Jeff Ho for Vissla

I can’t say I’m too interested in what the surfwear industry has been up to lately. This is a far cry from my grommethood, when I once made my dad drive forty five minutes so I could get a specific Hurley backpack I had spotted in Surfer Magazine (thanks Pops!). There is perhaps no surer sign of the surf industry’s decline than Billabong and Quiksilver’s muted merger into a single entity owned by a private equity fund. I can’t be sure, but something tells me that Oaktree Capital Management isn’t jumping into the surf business to make sure the rest of us stay stoked.

One recent project did catch my eye, though, and that was Jeff Ho’s recently announced capsule collection for Vissla. Jeff Ho is the legendary shaper behind cult Los Angeles surf and skate label Zephyr. Born in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Zephyr helped usher in the sport of skateboarding and it also introduced the world to figures like CR Stecyk III.

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A classic Jeff Ho graffiti piece. POP stands for Pacific Ocean Park. Photo via Cave Gallery

To commemorate the launch of Vissla’s Jeff Ho collection, Surfline launched a feature on the Pacific Ocean Park Pier. POP Pier was a wave that broke in the shadows of an abandoned amusement park located directly on the beach in Santa Monica. I highly recommend checking out Surfline’s post, which features some amazing photos of POP Pier in all its dystopian glory. The shots of POP Pier make me think of the movie “Escape From LA” should have been.

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None other than Miki Dora surfing the POP Pier. Dora was apparently one of the few non-Dogtown locals who managed to surf POP without getting run out of town. Photo by Brent Lieberman, and originally posted on Surfline’s site.

It feels a little strange to write an ode to a spot that I, as an outsider with very limited surfing ability, would never have been allowed to surf in a million years. But what can I say? Zephyr, like its hometown of Los Angeles, combines grittiness and beauty into something undeniably compelling.

You can check out the Surfline feature on POP Pier here, and you can check out Jeff Ho’s Vissla collection here.

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Single Fin: Price Checks

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick update from eBay on an interesting and collectible surfboard: a stunning Lightning Bolt Rory Russell model. What immediately catches my eye is the fact this board is a single fin. I’ve written up two previous Lightning Bolt Rory Russell models, both of which were twin fins. I don’t have any info on how many single fins were made compared to twin fins, but maybe there’s a Shred Sledz Deep Dive to be written on the subject of Russell’s signature model.

The board pictured above recently sold on eBay for a cool $2,400 — technically $2300 and change, plus a nominal shipping fee. All photos are via the original eBay listing, which you can find here. I’m not totally surprised by the price. However, I think there are some interesting aspects to consider. First, $2,400 is pretty rarefied air for surfboards. Second, I am a little taken aback that someone ponied up this kind of cash for a Lightning Bolt that isn’t a classic Seventies single fin, a la Gerry Lopez and company. My guess is the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell single fin was shaped in the early Eighties, judging by the outline of the board and the graphics, including the logo you can see at the top of the page.

That said, it’s not hard to see why the board commanded a high price. It looks all original, and while there are some small dings here and there, including some open spots on the tail, it’s in otherwise incredible shape. It also goes without saying that the airbrush is killer, and if there’s one thing you should know about Shred Sledz, it’s that we are certified Airbrush Aficionados (TM).

Finally, I’m not sure who shaped the board. My guess is that the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell model was mass produced somewhere in the continental US, likely by ghost shapers outside of Bolt’s original roster.

Once again, you can check out the eBay listing for the board here.

Brad Gerlach for Rip Curl: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Some exciting developments are afoot here at the world’s lowest budget vintage surfboard blog: I finally ponied up for a scanner, which means fresh material for Sagas of Shred, the weekly series featuring a vintage surf ad every Thursday evening. First up is technically only half of a Rip Curl ad from the January 1988 issue of Surfer Mag (Vol. 29, No. 1), featuring Brad Gerlach and co-starring his truly flawless head of lettuce. Between the volume, the sun bleach, and the styling, it’s a real murderer’s row.

Sagas of Shred often ends up as the expression of my fascination with Eighties surf culture, which lies somewhere between nostalgia tinged affection and outright amusement at the things that haven’t aged as well. But this Rip Curl suit still looks dope today, a good thirty plus years after the ad originally ran. That color scheme is awesome, and I love all the details in the suit, whether it’s the uneven line of the top, or the futuristic knee pads. Vader is a pretty badass name for a wetsuit line, copyright infringement and all. The rainbow hued Rip Curl logo clearly hails from earlier times, but I would argue it has aged handsomely. It’s also worth noting that Gerr seems to be drinking from the fountain of youth himself, given that he’s in his early fifties and still absolutely rips.

The funny part is the second half of this Rip Curl ad actually features Tom Curren doing a nice off the top on a vintage Channel Islands Al Merrick board. I’ll scan it at some point and probably share it on Instagram, but what can I say? I actually found Gerr and the wetsuit more interesting, somehow.

Thanks for checking out the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, and don’t forget to pop back in next week for even more vintage surf advertisements and other assorted goodness.

Morey Pope 3/4 Camel: Transition Era Displacement Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s no secret that displacement hulls have enjoyed a resurgence lately, thanks to shapers like Greg Liddle, Marc Andreini and many others. But today’s example is a hull from one of the most interesting and influential figures in the history of surfcraft: Tom Morey. Morey Pope was the collaboration between Tom Morey and Karl Pope. The brand was responsible for some of the most fascinating and coveted designs during the Transition Era. Morey Pope’s line of Camel branded shortboards represents some of its most recognizable creations. While I’ve seen various Morey Pope Camel shapes before, including the Sopwith Camel, and then what a seller claimed to be a predecessor of the Camel line, I can’t find any detailed info on the differences between the various Camel models.

The reason behind this post, however, is an unusual Morey Pope board that I have never seen before: The 3/4 Camel. I’m not sure what the name means, but I’m guessing it might be a smaller version of the standard Camel. The board featured in this post is listed for sale on Craigslist in New Jersey, and as of the time the post was written, it was still for sale. You can find the Craigslist post here.

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Check out that classic hull bottom!

The Morey Pope 3/4 Camel has a distinctive displacement hull bottom, which can be seen above. It also looks like the 3/4 Camel is stringerless (or at least, this example is).

The Morey Pope 3/4 Camel has so many of the elements that I love about Morey’s Transition Era boards. The outline has a bunch of unusual things going on. The wide point is pushed way back of center, and I’m not quite sure how to describe the tail. From the pic in the lower right, it looks like there’s a bunch of vee in the tail as well. There’s also a W.A.V.E. Set fin — another one of mad scientist Morey’s inventions, of course.

One of the more underrated aspects of the Morey Pope boards are the amazing logos. I love the little rainbow laminate running the length of the fin box, and the serial number sticker is a great touch, too. Finally, the deck logo, featured at the top of the post, is so clean and simple and still looks modern nearly fifty years after the board was probably shaped.

The Morey Pope 3/4 Camel measures in at 7’6″, but I don’t have any other information on the other dimensions. The seller is asking $400 for the board. I think this is reasonable, given how unusual the board is, but pricing vintage surfboards is always tricky.

Anyway, if you’re interested in purchasing this bad boy, check out the Craigslist post here.

Skip Frye Bonzer 5 Conversion

I’m usually hesitant to share pics that have been posted on other sites (except Craigslist and eBay posts, of course). When I stumbled across this unusual Skip Frye bonzer that’s currently listed for sale, though, I knew I had to share the good word. First, news of the board’s sale was originally posted to Surfer’s online forum (link here). You can contact the seller via that link. Second, the photo of the Skip Frye bonzer was originally shared on Surfy Surfy’s awesome blog. You can find the original Surfy Surfy link here. Hit up Surfy Surfy’s site for more pics of the board. And if you find yourself in sunny Leucadia, Surfy Surfy and its sister coffee shop — yup, named Coffee Coffee — are worth an in-person visit.

As for a bit of background on the board, you can find a more detailed rundown in the link to the Surfer Forum post. The Skip Frye bonzer measures in at 6’10” x 21.5″ x 2.5″ (apparently ‘just shy of 2.5″‘, according to the seller). I freaked out when I first saw the board, as I have never seen a Skip Frye-shaped bonzer before. However, turns out that the board was originally shaped in the Eighties as an egg with a thruster fin setup. The board was later converted into its current five fin iteration. The other interesting thing about this Skip Frye stick is the prominent Moonlight Surfboards logo. I can’t recall off the top of my head if I have seen any other of Skip’s boards with a similar laminate, but it’s definitely unusual.

The seller doesn’t list a price with the board, and I think it’s safe to assume that he’s expecting a Godfather offer. I hesitated to even call this guess an educated one, but I would be surprised if the Skip Frye bonzer changed hands for less than $1,500. As for my personal preferences, if I were to shell out the money for one of Skip’s prized sleds, I would prefer an all-original fin setup. Then again, that’s just me, and that’s not to take anything away from this neat Frye bonzer.

Anyway, you can check out the Surfer Forum link here to contact the seller, and make sure you check out Surfy Surfy’s blog here for more pics of the Skip Frye bonzer.

Mickey Munoz for Ole Surfboards: Sagas of Shred

Once a week I’ll share a vintage surfboard ad as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Usually it is posted late Thursday night California time, but thanks to the Fourth of July, we’re running behind schedule this week. Better late than never, they say! In any event, pictured here is an Ole Surfboards ad from the 1960s. What’s interesting is the fact the ad features Mickey Munoz, not just as a team rider of sorts, but as the manager for the brand’s Seal Beach shop. It’s cool to think that you could have stopped by the Ole Surfboards shop to get some advice from Munoz on what kind of board to ride.

As always, thanks for reading and stop by next week for more Sagas of Shred.

Surfboard Resurrection: Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! Today in the “if you love it, set it free” category we have a surfboard that, as soon as it left my possession, found some new life. Featured here is an old Seventies Ben Aipa sting shaped under the Surfing’s New Image brand. (If you missed it, here’s an earlier post that gives some detail on the Surfing’s New Image / Aipa sting). The board most likely not shaped by Ben Aipa himself, but instead, made in San Diego by one of Surfing’s New Image in-house shapers. The current owner suspects the board might have been shaped by Donald Takayama. Without a signature, I hesitate to draw any conclusions about who might have shaped the board. I will say there is a bitchin’ Takayama / Surfing’s New Image sting posted on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook Group, which bears some resemblance to the Surfing’s New Image Aipa sting in this post.

Anyway, I bought the Aipa / SNI sting pictured below on Craigslist a few years ago, along with another similar board. After spending an unconscionable amount of money shipping both surfboards across the country, I let them sit around and collect dust. Needless to say, this thrilled my wife.

Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting: Before Restoration

As you can see in the photos above, the SNI / Aipa sting wasn’t in great condition. There were no major issues — the board didn’t have any de-lam or twist — but a whole host of moderate ones, starting with some unsightly water damage around the fin box and open dings around the rails, particularly right at the tips of the signature wings. It was a killer board but in need of some serious TLC.

I ended up selling both SNI Aipa stings to a gentleman in Hawaii named Camilo who collects and restores vintage Aipa boards. Camilo wasted no time in getting the Aipa sting fixed up.

Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting: After Restoration

Camilo ended up going with a full blown restoration of the board, which involved stripping the original glass job altogether. I’m not gonna lie — after I saw the pics above I started to wonder if I had blown it by not hanging onto the board. More than anything else, though, i’m stoked to see the SNI Aipa sting with a new lease on life. Camilo has told me he intends to surf it, too. I believe the restoration job was done by Horacio De Seixas at Glassworks Hawaii. I don’t know Horacio personally, but from what I can gather on Instagram, he specializes in these full on restorations. The Surfboard Project did a nice little write up on Horacio’s work that you can find here, which features some similarly beautiful restorations.

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Camilo also found a sick vintage fin to pair with the SNI Aipa Sting. This thing looks ready to slice and dice some unsuspecting Hawaiian swell! Photo via Camilo Roldan

For more on the board, you can check out Camilo and Horacio on Instagram. See below for links to their profiles. Thanks for sharing the pics of the board Camilo, and I’m stoked to see the SNI Aipa sting ended up with someone who did it justice!

It’s so cool to see this old AIPA shaped by Donald Takyama getting a new life !

A post shared by Horacio De Seixas (@glassworkshawaii) on

Price Checks: Eighties Local Motion Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going to take a look at the prices for two beautiful Eighties Local Motion thrusters that are currently up for sale.

Eighties Local Motion Surfboards Example #1: 6’2″ 2+1 shaped by Greg Griffin in 1982 (Link)

Here’s a example of a rad Eighties Local Motions Surfboards thruster being offered for sale on eBay. The starting bid for the board is $600, and as of the time of writing this post, the surfboard has yet to receive a single bid. This board was shaped by Greg Griffin, a Hawaiian shaper who has been at his craft since the late Sixties. I’m a little surprised the board has yet to receive bids, as it looks to me like a prime example of an Eighties thruster. The airbrush on the deck and the bottom is gorgeous, and Griffin is a well-known shaper with tons of experience. In addition, the surfboard looks to be in very good condition. A lot of eBay auctions don’t heat up until the end, and with two days left it’s possible that prospective bidders are just waiting this one out.

Eighties Local Motion Surfboards Example #2: 5’9″ Channel Bottom Shaped by Pat Rawson, $400 (Link)

This board has been on Craigslist for the past few weeks, and frankly, I’m a little surprised that it’s still up for sale. To me, it ticks a lot of the boxes: you have a colorful airbrush, some rad logos, and of course, shaping pedigree courtesy of Pat Rawson. Rawson has an impeccable resume as a surfboard shaper. As a bonus, Rawson is also a great follow on Instagram.

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Close up of Pat Rawson’s signature on the Eighties Local Motion 2+1 Thruster

The Eighties Local Motion surfboard above isn’t perfect. You can see some discoloration on the bottom of the board, and it’s clear that one of the glass-on side bites has had some work done. Still, though, the surfboard is in great condition, and I’m surprised no one has snapped it up for $400. Maybe at 5’9″ it’s a little small for some folks, but I would have thought an Eighties Local Motion with a neon spray job in this kind of condition would get snapped up quickly.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t say either of these Eighties Local Motions Surfboards are bargains, but I think they are reasonably priced and in good condition. I think both boards have a lot of things going for them, whether it’s the aesthetics or the involvements of well-regarded shapers in both cases. Anyway, I’ve left links to the boards above in case you’re interested in either one. Thanks for reading!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 30 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! That’s right, it’s time for some fresh selections of vintage surfboard goodness from social media. Check it out below.

Let’s start this thing off right with an absolutely cherry Rick Rasmussen surfboard. Before Balaram Stack and Quincy Davis, Rasmussen was one of the few bright lights in New York’s otherwise dim history of pro surfers. It’s rare to find Rasmussen’s boards floating around, and this is one of the cleanest examples I have ever seen. As a native of the Empire State, I’m obligated to write up any awesome Rasmussen surfboard I come across.

George Greenough is as mysterious as he is influential. While Greenough’s designs still live on via many other talented shapers, it’s quite unusual to find actual Greenough shapes. Santa Barbara shaper Ryan Lovelace — a young and thoroughly modern shaper who insists on doing all of his boards by hand — featured a fascinating array of Greenough boards on his Instagram. Make sure you scroll through all the pics.

I mean, honestly, if we were lazy, we could just direct you to Luis Real’s Instagram feed. This man is a pretty prolific collector of vintage boards, and he often finds some real Hawaiian gems. If, like me, you’ve got a thing for the Eighties, there’s no better fix than a Town and Country thruster with a rad neon spray job.

I’ve featured the Campbell Brothers and their signature Bonzer design many times on Shred Sledz. They might be old school but don’t let that fool you: they post some of the best stuff on Instagram. I love this ultra clean 1976 Bonzer that was actually shaped under the William Dennis label. I have never seen another Malcolm Campbell board for the William Dennis label. Check out that resin job on the deck!

Maui and Sons Shark Shoes: Sagas of Shred

Here we have another Maui and Sons ad from the Eighties, right on the heels of last week’s Sagas of Shred post. I don’t have much to add here. I think the more I write, the more I potentially take away from this hilarious ad featuring a half human, half shark hybrid wearing sunglasses while pig dogging in a pretty serious barrel. This is pretty close to perfect, and I’ll just leave it at that.

As always, check back in next week for more vintage surf ads in the Sagas of Shred series. Thanks for reading!