Shawn Stussy “The Brotherhood” for Russell Surfboards

For the most part, there are few things I enjoy more than discovering unusual vintage surfboards and writing about them. Today’s post, however, is written with a heavy heart, as an absolutely primo example of a Shawn Stussy The Brotherhood board popped up for sale on Craigslist at a decent price, and then was snapped up by someone else.

Here at Shred Sledz we celebrate anything and everything related to Monsieur Stussy, whether it’s his Echo Beach boards of the 1980s, or his latest shapes, which he creates under his new S Double label.

For a long time, however, I have been fascinated with Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards. On one hand, the thrusters and twin fins Stussy shaped for his eponymous brand in the 1980s are among some of the most collectible items from the entire decade. For whatever reason, the boards Stussy shaped for Russell Surfboards in the 1970s aren’t nearly as expensive. See here for an earlier post I wrote about Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards.

Shawn Stussy w:70s Boards.JPG
A young Shawn Stussy with a pair of sleek single fin missiles. Date, photographer and source unknown, but judging from the outlines of the boards, I would guess this photograph was taken during the Seventies, during Stussy’s days at Russell Surfboards.

The Brotherhood refers to a crew of Orange County surfers that coalesced around Russell Surfboards and Newport Beach. (Not to be confused with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a group of Laguna Beach hippies turned drug dealers that counted Mike Hynson among its associates.) You’ll often see The Brotherhood referred to in early Russell ads from the era.

While I love Stussy The Brotherhood boards, it’s also apparent that as an artist, Stussy had yet to come into his own in the 1970s. My favorite thing about Stussy’s 80s boards are the intricate graphic designs that appear everywhere. By contrast, the graphics that appear on Stussy The Brotherhood shapes don’t have quite the same level of polish as those on his 80s designs. I also wrote up another Russell Surfboards 70s single fin a few weeks back, with a graphic that looked suspiciously like a Stussy drawing (John Gothard, a Stussy team rider in the 1980s, also agrees!).

In any event, I can’t get enough of the 70s Stussy The Brotherhood single fin pictured above. Other than a bent original fin and a noticeable repair on the upper rail, the board is still in great condition. I love the clean, classic 70s single fin lines, and the triple stringer is a nice touch, too. Of course, the Stussy graphic on the deck is the star of the show, too.

If you bought the Stussy The Brotherhood board pictured above, and you have more info to share, please drop me a line! Until then, the hunt for a 70s Stussy grail continues…

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  1. Michael Brewer, Joel Brewer says:

    Hey guys, while Shawn was a youngster, Lenny Foster, Joel Brewer and Vinson Sides were part of the brotherhood. Joel fashioned Monterey dory type boats at Russell. Kelly built a boat shed onto the back of the brotherhood building to glass the boats int molds that he had made and fitted them with mahogany rails, bow, and stern. They took some down to Baja to Punta Shivato? With Russell they built a bungalow for Trino the local magistrate and his family. They fished and also dived for lobster for their food. Shawn was too young to go down at that time. It may be that in the picture of the brotherhood building Joe Brewer is the guy on the right, as he looked just like that. This comment was written by Michael Brewer who also went down to Baja and filmed Lenny and Vinson surfing on the way down, and flew my Hangglider at the Punta. The brotherhood so called because there were so many surfers in Newport Beach and areas near and far that made up a brotherhood. The Brotherhood goes way back.