Gerry Lopez Astrodeck: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s entry in Sagas of Shred — the series in which we feature a different vintage surf advertisement every Thursday night, California time — is an unexpected pairing in the form of a Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad. Even though Astrodeck inventor Herbie Fletcher originally hails from California, he has a long relationship with Hawaii, including some amazing Jet Ski adventures in pumping surf. I’m not surprised that Lopez and Fletcher crossed paths on the North Shore during the Seventies and Eighties. (In fact, I even wrote up another Eighties Astrodeck ad where Gerry can be seen lurking in the background.) That said, Gerry Lopez and Herbie Fletcher strike me as an unusual pairing. Fletcher has always possessed a brash presence and the savvy of a sharp eyed businessman. Lopez, on the other hand, is known for being calm and low key, and by all accounts he has avoided the spotlight in recent years to dedicate more time to snowboarding.

This Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad ran in the September 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 9). I’m not sure when Fletcher invented Astrodeck, though I believe it was sometime during the late Seventies. There are a few clues that tell me the Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad featured above happened earlier on in the company’s history. First, the logo is an earlier design (see here for the current version, which I believe has been around since sometime in the Eighties.) Second, if you look at the traction itself, it’s clearly an earlier design that predates the iconic traction pad we all know and love. By contrast, here’s another Eighties Astrodeck ad I wrote up before, and you can see the updated logo as well as the transition to tail pads.

I love this Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad, if for no other reason there aren’t too many examples of Lopez doing ads for non-Lightning Bolt surf brands! The same issue of Surfer Magazine also has a feature on Lopez’s experience on the set of “Conan the Barbarian”. Between this Astrodeck ad and a brief Hollywood phase, I’m guessing Lopez reached his fill of the limelight.

Thanks for reading and check back in next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Some Like it Hot: Tim Phares Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a real treat for you, courtesy of a thoughtful reader named Daniel. Daniel and his buddy scored a pair of rad Tim Phares surfboards, both of which sport some pretty incredible airbrushes. Phares shaped for a number of labels over the years, including LA fixtures Con Surfboards and Blue Cheer / Ocean Surfboards. In 1980 Phares struck out on his on. Phares continued to shape under a variety of labels, which I think he all owned — Fluid Drive in the Eighties, TP Surfboards, and also Epic Surfboards. I’m not sure which of those continue to exist today, but as far as I can tell, they were all different names for Phares’ own creations.

Pictured above is the first board Daniel shared with me. As you can see, this Tim Phares stick boasts not one but two incredible airbrushes. The deck is a trippy and ultra colorful geometric pattern that I really dig. The bottom is a Marilyn Monroe airbrush, and it looks like the artwork on the bottom might have been painted by Phares himself. Daniel also tells me the fins are old Gordon & Smith Star System fins, which were made in the late Seventies and early Eighties, I believe. This Phares board is such a gem. Curiously, there’s no label listed on it — it just has Tim’s signature and nothing else.

The second of the two Tim Phares surfboards is another Eighties board. This one was produced under Phares’ Fluid Drive label. Like the Marilyn Monroe board above, the Fluid Drive thruster has an amazing and era-appropriate paint job:

Ah, the Eighties! The aesthetic is unmistakable, isn’t it? I can’t get enough of the insane spray job on this bad boy, from the fuchsia tones to the abstract designs.

It’s also interesting to me to note the design differences in both shapes. The Fluid Drive board has a much less pronounced set of wings towards the back, ending in what I might almost call a diamond tail. The Marilyn Monroe / Tim Phares board, on the other hand, has much more pronounced wings, and then a swallowtail. Both Tim Phares surfboards have thruster setups, but it’s also interesting to note the Fluid Drive board has glass on fins, versus the fin boxes on the Monroe board. Sadly, I don’t know enough about Tim’s boards to say when the two might have been shaped in relation to one another.

Thanks again to Daniel for sharing pics of these two sweet ass sledz! And if you have some amazing boards you’re itching to share with the world — or, more realistically, the five or so weirdos who read this blog on a regular basis — please do drop me a line.

Vintage Nectar Twin Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very cool board that has been floating around somewhere in Southern California. Board is not mine and it’s listed somewhere, but I’ll leave the treasure hunting up to you. This is a vintage Nectar twin fin with some beautiful wooden keel fins and some bitchin’ artwork on the deck.

Click any of the photos to enlarge. This is a pretty hefty board, measuring in at 6’8″, and I have to imagine it’s got a lot of additional float, too. The seller claims this was shaped sometime during the Seventies, which seems right given the artwork.

Let me know if any of you scoop this thing up!

Eighties Morey Boogie Body Wear: Sagas of Shred

Shredderz, I think I’ve done it: across every single issue of Surfer Magazine published throughout the glorious 1980s, I have found the single funniest ad from the entire decade. Yes, it’s for a boogie board spin off clothing line. (Shout out to Tom Morey, though, who can do no wrong in the eyes of this vintage surfboard blog.) Yes, our fearless model is wearing matching shorts and shirt — a bromper, if you will. And yes, this ad is nothing short of incredible!

Frankly, I’m not going to spoil this wonderful piece of surf nostalgia with more dad jokes. I’ll let you all admire every last detail of this Eighties Morey Boogie ad in peace. Check back in next Thursday night — California time, baby — for more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred.

Vintage Schroff Gun (with Wave Tools Ties)

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be featuring a board that’s a bit of a head scratcher. There is currently a board listed on eBay (link here) being advertised as an early Schroff gun, likely shaped sometime during the late Seventies or early Eighties. Click on any of the photos below to enlarge.

The board doesn’t have Schroff’s far more famous black and white parallelogram logo, but instead, what I believe is a starfish logo. You can just barely make this out against the beautiful navy blue acid splash on the deck (see the featured photo at the top of the post). The starfish dates back to the very early days of Schroff surfboards, back when it was Hanifin / Surfside sports.

Schroff Designs Logo.jpg
Another early Schroff Designs logo, courtesy of a board that was sold on eBay a while back.

However, the Schroff gun that is listed for sale on eBay is almost identical to a Wave Tools single fin I featured a while back. Even though both brands and shapers were an integral part of the Echo Beach scene during the Eighties, it’s strange to see two eerily similar boards produced under different labels. See below for a photo of the Wave Tools gun:

Wave Tools Gun 1.jpg

You’ll notice the Wave Tools gun has the same navy blue resin tint (I believe) on the deck, and also with a wooden fin on the bottom. See below for a photo of the bottom of the Wave Tools gun. Make sure you scroll within the Instagram post for a close-up of the fin.

The airbrushes on the bottom of both boards are very similar. I believe they must have been done by the same artist. What really blows me away, though, is the similarity between the glass on wooden fins on both boards. If you click through on the Wave Tools Instagram post above, you’ll notice that Lance Collins commented on the post to say the wooden fin was made by his half brother, Clay Smith. Lance also suspects the Wave Tools board could have been one of Clay’s personal riders.

As you can see towards the top of the page, the Schroff gun also has a Clay Smith wooden fin. There’s no doubt that both fins were made by Clay.

I’m not quite sure how to explain these boards! The best theory I can come up with is the Schroff board currently listed on eBay isn’t actually shaped by Schroff himself. Or did Clay Smith also provide his wooden fins to other Newport Beach shapers? I’m not sure. I believe I have seen the starfish logo on non-Schroff boards — including some Hanifin shapes — and so there’s a chance this was shaped by someone else. If you look closely at the logo on the Schroff gun, you’ll see there isn’t a Schroff logo anywhere (unlike the Instagram post I linked to earlier, which has the starfish graphic with “Schroff Designs” text underneath). I can’t quite make out the text on the logo on the Schroff gun on eBay — take a peek below and let me know if you have any clues.

Schroff Gun Logo.jpg
Close up of the logo on the Schroff gun listed on eBay. Anyone have any ideas what is written in script towards the bottom?

Then again, I have never seen a Lance Collins board that bore the Hanifin / Surfside Sports logo. No matter what, I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how these two boards, which are practically siblings, could have been produced under two different brands.

Check out the Schroff gun on eBay here, and if you have any theories, please let me know!

Hot Stuff Kong Gary Elkerton Board by Tom Eberly

Greetings, Shredderz! Are you ready for a heaping helping of Eighties neon, brought to you by Hot Stuff, one of the finest Aussie surfboard labels of yesteryear. First and foremost, shout out to Steve, who is by far this humble blog’s most prolific source in terms of reader submissions. Steve picked up this incredible stick along his board collecting journey and was generous enough to share these pics. Anyway, pictured below is a Hot Stuff Kong Gary Elkerton model, shaped by Tom Eberly. Shockingly, Eberly doesn’t have his own Encyclopedia of Surfing entry, but he was part of the second wave of Lightning Bolt shapers, behind names like Lopez et al.

First of all, how gorgeous is this board?! The rainbow gradient airbrushes on the deck and the bottom are absolutely ridiculous. I’m stunned the board has remained in such great condition. Even the glass-on fins look like they’re still solidly fixed on.

Hot Stuff is an Aussie brand founded by Paul Hallas and originally based out of Currumbin on the Gold Coast. The brand might be best remembered for its association with Rabbit Bartholomew, who won a world title surfing  Many talented shapers have passed through Hot Stuff’s halls, such as channel bottom maestro Al Byrne (RIP), Neal Purchase Senior, Eberly and even a young Bob Hurley. The board featured here was almost certainly shaped in the US, given Eberly’s involvement. Another giveaway is the pair of laminates on the tail — the Clark Foam logo on the left and the West Coast Glassing logo on the right. Curiously, there’s a Quality Glassing devil logo, which I believe is an Australian glass shop. See here for an absolute cracker of an Al Byrne-shaped Hot Stuff stick with a Quality Glassing logo.

Hot Stuff Kong Gary Elkerton 1.jpg

Kong, of course, refers to power surfer Gary Elkerton, and it’s gotta be one of the greatest nicknames in surfing history. Kong helped bring Al Byrne’s famous six channel boards to life in pumping surf on his way to three runner up finishes on the world tour, and some virtuoso performances at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. Byrne shaped for Hot Stuff before founding Byrning Spears, until his untimely passing a few years ago. The Hot Stuff Kong model, however, appears to have been made by other shapers for wider release. I can’t say who shaped the Australian Hot Stuff Kong boards, but Eberly and Bob Hurley helped shape the ones that appeared Stateside.

Unsurprisingly, Board Collector has posted some great examples of Hot Stuff Kong models. Here’s one with Byrne’s signature channel bottom design, although it’s unclear if Al shaped it himself. Board Collector has another example of an Eberly shaped Hot Stuff Kong board, which must have been shaped around the same time. Finally, There’s another post with an interesting selection of Hot Stuff sticks, including some Rabbit / Al Byrne collaborations.

Hot Stuff Kong Gary Elkerton Vintage Surf France 3.JPG

I was able to find another bitchin’ example of an Eighties Hot Stuff Kong board, this time on a website called Vintage Surf France. The French board also sports an amazing looking channel bottom, but again, I’m not sure whether it was shaped by Al, or if it was done by someone else. It’s in such great condition I’m wondering if it might be a newer reissue, although the traction pad looks like an older one.

Finally, it’s worth following Elkerton on his Facebook page. He doesn’t post all the time but there are some gems there, including an AB-shaped channel bottom that Kong credits for his contest wins at Sunset. It’s actually a Byrning Spears board, not a Hot Stuff, but still has the Kong logo. I’m guessing it was shaped shortly after Byrne left Hot Stuff to strike out on his own. At the bottom you can see an amazing shot of Rabbit and Kong both toting some awesome-looking Hot Stuff shapes (if you look closely you’ll see the AB logo peeking out on Kong’s board).

Once again I’d like to thank Steve for reaching out with pics of this killer board. If you have something similar and you’d like to see it featured here, please do let me know.

Skip Frye K Model and More: Weekend Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a collection of vintage surfboards that have been listed for sale online recently, including a lovely Skip Frye K Model thruster. Usually I like to link directly to sale links, but in the case of this edition, not all of the boards are still for sale, and some just might be more fun as mysteries. Anyway, keep scrolling for some selections.

Skip Frye K Model Thruster 8’6″ (No Longer Listed)

This board was listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego and the asking price was $2,850. Yes, you will have to pay an arm and a leg for one of Skip’s boards on the open market. The Skip Frye K Model was developed in the late Seventies. I have probably linked to The Surfer’s Journal feature on Skip’s boards more than any other article, but nonetheless, it’s worth checking out. According to TSJ, the K Model was created in conjunction with a local San Diego surfer named Timmy Kessler, although many incorrectly attribute the board to Barry Kanaiaupuni, who was in Frye’s graduating high school class! This board is just too pretty.

Canyon Seventies Single Fin

Canyon Rusty Priesendorfer Seventies Single Fin

Sorry, no hints yet as to whether this board has been listed, although all I will say is that it’s up somewhere on the internet. Like Skip Frye, Rusty Preisendorfer is another San Diego surfboard shaping luminary. Early in Rusty’s career he shaped for Canyon Surfboards, among some other labels. Sadly, the Canyon name is now being slapped on pop-outs, but that doesn’t diminish the coolness of the board above. I’m not 100% sure if it was shaped by Rusty himself. The board isn’t in perfect condition but I love the colors and that awesome gradient Canyon logo.

Greg Liddle Smoothie 7’11” (Craigslist LA)

Greg Liddle Smoothie .jpg

Here’s a neat Greg Liddle Smoothie, measuring in at 7’11”, with a 2+1 fin setup. The seller is asking $900. I can’t say this is a fantastic price, but it is a great opportunity to look at an earlier Liddle shaped by Greg himself. There’s a photo of the typically hyper detailed signature on the board (I don’t even understand half of the dimensions listed.)

Del Cannon V Bottom (Craigslist Orange County)

There is no question this board has seen some finer days, but I am a sucker for all things Transition Era, including the mighty v bottom design. If you can’t handle all the scratches and weird patches on the board above, then check out Gene Cooper’s Instagram, where he has been glassing some truly gorgeous modern v bottom boards lately.

Stussy Livin’ Stoopid Large: Sagas of Shred

If you don’t know, now you know: Shawn Stussy just might be the coolest man alive. If you’re sick and tired of this blog fawning over Stussy, well, you’ve got a point. But we’re not stopping any time soon. Pictured above is a rad vintage Stussy ad from 1990 or 1991. I scanned the vintage Stussy ad from the April 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 4), but as you can see, the ad itself is dated to 1990.

Obviously, I tend to focus on Stussy’s surfboards. I love his Seventies single fins, and of course the Eighties thrusters that elevated the Echo Beach aesthetic into something way more memorable. But when it’s all said and done, Stussy will probably be best known as one of the godfathers of streetwear due to his eponymous clothing line.

The vintage Stussy ad ran in 1990 or 1991, right as the brand’s popularity was beginning to explode. Earlier in 1990 Stussy had just opened up its first standalone store in New York City. (Check out Complex’s oral history of the brand here, which is told from a fashion-centric point of view.) It’s interesting to see the ad running in Surfing Magazine, but with no reference back to Stussy’s background as a shaper, or anything to do with surf culture, really. Curiously, I have never been able to find any vintage Stussy ads in Surfer Magazine during the Eighties and Nineties. I was surprised and stoked to see this turn up in an issue of Surfing Magazine, and I understand that Stussy also ran a lot of ads in Thrasher during the Eighties, too. To me the ad catches the Stussy brand at a moment where it is in between different worlds — not quite a product of the Orange County surf industrial complex, but still dabbling in surf culture. Shawn Stussy would end up leaving his brand at the end of 1995, but it still exists today.

Needless to say, I love the hand drawn lettering and the slightly off-kilter copy. It’s nothing if not distinctive, which is only fitting considering Stussy’s legacy of being far ahead of its time.

As always, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and check back in a week for even more vintage surf ads.

Greg Noll Slot Bottom Longboard

First of all, can I get an amen for Craigslist sellers who make sure to post photos that do their surfboards justice? Pictured here is a positively spotless Greg Noll Slot Bottom longboard that can currently be found on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the listing here.

Frankly, everything about this board is stunning, from what looks like a 3/4″ redwood stringer, to the classic atom logo. (I also featured another Greg Noll surfboard that had a version of the atom logo with three rings around it, which you can find here.)

The Greg Noll slot bottom surfboard is undeniably beautiful, and it’s easy to see in the photos that accompany the listing. (I wrote up a very similar-looking Greg Noll longboard, which is not a slot bottom, in a post you can find here.)

Pictured above is another Greg Noll slot bottom, which was sold at the USVSA auction in 2008. You can find a link here. The auction took place ten years ago, so prices may have shifted considerably since then, but the red Greg Noll slot bottom was estimated to go for between $5K and $7K. By contract, the Craigslist board has been listed at $2,800. I wouldn’t say these are apples to apples — I personally think the color in the red board makes it a bit more attractive — but if those prices still hold today, I would say the Craigslist board is reasonably priced.

And on behalf of all the other window shoppers out there, I would once again like to extend my sincere gratitude to the seller for posting such great photos of the board. I won’t be owning a Greg Noll slot bottom any time soon, and in the meantime, I’m just stoked that there are some high quality photos for me to drool over. Hopefully someone else with deeper pockets will scoop up this board and post even more pics. You can check it out on Craigslist here.

Grab Bag: October’s Very Own

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another installment of the not-quite famous Grab Bag, where we highlight a selection of boards currently for sale on the internet. Act quick because some of these deals go fast.

Rick Mid Length Hull (Craigslist – Ventura)

Rick Surfboards Mid Length Hull.jpgRemarkably, this bad boy is only $350. I’m shocked that it has lasted this long. The fin box could be dicey and there’s also what looks to be an old repair on the tail, but I think this thing is so sweet. I’m wondering if it’s shaped by Phil Becker, but it’s impossible to tell from the pics. I believe this is being sold by Eric at ChubbySurf.com.

Weber Single Fin (eBay)

Weber Single Fin 1This is the same board featured at the top of the page. This bad boy is clean and mean! I can’t get enough of the pin lines. Am I crazy or is this priced to move at $399? Maybe I’m missing something but it seems like a reasonable deal for a beautiful board in great condition.

Carl Ekstrom Sixties Log (Craigslist – San Diego)

Carl Ekstrom Longboard.jpgIs this considered cheating, considering I featured this board on my Instagram the other day? Either way, I can’t help but admire this bad boy. I’ve quietly been geeking out on Ekstrom’s boards for a bit now. He seems like he was way ahead of his time on certain designs, such as the asymmetrical tails that are now being popularized by the likes of fellow San Diego foam mower Ryan Burch. Richard Kenvin of Hydrodynamica fame has also expressed admiration for Ekstrom’s designs. The board is listed at $1,400, which isn’t cheap, but it’s not easy to find fifty year old boards in great shape.

Hawk Single Fin (Cragislist – Orange County)

Hawk Single Fin.jpgAccording to the seller this was a Sam Hawk shape. I can’t recall whether or not Chris Hawk also shaped boards under this label. I think it’s overpriced at $400 considering the condition, but I still dig the board. It also comes with an absolutely killer fin that probably makes up a good $100 – $150 of the overall cost.