California Surf Museum Fundraiser: Retro Lightning Bolt Pipeliner

The California Surf Museum held its 10th annual Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, October 28th. One of the guests of honor was none other than Gerry Lopez. As part of the fundraiser, a select group of top shapers created tributes to the Lightning Bolt Pipeliner as a way of celebrating Lopez’s career, and they ended up producing some beautiful vintage-inspired shapes. I’ve collected various posts about the boards and included them all below.

Ryan Lovelace

Well there she is 😍 7’6 Pipeliner replica (as best I could!) for the @casurfmuseum gala/auction next weekend. The deck is a full fabric inlay, with 6 gradating resin panels expanding out from the lightning bolt (also done in resin). The little hologram on the bottom certifies that it’s a registered Lightningbolt, and being given the opportunity to make one for this I figured I had to give it my best 🤙🏼 I do t build many boards start to finish anymore, but when I do I try to make them count!! Stoking thoroughly after working on this for the past few weeks after hours – I’ll post a slideshow of it next week for y’all if you’d like to see more! And of course if you wanna buy it, come check out the event at the @casurfmuseum on the 28th ✌🏻 #ryanlovelacesurfcraft

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I’ll be honest, 90% of the reason why I even wrote this post was to feature Lovelace’s Lightning Bolt Pipeliner. I don’t know Mr. Lovelace, nor have I had the opportunity to ride any of his shapes, but I am dying to get my grubby paws on one of his famous V Bowls models. I recommend listening to Lovelace’s guest appearance on this recent Surf Splendor Podcast. More importantly, though, click through the slide show in the Instagram posts above! The board is insane and Lovelace made the entire thing by hand for the event.

 

Vulcan Surfboards / Dane Hantz

The Vulcan imagining of the classic Pipeliner we built for last evenings @casurfmuseum Gala. The Pipeliner auctioned along with other fantastic boards by @timbessell @ryanlovelace @roryrussellbolt and @hollingsworthsurfboards for the benefit of the @casurfmuseum. Of course, @chriscote was a fantastic host for the auction and listening to him pitch the boards had me in hysterics😹. I want to thank my friends @birdsnyder for help with this incredible board, my good friend @boostubbs4061 for all your help and encouragement, @cinnamonbeachgrinder for the recognition and @christinekueneke for all the love and support. Thank you to my friends and family for being there to support me, @ava.alh @pilgyfish Tom and Jen Varga, Paul and kristi Ambrogio. NO ONE could ever confuse me as being the retro guy but I’m very proud to have taken a stab at this iconic surf craft. Thank you @lightningbolt1971 for the permission to do so. Who knows this may go down in their archival records as one of the few carbon fiber pipeliners. Heaps of gratitude to my buddies @colanaustralia for an absolutely tight and dazzling plain weave carbon you guys are absolute LEGENDS.

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This board is a trip! Hantz is a San Diego-based shaper with famously futuristic leanings, and to no one’s surprise, his version of a classic 1970s Lightning Bolt Pipeliner includes the use of space age materials. Personally, I love the carbon fiber accents, and I’m dying to know how it rides, too.

 

Rory Russell

I don’t think the fundraiser would have been complete without the presence of at least one original Bolt shaper, and Rory Russell delivered what looks to be a classic example of the iconic Lightning Bolt Pipeliner board. I love the simple black, yellow and red paint job. There’s nothing more to say about this one, and that’s exactly how it should be!

 

Craig Hollingsworth

Craig Hollingsworth is another shaper who has some history with the Lightning Bolt label, having led its revival in the late 1990s. Again, make sure you scroll through all the photos in the posts above. You’ll see that the iconic Bolt logo is actually made of red and blue ming shell leaf, according to the caption. The end result is a very cool and subtle sparkle effect, reminiscent of some of Renny Yater’s abalone shell inlay boards.

 

Tim Bessell

⚡️Lightning Bolt Pipeliner ⚡️for the 10th annual @casurfmuseum fundraiser last night!

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I had heard of Tim Bessell, and mostly knew of him as a San Diego-based shaper. However, I was unaware of the fact that Bessell had actually shaped boards under Lightning Bolt’s label during the 1970s. According to Stoked-n-Board, Bessell shaped for Bolt from 1976 to 1980 before returning to his native Southern California. I’d say Bessell’s Lightning Bolt Pipeliner replica is the most traditional of the bunch, with its classic red color, white pinlines, and hint of drop shadow around the Lightning Bolt logo.

 

Jon Wegener / Andy Davis

Last but not least is a Jon Wegener board with an Andy Davis hand-painted tribute to an iconic photo of Gerry Lopez standing tall in a Pipeline cavern. You will probably recognize Andy Davis’ artwork from a number of collaborations across the surfing world, such as with fine folks like Mollusk Surf Shop. Wegener is another well-regarded California shaper. Among other things, he is known for his finless paipo designs.

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