Early Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred (Shredzgiving Edition)

Is Shredzgiving the worst portmanteau in the history of the English language? Quite possibly. Am I going to roll with it anyway? You know it. This year I am thankful for the following: tasty waves, vintage sticks, family, friends and the bro-deal of a lifetime, in which a generous soul gave me a few decades’ worth of Surfer Magazine for free. Sagas of Shred came about when I would read old issues of Surfer Magazine and stumble across some amazing old advertisements that were able to capture surf history in a unique manner. Moreover, I was taken aback by the fact that not a whole lot of effort had been made to preserve the content in these ads. Some companies, like Clark Foam, have simply ceased to exist. A few companies, like Harbour Surfboards, have great archives, but for the most part, the only way to view old surf ads is to hoard a collection of magazines large enough to guarantee marital strife. Today’s Sagas of Shred post features a Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck ad from a 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine.

Astrodeck was founded in 1976, which means the ad above is from the brand’s earlier days. You’ll note that the ad pre-dates Astrodeck’s now-famous logo. There are a few other details that stand out. First, during the height of Astrodeck’s popularity, it boasted a team roster stocked to the gills with standout pros. The Astrodeck ad above features team riders Jimmy Spring and Mark Tomb, neither of whom I had heard of before.

Second, the Astrodeck ad doubles as a promotion for Herbie Fletcher Surfboards. It also mentions Mike Perry as a shaper on the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards roster. I had written an earlier Sagas of Shred post featuring longtime Campbell Brothers associate Russ Short which mentioned how Short had begun riding Mike Perry’s shapes. I can only assume the Mike Perry in the Astrodeck ad is the same one who made boards for Russ Short. For some later Astrodeck ads, check out some earlier posts I wrote. I think the 80s Herbie Fletcher Astrodeck ads are more representative of what we tend to associate with the legendary traction brand.

Last but not least, I am especially thankful for my readers. I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate the fact people have taken the time to read this humble little blog. It has been an incredible amount of fun to research vintage surfboards and surf history and to write about it. As always, I love nothing more than hearing from readers, so feel free to reach out at any time. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and stay tuned for bigger and better things from your friends at Shred Sledz!

Schroff Surfboards: Pre-Echo Beach Years

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have two totally bitchin’ vintage Schroff Surfboards that were recently listed for sale. I wrote a recent post featuring a Schroff twin fin and a Wave Tools single fin that were made just a few years before the Echo Beach phase. Today we have two more pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards that I also believe are nicely priced, and still have a lot of the features that make 80s Schroff surfboards so prized by collectors. One of the boards is sadly no longer for sale, but both Schroff surfboards belonged to the man who runs The Vintage Surfboard. This guy is a well-known collector with a bunch of awesome boards. I want to feature the boards and their prices, so that readers can get an idea of the value of these pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards, but I also want to be respectful of featuring photos that are not mine. For more pics of these beautiful Schroff surfboards I encourage you to follow The Vintage Surfboard on Instagram.

Schroff Surfboards Twin Fin “360 Series” (Pic via eBay)

 

Schroff Surfboards Schroff Twin Fin 1980 5'11".jpg

According to the seller, this twin fin was shaped in 1980. You can see Schroff’s signature aesthetic really start to take shape here, with the severe lines of the striped airbrush on the deck. The board was listed for $350, but I suspect it sold for a little higher, given that someone made a private offer for the board on eBay. To me, this is the clearest example that little details make a huge difference when it comes to price. I think if this board had featured the Schroff surfboards parallelogram logo and maybe some brighter colors it would have gone for WAY more. As it stands, the board isn’t perfect, but I think $350 for this little gem is more than reasonable. There’s also some interesting branding on this bad boy. I have personally never seen the “360 Twin Fin Series” laminate on a Schroff board before, versus, say, the more common “Quad Blaster” model.

Schroff Surfboards 1979 Single Fin (eBay)

Schroff Surfboards 1970s Single Fin.jpg

This board is a beaut, and even better, it’s still being offered for sale! The seller is asking $450…and I think that is not just reasonable, but a really good deal. Maybe I’m just a sucker for gradient airbrushes, but this thing is gorgeous. The seller claims the board was shaped in 1979, and when compared to the Schroff surfboards twin fin above, you can see that, stylistcally speaking, the single fin is much closer to a 1970s aesthetic than the angular vibe of Schroff’s 80s boards. There’s no parallelogram logo, but personally I love the old-school Schroff starfish laminate.

Please check out The Vintage Surfboard on Instagram for more pics of both Schroff surfboards above. Happy Shredding!

Tom Carroll Surfboard by Dave Parmenter / Aleutian Juice

Greetings, Shredderz! Here’s a doozy of a board that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Cambria, located on California’s Central Coast. It’s a Tom Carroll surfboard that was shaped for the two-time world champ, but with some interesting additional backstory. The board pictured below was shaped by none other than Dave Parmenter, the iconoclastic and brilliant mind behind Aleutian Juice. Pictures are taken from the Craigslist listing; note that the Shred Sledz text in the first pic is NOT intended as a watermark, but to hide the face of the gentleman in question.

Parmenter is one of the most fascinating figures in surfing. He’s one of the few shapers who uses Instagram to share the books currently on his reading list in lieu of lineup shots and hashtags. I would guess even fewer still regularly write great articles, much less for the Surfer’s Journal. Parmenter first entered the surfing consciousness in the 1980s, when he was one of California’s most promising pros. In an industry with a borderline unhealthy obsession with youth, Parmenter has defied convention, leaving behind the pro tour for a career as one of the world’s most thoughtful and outspoken shapers.

With Tom Curren in Sydney about to head off to the 1988 ASP Awards Banquet, in monkey suits and Blues Brothers 'tudes.

A post shared by Dave Parmenter (@aleutianjuice) on

Parmenter and Carroll were contemporaries on the pro surfing circuit during the 1980s. Later in the decade, while working as a shaping apprentice for Rusty Preisendorfer, Parmenter began shaping boards for Carroll. Their relationship has continued to this day. Carroll even gets a shout out on the Aleutian Juice team riders page.

Tom Carroll Surfboard by Dave Parmenter Aleutian Juice
Tom Carroll posing with an Aleutian Juice stick. As you can see from the Clark Foam laminate, this is an older board Parmenter shaped for Carroll. Parmenter dates this board to the early 1990s, though the picture above was taken much later. Pic via Nowtro / Aleutian Juice

It is cool to think that Parmenter and Carroll, who were once at the center of the pro surfing hype machine during some of its frothiest years, are still connected today. It’s also worth noting that Parmenter apparently helped Carroll battle through the latter’s struggles with addiction — partially by introducing Carroll to stand-up paddleboarding — which adds a wonderful human element to their pairing.

As for the board that is currently listed for sale, it seems like it was shaped in the late 1990s / early 2000s. The seller claims it has been stored in a garage for the past 18 years. TC is known for his association with Quiksilver, and there’s a clear Quik logo found on the nose, but Parmenter’s signature dispels any sort of doubts around whether or not this is a legitimate Tom Carroll surfboard.

Tom Carroll Surfboard Dave Parmenter Aleutian Juice 3
You can clearly see Parmenter’s signature, indicating this is a Tom Carroll surfboard. I can’t quite make out all the text on the stringer, sadly. Pic via Craigslist

Given that the board measures in at 10’4″ and it was shaped for Tom Carroll, there’s no doubt it was made for serious surf.

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Tom Carroll at Off The Wall. Photo by Brian Bielmann. Bielmann says this wave “sent shockwaves through the surfing world” and was considered one of the biggest waves ever caught at OTW. Pic via Brian Bielmann

The seller is asking $2,500 for the board, which you can find here. It isn’t easy to find personal Tom Carroll boards, although I imagine this one was made for him well after TC’s pro career ended. I loved discovering the ongoing collaboration between Carroll and Parmenter, and the dynamic of a partnership between one of the most famous surfers of the 1980s, and a man who has made a point out of rejecting the pro surfing orthodoxy, respectively.

Eighties Mark Richards Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

We love Thursdays here at Shred Sledz HQ for a few reasons. First, it means the weekend is within striking distance. Second, and more importantly, Thursdays are when we publish our exclusive Sagas of Shred series, which is really just an excuse to run scans of awesome advertisements from my stack of old Surfer Magazines. And as you can see above, the subject of today’s Sagas of Shred post is none other than Australian legend Mark Richards.

When I first stumbled across the ad pictured above, I wanted to make some customary lighthearted comments about MR’s era-appropriate hairdo and outfit. But MR’s incredible resume deserves far more attention. Richards is one of the few modern pros whose shaping career matches (or even exceeds!) his accomplishments in a jersey. This is saying something, considering that MR won four consecutive world titles, an achievement surpassed only by the otherworldly Kelly Slater.

MR wasn’t just shaping boards as a hobby while he was competing: in fact, he claims that riding his own designs gave him a significant advantage over other pros at the time. Richards was an early pioneer of the twin fin, a board he credits with helping him garner his world titles. I highly recommend reading the bio on the Mark Richards Surfboards website, which is a great overview of MR’s journey.

The advertisement at the top of the page is interesting because it ran in an issue of Surfer Magazine in the 1980s in what I assume was an attempt to target the American market. Richards continues to live and shape in Newcastle, Australia. I believe most of the boards sold under the Mark Richards Surfboards label in the US were licensed out to ghost shapers, but it’s unclear who. One indication is the Spanners logo in the ad. I believe Spanners was a glassing shop, and it appears that at one time, Spanners was associated with Robert August Surfboards.

Richards’ career is deserving of much more than a snapshot of an advertisement in an old magazine, however. Stay tuned for some more content about the man. In the meantime, enjoy this MR-themed blast for the past, and tune in next week for more Sagas of Shred.

Vintage Takayama Boards: Shred Sledz Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! As some of you have no doubt noticed by now, the late, great Donald Takayama is a favorite around these parts. Vintage Takayama boards exchange hands pretty frequently on the secondary market, especially in the San Diego area. Donald Takayama Surfboards continues to sell templates of DT’s designs today, a few years after his untimely passing, but as always, my interest lies in vintage Takayama boards. Here are a few interesting examples, curated from my exhaustive Craigslist trawling.

Example #1: 1980s Donald Takayama Hawaiian Pro Designs Noserider (Craigslist San Diego)

Vintage Takayama Boards Logo.jpg

Here is one of the cooler vintage Takayama boards I have spotted recently, which I believe dates to the 1980s. First, I’ll start by saying I have no clue why some Takayama boards were produced under the Hawaiian Pro Designs labels, and others only have Takayama laminates. Either way, the board pictured above and below looks like it pre-dates a lot of the vintage Takayama boards from the 1990s and 2000s that are fairly commonplace on Craigslist in San Diego. The seller also thinks the board was likely shaped during the 1980s.

Vintage Takayama Boards 1980s Hawaiian Pro Designs Noserider 2Vintage Takayama Boards 1980s Hawaiian Pro Designs Noserider 3Vintage Takayama Boards 1980s Hawaiian Pro Designs Noserider 4

The font used on the Hawaiian Pro Designs laminates is different from what you see on later vintage Takayama boards, which you can see below. There are two other nice, smaller touches about the board: one is the wooden tail block. Second, you can just make out the old-school yellow Clark Foam laminate, which is always a welcome sight:

Vintage Takayama Boards 1980s Hawaiian Pro Designs Noserider 5.jpg

The seller is asking $750 for the board. I could go either way on the price — I certainly don’t think this is crazy. On the other hand, the board isn’t in great condition, and I think if you’re patient, you can find newer boards in better condition at similar prices. Then again, this noserider has a couple of unique touches that would make it a nice addition for a big Takayama fan. One quick caveat, however: the Craigslist post does not have pictures of a Takayama signature, and I would look for this before making any purchase.

 

Example #2: 1990s Donald Takayama Hawaiian Pro Designs Competition Model

Vintage Takayama Boards Competition Model 1Vintage Takayama Boards Competition Model 2Vintage Takayama Boards Competition Model 3

This bad boy was snapped up shortly after the ad went live. It was actually listed with the 1980s noserider above. It appears that Noah Shimabukuro, a Takayama team rider, got this 2+1 Competition model for himself!

My new contest board @surfboardsbydonaldtakayama

A post shared by Noah Shimabukuro (@noahkaoi) on

Shimabukuro has his own signature model, which is called the Noah Ka Oi. According to the Takayama Surfboards website, this translates to “Noah is the best”, which is a fantastic name for a signature board.

I don’t know that I have seen a Takayama Competition model before. I am pretty sure the Competition model was shaped in the 1990s. You’ll notice that the Hawaiian Pro Designs font has been updated, and it has a streaky script look, as opposed to the rounded letters from the font on the 1980s noserider at the top of the page. In addition, the Takayama Competition model has a clear example of an authentic Donald signature, which I have included below.

Donald Takayama Hawaiian Pro Designs Competition Model 1990s 9'0" 6.jpg

Example #3: 1980s Donald Takayama Shortboard (Craigslist San Diego)

Once again I am taking some guesses at the dates, but the thruster setup indicates the board pictured was shaped sometime after 1981. The removable center fin paired with glassed-on side fins is a setup that seems to have fallen out of fashion. As someone who obsesses over shaper signatures, I was interested to see this is the rare example of a Takayama board signed with initials, as opposed to his full name. There are tons of vintage Takayama boards out there without signatures — and the newer ones have dark laminates that say “designed by Donald Takayama” — but Takayama seems to have signed a large number of his creations. Despite the unusual use of the initials, the handwriting looks similar to the Competition Model above. Here’s another example of a Takayama signature from a board. The seller of the thruster is asking $285. I think this is a little on the expensive side, given the condition, but these older Takayamas don’t appear every day.

Vintage Takayama Boards Twin Fin.jpeg
Vintage Takayama twin fin. Pic via 1stDibs

Pictured above is a somewhat cleaner example of a Takayama board from a similar era. It’s interesting to note that the thruster with the initials on the stringer has a Hawaiian Pro Designs laminate above the Surf Boards by Donald Takayama logo, whereas the twin fin above does not.

Donald Takayama is a surfer and a shaper whose illustrious career practically demands a longer and more in-depth post. In the meantime, I hope this post was a helpful overview of some of the options for vintage Takayama boards that one can find for sale online. Until next time, Shredderz!

 

Schroff Twin Fin and Wave Tools Single Fin: Pre-Echo Beach Price Checks

Few things warm the cold hearts of Shred Sledz’s crack editorial team like surfboards from the eighties, and especially boards associated with the infamous Echo Beach scene. Technically a stretch of sand in Newport Beach, Echo Beach has come to encapsulate the bright colors and over-the-top personalities of pro surfing in the eighties. Echo Beach is remembered fondly today, and that affection is reflected in the high prices commanded by pristine examples of Schroff, Wave Tools and Stussy surfboards. However, earlier boards from some of these shapers — Schroff and Wave Tools in particular — can be had at cheaper prices. This post will explore some recent listings of pre-Echo Beach boards. Pictured below is an earlier Schroff twin fin that recently sold on eBay for $436 with no shipping.

Now, $400 for a used surfboard isn’t cheap, especially one that has signs of wear and tear. But I believe the Schroff twin fin above is priced cheaper to its equivalents from the Echo Beach era. The board has some yellowing, and there are some repairs throughout, including an area in the tail. You’ll notice that the board lacks the black & white Schroff parallelogram logo from the 1980s, and bears the older Schroff script logo instead. The starfish logo is a throwback to Hanifin Surf Shop, owned by Pat Hanifin, where Schroff got his start. See below for an example of a board from around 1972, as estimated by Pimp himself. On top you’ll see the Hanifin starfish logo, and beneath it an extremely early hand-drawn Schroff Designs logo!

I recently wrote up a separate Schroff twin fin that also sold on eBay. That board, pictured below, ended up selling for $388. Again, the red Schroff twin fin below doesn’t have the attributes of the most desirable Schroff boards from the 80s — black & white logo, “Blaster” laminates, geometric airbrush graphics — but given the bright colors and the good condition, I’m still amazed it sold for less than $400. As a bonus, there was a recent Schroff single fin (from the same seller as the red Schroff twin fin) that sold for a mere $380, which I estimated would go for almost double.

Schroff Twin Fin Red 1.jpg
Another Schroff twin fin that I wrote about a little while back. You’ll notice the Hanifin reference in the starfish logo has been replaced with Schroff Designs. Pic via eBay

In summary, I am pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of some pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards. Now, standard caveats about surfboard prices supply, given that only a handful of boards sell for any period of time, and there’s no way to keep track of private sales, which is how I suspect many of the real gems trade hands. Nonetheless, if eBay is any indication, there are some beautiful Schroff boards from the late 1970s and early 1980s that can be had at decent prices.

One sees a similar trend with Wave Tools, where pre-Echo Beach Lance Collins boards can often go for much cheaper prices than the 80s versions. A few months ago I wrote a post about a vintage Wave Tools single fin that was being sold at $275. There is a nearly identical Wave Tools single fin being listed for sale on eBay, which you can see below.

The yellow Wave Tools single fin isn’t in great condition by any stretch. I have excluded pics that show some ugly repairs on the rails, and there are some open wounds on the board, too. The price on the yellow Wave Tools single fin has dropped a few times, and it can currently be yours for $200. The relatively poor condition of the board makes a straight apples to apples comparison a little more difficult. Even so, there’s a classic 80s Wave Tools twin fin that’s currently for sale on eBay, and the seller is asking $850, even with some discoloration on the deck.

While Lance Collins will forever be associated with Wave Tools, you can also find boards he shaped under different labels. The prices on non-Wave Tools Lance Collins boards are also a bit cheaper, but again, this isn’t scientific. Here is a Hot Lips sting shaped by Lance, and we also wrote up a Jack’s Surfboards single fin he made.

One small note about the numbering scheme on the Wave Tools single fin: the yellow board above is numbered #0678, and the previous board was numbered #0685. I’m not sure how Lance numbered his boards, but it appears that the two Wave Tools single fins were created within the same time period.

Finally, if you have a pre-Echo Beach Schroff twin fin or a Wave Tools single fin you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew Model: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday, which can mean only one thing: here at Shred Sledz we’re taking a trip in the Wayback Machine to take a peek at some long-lost surf artifacts from the past. A few weeks ago I featured a Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew model with an incredible airbrush of Burleigh Heads on the bottom. Rabbit’s Hot Stuff model features an absolutely classic logo that probably wouldn’t fly in today’s intellectual property environment. Today’s post features an ad for a Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew Model that originally ran in Surfer Magazine in 1979.

This ad was the first — and only — time I have ever heard of the Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew Model. It’s particularly interesting given that Hobie is a California-based brand, and Rabbit remains one of Australia’s all-time surfing heroes. That said, Rabbit was still an incredibly popular surfer stateside, and I imagine that this collaboration was meant to capitalize on his recognition at the time.

I have been able to find some similar boards online, but none bearing any sort of association with Hobie Surfboards. The first comes courtesy of SoulSurf.com.au. If you’re into vintage Australian boards, I can’t recommend SoulSurf enough. They have a great selection of vintage sticks for sale, and they have kept up galleries of boards that are no longer in stock. SoulSurf has an example of a twin fin Rabbit Bartholomew model made for Aussie label Pipedream Surfboards, which you can see below.

You’ll notice the laminate on the left is nearly identical to the one that appears on the Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew Model in the ad at the top of the page. The only difference is the “Fashioned by Murray Bourton” laminate (Bourton founded Pipedream).

First, it’s hilarious to note that Rabbit is clearly surfing a Lightning Bolt board in the laminate on his signature model! To me that speaks to the ubiquity of the Bolt label during the 1970s, which had become more or less synonymous with the sport itself. I also love the so-called “Hookah” Pipedream logo (and note the “Kirra QLD” designation, letting you know the brand’s Gold Coast origins.)

Finally, it looks as if Rabbit barely changed the Pipedream logo before repurposing it for the Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew model. Here’s an example of a non-Rabbit Pipedream board, which was originally posted on Von Weirdos.

Pipedream Surfboards Logo Von Weirdos.jpg
Standard Pipedream Surfboards logo from 1980. As you can see, the logo Rabbit uses on his Hobie signature model is virtually identical. Pic via Von Weirdos

As evidenced by the Lightning Bolt logo throughout, the 70s were a different time when it came to trademarks and the like. I see the recycling of the various logos is a sign of the freewheeling nature of the surf industry during the 1970s.

If you’ve ever seen one of these mysterious Hobie Rabbit Bartholomew models, give me a shout! Until then, tune in next week for another installment of Sagas of Shred, brought to you by the fine folks at Shred Sledz.