Lance Collins for Jack’s Surfboards: Before they Were Famous

One of my favorite things is stumbling upon rare and unusual creations from the early stages of various shapers’ careers. I love the moments that reveal obscure collaborations, whether it was Shawn Stussy’s stint at Russell Surfboards; some of Dick Brewer’s creations for lesser-known brands, like Inter-Island Surf Shop and The Greek; or Barry Kanaiaupuni’s gorgeous boards for Surf Line Hawaii. Today’s post features a Lance Collins surfboard shaped for Huntington Beach staple Jack’s Surfboards, rather than the Wave Tools brand that took the eighties by storm.

The board above is currently for sale on Craigslist in the Los Angeles area. Pics are via the Craigslist posting, which you can find here. The seller of the board is a well-known collector who sells some very cool gems that often have cool Southern California roots. For example, I wrote an earlier post about a 1970s Wave Tools Lance Collins single fin that was also posted by the same seller. His boards are often very reasonably priced as well. The Lance Collins surfboard for Jack’s above is being listed at $275, which seems quite far to me.

The board bears a clear Lance Collins signature, as you can see in the photo to the top left. The “Shape by Lance” followed by a fish is visible on a number of Lance’s hand shaped boards. The Jack’s Surfboards logo, pictured at top right, is a bit unusual. Stoked-n-Board’s entry for Jack’s Surfboards has a few different variants of this logo and typeface, which it dates to the 1970s.

What’s interesting about this board is that it appears to have been shaped while Wave Tools was up and running. Wave Tools’ website says the brand was established in 1969. Meanwhile, the Lance Collins surfboard featured in this post was clearly shaped sometime during the 1970s. I’m not sure what to make of this. Did Lance simply shape some boards for Jack’s in-house brand to supplement his income on the side? Given that Jack’s Surfboards is primarily a retail business, it makes more sense why Lance would shape boards under both Jack’s label and his own Wave Tools brand, but it’s still a little unusual to me.

The Lance Collins surfboard featured above has some beautiful touches. I love the pinlines on the deck and along the rails. The original fin is a great touch, too: check out the eye bolt and the early leash attached! More importantly, the board looks like it’s in great condition, especially for something that is likely forty years old. If you’re a fan of Wave Tools, Lance Collins, or just beautiful surfboards from the 1970s, check out the Craigslist post here.

Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards Model: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of Sagas of Shred. Today’s post focuses on an old ad for Ole Surfboards. Ole is the namesake and brain child of Bob Olson. This is a blog that likes to celebrate history, but Olson is truly old school. For starters, the man is in his mid-eighties, and I believe he continues to shape to this day! Check out Ole Surfboards page on Facebook here.

Olson got his start in Orange County. For a quick bit of background on the man, I recommend this article in the Orange County Register, which was written by none other than Corky Carroll. Olson not only shaped Corky’s third ever surfboard…he was also a wood shop teacher at Shawn Stussy’s high school, and went on to become a shaping mentor to Stussy. (Since we are big Stussy fans here at Shred Sledz, here’s another bit of trivia: Jeff Timpone glassed Olson’s boards at some point, and Timpone and Stussy shaped together at Russell Surfboards during The Brotherhood days.)

guy on the right is responsible for my second shaping job ever, and by far the most formative… Mr. Bob Olson was my wood shop teacher at high school and also my employer in the tenth grade… the summer after ninth grade I worked at Chuck Dent shaping up in Costa Mesa behind bay cities glassing… Bob would bring his blanks there for glassing throughout that summer… he would see me there and say hey, aren't you that kid from wood shop?… what you doing here?… what, your shaping boards for Chuck out there in the back?… I am like yeah, figuring it out… so I go back to school in the fall and have woodshop again… I get my license and he offers me a job with this new thing called " work experience"… after fourth period I drive to sunset beach, open his old gas station turned surf shop and rough out boards till he got there after all his seven periods that were required of him… he would critic the work I did, offer tips, finish off a few together, doing our thing… all good… his brand was OLE and he has been around since kinda the beginning… at the end of my junior year he packs up and moves to Lahaina and has been there since… big shout to the guy that saw something in me and let me mow some foam and figure it out… big hug BOB, I wish to thank you…

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OLE in front of his shaping room, Lahaina, Maui… late seventies, maybe 1977… #olesurfboards

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Olson’s shaping career is worthy of a post of its own. However, for today I’ll simply zero in on one fascinating little detail in the advertisement. You’ll notice in the bottom right the ad says “Phil Edwards Model now available.” The ad at the top of the page was published in Surfer Magazine in 1963 (Aug. – Sep. 1963, Vol. 4 No. 4). I have personally never seen a Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards Model, and I imagine these must be incredibly rare. Google searches don’t turn up any info, either. I’m not sure how the timing of Ole’s Phil Edwards Model lines up with its far more famous counterpart, which was Edwards’ famous signature model for Hobie Surfboards.

Phil Edwards for Bob Ole Olson
Photo of Phil Edwards that Phil signed for Ole. Apparently this is hanging up in Ole’s current shop in Lahaina, Maui. Pic via Composite Corner / Fiberglass Hawaii

I was able to find evidence of a friendship between Olson and Edwards, including the photo above, which is apparently hanging in Ole’s shaping room on Maui. In addition, it was Phil Edwards who recommended Olson for the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame back in 2009.

If you have any info on the Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards model, please let me know!

Foiled: Mystery Bing Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very interesting example from one of the all-time great American surfboard brands: Bing Surfboards. Pictured below is a vintage Bing single fin that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below are via the listing.

A few things about the board stand out. First, the board looks fantastic. The seller claims the Bing single fin pictured above was shaped in 1981. If so — and I have no reason to dispute the date — the board is in great condition for its age. It’s also hard to miss the detailed airbrush on the bottom. If you look closely at the left-most picture, you’ll notice the airbrush extends to the rails, too. In fact, the airbrush on the rails looks like a more subtle version of the signature look of Mike Eaton Bonzers.

Eaton Bonzer 6'7" 1.jpg
Classic example of a Mike Eaton Bonzer. Check out the detailed airbrush on the rails, which is very similar to the design on the Bing single fin above. Pic via eBay

Eaton, of course, famously shaped under the Bing label for many years. Stoked-n-Board claims Eaton was shaping for Bing between 1965 and 2001, and given the airbrush design, I think it’s very possible the board pictured above was made by Eaton. That said, the listing does not mention an Eaton signature anywhere, nor is one visible in any of the pictures.

The other interesting thing about the Bing single fin pictured above is the phoenix logo on the bottom of the board.

Vintage Bing Single Fin Surfboard 10.jpg
Close up shot of the phoenix logo found on the bottom of the vintage Bing single fin. And how about that paint job?! Pic via Craigslist

The Bing single fin above is interesting because it is the only time I have ever seen the Bing phoenix logo appear on a board that was not a Bing Australian Foil or a Maui Foil model. When I initially saw the board for sale, I figured it was an Australian Foil that I had simply never seen before. However, every other Australian Foil and Maui Foil I have seen has also had a script laminate with the model name. I do not believe the Bing single fin at the top of the page is an Australian or Maui Foil model.

Bing Australian Foil Logo.jpg
Clean example of a Bing Australian Foil logo. You’ll notice the phoenix design is the same

Furthermore, the “eye” Bing Surfboards logo is off-set on the Foil Models to make room for the script laminates. On the Bing single fin at the top of the page, though, the Bing Surfboards “eye” logo is centered beneath the phoenix laminate.

Does the presence of the phoenix logo on a non-Foil Bing single fin mean anything special? Honestly, I doubt it. But I always love examples of unusual vintage surfboards, and the Bing single fin above certainly seems to fit the bill. It’s being offered for sale on Craigslist and the price is $550. If you’re interested, you can check out the board here.

Mike Diffenderfer for Inter-Island Surf Shop: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to another installment of Sagas of Shred! Today’s post comes from another back issue of Surfer Magazine (Aug. – Sep. 1963, Vol. 4 No. 4). It’s an ad for Inter-Island Surf Shop. Inter-Island was home to a number of well-known surfers as both team riders and shapers. Two things stand out about this advertisement: first is the fact that at this point in time, all of Inter-Island’s boards were being shaped by Mike Diffenderfer. What struck me is how young Diff was at the time of the advertisement: in 1963, Diffenderfer was only 26 years old! The ad also has a helpful list of team riders at the time. Some of the names stand out — Fred Hemmings, Barry Kanaiaupuni, et al — and for others I’m drawing a blank. As curious as I am, I almost prefer the mystery around “Toku” and “Soyo”, whoever those fine people may be.

As always, tune in next Thursday for the next Sagas of Shred, and another blast from surfing’s storied past!

To Bolt, or Not to Bolt? 1970s Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt Single Fin

First, allow me to beg for forgiveness regarding the bad pun in the title of the post. I’d promise not to do it again, but I don’t want to waste whatever little credibility I have left!

More to the point, there is a fascinating example of a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board that is currently for sale on eBay. I have posted pictures of the board below (pics are via the eBay listing).

While a genuine Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board from the 1970s is a holy grail for many surfboard collectors, there’s one catch: it’s often difficult to establish the provenance of true Lopez handshapes. For example, there are the California Bolts, which, as their name suggests, were produced on the West Coast and not in Hawaii. The California Bolts often bear a Danny Brawner-designed laminate meant to approximate Lopez’s signature. The California Bolts were mostly shaped by Mickey Munoz and Terry Martin.

Gerry Lopez Signature Island Trader Surf Shop 1.jpg
Great example of a Mickey Munoz-shaped California Bolt. You can clearly see the rectangular shape around the “Gerry Lopez” signature, which is a laminate that was applied to the board. Click through for more pics of the board, which were originally posted by Island Trader Surf Shop. Their site also has a clear picture of Munoz’s signature.

In addition, I have heard from Randy Rarick, who is the authority on all things relating to Hawaiian surfboards and their creators, that Lopez only signed the blanks of his handshapes — never on top of the glass.

Still, I am a bit confused, given that there are some distinct qualities about the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt being sold on eBay, that matches up with some other boards that were recently sold at auction.

As you can see in the pictures above, “A Pure Source” has been written on either side of the Lightning Bolt laminate. You can also see a Gerry Lopez signature off to the far right in the second picture. Back in the 1970s, “A Pure Source” was the marketing slogan for Lightning Bolt. Based on Rarick’s guidelines — the fact the eBay board has a Lopez signature on top of the glass, and not the blank itself — one might say the board is not a handshape.

And yet there were two boards sold at recent US Vintage Surf Auctions that were advertised as Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolts.

Board #1: 1975 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #180, Sold at USVSA (Link)

Gerry Lopez Lighting Bolt USVSA.JPG
Close up of the first USVSA board. You can see it has the same formatting with the signature. Pic via USVSA

The first USVSA board, pictured above, has the exact same signature formatting as the eBay board at the top of the page: you have “A Pure Source” written across the Bolt laminate, and then a Lopez signature off to the right, signed on the glass itself. The USVSA website dates the board to 1975, and it claims that it is a Lopez handshape. In addition, the USVSA site claims the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt is numbered #180.

Board #2: 1977 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #404, Sold at USVSA (Link)

Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt USVSA 1.JPG

Are we noticing a pattern yet? Same “A Pure Source” logo and handwritten signature in the exact same placement as the other two boards featured in the post. USVSA dates this board to 1977. This time, there’s a closeup of the serial number. The board is #404, which is stamped on the stringer. USVSA board #2 has a wedge stringer, which is an unusual touch.

It should also be noted that both USVSA boards have fin boxes. Rarick also tells me that the vast majority of Lopez handshapes made in Hawaii had glass-on fins.

In conclusion, I’m confused about how to explain this curious trio of Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt surfboards. Based on Rarick’s context, I do not believe any of these three boards are Lopez handshapes. As a refresher, none are signed beneath the glass, and at least two have fin boxes (it’s unclear with the eBay board whether or not the fin is glassed on.)

Second, both USVSA boards commanded relatively low prices at their respective auctions. Board #1 sold for $2,700 and board #2 went for $2,400. Compare this to a 1972 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt (with a glass-on fin, and a unique “signature”, which is a whole different story) sold at USVSA for $4,225, which you can find here.

I guess I can’t figure out why Lopez would go through the trouble of hand signing these boards with “A Pure Source” and a signature on the deck if he didn’t shape them himself. As always, if you have any information, please let me know! If there’s one thing I enjoy more than making bad jokes in blog post titles, it’s hearing from readers.

Mike Hynson for Bahne Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a lovely surfboard that involves a few of the best-known figures in San Diego surf history, including none other than Mike Hynson. Over his long and illustrious career, Hynson has been associated with many well-known labels from his own label, Hynson Surfboards, to other recognizable brands like Rainbow Surfboards, Gordon & Smith, and Bahne. Hynson’s history is a colorful one, often quite literally. He first burst onto the scene as one of the stars of “The Endless Summer”, and then became a figurehead of sorts for the psychedelic 70s, thanks to the equally trippy and elaborate airbrushes on his boards. For an excellent rundown on Hynson’s involvement with drugs and the notorious Brotherhood of Eternal Love, I recommend this long-form Surfline feature on the subject.

Mike Hynson Surfboards Downrailer Gun Airbrush Jeremiah Klein
Close up shot of the Hynson downrailer featured in the picture at the top of the page. Photo by Jeremiah Klein; pic via Surfline

Hynson Surfboards is still in business today, and the man himself continues to churn out hand shaped designs. Today’s post concerns an older board that, upon first look, doesn’t have any overt ties to Hynson.

First, a little background: Hynson is widely credited with creating the down rail, which helped usher in a new era of high-performance surfing during the 1970s. None other than all-around guru Gerry Lopez claims the down rail was one of the critical elements in turning shortboards into fully functional surf craft. One little-known fact about the down rail is that one of Hynson’s first test pilots for the design was none other than Herbie Fletcher!

It’s difficult to put together an exact timeline of when Hynson shaped for the various surfboard labels with which he is associated. Gordon & Smith was an early stop, and Hynson’s signature red fin model is still coveted by collectors today. Hynson worked at Hobie and also founded Rainbow Surfboards in 1970, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing.

The board pictured above is a rare example of a Hynson shaped downrailer that was created for Bahne during Hynson’s brief tenure at the brand, which took place between 1969 and 1970. It is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, and you can find a link to the board here. The Bahne Hynson downrailer measures 6’8″ and it has been restored by Sam Cody, who works on glassing boards at Bing Surfboards today.

Hynson Surfboards Bahne Downrailer 6.jpg
You can clearly see the down rail design in the picture above. This may look pretty unremarkable by modern standards, but that’s the point: compared to Transition Era boards in the late 1960s, Hynson’s down rail designs represented huge performance gains

According to the seller, Bahne produced these downrailers in production quantities during 1969 and 1970, and the boards were shaped by Hynson himself. (Stoked-n-Board claims Hynson shaped for Bahne only during 1970; however, both Surfy Surfy and the board’s seller claim 1969 was the year Hynson started, so I’m going with 1969.) There is no signature on the board. Nonetheless, I believe the seller’s account, given that he is a current surfboard industry executive and a knowledgeable collector. The seller also took the board to both Bill Bahne and Mike Hynson, who confirmed that the board was shaped during 1969 / 1970 in the old Bahne factory, which was located on top of the hill on Westlake in Encinitas.

Hynson Surfboards Bahne Downrailer 9.jpg
Appropriately mystical spray job by Gary Brummett

But wait! There’s even more back story. The seller believes the airbrush was done by Gary Brummett, an artist who also did some pinline and resin work with Surfboards Hawaii. The seller initially showed the board to Peter St. Pierre, founder of Moonlight Glassing and father of the owner of Leucadia shop Surfy Surfy. It was St. Pierre who identified the airbrush as being the work of Gary Brummett.

While the Bahne Hynson downrailer above doesn’t bear a Hynson signature, there are a few other Bahne boards that do.

Surfy Surfy Bahne Mike Hynson.jpg
Bahne Mike Hynson surfboard, as originally seen on Surfy Surfy. Click through to their blog for more pics of the board, which is another example of a 1969 downrailer.

To no one’s surprise, Surfy Surfy has a great example of a different Bahne / Hynson board. See the photo above. It’s interesting to see the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” laminate right beneath the Bahne logo.

Hynson Surfboards Bahne Downrailer.jpg
Another example of a Bahne / Hynson collaboration. Even though Hynson definitely shaped for Bahne, I tend to think the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” logo is a laminate. Pic via Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Facebook)

There’s another example of a Bahne Hynson shape on Facebook. You can find the link to the board here. The board is also dated to the late 1960s, according to the poster. I highly recommend clicking through, as the board has a beautiful acid splash paint job and it is in beautiful condition.

Hynson Surfboards and its creator have a long and illustrious history that is well-deserving of another, more in-depth post. In the meantime, however, enjoy the evidence of Hynson’s time at legendary Bahne Surfboards. Finally, you can find a link to the Bahne / Hynson downrailer being offered for sale here.

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (Oct 6)

Greetings, Shredderz! I hope a weekend chock full of tasty waves is on the forecast. In the meantime, see below for a selection of some wonderful boards that have recently caught the eyes of the Shred Sledz editorial staff.

Ben Aipa. Town & Country Surfboards. Neon.

There is nothing else that needs to be said about this gem.

vintage Harbour Trestles Special Model #3920 @harbour_surfboards

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There’s actually a Harbour Trestle Special for sale on eBay right now. You can find the eBay board here. Unfortunately, the example that’s being sold isn’t in great condition, which is more or less expected, given the age of the board. The example above is super clean and it also has a great close-up shot of the fin. We’re big fans of Rich Harbour here at Shreddies, and we’re always on the lookout for a particularly cherry example of a Harbour Trestle Special!

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I didn’t realize the iconic Larry Bertlemann twin fin board with the Pepsi spray job was also produced in Australia until I saw both posts above. LB’s legendary board is begging for a more in-depth feature. Stay tuned…

One classic found in a 1982 issue of @surfinglife … 🌴

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Hilarious Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad from back in the 1980s. According to the caption, the ad originally appeared in Australian Surfing Life magazine. I had always thought Nectar Surfboards had only distributed Anderson’s thrusters in the US, but I guess I was mistaken!