Here’s a selection of some recent surf videos that caught my eye. Keep scrolling for more.
Jamie O’Brien was ahead of the curve when it came to vlogging — which seems to be an essential part of any up and coming pro’s self-promotion strategy these days — and he’s also collected a bunch of rad Eighties boards on the sly. At some point, JOB was selling this awesome Shawn Stussy thruster that was made for Gotcha founder Michael Tomson. Anyway he takes out some of his toys in some fun North Shore surf in the video above, including what looks like a Larry Bertlemann twin fin.
Craig Anderson and Kai Neville dropped a new clip without any warning, and the reception has been great. I know a lot of vintage surfboard fans don’t care for Firewire and Haydenshapes, but I happen to admire what both brands have done. Check out the last segment, where Anderson pilots an interesting looking Haydenshape single fin through some gorgeous left hand barrels.
This one is just a trailer, and a brief one at that, but I’m intrigued by the release of Fantastic Acid‘s new movie, “Interstellar Low Ways.” Monsieur Acid is based in France, where he shapes hulls, glasses boards, publishes books, and pilots some alternative surf craft through some inviting-looking waves. The film is available on DVD through the Fantastic Acid website.
Greetings, Shredderz! Happy Father’s Day to you and yours. Speaking of fathers, here’s a board from Herbie Fletcher, dad to Nathan and Christian, grandfather to pro skater Greyson, and husband to wife Dibi. I’ve written about the Fletcher clan many times before, including some cool old Astrodeck ads. Herbie is something of a renaissance man: he invented the surfboard traction pad; he is an artist who has collaborated with Julian Schnabel; and helped pioneer the modern surf video. But given Shred Sledz is primarily a blog about vintage surfboards, it’s only natural that we would focus on Herbie’s accomplishments as a shaper.
I covered this in an earlier post, but for the longest time I didn’t grasp the significance of Fletcher’s famous arrow logo. Fletcher, as it turns out, means arrow maker. Herbie talks about the personal significance of the arrow on his website, which adds some gravitas to his logo choice, beyond the fact it happens to look cool. One of Fletcher’s most famous surfboard designs is his square nose noserider. Sadly, I can’t find any interviews or first hand material online about the origins of Herbie Fletcher’s square nose surfboard. All I can tell you is that Herbie has shaped and ridden square nose boards for years. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Fletcher founded his eponymous surfboard label in 1976. During the Seventies and Eighties, when the rest of the surf scene had fully embraced the shortboard, Fletcher was one of the few advocates for longboards and the art of noseriding. I imagine his square nose boards were shaped for better noseriding — or, at least, more convenient toe placement — but I can’t say for sure.
There’s currently an intriguing Herbie Fletcher square nose surfboard for sale on Craigslist. As you see in the photo above, it’s a doozy. When I first saw the ad, I assumed the board was a longboard. In fact, it turns out the board measures in at a tidy 7’2″.
On an aesthetic level, I’m a sucker for any surfboard with wings. There’s something so cool about the curves, particularly when they’re slightly fluted, as the wings on this board seem to be. There is an undeniable visual flair to the square nose Herbie Fletcher board pictured here. You don’t have to know about surfboards to take one look at the outline and go “wow, that thing looks awesome.” And, if you’re like me and you like to geek out on laminates and placement, I think the two small arrow logos right near the wings are a killer, subtle touch.
At first, I was surprised to see that the square nose board was only 7’2″. But a little bit of digging — particularly on Dibi Fletcher’s Instagram — revealed some very similar Herbie Fletcher boards.
As you can see in the Instagram post immediately above, Dibi describes a board called the “Killer Model”, which is a mini version of Herbie’s square nose longboard. The Killer Model in the photo above measures in at 6’10”, putting it in the same ballpark as the yellow Craigslist board featured in this post. Herbie shaped the Killer Model for himself in order to navigate the barrels at V Land on Oahu’s North Shore. There’s no mention of the Star Wars airbrush, but it’s awesome. Dibi describes the Killer Model mini square nose as a sting running into a pintail. I believe that the yellow Craigslist board is almost certainly a Herbie Fletcher Killer Model, too.
I’m not sure whether the yellow Fletcher surfboard was shaped by Herbie. Fletcher, like countless other surfboard labels, employed in house shapers. (See here for a Herbie Fletcher longboard that I think was shaped by Tim Stamps, but it’s clearly signed by someone other than Fletcher himself.) I also can’t say whether the Craigslist board was one of Herbie’s personal boards. That said, I would not be surprised to learn that the yellow board belonged to Herbie at some point, given that he clearly surfed other boards with the same outline and almost identical dimensions.
Finally, here’s a quick note about the price. The seller has listed the yellow Herbie Fletcher square nose surfboard for $1,895. On one hand, I think this is expensive, especially when considering the condition of the board. Apologies to the seller, who was kind enough to link to my original post on Herbie’s square nose surfboard on the Craigslist listing, but that’s my take. On the other hand, if the board is indeed a Herbie Fletcher personal rider, that would obviously change the math a bit. But I have no way of proving it one way or another.
At the end of the day, I don’t care too much whether the board was shaped by Herbie or if it belonged to him. Of course, all else being equal, I’d rather those things be the case. But it’s a distinctive vintage surfboard from one of the surf world’s all time characters, and to me, that’s always worth noting.
You can find the Craigslist listing here. All photos of the board in this post are via the listing.
Greetings, Shredderz! Unfortunately I’m on a bit of a tight schedule today so I won’t be able to scan any new ads. That said, I’m happy to point you in the direction of an absolutely fantastic Body Glove ad, featuring none other than Bing Copeland. The ad you see above was posted to the Classic Bing Surfboards group on Facebook, which is definitely worth checking out. There’s a nice community of collectors there who show off some really sweet vintage Bing Surfboards. The ad itself was originally posted by Haggerty’s Surf Club on Facebook. Check out the rad Bing Karma board underneath Bing’s knee, too. If I had to guess I would say this ad was published sometime in the late Sixties or early Seventies, but I’m not sure.
Thanks for reading today’s abbreviated entry and we’ll be back with more vintage surf ad scans next Thursday evening.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a prime example of one of the greatest surfboards ever made: the original Hobie Phil Edwards Model. It is a board I have written upbefore, and it’s a board that I intend to write about for as long as I keep coming across new examples. It’s also worth noting that it was Edwards’ birthday just a few days ago. One of the coolest things about the Hobie Phil Edwards Model is the fact that every single board from the original run was numbered. Here we have #463, stamped into the board’s unmistakable and beautiful foil logo. This board comes courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Aaron. Many thanks to Aaron for sharing photos of this incredible stick.
Click the photos above to enlarge. The story behind the board is pretty amazing as well. Aaron’s father was working on a house in San Diego about thirty years ago and he found the board stashed in the rafters. Later on, Aaron was working in Donald Takayama’s factory, where he fixed up the board to the state you see it in today. I am very stoked to report that Aaron continues to ride this board today! (Note: sadly, I myself am guilty of being way too precious about not riding some of the boards I own…I’ll have to address that pretty soon.)
One of my favorite features about the Hobie Phil Edwards Model is the gorgeous fin. As you can see, Aaron’s board has the classic maple reverse D fin, and it is gorgeous. Aaron’s Hobie Phil Edwards Model measures in at 9’10”. The owner estimates it weighs about 50 pounds or so, which is no joke!
Thanks again to Aaron for sharing the photos you see in this post. I absolutely love the Hobie Phil Edwards Model, in case that wasn’t already clear. To me, the board seems to be something of an expression of everything I know of Edwards’ reputation: timeless, classic style that will never get old.
Greetings, Shredderz! I’ve been seeing a lot of neat boards pop up for sale, so I decided to write up one of my recent favorites. Pictured here is a 1994 Hawaiian Pro Designs Donald Takayama DT-2 model. According to the seller, the board was ordered directly from Donald and shaped by Takayama. The DT-2 model, which is described as “Donald’s ‘all-rounder'”, continues to serve as a staple of the Surfboards by Donald Takayama lineup.
The Donald Takayama DT-2 Model featured here measures in at 9’6″ x 22 1/2″ x 3 1/16″. The board was listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego earlier this weekend, but by the time the post went live, the listing had been taken down. All photos here are via the original listing.
This is a nice, clean example of Takayama’s DT-2 Model. I really dig the blue glass on side bites and the muted cover palette. The board has all the lamiantes you’d expect from a mid-Nineties Hawaiian Pro Designs Donald Takayama stick: the script down the rails, the oval logo on the bottom, and the signature bird design.
According to the seller, there were some dings that were professionally repaired, but I can’t tell where these are. Overall, the board looks to be in very good shape.
The DT-2 model pictured in this post has an interesting signature on the stringer. It’s extremely hard to make out, and I did my best to tweak the pic a bit to bring out the text. According to the listing, the line above the stringer reads “From Dad, September 4th 1994”, and the line below lists the serial number (which is illegible) and the dimensions. The vast majority of Donald Takayama boards from this era have clear signatures on the stringer, like this example. However, the DT-2 does not. The handwriting looks very similar to Donald’s, based on the other boards I have seen. I also think it’s extremely unlikely the seller whipped up a crazy story to lie about the provenance of the board. Moreover, all the details on the board support the seller’s explanation that it was hand shaped in 1994, from the era-specific logos to the custom inscription on the stringer. I feel very confident in saying this is a Donald Takayama hand shape, and I thought the unusual inscription was worth a closer look for those who like to geek out on small details.
The seller listed the board for $745. I think this was a great price, and I’m not surprised to see that the listing was quickly taken down. I’m no fortune teller, but given Takayama’s incredible career, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his hand shaped boards continue to rise in value.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve taking a very quick peek into the market for Skip Frye surfboards. Anecdotally, I would say the market for Skip’s boards has gone bonkers recently. I say this without judgment. As someone who would love to own a Skip Frye surfboard, I’m disappointed, as the chances of me acquiring one just got slimmer. But I try not to take it personally. I have no more control over what strangers are willing to pay for Skip’s boards than the surf forecast. And if talk of used surfboard prices really makes your blood boil, well, then I’d hate be waiting in line next to you at the DMV. Anyway, here are two examples of vintage Skip Frye sales that illustrate my point. Two years ago I wrote up a rare, amazing Skip Frye single fin that sold for a measly $1K on Craigslist. I’m still kicking myself for not pouncing on it. In contrast, Mollusk was selling a 10’6″ Skip Frye Magic model for a cool $4,375 not even six months ago. It’s not an apples to apples comparison — the single fin is a vintage board that needed work; the Magic model looked newer and untouched — but I feel comfortable in saying that prices for Skip’s boards have been steadily going up and to the right.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this G&S Skip Frye surfboard that recently sold on eBay. You can find a link to the original listing here. (Note: eBay will automatically redirect you to a new listing; you’ll have to click on the G&S Skip Frye board listing to see the post). All the photos here are via the eBay listing; you can click them to enlarge.
The G&S Skip Frye surfboard pictured above is a single fin. I’m not sure which model it is, and frankly, I have trouble keeping them all straight. I’m also too lazy to look it up in the excellent Surfer’s Journal feature on Skip’s all-time quiver, but that shouldn’t stop you. The G&S Skip Frye surfboard measures in at 7’2″ x 21″. I’m not sure how thick the board is, and I’m having trouble figuring out when it was shaped. If I had to guess I would say sometime in the Eighties or the Nineties.
The final sale price for the G&S Skip Frye surfboard was $1725. I think there are two factors that potentially drove down the price. First, the board had a couple of open dings on the rails and the tail. However, according to the listing, there were limited pressure dings, and the board didn’t have any twist or delam. Second, the board was available only for local pickup from Ormond Beach, Florida.
Even so, I would say this is a relatively well-priced board — only when measuring by the insane standards for Skip’s boards, of course. $1725 for a board you have to pick up from Florida and still requires a little ding repair is a lot to swallow. On the other hand, it’s a Skip Frye. On a personal level, I love the boards Skip shaped for G&S over the years. There is something timeless about the combo between the G&S bowtie logo and the septuagenarian San Diego craftsman’s signature angel wings.
If you think I’m crazy for even attempting to justify this price for a used surfboard, well, I can’t say you’re wrong. Ultimately, a surfboard is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and in the case of this G&S Skip Frye surfboard, the market Gods — benevolent or otherwise — have spoken.
This time around there’s another ad from the venerable Victoria wetsuit brand, but featuring Larry “The Rubberman” Bertlemann. Before I flipped open a magazine just a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know that Bertlemann had ever ridden for Rip Curl. And a very quick and incomplete Google Image search didn’t turn up with any other good photos of Bertlemann rocking any Rip Curl gear, either.
But hey, the Rubberman can be seen not-so-subtly pointing to the Rip Curl logo in the ad you see above, so that should settle it. This ad ran in the May 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 21, No 6).
And given that this is a blog about vintage surfboards, you know I’m going to have to geek out on the surfboard. If you look closely, you can see some Byrne logos towards the tail of Larry’s stick. Byrne Surfboards was founded in the Seventies by Australian brothers Phil and Chris. According to the Byrne website, during the Seventies the Byrne brothers were frequent visitors to Hawaii. During this time they struck up working relationships with both Shaun Tomson and Larry Bertlemann. Later on, Phil Byrne would gain even more attention for his collaborations with Tom Carroll.
This Rip Curl ad features the only example I have seen of a Byrne surfboard shaped for Larry Bertlemann. I can only guess that these are quite rare.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in a week with more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick hit for you. I’ve been on a bit of a Santa Cruz kick lately, including a ridiculous Steve Coletta / Natural Shapes Surfboards single fin I wrote up a few days back. Today’s blog post features a board from none other than Doug Haut, who has been a pillar of Santa Cruz’s board building scene for decades. The board is a 1979 single fin and it was briefly listed on Craigslist for $225 before the listing was pulled. I can only guess that another enterprising collector snagged the thing. All the photos in this post are via the Craigslist post, which is no longer live.
This Doug Haut Surfboards single fin measures in 7’0″ and 20.5″. The thickness is unclear, but I feel safe in saying that it’s probably got more than enough float for whatever you’re looking to do with it. As you can see in the photos, it’s got a beautiful outline, courtesy of probably the best known shaper in Northern California.
The board features a neat wedge stringer design and the original fin. As you can see in the photos, it’s not in flawless condition. There’s a decent amount of discoloration, a bunch of spots, and the tail has obviously seen better days. Still, though, there’s something about this board that I absolutely love.
If you ended up snagging this stick, I’d love to hear from you! Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this gorgeous Seventies single fin from master shaper Doug Haut.
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another edition of Quivers of Distinction. This series features some rad quivers from individual collectors who were kind enough to share pics and info with yours truly. Today quiver belongs to Mike Essner from Maui, who has built up a sweet selection of Bing surfboards over the years. Check out the photos below and click to enlarge. Thanks to Mike for sharing all the photos you see here.
As you can see in the photos above, Mike has a couple of noseriders, and then no less than four Bonzers. Three of the Bonzers are Bing Bonzers, and the fourth is an Eaton Bonzer.
The Bing Bonzer you see above is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a classic example of the initial run of Bing Bonzer surfboards, with the super deep concave in the tail and the branded side bite fins. It looks to have an original Rainbow fin on it, too.
In contrast, the board above, while also a Bing Bonzer, looks like a later edition. I can’t tell who shaped the first Bing Bonzer — the orange board with the red and black Rainbow fin — but the one immediately above this paragraph looks to be a later model, and I’m almost certain it’s a Mike Eaton creation. Check out the small center fin, and the pintail outline is very reminiscent of other Eaton Bonzers I have seen, including this example of an Eaton Bonzer sporting an incredible airbrush.
Thank you to Mike for sharing! If you own a quiver packed to the gills with some heat, shoot me an email because I’d love to see it!
Greetings, Shredderz! This Sunday we’ve got a smattering of sledz for your perusing pleasure, as part of our Weekend Grab Bag series. It’s been a while since we last ran one of these entries. The last time around we featured some cool Donald Takayama surfboards. The rules for the Weekend Grab Bag are simple: scroll below for some photos of surfboards that are currently listed for sale online, along with links to the sale listings and some commentary. Without any further ado, let’s take a peek at the goods!
This is a gorgeous vintage board shaped by Steve Coletta of Natural Curves Surfboards. Coletta is a longtime Santa Cruz shaper. As someone who occasionally samples the right hand points of Santa Cruz, I have a fondness for vintage boards from the area: here’s a stunning Rick Noe / Steamer Lane Surfboards single fin, and I’ve always got my eye peeled for any Chuck Vinson shapes. Anyway, the Steve Coletta stick pictured above is 7’7″ of single fin goodness with some killer details. Check out the technicolor tail block and the gorgeous glass on wooden fin. The seller is asking $380. I think this is an attractive price, but as always, that’s up to the market and not me. [EDIT: I had originally described the board as a Seventies single fin; according to the original listing it was shaped in 1981.]
This Shaun Tomson Model can be found tucked away on California’s Central Coast. The board isn’t in spectacular condition, and I think it might be a tad pricey considering the condition (asking price is $300), but I really dig this thing. Tomson, of course, is one of the greatest surfers of the Seventies, if not all time, and I love the swooping airbrush. This board has a nice glass on fin, too.
Here at Shred Sledz we’ve featured a ton of Donald Takayama’s boards. Unsurprisingly, most are longboards, with some other templates mixed in here and there. However, you don’t really see a ton of straight up Takayama thrusters out there. This board has some clear Eighties influence with the wide point pushed pretty far back, and the short-lived 2+1 fin setup. I’m curious about where the price will end up. The board is $147.50 as of the time of this blog post, with three and a half days still left in the auction.