Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a board that comes courtesy of another reader. Shout out to Dan for sharing the stoke of this incredible Chuck Vinson shape (you can check him out on Instagram here). I’ve written about Chuck Vinson before. The earlier post I wrote featured a Vinson-shaped single fin that was produced under his own name. Vinson also produced boards for Lightning Bolt during its heyday of the mid-1970s, when Bolt was not just the most famous surfboard label in the world, but the surfboard brand, period. Dan had this Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt single fin shaped for him during the 1970s. Apparently Dan had Vinson shape him three boards, and this one remains.

As you can see, Dan’s Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt has all the classic lines you would expect of a 70s single fin crafted to tackle powerful Hawaiian surf. Sadly, Lightning Bolt’s well-documented struggles with intellectual property meant that their signature logo was copied throughout the decade, but the board pictured above is the real deal.

Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt 2.jpeg

By far my favorite detail about the Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt is the glass on fin, which is partially made out of wood.

Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt 1.jpeg

Wooden fins seem to have fallen out of favor recently — I’m not sure why, as you’ll still see the occasional glass on fiberglass examples — but it’s not for a lack of aesthetics!

I have actually seen another example of a Vinson board with a similar wooden fin. The example below was taken from a board Vinson made under the Santa Cruz label.

Santa Cruz Chuck Vinson Single Fin

Many thanks to Dan for sharing the photos of his incredible Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt single fin. RIP to Mr Vinson, who sadly passed away last year. Thank you for reading, and if you have any other Chuck Vinson boards you’d like to share, please do get in touch.

One thought on “Chuck Vinson Lightning Bolt Single Fin”

  1. I knew Chuck since the days of “Thought Surfboards” located across from the Santa Barbar Courthouse. Vinson was a consummate craftsman. After his years with Bolt in Hawaii, we reconnected when I moved to Santa Cruz to head up O’neill’s Surf Shop which included creating a new surfboard program which included Chuck among the top notch shapers supplying the “O Shop”. Chuck was in distinguished company including the likes of Steve Coletta, Joey Thomas, Mike Croteau, Doug Schroedel, Michel Junod, Mark Angell, and non local Hawaiian luminaries shaping for Town & Country’s label. Chuck passed away recently and will be missed by many friends and customers who loved his work.

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