Happy Frye-day: 1984 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Pintail

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! I have an incredible board for you today that comes courtesy of a reader who goes by Frenchie Fred. Monsieur Fred was kind enough to share pictures of his early 2000s Donald Takayama Larry Bertlemann twin fin a few weeks ago. As it turns out, Fred has even more heat in his collection! Pictured above is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye surfboard. Update 11/3: I originally referred to this board as a glider, but after consulting some far more knowledgeable folks, it turns out that this is simply a pintail, with a more pulled-in shape than a Skip Frye Eagle. The Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board pictured above measures in at 9’6″, and it was shaped in 1984.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 4
Most of the time you’ll see this logo in black. I think the cobalt blue is a nice touch, however.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 3
A nice look at the rocker on the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye pintail pictured above.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 2
The bottom of the board has Skip’s signature hand-drawn wings, versus a laminate. As you can see, it is a single fin setup, and the board is absolutely spotless.

Many thanks to Frenchie Fred for the beautiful pictures of an exquisite board. Here at Shred Sledz HQ we are very serious about conferring any surfcraft with the coveted Cherry Status. But as you can see from the pictures above, it’s clear that Frenchie Fred’s Skip Sled meets the criteria!

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 10Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 9

Believe it or not, this bad boy gets even better! Skip Frye wrote a very detailed inscription on the stringer that sheds more light on the board’s origins. You can see partial pictures of the inscription above. Here is the entire text:

“Shaped for master shaper and craftsman and brother of the sea –Heinrich– by old school advocate Skip Frye on the 101st anniversary of the birthday of the first surfer of the modern age –George Freeth– November 8, 1984”

Frenchie Fred tells me that the board was shaped for a Brazilian shaper named Marcos Heinrich, who is apparently a friend of Skip’s. This was the first I had ever heard of Heinrich. The only info I could find on Heinrich was on a website written in Portuguese, which you can see here. I’m not sure how this lovely Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board found its way from San Diego to possibly Brazil to its current home in France, but I’m stoked to be able to document it.

George Freeth via Orange County Register.jpg
George Freeth. Pic via Orange County Register

Finally, you’ll notice the precise date of November 8th, which signifies George Freeth’s birthday. George Freeth is often credited with bringing the sport of surfing to California from its birthplace in Hawaii, along with Duke Kahanamoku. I recommend reading the Encyclopedia of Surfing’s entry on Freeth, and if you don’t already subscribe to EoS, it’s one of the best deals on the internet (seriously). Just as Skip’s math suggests, Freeth was born on November 8th, 1883, meaning the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye seen above was shaped exactly 101 years afterwards. Frenchie Fred says the stringer inscription sends chills down his spine, and I’m inclined to agree!

Merci beaucoup, Frenchie Fred, for sharing the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board from your collection. I hope all you Shredderz enjoyed this special Frye-day post, and I wish you all weekends full of tasty waves and smiles!

 

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