Takayama, Bertlemann…and Pepsi?

A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?

Larry Bertlemann.

Photo from The Inertia; copyright Art Brewer.

Mr. Bertlemann, the Hawaiian pro surfer dubbed “Rubberman” for the physics-defying body torqued that defined his surfing, was one of the best known surfers of the 70s.

Bertlemann was one of the few men who could truly lay claim to having a signature style, whether it was his radical surfing, his awesome hair, or, of course, his surfboards. Bertlemann was sponsored by Pepsi during the height of his career. He embraced his role as an ambassador (some might say billboard), going as far as to decorate his boards with the Pepsi logo.

The Pepsi boards have not only become synonymous with Bertelmann’s legacy, they are one of the more enduring symbols of 70s Hawaiian surf culture itself.

One of Bertelmann’s infamous Pepsi boards is currently up for grabs on eBay. It is a classic twin-fin swallowtail shape (not sure if it qualifies as a fish or not…anyone got thoughts here?). Even better, it bears a Donald Takayama signature, and one of Takayama’s clear bird logos (I believe it’s an ewa / frigate bird, but also cannot confirm). There’s a bit of damage around one of the glassed on fins, but hey — that’s a small price to pay for an iconic piece of Hawaiian surfing history.

Check it out on eBay here.

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