Greg Noll: “Da Bull”

It’s kind of amazing that Shred Sledz has been going strong for a few months, but there has yet to be a mention of Greg Noll.

Greg Noll, AKA “Da Bull”, is an early big-wave surfer who pioneered surfing at Hawaiian heavy water spots like Waimea and Pipeline. A picture of Noll, with his trademark horizontally striped black and white trunks, staring into the abyss of huge Pipeline is one of the most famous images in the history of surfing:

Photo by John Severson; courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Surfing

He went on to start a surfboard label under his own name, and today those boards are prized by collectors. The board pictured here was posted on Craigslist a few days ago for an outrageously cheap $750, which makes me practically sick to my stomach. It disappeared almost instantly, and I’d like to think that someone got a great deal on an incredible board.

What’s really interesting about this board is the logo. I am by no means an expert in Noll minutiae, and if you’re eager to learn more, I implore you to close the laughably named Shred Sledz and go to VintageGregNollSurf.com, which is an exhaustive online shrine to everything about Da Bull. (And if you have a spare $400 grand lying around, the entire website, plus a collection of vintage Nolls, is up for grabs on eBay).

Nonetheless, I’m struck by the fact that the board pictured here as a unique version of the so-called “atomic” logo. Here’s the close up of the logo once more. You can see that it is comprised of three rings orbiting the Noll laminate.

The only other atomic logos I have seen have only two rings. For example, there are two Noll boards currently for sale on eBay, both of which boast atomic logos, but only with two rings around the laminate:

Picture from eBay

Picture from eBay

VintageGregNollSurf.com even has a page that is dedicated entirely to showing all the different laminates Noll used throughout the board making process. I couldn’t find a single one showing the three ring variant of the atomic logo, found at the top of this post. I’ve reached out to Mike, who runs the site, for more info, and if I find out more I will definitely post it it here!

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