Maximum Actionwear: Laird Hamilton for Salt Creek

Greetings, Shredderz! The sun has set on another wonderful Thursday, which can mean only one thing: yes, it’s time to dip into my stash of vintage surf magazines and find a ridiculous ad from the Eighties to share. This week we’re featuring an ad for Salt Creek — which I can only assume was a short-lived brand named after the famed Southern California surf spot — starring none other than Laird Hamilton. The ad originally ran in the June 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 6), when Laird was a mere twenty years old. The Salt Creek ad is something of a reminder of Hamilton’s sheer longevity, given that he has been in the surf spotlight for well over three decades. There are a ton of unanswered questions about what exactly the surf industry was thinking in the Eighties, and the first one that comes to mind is what the hell is maximum actionwear supposed to be. I guess we may never know.

Mahalo for reading and here’s hoping next Thursday brings us even more Sagas of Shred.

More Vintage Liddle Single Fin Goodness

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re reading this blog you are almost certainly familiar with Greg Liddle and his famous displacement hulls. I’ve written up numerous examples of vintage Liddles over the years, including a sweet yellow single fin with an unusual “mirrored” laminate; a different 8’6″ Liddle single fin; and a few others.

When a reader sent me a Craigslist link to the 7’2″ single fin Liddle pictured above, I was immediately intrigued. The post was only up for a few days at most, with an asking price of $850. I can only assume someone pounced on it, as Greg Liddle hand shapes never seem to last long on the open market.

Maybe this says more about my idiosyncrasies than anything else, but the first thing I noticed were the laminates. You can see a small blue laminate on the deck, paired with an oversized black outline laminate on the bottom. I’ve noticed that vintage Liddle surfboards tend to have either larger or smaller laminates than the “standard” size you see on the newer Liddle Designs, for example.

The original Craigslist post mentioned that photos of the board are actually available on the Liddle Surfboards website. As a side note, the Liddle Surfboards website is a glorious throwback to the early days of the internet. The site also has a page that links to a giant collection of Liddle pics. The page has even spawned its own Instagram tribute account, aptly titled “Spaceship Lovers.”

The entry for the 7’2″ single fin notes that the board was found by a guy named Pat Crampton on Craigslist. I’ve reproduced the photos of the board from the Liddle Surfboards site below. You can click the photos to enlarge.

The entry for the board on the Liddle surfboards site also has some good information. As you can see in the signature below, the board has serial number #3249. According to Liddle’s site, the serial number indicates the board was likely shaped in the late Seventies or early Eighties. There’s also some info on the glass job: 6 oz and 4 oz, with a 6 oz Volan tail patch, which you can clearly see in all the photos. I can only assume the 6-4-6 on the stringer is a reference to the glass job.

One thing that’s weird to me is a photo of the signature on the Craigslist listing is somehow missing two numbers. You can see the Craigslist shot of the signature below.

I’m really having a hard time explaining how this could be the case. I’m thinking that maybe the board was signed in two places, but that isn’t clear from either set of pictures, I’m afraid.

As always, thanks for reading, and if you are the proud owner of a sweet Liddle, vintage or otherwise, don’t hesitate to reach out and send me some pics.

Clipz: Ingleby Family Heirlooms and More

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got an assortment of videos for you. Every time I sit down to write a new Clipz entry I’m always stoked at the quantity and quality of new edits. Choosing a handful of favorites invariably means leaving some high quality entrants off the list, like young Hunter Martinez’s new full length film “Lost In Thought.” Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming — keep scrolling for some video clips I’ve been enjoying lately, mostly (but not all) having to do with vintage and/or hand shaped surfboards.

Surfer Magazine’s “Alternative Lines” featuring Harley Ingleby

Shout out to Surfer Magazine, which could easily coast by on its laurels but still produces some of the best surf content out there. This clip is a peek at two-time ASP World Longboarding champ Harley Ingleby‘s family quiver. Ingleby’s father has been collecting vintage boards since before Harley was even born. The end result is a tidy snapshot of Australian surf history, a subject I wish I knew more about. (Check out the peerless surfresearch.com.au for your fix of Aussie surf knowledge.) Ingleby takes a Larry Bertlemann twin fin out for a spin, including some nice GoPro footage. He also totes around an interesting looking bonza, as they’re called below the Equator. It’s the same board that can be seen at the photo at the top of the post, which I grabbed from the video. Sadly I can’t quite make out who shaped the bonza. I figure Col Smith and/or Jim Pollard are decent guesses, given their history shaping flowing channel bottom bonzers. See here for a similar looking bonza. Anyway, Ingleby spends most of the video expertly piloting a truly out there twin fin longboard (or “mal”, if you prefer), and the result is an all-around great little flick.

Slater’s Best Day of Surfing Ever, via Taylor Steele / The Momentum Files

As the caption accompanying the video says, “Kelly Slater said if he could re-live one day of his life over and over again forever, this would be it.” Not only is Slater the GOAT, he has probably chased (and scored) more swells than any other human on earth, especially when you consider his Tom Brady-like longevity. This particular session unfolded at Soup Bowls in the Barbados not quite fifteen years ago, I believe. The Momentum Files YouTube channel posts some great selections from Taylor Steele’s filmography. I highly recommend checking it out. This particular clip originally appeared in “Sipping Jetstreams.”

“Mexico” featuring Michael February

February has been featured more than a few times in the Clipz series, thanks to his stylish surfing. This clip is no exception.

Buttons for Local Motion: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! We don’t have much for you today, just a sweet Local Motion ad nabbed from the pages of the April 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 4). As you can see, the advertisement features none other than Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani, better known as Buttons (RIP), posing alongside a few friends.

Thanks for reading and please do visit again next Thursday, when we’ll have another vintage surf ad for your reading pleasure.

Randy Rarick: North Shore Icon

Greetings, Shredderz! A few months ago I had the good fortune to visit Oahu. Even if you have so much as a passing interest in surfing, Hawaii, and the North Shore in particular, is Mecca. Every winter the storied seven mile stretch of coastline becomes the center of the sport, hosting countless pilgrimages from around the world. Even for someone like me, whose surfing ability is best described as limited, a visit to Oahu’s proving grounds is practically required.

During my time in Hawaii I had the good fortune of spending part of an afternoon with North Shore fixture Randy Rarick. Rarick, who still rips Sunset Beach, owns one of the most varied and fascinating surfing resumes on the planet: a surfer, first and foremost; a shaper, with stints at both Surf Line Hawaii and Lightning Bolt; an event organizer, who served as the longtime contest director for the Triple Crown of Surfing; and perhaps the authority on vintage surfboards.

Rarick and his home break of Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore, just steps from his house and shaping room.

Rarick is known for glass-off restorations of vintage boards. The process involves completely stripping off the fiberglass from a board and then re-glassing the shape. It is a long and laborious process that transforms beaters destined for the trash heap into showroom-worthy collectors’ items. If you have ever looked at recent high-end surfboard auctions, you have no doubt seen Rarick’s work. It’s also worth noting that Rarick pioneered the collector-focused surfboard auctions, although he has since passed the baton.

There are a range of opinions on the practice of full glass-off restorations — surfers are nothing if not opinionated — and at one extreme, the most vocal critics claim this can compromise the integrity of the board itself. Rarick has shared extensive thoughts on the subject, and for more on his perspective, I highly recommend this Surfer’s Journal profile. Many folks far more knowledgeable than me have weighed in on the subject, and while I personally love (and prefer) the slight imperfections of older boards, I simultaneously have a deep respect for the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into a full glass-off restoration.

Rarick’s shaping room has probably seen more classic surfboards than any other place on earth. As you can see in the photo below, Rarick preserves laminates from boards he has restored. Each one of the laminates pinned to the walls represents a board that Rarick worked on.

Yes, that is eleven different Phil Edwards Honolulu laminates you see.

I love the practice of preserving the original laminates from these boards. If nothing else, it’s a great way to document the sheer number of notable surfboards that have passed through Rarick’s shaping room. When I picked up my jaw off the floor and told Rarick I couldn’t believe how many rare shapes he had restored, he casually mentioned that there had been even more laminates hanging up until someone had come through and purchased a bunch.

Rarick’s shaping room is small, and it’s hard to imagine a space with more surf history per square inch. And while there are plenty of reminders of all the boards Rarick has worked on in the past, I was just as interested in the projects that were currently under way. In the photo below you can see a unique wooden blank (second from top). The blank is actually crafted from wiliwili, also known as Hawaiian balsa, as part of a project with Tom Parrish, another renowned Hawaiian shaper and Lightning Bolt alumnus.

Parrish posted a different wiliwili board on his Instagram, which I have embedded below.

During my visit Rarick was in the midst of restoring an Inter-Island Surf Shop Hydro Gun shaped by John Kelly. The board would later appear at the California Gold Vintage Surf Auction.

Inter-Island Surf Shop John Kelly Hydro Gun, stripped down to the foam

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Kelly’s Hydro Gun is the insane Scorpion tail, which you can see below.

Close up of the scorpion tail on the John Kelly Hydro Gun

It was really cool to see the board as a bare blank, midway through the restoration process. I don’t have any photos of what the Hydro Gun looked like before the restoration, but the auction listing has some great shots of the finished product.

Rarick was incredibly generous with both his time as well as the vast amounts of knowledge he has accumulated over the decades. Speaking with Rarick was also a reminder of the importance of learning surf history by meeting the people who helped make it. There are times when I chafe at surfing’s fondness for oral tradition, mostly because it can make research so difficult. And while I am a proud advocate of putting as much surf history online as possible, my time with Rarick underscored the fact that it’s so much more informative and rewarding to speak to people in person, especially when those conversations take place steps from storied Sunset Beach. Thanks again to Randy Rarick for sharing his time and making this modest blog post possible.

Photo at the top of the page by Lance Trout; Randy Rarick, Sunset Beach, 1978.

[UPDATE: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Barry Kanaiaupuni as Reno Abellira. The caption has been updated. Sorry for the mistake and thanks to everyone who helpfully pointed it out.)

Mike Croteau for O’Neill (I Think)

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a sweet single fin that was sent to me by someone on Instagram. For the most part, I’ll write up boards here on the blog and then maybe throw up a picture on social media. Today’s post is the reverse — after originally posting the board on IG, I decided to devote a brief but more in-depth blog post to the stick, just because I liked it so much. One more caveat before we begin: I’m almost certain the board featured here is a Mike Croteau shape, but I’m not 100% sure. I’ll include a pic of the signature and let you compare for yourself. Click any of the photos below to enlarge.

More importantly, I love this board. Shout out to the board’s owner for taking such great pics. This is an extremely trivial point but I love the way the yellow pops against the nice green grass background. The Mike Croteau single fin also has some nice subtle details, including wings towards the tail, and then some very interesting looking channels on the bottom.

The channels in the tail are pretty subtle. They’re also very different from a previous Mike Croteau-shaped board that I featured recently. You can see some closeups below.

As for who shaped the board, I’m almost certain it’s Mike Croteau. First, Croteau has deep ties to Santa Cruz, and it looks to me as if this was a board created under the O’Neill label. O’Neill is of course best known for its wetsuits, but they have also produced some boards on and off over the years. That said, there’s a chance the O’Neill laminates were applied after the board was shaped, but seeing as how I don’t have the board available to me in person, I just can’t say.

See below for a comparison between the signature on the O’Neill single fin (on the left) and then the signature from the earlier Croteau / Straight Up Surfboards stick I wrote up a few months back. The signatures look pretty similar to me.

If you have more info or thoughts on the board, please let me know! I’d love to know more about this stick. Thanks again to the owner for sharing pics of this gorgeous single fin.

Nat’s Nat and That’s That: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! I have returned from a long and relaxing trip back to the East Coast. I may have timed the trip perfectly to miss out on the swell that’s beginning to fill in, but hey, at least I have access to my back issues of Surfer Magazine and a scanner. Today we’ve got a Quiksilver ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Mag featuring none other than all-around legend Nat Young. Young has been making the news lately for the upcoming release of his new book, “Church of the Open Sky.”

Funnily enough, one of Young’s earlier books was titled “Nat’s Nat and That’s That”, echoing the copy you see in the Quiksilver ad posted at the top of the page.

I’m eagerly awaiting “Church of the Open Sky.” Not only does Young boast a championship resume, he has shown himself to be a thoughtful historian of all things surf related.

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

Vintage Liddle Single Fin

Today, Shredderz, I’m afraid I have some bad news. The vintage Liddle single fin you see pictured here was sold for a measly $120 on Craigslist, and chances are you missed out on it. Don’t feel too bad because I whiffed on it, too. I called up the seller as soon as I saw the ad and he literally laughed. To be clear, he was very nice and polite. I think he was more surprised than anything else, as I’m sure he spent the afternoon fending off a bunch of thirsty surfboard collectors. If you scooped up this thing, feel free to drop me a line — would love to know more about it.

According to the listing, the vintage Liddle single fin pictured above is 6’6″. No other dimensions were mentioned. The board looks like it’s more of a standard single fin than one of Greg Liddle‘s famous (and collectible) hulls. I’ve posted some other vintage Liddle single fins, which you can find here and here. I have a hard time dating his boards, given that Liddle has been so true to the displacement hull design over the decades. If you held a gun to my head I would say the board was shaped in the Seventies, or maybe early Eighties. You don’t see a ton of Liddle boards that have resin tints, and the smaller font size on the logo seems to be mostly associated with older boards, too.

The other thing tripping me out is the unique mirrored logo. I have never seen that logo on any other board. I’m not sure what, if any, story there is behind the laminate, but I do know it looks very cool.

Social Media Roundup: August Already

Greetings, Shredderz! Keep scrolling for a not-so curated collection of vintage surfboards I’ve recently spotted in the wilds of the World Wide Web.

Sadly, I think Dave Parmenter has deactivated his Instagram account. (The photo at the top of the page is also of Parmenter). This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given Parmenter’s general preference for keeping a low profile. It’s too bad, because I really enjoyed seeing his boards and hearing what he had to say about surfing and the craft of building surfboards. That said, Rusty Preisendorfer is alive and well on Instagram, much to my delight. Rusty’s contributions to surfboard shaping need no introduction, and he has been sharing many cool photos and stories, such as the picture of Dave Parmenter brandishing a very early Widowmaker.

Mark Richards and Dick Brewer. The sheer amount of surfing and surfboard wisdom contained in this picture practically violates every natural law known to mankind.

Here are Pat Rawson and Duncan Campbell showing off some very cool looking Bonzers. Dare I say Rawson’s design is a bit more twinzer-esque? I don’t know enough about it to say for sure but you can see the difference in the fin templates between the two boards.

My fascination with the curves of the Campbell Brothers’ Bonzer design is never ending. I could look at this photo for hours.

As always, Mahalo for reading!

Photo of Dave Parmenter at top of the page via Ice-Cream Headaches; taken by Julien Roubinet

1970 Morey-Pope Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! My summer vacation is finally coming to a close. Beginning next Thursday Sagas of Shred will pick up where it left off, featuring vintage surf ads scanned from my collection of vintage magazines. (Side bar: I’m still looking for Surfer Magazine issues from the Sixties and Seventies, so get in touch if you’re in California and you have some up for grabs!) In the meantime the Sagas of Shred series is featuring some rad vintage surf ads that I have found elsewhere on the internet. Today we have a ridiculous spread courtesy of Morey-Pope Surfboards, coming on the heels of my writeup of a cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel that was recently listed for sale. Even better, the ad originally appeared on the peerless surfresearch.com.au. Seriously — please check out surfresearch.com.au. It is nothing short of a digital surf history museum. Don’t let the site’s distinct Web 1.0 vibe scare you off. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled with gems like the Morey-Pope ad pictured above.

The ad is actually a two page spread that ran in a 1970 issue of Surfer Magazine. I have included both photos above, which you can click to enlarge. There is a lot going on. You could even argue it’s too much, but to me, it’s a perfect expression of the limitless creativity that fueled Tom Morey’s career.

As a bonus, check out another Morey-Pope ad I found on Instagram below. I love the super colorful slipcheck designs on these MP boards.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday evening for more Sagas of Shred!