Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another example of a truly classic surfboard design from the 1970s: a Larry Bertlemann twin fin. Bertlemann, also known as “Rubberman” for his flexible style in the water, was one of the early pioneers of high performance surfing in the wake of the shortboard revolution. Bertlemann twin fin surfboards remain highly coveted by collectors, especially those bearing the iconic “Pepsi” spray job. Before you get too lathered up, note that the board pictured here is a modern-ish reissue shaped around 2002. Nonetheless, when a reader shared some pictures of the board, I had to post them!
As you can see in the pictures above, the Bertlemann twin fin may not have the famous airbrush design, but it does have the iconic LB logo, complete with is old “Anything is possible” slogan.
The board above was shaped by Donald Takayama, and it bears the Hawaiian Pro Designs label. I wrote about a very similar board over a year ago, and you can find a link to the other Takayama / Bertlemann twin fin here.
I believe Takayama first shaped his Bertlemann twin fins sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, but it’s difficult to say for sure. According to a recent auction listing for a Town & Country / Bertlemann twin fin, Larry originally collaborated with T&C before moving to the Hawaiian Pro Designs label.
While Bertlemann was known to shape some of the boards bearing his logos, Takayama is obviously no slouch, either! Takayama collaborated with Bertlemann early on (I would guess late 1970s and eary 1980s) to produce twin fins, and there was clearly a run of retro designs in the early 2000s, as evidenced by the example above. It’s unclear if Takayama created Bertlemann-branded boards over a long period of time, or if there were just some bursts here and there.
There is a dizzying number of variants of Bertlemann surfboards that have been produced over the years, which deserves a longer and more in-depth post. In the meantime, however, enjoy the example above of this clean, relatively recent collaboration between equally legendary shaper and surfer.