Occy Reads Surfer Magazine: Sagas of Shred

Leave it to good ol’ Occ to not overthink things! This ad, which ran in the December 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 27, No 12), absolutely kills me. I also happen to think it’s a good summary of Occy’s considerable, offbeat charm. (For more Occy and Sagas of Shred, see here and here). Last, but not least, it’s also a great reminder of why Surfer Magazine has earned its title as “the Bible of the sport.” It’s no secret that the media business has been hit hard as of late, and sadly, times are looking tough for Surfer. The iconic magazine saw a round of layoffs earlier this month, and there are rumors that Surfer’s parent company is set to be acquired by AMI, which might be in a bit of trouble itself.

But rather than dwell on Surfer Magazine’s uncertain future, I’d like to celebrate all the incredible content it has put out over the years, including the ads that get posted here every Thursday evening. (It’s not too late to subscribe, either.) Almost all of the content in Sagas of Shred comes about from scanning ads from back issues of Surfer Magazine. This, of course, doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the wonderful editorial output over the years, which has single handedly helped shape surf culture into what it is today. I don’t pretend to know the future of the media business, or how that relates to surfing, but it’s my sincere hope that Surfer Magazine continues to publish the same high quality content for many years to come.

Stussy Surfboard: Eighties (?) Thruster

Greetings, Shredderz! Recently a cool little Stussy surfboard sold on eBay, and given my long standing interest in Senor Stussy’s boards, I figured I would do a quick writeup on the topic. The original eBay listing can be found here; pics in this post are via the listing.

The Stussy surfboard pictured above is a vintage thruster with a very cool airbrush. If I had to guess, I would say the board above was either shaped during the late Eighties, or perhaps even the early Nineties. There are a few things that stand out to me. First, you’ll notice the logos on both the deck and the bottom of the board. On the deck you’ll notice a crown logo with a Chanel-like double S beneath it. I believe the Stussy crown logo didn’t make its debut until the late Eighties or so. On the bottom of the board you’ll notice some Rasta themed logos, including a lion and the Rastafarian flag. The lion also appears on the glass on fins, which you can see below:

You can click the photos above to enlarge. Back to my earlier point, I believe the Rasta logos and influence didn’t show up on Stussy’s boards until the late Eighties or early Nineties.

Pictured above is an example of another Stussy surfboard with Rasta logos. I would say these boards were likely shaped within a few years of one another, although you’ll notice that the eBay board at the top of the page has a serial number of 1115, and then the Stussy surfboard “For Rocket” is #2837. I tend to think Stussy’s numbering is not totally sequential. In fact, I suspect #1115 was likely shaped after #2837, but I can’t confirm that.

Shawn Stussy Personal Rider Twinzer 1991

The one example of a Stussy surfboard I have seen with a definitive date is this super sick Wil Jobson inspired twinzer, which you can see above. The Stussy twinzer was sold at auction a few years back, and the photo is from the original auction site. Note the Jobson / Stussy surfboard has the same Rasta lion logo as the eBay board at the top of the page. It has a crown logo, too, although it’s a bit different than the one featured earlier in this post. Unlike the other boards in the post, the Jobson twinzer doesn’t have a serial number, but it appears to have been shaped in 1991.

The Stussy surfboard at the top of the page was listed on eBay with a price of $1,250. It looks like the board didn’t sell on eBay, but likely was sold in a private transaction off the site. There’s no way to tell the final price, and I’m curious to see if it reached the original asking, which I would put slightly on the steep side. Then again, the Stussy surfboard has a great original airbrush, which I think can improve the value of these boards considerably.

Weekend Grab Bag: February Funk

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I understand some of you might have gone to the Malibu Board Riders surfboard swap on Saturday. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend, but in the meantime, here are some cool vintage surfboards that you can currently find on sale online. Keep reading for more.

O’Neill Dagger Surfboard (eBay Florida)

This is a very cool Transition Era board that is in pretty amazing condition. It looks like it comes with an all original WAVE Set fin as well. I really dig the clean blue pinlines on the deck, and it looks as if there’s a hull-like belly on the bottom, too. The board isn’t cheap — the seller is asking $1,450, with local pickup — but it’s unusual to see fifty year old surfboards in this kind of condition.

Clearlight Surfboards / Jim Overlin Single Fin (eBay Florida)

This is a unique surfboard with a lot of stuff going on. For starters, it’s a pretty tidy 6’8″. I’m guessing this was shaped sometime during the Transition Era, maybe 1969, considering the board’s short length. I always have a hard time IDing these old fins, but it looks to be all original. I’ve always been drawn to Jim and Tom Overlin’s shapes, partly because of their bi Coastal reputation, and this is a neat example. The seller is asking $500.

Eighties Nectar Surfboards Twin Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

I’ve got a soft spot for vintage twin fins, and this example of a Nectar Surfboards stick checks a lot of the boxes. I really dig the colors, whether it’s the blue gradient spray or the bright yellow logo, as well as the touches on the glass on fins. Sadly there are some dings on the upper rails, and the gradient might make color matching any repairs a bit of a pain (caveat: I am not an expert in ding repair), but for $250, I think this is a reasonable deal.

Eighties Corky Carroll Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Thursday evening is upon us. The weekend is so close it’s like acid in your mouth, and depending on where you live, the forecast might even call for some incoming swell. It also means that it’s time for another entry of Sagas of Shred. In this series I’ve tried to highlight vintage surf ads that I find interesting. Sometimes, such as with this pair of vintage Yater Surfboards ads, I try to preserve and share ads that shed light on surfing history and the rad people who made it happen. A lot of the time, though, I’ll just post stuff that makes me smile and/or laugh. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features a combination of the two approaches. On one hand, Corky Carroll arguably pioneered pro surfing as a viable career, and his place in surfing’s pantheon is secure. On the other, there’s no way to look at this ad and keep a completely straight face, which I’m sure is the desired effect.

If you’re putting together a checklist for a great Eighties surf ad, this Corky Carroll ad has most of them covered. We’ll get back to the visuals in a bit, but the copy is absolutely next level. “Do you wanna be having this much fun?” Absolutely, Corky. Just tell me where to sign up. And signing off with “Be ultra cool, OK. OK.” is simply a touch of genius.

I just want to know who the art director was for this shoot and shake their hand. I love the fact Corky looks like he’s about to hit up a white party in the Hamptons, flanked — of course — by two women in fashion that could have only come from the Eighties. Naturally, I’m also very intrigued by the surfboard in the corner. I dig the airbrush and it looks like it’s got some nice volume. Oh, and going back to the copy, Corky describes his wares as “shred-o-matic surfboards”, which you know warms my heart.

Overall this Corky Carroll ad is just a joy. It’s hilarious, it draws you in, and it leaves an impression, one way or another. And isn’t having fun what surfing is all about, anyway?

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred.

Donald Takayama Surfing’s New Image Surfboard for Dru Harrison

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re taking a quick look at a board that recently caught my eye. Pictured here is a Surfing’s New Image surfboard shaped by Donald Takayama. The board was originally listed for sale on eBay, and all pics in this post are via the eBay listing. You can find the original listing here. I’ve long had a bit of a fascination with the SNI brand, whether it’s the Aipa stings that were produced under the label (although most SNI / Aipa stings were not shaped by Ben Aipa), or some of Rick Hamon’s later designs. If I had to choose, though, I’m probably most fond of the SNI boards that were shaped by Donald Takayama. Takayama, of course, was a surfing fixture for decades, whether it was as a Velzy / Jacobs team rider during the sport’s earliest days, or his collaborations with Joel Tudor starting in the Nineties. The Surfing’s New Image surfboard pictured here is an unusual one. First, I would say that you don’t see a ton of Takayama / SNI boards in general, but this one is the only example I have seen that has a Dru Harrison laminate on it.

Surfing's New Image Surfboard Donald Takayama Dru Harrison 4.jpg

According the listing, the board measures in at 7’0″ x 19 1/2″ x 3″. The board was almost certainly shaped sometime during the Seventies, though I’m not sure what year. Dru Harrison’s best known surfboard is the Improvisor model he produced under the Rick Surfboards label during the Sixties. Here’s an example of a Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor that recently sold on eBay as well.

The SNI board sold for about $150. Even though the board would require a decent amount of repairs, I still think this is a pretty good price. After all, this is a Donald Takayama we’re talking about! From what I have seen, the SNI / Takayama boards can be had at fairly decent prices. Here’s another example of a Seventies SNI / Takayama stick that sold for $575, which I thought was a nice price from the buyer’s perspective.

Sadly, I can’t find any information on Takayama and Harrison’s relationship. I’m guessing they must have crossed paths in the South Bay in the Sixties. During this time Harrison was riding for Rick Surfboards, and Takayama was designing boards for both Bing Surfboards and then Weber. Considering the high profile of both men involved in making this board, you’d think there would be a little more information available.

You can check out the original eBay listing for the Surfing’s New Image surfboard designed by Dru Harrison and Donald Takayama here.

 

Rick Rasmussen Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! In honor of fellow New York native Balaram Stack’s finals finish at the 2019 Volcom Pipe Pro, here’s a beautiful Rick Rasmussen surfboard that was recently sold on eBay. All pics in this post are via the eBay listing, which you can find here. Rasmussen is one of the more fascinating characters in surf history. For many years, Rasmussen stood alone as New York’s only real pro surfer of note, thanks to his competitive prowess in the early professional scene, as well as his tuberiding in places like Pipeline and G-Land. Sadly, Rasmussen’s story cannot be told without mention of his tragic death, which happened during a drug deal gone bad. The Encyclopedia of Surfing has reprinted an excellent article detailing Rasmussen’s passing, which gives some additional depth to an already compelling subject.

The board, despite not being in great condition, sold for a cool $1,725. The price, when considering the condition, gives you a good idea of how rare it is to find a Rick Rasmussen surfboard for sale. The board measures in at 8’2′ x 19 3/8″ x 2 3/4″ and according to the seller it was likely shaped in either 1972 or 1973. The listing claims the board was mostly surfed on the North Shore in the Seventies before being relocated to Southern California in 1980, and then it was stashed away in storage for many years. I think there’s a decent chance that Rasmussen rode this board at Pipeline, which makes it extra sick.

While this Rick Rasmussen surfboard is no longer listed for sale, I did some digging on Instagram and was able to find a couple of other cool examples of Rick Rasmussen surfboards. Turns out that Rasmussen actually shaped for an early label called Clean & Natural, and before that, a local Westhampton label called Lizard. I had never even heard of Lizard before, and that brand isn’t even mentioned in Rasmussen’s Encyclopedia of Surfing listing. Scroll below for a shot of a Rick Rasmussen surfboard shaped for the Lizard label, which is the only one I have seen to date.

 

View this post on Instagram

Luke Moore, from Westhampton but longtime resident of San Diego, shared this photo with me last night. Luke is on the left, age 14 and Rick Rasmussen is on the right, age 18. This is taken in 1974, the year Rick won the U.S. Championship. Rick shaped both boards. Luke currently shapes out in San Diego and still does boards for some of the older guys out east on LI. Luke was also a legendary skateboarder, draining pools in the hamptons in the fall during the 70s. I asked him how he got into skateboarding and he said, "I just learned, mostly from surfing. I mean, surfing taught me skateboarding." His style shocked and awed Jay Adams, Peralta and others, and was developed completely in the Eastern LI incubator at that time. Surfing, Luke charged Pipe like a lot of his peers from the Westhamptons, and with their own style. A Westhampton relationship with second reef Pipe is starting to become clear to me #LukeMoore #RickRasmussen #BrendanBurrMcGill etc please tag more

A post shared by @ _mariahernst on

 

Vintage Bing Bonzer Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and so I’m obligated to serve up some more vintage surf ads for all you kind folks. Usually, the Sagas of Shred series features ads that I have personally scanned from my stash of Surfer Magazine back issues. Today’s post, however, features an ad that I found somewhere on the internet. If this is your original scan or upload please let me know so I can give credit where it is due! Anyway, today we have a vintage Bing Bonzer ad. The original file had 1973 in the filename, so I’m guessing the ad may have run that same year. According to the old Stoked-n-Board archives, the Bing Bonzer was produced between 1973 and 1976, so the timing adds up. Still, I don’t have any confirmation around the date.

That said, it’s probably best to focus on the downright sexy curves of the cherry red Bing Bonzer featured in the advertisement. I’ve geeked out about the Bing Bonzer many, many times before, and I still can’t get enough! By now you may know that I’m a huge fan of the branded side bites, but you can also see they’re complemented by a cool Bing branded fin in the ad above.

Last but not least the testimonials are all-time, too. Who is Wildman?! More importantly, the Bing Bonzer bears the stamp of approval from folks like Steve Wilkings, Jeff Hakman, Dru Harrison, and of course, the Campbell Brothers, who were responsible for creating the landmark design in the first place. Tiger Makin was a Rick Surfboards team rider alongside Dru Harrison. Between Makin and Dru Harrison, along with Rick Surfboards’ early ties to the Bing label, this rare Rick Surfboards / Mike Eaton bonzer I posted on Instagram recently is starting to make more sense. I had no idea that Hakman and Harrison had anything to do with the Bonzer before seeing this ad. Then again, the Bonzer has had no shortage of notable fans in its forty plus years, ranging from the folks mentioned above to people like Taylor Knox and Alex Knost.

Tune in next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Social Media Roundup: Santa Barbara Edition

It’s the first Social Media Roundup of 2019, and today we’re focusing on some recent posts that delve into the rich history of Santa Barbara surfing. Alright, enough from me, and onto the pics…

View this post on Instagram

This is a photo of an early eighties shaping machine – Al Merrick. I wish I would have shot more of Al actually shaping. Using film back in the day to shoot in the shaping room, you really needed to spend time setting up lights to do well. It is a room design to absorb light not bounce it. Film and cameras just did not have the ability to capture motion in that type of lighting conditions without some form of strobe. Very much different than the cameras now. The full lighting setup took too much time and when shooting Al or any shaper in high demand, you were stopping production, literally. Shooting Al was usually a 30 minute disruption max with one hand held strobe. Al was always great about it, never pressured me to hurry. The rush was always self imposed. This shot is outside of the old factory. It’s an insurance shot in case the one strobe did not render anything desirable. • Shaper, board, and rider • @cisurfboards #almerrick @curfuffle #tomcurren #surfboards #surfboardshaper #surfboardshaping #surfphoto #surfphotos #surfphotographer #surflifestyle

A post shared by Jimmy Metyko (@metykojimmy) on

I’ve featured his work here a few times before, but I can’t help doing it again, because Jimmy Metyko is a must follow! His Instagram feed is a who’s who of the Santa Barbara surf scene back in the day, and he’s also a very talented photographer. You should check out a recent slideshow of his photos on Surfer Magazine’s website. This portrait of Al Merrick is simple and striking. I’m assuming it’s from the same shoot as the featured photo at the top of the page. Make sure you scroll through for the bonus shot of a young Tom Curren riding a Channel Islands shape.

The black & white Santa Barbara theme continues, but this time around we have a very clean Transition Era Yater hull / vee bottom board. Wish there were some dimensions listed on this bad boy. You don’t see these late Sixties Yaters everywhere, but I think they are among some of Renny’s coolest shapes.

Alan Casagrande is a talented artist who has a long history with Liddle Surfboards. I was blown away to discover that the board he’s holding in the picture is a Liddle. I can’t be sure but it almost looks like a sting! Either way the outline doesn’t have much in common with Greg Liddle’s famous displacement hulls.

View this post on Instagram

ABALONE SPOON YATER LOGO

A post shared by Bob Haakenson (@haakenson_fiberglass) on

And what better way to introduce a little color to this entry than by way of a stunning abalone inlay on a Yater Spoon? Abalone was once plentiful up and down the California coast, and I love how Bob Haakenson, one of Santa Barbara’s finest glassers, still uses it for special occasions. This is a subtle but awesome touch to add to a custom Yater, if you ask me.

Photo at the top of the page by Jimmy Metyko; via Surfer Magazine.

Price Checks: T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be examining one of the most coveted signature sticks out there: a T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard. As I have written about before, getting concrete information on surfboard prices can often be tricky, but eBay makes things slightly easier, thanks to the fact it keeps up posts on completed listings even after the sale has closed. The Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard featured here just closed earlier today on eBay, and thankfully, the listing still has pics and prices. You can find the listing here; all photo in this post are via eBay.

This Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard closed at a cool $1,085, with an option to ship the board within the US for an additional $100. The board is a swallow tail twin fin and it measures 5’10” x 20″ x 3″. On one hand, I can’t say I’m that surprised, as these Larry Bertlemann boards are super popular among collectors. On the other, this board has discoloration throughout, and some additional restoration work has been done, too. The board is in decent condition, all things considered, but it’s also clearly not a perfect example. I see the price as an indication of how collectible Bertlemann surfboards are, given that it still went over $1K, even with its various imperfections. I’m curious to see what a similar Larry Bertlemann surfboard in excellent condition might fetch — I can’t see one going for anything less than $2,000, but that’s only a guess.

Larry Bertlemann Surfboard via Juice Magazine.jpg
Larry Bertlemann, AKA The Rubberman, going vertical. Photo by Jeff Divine and via a Juice Magazine interview between LB and Zephyr’s Jeff Ho

I still can’t quite figure out whether the Larry Bertlemann surfboard you see here is considered a Hawaiian Pro Designs board, or a T&C Surf Designs board. As you can see it has laminates from both brands. The T&C Surf Designs yin yang features prominently throughout the board, but all of the Pepsi Larry Bertlemann logos have Hawaiian Pro Designs on them, too. Hawaiian Pro Designs is best known for being Donald Takayama’s label during the later part of Takayama’s career. However, I simply don’t know about the earlier history of the Hawaiian Pro Designs brand. See here for a Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard that has a rare Olympic rings logo, but no mention of T&C. And here is another Larry Bertlemann surfboard, which has the T&C Surf Designs yin yang logos, but otherwise no T&C branding (looks like the sticker on the fins was added after the fact). Long story short, I don’t know how to classify the brands and/or labels for Larry Bertlemann’s various signature surfboard models.

I also don’t know who shaped the board. Bertlemann shaped some of his own surfboards. According to SurfboardLine.com, Takayama also shaped some twin fins for Bertlemann during the Seventies, but I’m not sure when. These Larry Bertlemann surfboards were produced under license in Australia for a while, too, but again, I’m not clear on who the production shapers were.

Finally, see below for a little video produced by Buggs Arico, the collector behind the aforementioned SurfboardLine.com. Buggs’ site has a great entry on Bertlemann, including a killer Larry Bertlemann surfboard producer under the killer Hot Lips Designs label, so check that out if you get the chance.

T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening in California, which can only mean one thing: more vintage surf ads coming your way, via Sagas of Shred. Today’s entry is another classic from the Eighties, AKA the decade that popularized neon, mullets, stonewashed jeans and countless other instances of poor taste. You know what has aged well, though? Dane Kealoha’s inimitable brand of Hawaiian power surfing. Here’s a T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha ad from an issue of Surfing Magazine published sometime during the Eighties. I am not going to make any comments about the outfits Dane can be seen rocking on the right side of the ad. No, not even those oversized baby blue shorts, because Dane is a better surfer than I could ever dream of being, and he’s definitely tougher than me, too. So I’ll keep the fashion commentary to a minimum and focus instead on the fact T&C Surf Designs and Dane Kealoha is an absolutely perfect pairing.

Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!