serves as a neat summary of all the things that make the Rubberman so cool. He starts off by explaining his fin placement preferences on his signature Aipa stings. I love seeing the stings being put through their paces in some proper Hawaiian juice, where Bertlemann cranks some seriously impressive bottom turns. Not only does Larry have a strong case for having the best hair in surfing history, he also rips skateboards barefoot while wearing a Hawaiian shirt, which is an incredible combo. And if that’s not enough to get your pulse going, Bertlemann nabs a macking switch stance barrel at what looks to be decent sized Pipe. All hail the Rubberman!

Photo at the top via Michael February’s Instagram