Channin Diffenderfer

Here at Shred Sledz we love old surfboards of all shapes, sizes, and creeds, but if there’s one thing that makes us go particularly crazy, it’s surfboard brands that are no longer with us.

Today’s post is a brief history on the Channin / Diffenderfer partnership, which eventually spawned a few different brands. And of course, we have pictures of some neat boards, for those of you who never bothered with the pretense of reading Playboy for the articles.

According to this wonderful article, Tony Channin and Mike Diffenderfer first went into business together in 1965. Channin had made a name for himself as an outstanding glasser in the San Diego area, while Diffenderfer had been honing his surfing and shaping skills in Hawaii. Their brainchild, Channin Diffenderfer, produced surfboards until 1970, when both men went their own ways, setting up brands under their own names.

Today’s first board is a Channin Diffenderfer. The picture below (as well as the first picture in the set above) was taken from a Craigslist post in San Diego that has since been taken down. Diffenderfer was the main shaper, but according to Stoked-n-Board, there were other shapers who made boards under the Channin Diffenderfer label as well. There’s no signature on this board, which makes it difficult to say whether this board was shaped by Diffenderfer himself.

Picture from Craigslist

The second board today is from the Channin brand, after Tony and Mike went their respective ways. It’s a 7′0 pintail single fin that you can currently find on Craigslist in the San Diego area, where Channin is located. The board is listed for $850, which I find totally unrealistic. Price aside, it’s a clear example of a Channin branded board. Channin employed a number of different shapers for his own label, and without a signature, it’s difficult to say who may have shaped it.

Picture courtesy Craigslist

Finally, to complete the trifecta, there is a Diffenderfer branded board that is up for sale on Craigslist right now. I have included pictures below. It’s an 8′11″ single fin, and if I had to guess, it’s a more recent board (1980s or 1990s, maybe?) Diffenderfer, sadly, passed away in 2002. What’s interesting about this board is that even though it is made under the Diffenderfer brand, it was still glassed by Channin. You can see the clear “Channin Precision Fiberglassing” logo at the tail of the board as well. According to Stoked-n-Board, a man named Jim Allen also shaped under the Diffenderfer label. I find it interesting that this board bears a laminate that reads “Custom Shape by Mike Diffenderfer”, but there’s no signature.

Pictures from Craigslist

Anyway, there you have it. I hoped you enjoyed this journey through the various iterations of the surfboard brands of Tony Channin and Mike Diffenderfer. Happy Shredding!

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