Bob Krause Channel Islands Surfboards 70s Single Fin

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.

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.

The Severson Files from Surfer Magazine

Surfer Magazine just published this short, lovely video on their YouTube channel. John Severson, of course, was the founder of Surfer Magazine. Sadly, Severson passed away last year, but not without leaving an indelible mark on the sport. The video features some classic longboarding paired with truly spectacular California conditions, and a fantastic jazz soundtrack, to boot. This might be the most enjoyable three minutes I’ve spent on YouTube this whole year.

Social Media Roundup (April 20 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! We have another Social Media Roundup on deck, just in time to take you into the weekend. Without any further ado, here come some hand picked selections from the various transmissions across the world wide web…

It is Frye-day, after all, and as a policy, Shred Sledz celebrates neon in all its shapes and forms. Check out that sweet Gordon & Smith Skip Frye fish on the left!

RIP Willy Morris, who sadly passed away this week. He leaves behind a legacy of leadfooted power surfing. During his heyday in the 1980s, Morris surfed a variety of colorful Al Merrick-shaped Channel Islands thrusters, one of which you can see above.

Kim, Renny, and Roger pose with a 1968 8'8" Yater mini-gun in perfect condition.

A post shared by Marc Andreini (@marcandreini) on

Marc Andreini counts Renny Yater as a major influence and the photo above makes it easy to see why. Much is made of Yater’s timeless longboards, and I personally love his 70s single fins, but the mini-gun posted above is one of the coolest (and cleanest) Yaters I have seen in some time.

I’ve posted about the Campbell Brothers here many times, but they are a must-follow on Instagram. You can always count on Malcolm and Duncan to post amazing pictures from the early days of the Bonzer’s development.

I don’t think the old school Hawaiian Island Creations logo gets enough love. I posted a similar board on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I think the one above is an even better example. Also, this board has some serious history — it was actually shaped by Ellis Ericson’s father back in the day, and the board’s current owner has generously agreed to return it back to the family. Make sure you swipe to see the Surf Line Hawaii laminate on the bottom, too.

It has been a busier than usual week here at Shred Sledz HQ. If you’ve made it this far, I’d just like to thank you for reading. Hope your weekend is chock full of vintage sticks and tasty waves, and don’t forget to hit me up if you have any rad boards you’d like to share.

Bing Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of Sagas of Shred. Today we’re featuring an ad from Bing Surfboards. Bing, of course, belongs on any reasonable person’s short list of the greatest California surfboard brands. The ad featured above originally ran in Surfer Magazine in 1965.

The Bing Surfboards ad comes courtesy of Bill Robbins. Robbins was the photographer who shot the image in question. Bill is still a photographer, and you can check out his website here, and he can also be found on Instagram here.

It’s interesting that the ad specifically calls out Surf Line Hawaii as a Bing Surfboards stockist. This must have been in the early days of Surf Line Hawaii’s existence. I also love the line for Clark Foam. While Clark Foam would later become a surf industry behemoth, in the mid-1960s there was a bit more competition.

As always, thanks for reading, and check back in a week for more Sagas of Shred.

Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going back to one of the most interesting eras in all of surfboard design: the famous Transition Era of the late 1960s. The Shred Sledz editorial staff — i.e., me — lives and surfs in California, and as a result, the blog has a tendency to focus on the Golden State. But I love Australia, and I leap at any opportunity to write up great vintage Aussie surfboards. Today’s post features some cross-Pacific collaboration in the form of a Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom model that was likely shaped between late 1968 and early 1969.

The G&S Farrelly V Bottom pictured above was originally listed for sale on Craigslist in North Carolina, although the listing has since been taken down. I wrote an earlier post on the Farrelly V Bottom, which you can find here. In retrospect, the post was a bit confusing, as it included examples of both the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom (identical to the one featured on this post), as well as the G&S Farrelly Stringlerless, which are in fact two distinct models.

Luckily, Geoff Cater of the incomparable Surf Research — which is a must read — was able to share some more info on the development of Farrelly’s boards. (Check out Surf Research’s entry on Midget Farrelly for a thorough history on the Australian and his designs.)

The Gordon & Smith Farrelly Stringerless model came first in around 1966. Frankly, this date surprised me — I had expected the board to be produced starting around the later part of the decade.

The Stringerless model was succeeded by the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom, which is the board pictured here. The logo at the top of the page is a giveaway that this is a Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom, and not a Farrelly Stringerless. The logo is actually a take on the original Farrelly Surfboards logo, with a tweak whereby Farrelly’s Palm Beach address is replaced with the “Gordon & Smith Surfboards USA” text.

Back in Australia, the board was also known as the Speed Squaretail, and I believe it was produced under Farrelly’s own surfboard label, versus the Gordon & Smith brand.

As for the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom featured here, the board measures in at 8’4″, and it has a W.A.V.E. Set fin box. Thankfully the seller included some nice photos in the listing, which clearly show the vee bottom as well as the chunky dimensions of the tail. The asking price was $1,500, and sadly there’s no way of telling the sale price.

Thanks to Geoff Cater for info on this awesome Transition Era board, and don’t forget to visit Surf Research.

Another Rick Hamon Aipa Sting

Greetings, Shredderz! If you already follow along on Instagram — and if you don’t, I’d like to think it’s worth your time — the board featured above probably looks familiar. I posted the photo of this Rick Hamon Aipa Sting (produced under the Surfing’s New Image label) over the weekend, and then decided it was worth a brief post.

I’ve written about Rick Hamon’s work for Surfing’s New Image a few times before, including this post on the difference between the SNI / Aipa boards and those actually shaped by Ben Aipa himself. The Rick Hamon Aipa sting featured here is a gorgeous board, and it bears a striking resemblance to another SNI sting I wrote up a few weeks back.

The board has a stunning rainbow gradient spray job complemented by a simple but perfect red pinline around the edge of the board. It’s one of the cleaner examples I have come across. It’s still for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles, and you can find the listing here. The Rick Hamon Aipa sting is 6’9″ long and the seller is asking $2,500. As flawless as this board appears, I think the $2,500 price is way too expensive. (By contrast, another SNI / Aipa sting in good condition sold for $600 in San Diego, which I would say is a bit on the cheap side).

Aipa Sting Surfing's New Image Rick Hamon 1.jpg
If you look closely at the top rail, you can see the subtle fluting, resulting in an elevated wing.

That said, I love the subtle fluting that appears on the wings. See the picture above — you can just make out the curve at the top of the photo.

I have seen Aipa / Rick Hamon stings both with and without fluted rails. (Also, I’m not entirely sure if these are considered proper fluted wings, as I have seen boards where the fluting appears on the deck side, versus the bottom). Below is an example that doesn’t have any fluting on the wings, as you can clearly see in the photos. (This is the same board featured in my last Rick Hamon Aipa sting post.)

Rick Hamon Aipa Sting.png
Another super duper clean example of an Aipa sting by Rick Hamon and Surfing’s New Image. There’s no fluting on the wings on the bottom — they are completely flush with the rest of the board. This board measures in at 7’4″.

On the other hand, here is yet another Aipa Surfing’s New Image sting with clear fluting in the rails. It also has the same rainbow gradient spray job that seems to have been so popular among many of Hamon’s shapes during this time. The board below even has the identical red pinline work, too.

I don’t think the board featured at the top of the page is worth $2,500, but the more I see the Rick Hamon / Surfing’s New Image / Aipa sting boards, the more appreciation I gain for this cool variant on one of the signature surfboard designs of the 1970s. You can check out the board here.

Late 1960s Rick Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! For today’s post we have a neat Transition Era board from one of my favorite surfboard brands ever: Rick Surfboards. Rick Surfboards was the eponymous label from Rick Stoner, Bing Copeland’s former business partner and South Bay, Los Angeles lifeguard. For more background on Rick Surfboards, check out this Deep Dive on the brand’s 1960s longboards, as well as this complementary piece on the Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail model. The BK model is particularly interesting because it bears a striking similarity to the Rick single fin featured here. Keep reading for a more detailed breakdown on the board.

First, the Rick single fin featured here is currently being listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. All pics in the post are via the Craigslist listing, which can be found here. First, shout out to the seller, who was kind enough to supply a number of very detailed pics of the board. Second, the Rick single fin measures in at 8’2″ and a generous 22.5″ width, and the seller claims the board was shaped during 1968. This date is certainly supported by the dimensions of the board, as well as the unmistakable W.A.V.E. Set fin box.

That all being said, I am struck by the similarities between the Rick single fin featured here and the Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail. The BK Pintail model was also shaped during the late 1960s, and as you can see in the picture below, it boasts a similar outline. Both boards have relatively wide noses and mid-sections that taper into aggressive pintails. I have seen versions of the BK Pintail that had glassed on fins, instead of W.A.V.E. Set boxes, but as you can see below, the Pintail was clearly made with both options.

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail via Surfboardline
Example of a Rick Surfboards BK Pintail. Pic via Buggs and his insane collection, which you can see more of on Surfboardline.com

Most of the Rick single fin boards I have seen are classic 70s single fins. Transition Era Rick single fin boards are a bit harder to come by (with the exception of the BK Pintail). Check out Buggs’ collection on Surfboardline.com for more examples of other late 1960s Rick boards, and you’ll notice that they have very different outlines from the single fin featured here.

My guess is the Rick single fin featured in this post is a BK Pintail model that is missing its laminates. I have no way of proving it, of course, but the outline is distinctive. Even the logo is the same (minus any mention of Barry Kanaiaupuni).

Rick Single Fin Logo
This is the same exact logo you’ll see on Rick BK Pintails — and other Rick Surfboards from that era — but there’s no mention of Kanaiaupuni anywhere.

This is not to say that the Rick single fin featured here is a rare variant. If anything, I think it’s probably reflective of the informal ways surfboards were made back then. It could even be as simple as they ran out of laminates at the factory the day this board was made, or something along those lines.

The seller is asking $300 for the board. It’s in need of some more work — again, shout out to the seller for providing such detailed pics — but in my mind, this is a fair price for a unusual Transition Era board from one of my favorite surfboard logos ever. If you’re interested, you can check out the listing here.

Town & Country Dane Kealoha Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Pictured above is an absolutely classic advertisement from perhaps the greatest Hawaiian surf brand ever: Town & Country Surf Designs. I ran an old T&C Surf Designs ad from 1979 in an earlier installment of Sagas of Shred, which you can see here.  I can say, however, that the T&C ad above, which appeared in Surfer Magazine in 1982, is way better. The gentleman on the far right holding the board is none other than Hawaiian powerhouse Dane Kealoha, who is still one of the most memorable brand ambassadors in Town & Country’s long and storied history.

While much is made of Kealoha’s powerful style, his boards were just as eye-catching. Dane Kealoha rode for Town & Country for many years. Kealoha’s career started in the late 1970s, when he was still a teenager, and his stint on tour ended in 1983 at the early age of 25 due to some unfortunate behind the scenes political maneuvering. (Check out the EoS entry for Dane Kealoha for more info, and please subscribe if you don’t already!)

The timing of Kealoha’s career means that he can be seen riding a wide variety of boards, matching the changes in surfboard design that happened between the 1970s and the dawn of the thruster age. While everyone loves the outrageous spray jobs on 80s thrusters (more on that below), I love seeing shots of Dane surfing beefy-looking 70s single fins.

Town & Country T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha.jpg
Pretty sure this is a single fin, but Kealoha’s insistence on burying the rail makes it a little difficult to tell. Photo via Surf Europe Mag; photo is by Dan Merkel / A Frame

And as you can see in the advertisement featured at the top of the page, Kealoha also surfed twin fins during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Buggs of Surfboardline.com has an amazing example of a T&C Surf Designs twin fin Dane Kealoha model, which you can check out here.

Of course, no post on Town & Country and Dane Kealoha would be complete without a mention of the thrusters he surfed during the 1980s. Below is a pretty classic example of a T&C Surf Designs board with an outrageous color scheme and spray job.

Dane Kealoha Aaron Lloyd Encyclopedia of Surfing.jpg
Dane Kealoha, putting it on a rail at Sunset Beach in 1985. Photo is by Aaron Lloyd and I found the picture via the Encyclopedia of Surfing. The board is almost certainly a thruster.

Hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of the highlights from the Town & Country / Dane Kealoha years. As always, check in next week for more Sagas of Shred, and thanks for reading.

Christian Fletcher Surfboards by Steve Boysen

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have one of the greatest ever surfboards from the late 1980s / early 1990s: a beautiful example of a Christian Fletcher Surfboards stick shaped by Oceanside, California shaper Steve Boysen.

The board pictured above was briefly posted on Craigslist, but the seller tells me he has since traded the board. Sorry if you had your heart set on this thing! The seller, a gentleman named Mark, emailed me these pics a few days ago but I didn’t get around to posting the photos until now. Thank you for the pics, Mark, and sorry I couldn’t get this done sooner!

As you can see in the photos above, the board boasts all the details we have come to expect from Christian Fletcher Surfboards, including the signature skull logo. The board featured here has a nice little tie dye pattern airbrush towards the rails, which I haven’t seen before.

Christian Fletcher Surfboard Steve Boysen 4

The board also features some pretty pronounced double concave in the tail, which you can clearly see in the picture above. There also some sweet two-tone glass-on fins.

Christian Fletcher Surfboard Steve Boysen 6

Boysen also signed the board near the stringer, and it’s clearly dated to 1989.

Christian Fletcher Surfboard Steve Boysen 7

Given the popularity of the Christian Fletcher Surfboards label, you would think there would be more information available about the brand online. But I have yet to find a definitive history of the label. Instead, I’m forced to make do with the occasional  Christian Fletcher Surfboards example that pops up for sale every now and then. Christian Fletcher Surfboards was advertised as its own brand; but Fletcher also rode boards that boasted both Christian Fletcher Surfboards and Town & Country Surfboards laminates. Christian Fletcher Surfboards were also produced with a number of different shapers, including Peter Benjamin, Nev Hyman, Chris McElroy and Randy Sleigh. If I had to guess, I would say the most common shaper I have seen with Christian Fletcher Surfboards is Steve Boysen, whose logo is immediately recognizable.

I think these Christian Fletcher Surfboards examples are primed to show up at auctions in future years, given that these boards have a passionate following. It’s for good reason, too: beyond the logo, which is a perfect visual encapsulation of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Fletcher will always stand out as one of the sport’s most fascinating characters.

Rory “The Dog” Russell for Lightning Bolt: Sagas of Shred

Surfing is a sport known for its colorful characters. Even against this crowded backdrop, though, Rory “The Dog” Russell stands out. As always, Matt Warshaw’s peerless Encyclopedia of Surfing puts it best: “Happy, hedonistic tuberiding specialist from the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii; Pipeline Masters winner in 1976 and 1977.”

Russell was a North Shore standout during the 1970s, and there are tons of pictures of him charging sizable Pipeline riding the unmistakable Lightning Bolt single fins that dominated the decade.

Rory Russell Pipeline 1975 Jeff Divine via The Surfer's Journal.jpg
Russell, about to get pitted at Pipe. Photo by Jeff Divine; via The Surfer’s Journal
Young Rory Russell.jpg
A young Rory Russell, more pup than Dog in this picture, waxing up. Pic via Lightning Bolt

The Lightning Bolt ad at the top of the page ran in the August 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 23, No. 8). For a good chunk of the Eighties Lightning Bolt ads occupied the coveted back cover on Surfer Magazine, and this time period yielded some pretty classic material, including the spot featured above.

The Lightning Bolt ad is a not so subtle play on Russell’s  nickname, “The Dog”, and his reputation as a ladies’ man. As unlikely as it might seem, the copy on the advertisement is every bit as good as the classic photo of Russell grinning in a sea of blondes.

“A roving ambassador and captain of Team Bolt, Rory Russell travels the world in search of the perfect wave and the ultimate lifestyle.

Aside from his surfing exploits, Rory is famous for his fun-loving attitude and is a widely proclaimed afficionado (sic) of beachwear and the casual lifestyle. Rory invited this very special group of friends to show his pick to click in Bolt for Gals Swimwear for the summer of ’82…

…and a hot one it is, thanks Rory.

As a general rule of thumb, anyone who can be described as a “widely proclaimed aficionado of beachwear and the casual lifestyle” has nothing more to prove to anyone. Ever. I don’t even know what being a casual lifestyle aficionado would entail, nor do I care. If you look closely, you’ll notice all the women in the ad are wearing matching Lightning Bolt necklaces, which is the cherry on top of the figurative sundae.

Thanks for checking out this installment of Sagas of Shred, and as always, swing back around next Thursday for more.