Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an amazing 70s single fin that comes courtesy of Rich Cicala, who reached out on Instagram. The surfboard featured in this post is a 70s Bob Krause Channel Islands Surfboards single fin, and it is loaded with all sorts of old school goodies.
First, a primer: for those of you unfamiliar with Channel Islands Surfboards, the Santa Barbara label is the brainchild of Al Merrick. Merrick is one of the few people alive with a legitimate claim to being the greatest (or, at the very least, most influential) surfboard shaper of all time. Starting sometime in the 1980s, Channel Islands began to produce surfboards en masse. While the Channel Islands label is still the most recognizable brand in the surfboard industry, boards actually hand shaped by Al Merrick himself are harder to find.
Any recent Channel Islands board that doesn’t have an Al signature was likely made by either a ghost shaper or a shaping machine, or both. What’s interesting about the board featured above is despite the fact it was shaped in the 1970s, before Channel Islands began mass production, it was not shaped by Al Merrick, but a gentleman by the name of Bob Krause.
There isn’t much information about Bob Krause available online. Sadly, I was able to find this Swaylocks thread that indicated Krause passed away in 2001 during a surf trip to Costa Rica. Krause also gets a shout out in a Facebook post from Bruce Fowler of Fountain of Youth Surfboards, which you can find here. There’s a logo attributed to The Surfing Underground and Krause / Fowler Surfboards on Stanley’s Surfboard Logo Library, but no examples of any boards.
7’2” Channel Islands shaped by Bob Krause. I’ve been looking for a Bob Krause board for awhile now. One of the first boards I tried to surf was a BK “good board” mini gun that was my uncles. Some ass hat broke it half with his foot and took it to the landfill…still pissed about it. Thanks to @shred__sledz for finding this one for me. #vintagesurfboards #bobkrause #bk #channelislandsurfboards
I’ve only seen one other Bob Krause Channel Islands board, which you can see above. You’ll notice the similarities between the Instagram board and the red and yellow board featured in this post. Both feature an old school Channel Islands logo, which consists of a simple black outline of the hexagon iconography and a text overlay. I also dig the comparatively subdued colors on the hexagons for both boards, which seems common for 70s Channel Islands.
The red and yellow Bob Krause Channel Islands single fin has a racy double wing design in the tail. You can just make it out in the picture at the top of the page. Sadly, I don’t have any dimensions on the board, just the photos you can see here.
I’m not sure when Krause shaped for Channel Islands, but the board was clearly made during the 1970s. At some point I imagine Krause left the label, but I was unable to find any information online. If you have any more info on Bob Krause and his surfboards, please drop me a line, as I’d love to learn more about this Santa Barbara shaper.