Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be featuring a board that’s a bit of a head scratcher. There is currently a board listed on eBay (link here) being advertised as an early Schroff gun, likely shaped sometime during the late Seventies or early Eighties. Click on any of the photos below to enlarge.
The board doesn’t have Schroff’s far more famous black and white parallelogram logo, but instead, what I believe is a starfish logo. You can just barely make this out against the beautiful navy blue acid splash on the deck (see the featured photo at the top of the post). The starfish dates back to the very early days of Schroff surfboards, back when it was Hanifin / Surfside sports.
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Before they were famous…I believe this is an early @peterschroff design for Hanifin Surfboards (which later became Surfside Sports). According to @surfingheritage Stoked-n-Board, Schroff shaped for Hanifin / Surfside during the mid to late 1970s, before founding his own label. Pic taken from a Craigslist posting. If you have more info on these boards please let me know! #schroffsurfboards #schroff #echobeach #vintagesurf #vintagesurfboard
However, the Schroff gun that is listed for sale on eBay is almost identical to a Wave Tools single fin I featured a while back. Even though both brands and shapers were an integral part of the Echo Beach scene during the Eighties, it’s strange to see two eerily similar boards produced under different labels. See below for a photo of the Wave Tools gun:
You’ll notice the Wave Tools gun has the same navy blue resin tint (I believe) on the deck, and also with a wooden fin on the bottom. See below for a photo of the bottom of the Wave Tools gun. Make sure you scroll within the Instagram post for a close-up of the fin.
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Here’s a vintage @wavetoolssurfboards single fin that was posted for sale recently in Southern California. Board is not mine and pics are via the listing. While people love the Wave Tools boards made in the eighties — I do too! — I really dig some of the earlier stuff too. Swipe to check out the glassed on wooden fin. #wavetools #lancecollins #vintagesurfboard #shredsledz
The airbrushes on the bottom of both boards are very similar. I believe they must have been done by the same artist. What really blows me away, though, is the similarity between the glass on wooden fins on both boards. If you click through on the Wave Tools Instagram post above, you’ll notice that Lance Collins commented on the post to say the wooden fin was made by his half brother, Clay Smith. Lance also suspects the Wave Tools board could have been one of Clay’s personal riders.
As you can see towards the top of the page, the Schroff gun also has a Clay Smith wooden fin. There’s no doubt that both fins were made by Clay.
I’m not quite sure how to explain these boards! The best theory I can come up with is the Schroff board currently listed on eBay isn’t actually shaped by Schroff himself. Or did Clay Smith also provide his wooden fins to other Newport Beach shapers? I’m not sure. I believe I have seen the starfish logo on non-Schroff boards — including some Hanifin shapes — and so there’s a chance this was shaped by someone else. If you look closely at the logo on the Schroff gun, you’ll see there isn’t a Schroff logo anywhere (unlike the Instagram post I linked to earlier, which has the starfish graphic with “Schroff Designs” text underneath). I can’t quite make out the text on the logo on the Schroff gun on eBay — take a peek below and let me know if you have any clues.
Then again, I have never seen a Lance Collins board that bore the Hanifin / Surfside Sports logo. No matter what, I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how these two boards, which are practically siblings, could have been produced under two different brands.