Christian Fletcher Goin’ Off: Sagas of Shred

Shredderz, it’s late, and I’ve got stuff to do. But nothing — nothing — stops the Sagas of Shred train from leaving the station every Thursday night, delivering more vintage surf ads to all you internet surfers. The topic’s of today’s entry is none other than esteemed aerialist and counter culture icon Christian Fletcher. Here’s a pic of one of Fletcher’s famous frontside boosts, powered by a T&C Surf Designs stick bearing his awesome skull logo. I still don’t quite understand the relationship between Christian Fletcher Surfboards and T&C. As you can see in the ad, Christian Fletcher definitely rode for Town & Country Surfboards, and for at least part of that time, his boards had both the T&C yin yang laminates as well as the Christian Fletcher logo. I’m guessing he later split off to found his own Christian Fletcher Surfboards label — here’s a Steve Boysen-shaped Christian Fletcher Surfboards stick that isn’t from T&C — but I haven’t read any definitive accounts of what happened. Either way, Fletcher blazed a trail through surfing in the late Eighties and early Nineties with his radical moves and contempt for the pro contest scene.

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

Stealth Seventies Phil Becker Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Look, if there’s one thing this blog is good for — and God knows it’s not the writing — it’s putting readers onto quality vintage surfboards that are listed for sale. Featured here is a super clean Seventies Phil Becker surfboard, which is currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The board is not mine and you can find the listing here.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the Phil Becker surfboard might have a little bit of a tan, but other than that, it appears to be in good condition. I love the clean lines of this shape. The lack of any logos anywhere is another killer touch. In fact, this board reminds me a ton of another Phil Becker single fin I wrote up recently. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same seller is behind both listings.

As I wrote in the previous post, I mostly know of Becker from his work under his own name, as well as labels like Rick Surfboards. But this is the second no-label Becker surfboard I’ve seen, and I really dig it. There’s something very cool and understated about such a well regarded shaper foregoing the branding exercise altogether.

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Close up of the signature on the Becker surfboard

As you can see below, the board comes with a beautiful glass on fin as well. I love the all-around minimalism — no logo, no fin box, and what looks like a resin leash attachment that might have been added after the fact.

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Close up shot of the tail and the gorgeous glass on fin

The seller is asking $325 for the board, which you can find here. I think this is a fair price, although standard caveats apply given that I haven’t seen the board in person, and I’m judging it strictly from the pics. If you ask me, I think the previous Phil Becker single fin I wrote up was a bit more bang for the buck — I guess the triple stringer is something of a tiebreaker — but it’s hard to go wrong with either of these two.

 

Channin Diffenderfer Surfboard: Transition Era Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we just have a quick little hit for your viewing pleasure, but I think you’ll dig it anyway. Mike Diffenderfer is regarded by many as an incredibly influential shaper. Before he passed away in 2002 at the relatively young age of sixty four, Diffenderfer had established himself as one of the premier shapers of his generation. Diffenderfer was known for his big wave guns as well as his balsa designs. Even though the Encyclopedia of Surfing estimates Diffenderfer shaped over 25,000 surfboards in his career, they’re not super easy to come by. Needless to say, whenever a Mike Diffenderfer stick pops up for sale I’m always interested, and the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard featured here definitely fits the bill.

Pictured above is a very cool looking Channin Diffenderfer surfboard that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The board is not mine and all pics are via the Craigslist post, which you can find here. The Channin Diffenderfer surfboard measures in at 8’3″ and it was likely shaped sometime during the late Sixties, given its dimensions and hull-like features.

 

As you can see in the photo above and to the left (click to enlarge), the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard sports some really great resin pin lines on the deck. If you look closely you’ll see the inner most pin lines are done in yellow, contrasting with the two blue pin lines closer to the rails of the board.

The surfboard has been restored with a new gloss coat at some point, and you can see where there was some water damage on the nose. Nonetheless, it’s great to see the board is mostly preserved a good half century or so after it was initially shaped.

The seller is asking $950 for the board. You can find the listing here. I’m a bit torn on the price. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but while it’s pricey, well, these boards aren’t very common, and I am definitely a sucker for painstaking resin pin lines. I’d say this price is probably a little above what most people would be willing to pay, but that’s mostly a guess.

Here’s a photo of Diffenderfer in his shaping bay in Hawaii, taken by the peerless Jeff Divine. There’s an excellent Mike Diffenderfer fan page on Facebook, which I recommend checking out here.

Mike Diffenderfer Hawaii via Degree 33 Surfboards
Diffenderfer in the shaping bay. Photo by Jeff Divine; via Degree 33 Surfboards

 

 

Weekend Grab Bag: Yater Spoon & More

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to think the blog has been off to a nice start this year, with content like this absolute weapon of a Channel Islands single fin sporting an epic Jack Meyer airbrush, or scans of an old Eaton Surfboards brochure sent to me by a reader. Ultimately, though, that’s for all of you to decide. If you’re still reading this, first I would like to say thank you, and second, let’s get right to the next installment of the Weekend Grab Bag, where I highlight some of my favorite boards currently listed for sale on the internet. Scroll down for a selection of sick vintage sticks that are currently up for grabs.

9’10” Andreini Spoon (Craigslist Santa Cruz)

Marc Andreini is one of my all-time favorite shapers. The board above is a take on Renny Yater’s famous Spoon design, which, fifty plus years after its invention, remains one of the greatest noserider surfboards ever crafted. Andreini, who spent formative years shaping and surfing in Santa Barbara, considers Yater one of his chief influences. (Check out “The Gift” for more info on Andreini and California surfboard history.) The Andreini spoon pictured above isn’t quite vintage — the seller estimates it was shaped in 1996 or so — but it’s old enough to qualify as interesting (to me, anyway). As best I could tell, Andreini’s current noserider model does not have the step deck you see on both the Yater Spoon and the board above. No matter what, this Andreini spoon is a cool board from one of California’s great living shapers, and at $575, I think it’s more than reasonably priced. See below for a video of Joe Davies riding an Andreini Owl Noserider, which is via Andreini’s own website. (And if you’re into unique Andreini boards, here’s a Bonzer that’s currently for sale.)

9’8″ Yater Spoon from 2000 (Craigslist San Diego)

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And now that we’ve seen a take on the Yater Spoon, how about one from the OG himself? I think the price might be a bit steep on the Yater Spoon pictured above. The seller is asking $1399. He claims the board has only been surfed once, and it certainly looks to be in extra clean condition. Even so, you can easily find a brand new Yater Spoon on Mollusk’s website listed at $1199 before tax. To each his own, but I think we can all agree that you simply can’t go wrong with a Yater Spoon.

9’6″ Greg Liddle L Spoon (Craigslist Ventura)

Greg Liddle’s L Spoon design is also influenced by Renny Yater. See the Liddle Surfboards website for more info. Honestly, I’m a little surprised this board is still listed for sale. It has been up for over two weeks, which is longer than most Greg Liddle hand shapes last on Craigslist. I’m wondering if the board hasn’t already been sold, and the seller never bothered to take down the listing. The Liddle L Spoon listed above is priced at $1500. No matter what, I’m a sucker for that old school Crash Test Dummies inspired Liddle Surfboards logo, too.

Occy J Bay by Billabong: Sagas of Shred

Today, Shredderz, I don’t have much to say. Frankly, what more is there to add when your subject is a perfect power hack performed by one of the most famous backhands in the business? Even better is the fact this image features Mark Occhilupo lacerating a groomed wall at Jeffreys Bay. The Occy J Bay combo is up there with the most memorable surfer / wave pairings in history, and this photograph is a clear demonstration why. This is a Billabong ad taken from Surfing Magazine sometime in 1991.

It’s interesting that this ad ran during the low years of Occ’s career, when he slipped out of the surfing limelight despite having been one of the marquee stars of the Eighties. It’s startling to think how young Occy was during the height of his fame. (Check out the peerless Encyclopedia of Surfing for their in-depth Occy bio if you want to learn more.) By 1991, Occy was only twenty five, yet he had already experienced the white hot glare of the insane OP Pro crowds in the mid-Eighties, and was a mere eight years away from winning the World Title. When I first came across this ad I was surprised to see that Billabong was still giving Occy the star treatment in its marketing after he had already fallen off the world tour. It’s no wonder Occy’s world title is still viewed as one of the great feel good comebacks in professional surfing.

Curiously, I couldn’t find any good photos of Occy’s performance at the 1984 Country Feeling Classic. The contest is widely regarded as having begun the Occy J Bay love affair. I was able to find this highlight video. Check out the very end, which features Occy surfing in the foreground and Shaun Tomson on the next wave in the set.

Occy’s still going strong today via his Occ-Cast interview series. Check out the latest episode below, featuring the recently retired Joel Parkinson.

And if you still haven’t gotten your fill of Occ, here’s another Billabong ad featuring Occhilupo at his most smoldering.

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

Vintage Yater Surfboard: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is just a quick one, featuring a vintage Yater surfboard that came and went in the blink of an eye on Craigslist. Before I get into the post, though, I thought I would offer some quick thoughts on why I post so many boards that are listed for sale. First, I’m interested in surfboard prices. Much of the blog came about simply because I was so frustrated at how difficult it was to do research about vintage surfboards online. This is particularly true with pricing, which seems to be a sensitive topic in general. Second, and more importantly, I found that Craigslist and eBay were incredibly rich sources when it came to pictures of awesome surfboards. The only problem is that these boards get taken down — sometimes very quickly — meaning that unless you’re a full-blown Craigslist addict like myself, there’s a limited window in which one can see boards being posted for sale.

Which brings me to the beautiful vintage Yater surfboard you see pictured above. This bad boy measures in at 7’0″ and it was listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Barbara for about 48 hours before someone leapt on it. And while I wish I could post so-called original content all the time, I do think it’s important to preserve photos and records of these beautiful boards that pop up and then disappear as soon as some eagle eyed buyers catch wind of them.

Chances are if you’re reading this blog I don’t need to sell you on why it’s worth running photos of Renny Yater‘s creations. But in case there are any doubts, hopefully the photos above give you all the convincing you need. This vintage Yater surfboard was likely shaped sometime during the Seventies. A knowledgeable friend also guesses it might have been as late as the Eighties, based on the logo. I’ve seen a few variants on the Yater logo, and I recommend checking out Stanley’s excellent page for a more comprehensive rundown. As you can see, this particular one has “Santa Barbara Surf Shop” in the almond shape at the top, with “Surfboards by Yater” beneath. (For what it’s worth, this is the logo that is used on the newly redesigned Yater Surfboards website.) On the stringer you can also clearly see the “Y” and then a serial number beneath, denoting that this was likely hand-shaped by Renny himself.

Finally, the board was listed at $550. I think this is a nice price for a vintage Yater surfboard shaped by Renny himself, and the board also seemed to move quickly after being listed.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboards!

Vintage Channel Islands Single Fin With Jack Meyer Airbrush

Alright, Shredderz: it’s time I come clean. The board featured below is one of my absolute favorites since I have started writing this blog. First and foremost, as some of you might know, I am a card carrying Airbrush Aficionado, with a healthy appreciation for all and any spray jobs — the more outrageous the better. The board featured here has an absolutely killer Jack Meyer airbrush (RIP). Meyer, who was born in New Jersey before making his way out to Santa Barbara, made a name for himself as one of the best known airbrush artists before his untimely passing in 2007. Second, the board featured in this post is a vintage Channel Islands Surfboards single fin. CI might be one of the world’s largest surfboard brands, but I am continually surprised that its vintage boards aren’t in higher demand. (Shred Sledz has written a lot about vintage Channel Islands boards in the past.) Anyway, the board below is the best of both worlds: it’s a 1975 Channel Islands single fin, complete with an amazing Jack Meyer artwork on the bottom. Many thanks to KC, who purchased the board and was kind enough to take the awesome photos you see here.

The Channel Islands single fin pictured above measures in at approximately 7’2″ x 20.5″ x 3″. As you can see in the photos, the surfboard features an incredible and intricate Jack Meyer airbrush on the bottom, with Jesus standing over a surf spot. The spot is Government Point at the west end of Cojo Bay, located in the infamous Hollister Ranch. The fact the airbrush is an ode to the Ranch isn’t surprising when considering both Channel Islands’ and Jack Meyer’s Santa Barbara ties.

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Close up of the lineup on the board. This is Government Point in the Hollister Ranch.
Hollister Ranch via HollisterRanchListings.com
Lineup shot somewhere in the Hollister Ranch. I can’t say for sure if it’s the same spot featured on the board. If you’d like to invite me to surf at the Ranch to do some research for this post, my schedule is wide open! Pic via Hollister Ranch Listings

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The board features an original Channel Islands Surfboards logo — no iconic hexagon design to be found here — and a mysterious reference to Pepper Adcock.

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There also a subtle, light purple pin line on the bottom of the board, which I think is the perfect minimalist complement to the detail-packed Jack Meyer airbrush.

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Close up of the stringer. There is no Al signature on the board. I believe the board was likely shaped by another Channel Islands shaper at the time.

I believe the board is not an Al Merrick hand shape. There is no Al signature on the stringer, just a serial number next to the fish outline, which is a staple of Channel Islands boards even today.

I was actually able to find a very similar looking board on Instagram, which you can see below. Sadly, this is the best quality picture was I able to find. If anyone has any ideas on the whereabouts of the other Jesus board, please do let me know!

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Here’s a similar Jack Meyer airbrush from another vintage Channel Islands Surfboard; this one shaped in 1976. Pic via the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Group on Facebook

Last but not least, the story behind the board is equally interesting. Somehow the board found its way to a pawn shop in South Dakota. The then-owner took the board to Orange County this summer while on his way to the Long Beach Motorcycle Swap Meet, and decided to throw the board on Craigslist. The rest, as they say, is history. I am also delighted to report that the board has found its way back to Jack Meyer’s family, in no small part thanks to KC’s efforts.

What can I say? You’re probably better off skipping the text in this post and just looking at the photos, because Meyer’s artwork says far more about this special stick than whatever description I might be able to muster. More than anything else I am stoked that the Channel Islands single fin in this post is with the Meyer family, where it will no doubt be properly appreciated and cared for.

Thanks to KC for sharing the pics and the story behind the board and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I liked writing it!

Note: Post updated to correct the name of the spot in the airbrush to Government Point, and not Cojo Point

Weekend Grab Bag: Happy New Year

Shredderz, it might be a brand New Year, but it’s the same old program as far as Shred Sledz is concerned: nothing but vintage sticks and tasty waves. As always, here’s a rundown of some of the cooler boards I’ve seen posted for sale this weekend, including some nice Mike Eaton gems, in honor of the most recent Sagas of Shred post that featured an old Eaton Surfboards brochure. Anyway, enough talk, and onto the boards!

Mike Eaton / Joe Bauguess Zinger (Craigslist San Diego)

Here’s an interesting example of an Eaton Zinger, complete with a great shot of the tail that shows the insanely deep concave and the unusual quad fin Zinger setup. The seller says the board is an Eaton UEO outline. This particular board is a collaboration with San Diego shaper Joe Bauguess, who claims to have invented the Mini Simmons. Judging from Bauguess’ Instagram account, he has continued to experiment with super deep concaves and the Zinger setup. The seller is asking $775. This might be a tad on the steep side, but for what it’s worth, I have never seen an Eaton / Bauguess board before.

Eaton Twin Fin (Craigslist San Diego)

Yes, another example of a Mike Eaton surfboard! This here is a more standard looking twin fin, and I don’t see any of Eaton’s trademark ultra deep concave, nor is there a bonzer fin setup. The seller is asking $399.

ET Surfboards Pat Ryan Single Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

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This is the same board featured at the top of the page. I’m a sucker for any Seventies single fin with a beautiful coke bottle blue glass job, and this one fits the bill. I love the subtle red resin pinline on the deck, too. Ryan is a long time shaper from the South Bay of Los Angeles. I don’t know if Pat is still shaping, but it looks like his website is still up and running. This board costs $325. I think that’s about fair, but I haven’t seen it in person.

Eighties Stussy Thruster (eBay)

Here’s a pretty clean Stussy thruster that has been for sale on eBay for a few weeks now. I’m a little surprised no one has pounced on this board at what I would call a reasonable $750. I guess it’s a different story if you’re paying for shipping, and the board is located all the way down in Florida, but still! I’m wondering if the relatively plain paint job is keeping the price down.

Thanks for reading and tune in next week for some more vintage surfboard goodness!

Clipz: January 2019

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s a rainy day here in Northern California, so I figured what better way to spend some time than with some quality surfboard related videos. See below for a selection.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: Bird’s Surf Shed is the Mecca! If you ever find yourself in San Diego, make sure you pay a visit to witness one of the most epic stashes of vintage surfboards you will ever see in your life. In this latest installment of Surfer’s excellent Shed Sessions series, Bird pulls down some real gems off the shelves, including a rad little Steve Lis twin fin fish. I actually snapped a pic of the same Lis fish when I visited the shed; you can see the pic (alongside a Skip Frye fish) at the top of the page.

Newport Beach’s Daydream Surf Shop has begun to produce a video series and podcast entitled “Case Study”, and their very first episode features none other than the esteemed Marc Andreini. Check out the video above and you can find the podcast here.

I recently wrote a Sagas of Shred post featuring an old Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure featuring his various models. See above for the first part of three of a series of interviews done with Eaton.

Not vintage, just fun: witness Mason Ho putting a series of impossibly small Matt Biolos / …Lost Surfboards Round Nose Fish models through their paces in pumping Hawaiian surf. For all my love of awesome airbrushes and cool laminates, at the end of the day, surfboards are all about function, and this video is a great reminder of that fact.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! If you missed yesterday’s post about a special Creative Freedom John Bradbury board, please do check it out. I was thrilled to get these pics from a reader, and equally excited to share it with the rest of you. Today’s post also would not be possible if it weren’t for a thoughtful and generous reader. A big thanks goes out to Danny, who sent me an awesome Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure that was likely published sometime during the mid Eighties. You can follow Danny on Instagram here. Usually, Sagas of Shred highlights vintage surf ads, but given how awesome the Eaton Surfboards brochure was, I figured it was worth the change.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure 1
This is the outside of the brochure. When it’s folded up in booklet form, the Eaton logo in the far right flap serves as the cover for the brochure, and the middle panel is the back cover. I love the t-shirt designs and the signature from the middle panel.
Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure 2
This is the interior of the brochure, showing the different Mike Eaton Surfboards models. Check out the signature airbrush designs on the rails.

The Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure is a folded up booklet, but as you can see from the photos above, I unfolded it and scanned each side of the document. Apologies if the formatting is a little strange, but I figured this was the best way to show off the content.

I love everything about this brochure. It is immediately recognizable as a document from a much older time. Danny, who sent the document to me, guesses it was likely from the mid Eighties or so. On one hand, I wouldn’t write this blog if I didn’t love vintage surfboards and anything related to them, but contrasting the brochure above with, say, Hayden Shapes’ Instagram profile makes me acutely aware of how differently surfboards are sold today. (For what it’s worth, I dig Hayden Shapes and their branding.)

I have actually never seen the different Eaton Surfboards models explained in this kind of detail. The only time I got any info around Eaton model names was when Steve, another awesome reader, sent me photos of this Eaton Bonzer UEO model, which you can see below. Judging from the brochure, the Eaton UEO was offered strictly as a Bonzer setup.

It’s interesting to note that SDKT and Semi models are offered in either single fin or Bonzer setups. I have heard that SDKT stands for “Step Deck Kick Tail”, and I’m guessing that Semi refers to what looks to be a semi gun outline. There isn’t a twinzer to be found in this lineup, either. I wish I had more info on the model names — if anyone does, please do let me know.

Finally, I noticed that the SDKT and UEO models have very specific lengths assigned to them. If I’m interpreting things correctly, the SDKT comes in 8’0″, 8’6″, 9’0″ and 9’6″; and the UEO comes in 7’3″, 7’6″, and 7’9″.

Thanks again to Danny for sending me this thing through the mail. Honestly, I’m so stoked just to be able to scan it and share it online where it can be seen by others. If you have any similar kinds of materials definitely let me know! I am always interested in seeing this stuff and writing posts about it, so don’t be shy and drop me a line.

We’ll be back next Thursday and resume our regularly scheduled Sagas of Shred, with some vintage surf ads for your viewing pleasure.

Note: Post edited on Jan 6 2019 to update details on the SDKT model