Vintage Bing Bonzer Duo

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post brings you a pair of vintage Bing Bonzer boards that are currently for sale on Craigslist. I wrote up another Bing Bonzer earlier this month — check out that post here. Without any further ado, here are the boards:

Vintage Bing Bonzer #1: 7’1″ with Diamond Tail (For Sale on Craigslist Ventura)

Pics above are via the Craigslist posting. The yellow vintage Bing Bonzer pictured above is in pretty good condition considering it’s 40+ years old. Still, you can see some obvious spots on the deck where repairs were made. The deck has some sun damage, but now we’re just nitpicking. The glass-on side bite fins are remarkably well preserved, and I just love the Bonzer logo! The last shot gives a great close-up of the concave in the tail. The seller is asking $800 for this board.

Vintage Bing Bonzer #2: Dimensions Unknown (For Sale on Craigslist Orange County)

Pics above via the Craigslist posting. Sadly, no dimensions are provided, but the board is very similar to the first vintage Bing Bonzer featured in this post. It’s nice to see a slightly different color combination, too: Board #2 has a green Bonzer logo on the side bite fins, and then a red Bing logo on the deck.

Vintage Bing Bonzer 4.jpg
Close-up shot of the tail. Pic via Craigslist.

One thing that stands out about Board #2 is the different fin. Board #1’s fin looks like it is plastic, whereas Board #2 could be fiberglass. It’s difficult for me to say without looking at each board in person. If anyone has info on the original fins that came with vintage Bing Bonzer surfboards, let me know! This board is listed at $500, which seems like a great price for a Bing Bonzer in great condition.

It’s unclear to me who shaped each of these boards. The vintage Bing Bonzer I wrote up earlier bore Mike Eaton signatures (which were not pictured in the post). Both of the Bonzers above do not have any markings that I could discern.

Finally, you can see that both boards have standard Bing logos on the decks. At some point, however, Bing produced a combination Bing Bonzer logo. I have included one below. Stoked-n-Board offers up some clues for dating the boards above, via the logo designs. According to S-n-B’s excellent Bing entry, the non-Bonzer variant of the logo was produced starting in 1970. S-n-B claims the Bing Bonzer logo,  pictured directly below, was used beginning in 1972. By that math, both vintage Bing Bonzers above were likely produced between 1970 and 1972. This is by no means definitive, but that’s the best I could come up with.

Vintage Bing Bonzer Logo
Here is a version of the Bing Bonzer logo that was reportedly used starting in 1972. Note that both boards featured above have the standard Bing logo with no reference to the Bonzer.

Check out Board #1 here, and Board #2 can be found here.

Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! As promised, we have another episode of Sagas of Shred, which features various bits of surf history from over the years. We have written about old Astrodeck ads before, but hey, you gotta keep drawing from the well until it’s dry! Today’s installment is an Astrodeck ad from the 1980s that features another murderer’s row of surfers. Pictured left to right: Willy Morris, Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Wes Laine, Gary Elkerton, and Chappy Jennings. The second picture has Hawaiian fixtures Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Rory Russell…because the All Star team assembled in the first one simply wasn’t enough! A lot has changed in surfing over the years, but Herbie Fletcher’s unparalleled ability to gather big name pros has not. Hope you enjoyed this post and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Vintage Board Price Checks Featuring 80s T&C Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick check-in on the market for 1980s boards, many of which feature the bright colors and loud graphics that came to define the decade. Trying to find information on fair prices for boards can be a frustrating experience. By referencing some recent eBay sales, including examples of some 80s T&C surfboards, the hope is this post can help collect useful information on board prices.

Board #1: 1981 Town & Country Twin Fin (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $495.00

This board is pictured above (photo via the eBay listing). The board is in good condition, but it has some obvious flaws, including sun damage on the bottom, and some obvious ding repairs. This next part is pure speculation, but I believe the paint job, while recognizable as an 80s design, is less coveted than some more over the top examples. Nonetheless, the closing price says it all. Vintage T&C 80s surfboards remain incredibly popular among collectors.

Board #2: 1983 Town & Country Thruster (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $285.00

I was a little surprised that the price on Board #2 came in so far below Board #1. Board #2 has a cool spray job on the deck and then a bright pink color on the bottom. Unfortunately, Board #2 features a huge piece of Gorilla Grip traction covering a good chunk of the deck. You can also see a bunch of small dings covering the bottom of the board. I tend to think this is at the lower price range for T&C 80s surfboards.

Board #3: 1980s Town & Country Quad Fin (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $202.50

While Board #3 is the cheapest of the vintage 1980s T&C surfboards covered in the post, I think it’s a pretty fair price. First, the board is pretty faded, and there are multiple spots on the deck. Considering that T&Cs are coveted for their graphics, anything that will compromise the visual aspects of the board are likely to mean a discount in price. Board #3 never had a statement paint job to begin with, either.

Board #4: 1980s Local Motion 2+1 (eBay Link). Winning Bid: $620.00

In general, I would say Local Motion boards are not as coveted as their Town & Country counterparts. I think Board #4 is an example of the fact that graphics and condition can often be the most important variables when considering the end price. The board has a beautiful paint job; the only reason I am not including a picture here is because I have already used many of eBay seller cashjack‘s photos in previous posts. Please click through to the listing! There are two other interesting aspects about this board: first, it originally sold for $511 about a month ago, and when the original buyer didn’t want to pay shipping to Hawaii, the board was re-listed on eBay. I can’t say if the price increase has anything to do with market trends or just randomness. Second, unless it’s a typo on the listing, the board is 5’0″ x 17″ x 2-1/2″, which is quite small. If these measurements are correct, then I suspect most buyers are looking at the board as a wall hanger.

Board #5: 1980s Local Motion Single Fin (eBay Link). Current Bid: $480.00

I saved the best for last. Board #5 is also being sold by cashjack. You must click through to the listing and check out the pink and purple checker spray job on this bad boy. There are still three days left in the auction, but the price is already hovering just below $500. I would expect this board to eclipse the price set by Board #4. Again, I think this is a testament to how important visuals are with these boards, given that Town & Country is a more coveted brand than Local Motion (generally speaking, of course).

I hope this was a helpful snapshot at the state of the market for vintage surfboards from the 1980s. As always, if you have more info or context, please give me a shout!

Dick Brewer Trio (With Rich Pavel Cameo!)

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post brings you a fearsome threesome from one of the most illustrious Hawaiian shapers ever: Kauai’s own Dick Brewer. There are two Brewer guns for sale on Craigslist in San Francisco. Pictures below are via the respective Craigslist listings: board #1, board #2, and board #3.

Dick Brewer Surfboard #1: 7’6″ Thruster (Craigslist)

Two things stand out to me about this Dick Brewer gun: first, it’s in great condition. Second, the seller is asking only $275! If you look at the first picture, you can see a Dick Brewer signature in pencil on the stringer. There’s no closeup of the signature, but from what I can see, it looks identical to verified Brewer signatures on other hand shapes I have seen. Here’s an example of a Brewer signature from post-2007 on a board that was sold at auction. I’m not sure when the board above was shaped. My guess is sometime after 2000.

Dick Brewer Surfboard #2: 8′ Gun (Craigslist)

Dick Brewer 8' Gun.jpg

The gun is being offered by the same seller as the 7’6″ thruster above. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the fin setup, so it’s unclear if this is a thruster. This board is also cheap — the seller is asking $300. There’s an interesting detail on this board, which is the Choice logo located just above the tail. Choice Surfboards is one of the labels run by Rich Pavel (the others being Greenroom Surfboards and Pavel Surfboards). More on the Choice Surfboards tie-in below! The board also bears a Dick Brewer signature that looks like it was done in pencil. Finally, I think the 8′ gun and the 7’6″ board were likely shaped around the same time period.

Dick Brewer Surfboard #3: 8′ Thruster (Craigslist)

Finally, we have another 8′ gun on Craigslist. It is listed at $700. The board in the pictures above is also in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it is being offered by a different seller. My guess is the above board was shaped sometime in the 1990s. Either way, it looks like it is an earlier example than the other two boards written up on this post. In addition, the 8′ thruster above solves the mystery of the Choice Surfboards logo!

Dick Brewer Thruster 8'0" 3.jpg
Dick Brewer signature on the stringer. Above that you can see a logo for Choice Surfboards, which is one of the labels for which Rich Pavel shapes.

As you can see in the picture above, the Choice logo reads “Shaped at Choice Shaping Studios: San Diego California.” At some point, Brewer must have shaped alongside Rich Pavel at Pavel’s shaping room in San Diego.

Here’s an example taken from a totally different board. In the picture below you’ll notice that Dick Brewer and Rich Pavel both signed a board.

Choice Surfboards Dick Brewer Rich Pavel Signature.png
This is a picture taken from a board that was listed on Craigslist a few months ago (and not one of the boards pictured above). This the only example I have seen of a board signed by both Dick Brewer and Rich Pavel.

I’m not sure the extent of Pavel and Brewer’s collaboration, but it’s the only example I have seen of a board signed by both men. If you have any info on Brewer’s time shaping alongside Pavel, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know!

Miscellaneous Dick Brewer Boards for Sale

There are a few other Dick Brewer boards currently being listed for sale, and I thought it would be interesting to compare prices. First, there’s a nice 7’1″ wing pin single fin for sale in San Diego. The price is $575 and you can find the link here. The 7’1″ wing pin, however, is shaped by Gary Linden, who is an accomplished big wave surfer and shaper in his own right. For those who aren’t scared off by the prospect of putting in work, there’s another Dick Brewer single fin for sale in San Clemente. You can find the link here. It’s only $40, but the tail in particular looks pretty busted up. There’s a 6’10” Brewer gun on eBay and the seller is asking $849. You can find a link to the 6’10” gun here. Brewer prices can be all over the map. I realize the miscellaneous boards I have linked to aren’t representative of the entire market, but I think it’s sufficient evidence to conclude the first two boards on this page (the 7’6″ for $275 and the 8′ for $300) are being offered at extremely attractive prices.

1980s Wave Tools Lance Collins Thruster

Greetings, Shredderz! Not getting paid by the word here on Sunday night so I’ll keep it short and sweet. There is a beautiful Wave Tools Lance Collins thruster currently being offered for sale on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook. Pics above via the original post, which you can find here. There’s no price listed — reach out to the seller directly via the link in the previous sentence.

Vintage Ugg Australia Ad with Mike Parsons: Sagas of Shred

Looks like Snips found the clean swells, now where are the cool boots? This vintage Ugg Australia ad appeared in the February 1985 issue of Surfer Magazine (Volume 26, No.2). Some of us remember Ugg Boots as the preferred footwear of sorority girls everywhere, but before that, the sheepskin slip-ons were a staple of Aussie dawn patrols. As I go through early back issues of Surfer Magazine, I am often struck by the ads, and how different they are from modern marketing. (The whole “sex sells” attitude was often taken at face value, it seems.) The ironic thing about this ad is that I believe it is intended for male consumers, whereas nowadays we primarily think of Ugg Boots as being targeted to women and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Hope you enjoyed this latest installment of Sagas of Shred, brought to you every Thursday by your good friends at ShredSledz.net!

Al Merrick Signature Breakdown (Part II)

Al Merrick’s greatness is undeniable. What else is there to say about the guy who shaped boards for Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren and Kelly Slater, and forever changed high performance shortboards? As an added bonus, every interview with Merrick indicates that his talent was matched only by his graciousness and humility. I continue to be amazed that Merrick’s hand-shaped boards aren’t in higher demand. I wrote an earlier post about how to identify a genuine Al Merrick signature. The post focused on boards made between the 1980s and 2000s. Today’s post will feature Channel Islands surfboards made during the during the brand’s early years (1970s through early 1980s), some of which pre-date the brand’s now-famous hexagon logo. Continue reading below for an unnecessarily detailed journey into the boards from Al’s early years…

Channel Islands Mid 1970s Single Fin: Al Merrick Signature

Channel Islands Group Pick (Hills Above Refugio) 1975.jpg
Awesome old Channel Islands Surfboards ad that pre-dates the famous hexagon logo. There are some really funky 70s shapes in there, including some stings, a lightning bolt, and some winged pintails. Source unknown.
Channel Islands Jack Meyer Airbrush 1
Vintage Jack Meyer airbrush. Are those dorado? Pic via Joshua Speranza & Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook Group
Al Merrick Signature 1970s
I have never seen an example of a signature like this one. Check out the additional signatures from Bob Haakenson and Dave Johnson. The fish icon has a unique thick outline. Pic via Joshua Speranza & Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook Group

This might be one of the coolest vintage Channel Islands boards I have ever seen. First, check out the Channel Islands ad above, which was taken sometime in the mid-1970s. You can see that none of the boards in the ad have the now-famous CI hexagon logo. Second, the swallow tail board with the fish airbrush is clearly visible in the center of the ad. The airbrush was done by Jack Meyer, who was a Santa Barbara legend in his own right. Miraculously, this board has survived, and it belongs to the owner of Pig Dog Surf Shop. You can find the original Facebook post about the board here, which has many more pictures and info. The second picture is a close-up of the stringer, where you can see an Al Merrick signature with his full name, in addition to longtime glasser Bob Haakenson. The fish design, which appears on so many of Al’s boards, has an outline, which is unlike any other example I have seen on a Channel Islands board.

Channel Islands Early 1970s Single Fin: Inconclusive Al Merrick Signature

Channel Islands Single Fin 1971 7'3".jpg
Channel Islands 1970s single fin. There is an inscription on the stringer, but it’s unclear whether or not Al signed or shaped this board. Pic via Mollusk Surfboards

Pictured above is a Channel Islands single fin that was dated to 1971. This board originally appeared for sale at Mollusk Surf Shop. It is currently for sale on SurfboardHoard.com (link here). There is an inscription on the stringer, and you can see a closeup here. It’s difficult to make out anything in the inscription other than the fish design, which is a near constant presence on CI boards. The verdict: it’s difficult to say whether this is a genuine Merrick handshape, given the lack of an identifiable signature.

Channel Islands Single Fin and 1980s Tri Plane Hull Twin Fin: Al Merrick Signature with Full Name

Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I found this picture. If it belongs to you, let me know so I can give credit where it is due! I believe the board above was made in the late 1970s or early 1980s. You can see the Channel Islands hexagon logo on the bottom. According to Stoked-n-Board, the hexagon logo wasn’t introduced until 1979. This board looks extremely similar to a Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull model I wrote about almost a year ago. There is a clear signature on the stringer that has Al’s full name. The serial number is #6106, compared to #5374 on the CI Tri Plane Hull. The glassed-on wooden fin is interesting: I haven’t seen any other CI boards with a similar fin setup.

See above for an example of an early 1980s Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull twin fin that also bears Al’s signature with his full name, and not the “Fish / Al” combo that is common on later Merrick shapes. If you don’t follow Buggs on Instagram, you should! The serial number on this board is #6383, dating it a little after both of the single fins mentioned in the above paragraph.

Channel Islands Single Fins: “Stamped” Al Merrick Signature

Al Merrick Stamped Signature

Finally, we have some surfboards that I simply don’t know how to classify. The picture above comes from a late 1970s / early 1980s CI single fin that I wrote up earlier this year. The more I look at the signature above, the more I am convinced that this is simply a laminate. The “Shaped By” is obviously printed, and the signature is either printed or is in dark ink, unlike most of the examples above. Even though I believe the signature above is a laminate, I think it’s still possible the board was hand-shaped by Al. I’m just not sure.

Al Merrick Signature Laminate.jpg
Look at the Al Merrick “signature” on this board. You can clearly see that this was intended to be a laminate, and not any sort of evidence. Moreover, this particular board has the “Al / fish” combo signature on the stringer. Pic via Douglas Pearson on Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook Group.

For example, see the board pictured directly above. It is an odd combo: it has a signature that is an obvious laminate, but it also has a clear Al hand signature on the stringer. I believe the board above was likely made during the early 1980s, right before the thruster took off, but I’m not certain.

Conclusion

How can one tell whether or not a board was shaped by Al Merrick? Well, I hate to even say this, but it depends. There are many examples of early Channel Islands Surfboards that do not have a clear Al Merrick signature, but were still shaped well before the brand shifted to mass production of its designs. I suppose it’s possible that Merrick employed ghost shapers, but I can’t say for sure. One trend is also clear: during CI’s early days, Merrick had a habit of signing his board with his full name, before transitioning to the “Al / fish” combo during the 80s and the subsequent years of his career. If you have additional information, please let me know!

See “How to Tell if Al Merrick Shaped Your Channel Islands Surfboard” here.

Picture at the top of the post by Jimmy Metyko. Pic via The Surfer’s Journal