Greetings, Shredderz! We are starting off 2019 with a bang. Featured here is a lovely Creative Freedom / John Bradbury Hydro Foam epoxy surfboard, which was shaped likely during the Eighties. For more on Bradbury, feel free to check out the Shred Sledz Deep Dive here. John Bradbury was a highly esteemed Santa Barbara shaper before his untimely passing in the late Nineties. One prominent part of Bradbury’s legacy is his role as an early advocate for alternative materials, particularly epoxy boards. All of the Creative Freedom / John Bradbury epoxy boards I have seen have very clear and prominent Hydro Foam laminates.
Naturally, when someone reached out with pics of a Creative Freedom John Bradbury Hydro Foam board, I was very interested. Many thanks to Brianna for generously sharing photos of the board you see featured here!
Click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, Brianna’s board is an absolute doozy. A good thirty years after it was shaped it’s still in great condition. I have noticed that the Hydro Foam boards I have seen tend to hold up very well, although it’s also a small sample size. This Creative Freedom John Bradbury board has the neon you’d expect from an Eighties thruster, but it also isn’t quite as over the top as, say, a T&C Surf Designs stick from the same time frame.
Despite what I said in the previous paragraph, it’s interesting to note the fin setup. The Bradbury board isn’t quite a thruster — I’d say it’s more of a twin fin with a small center trailing fin. The trailing fin is pushed pretty far back towards the tail as well. I haven’t see any other examples quite like this one.
The Bradbury Creative Freedom board has Aleeda laminates underneath the glass on both the deck and the bottom. Aleeda was a wetsuit brand that I believe has gone out of business. The Aleeda laminates make me think the board might have been shaped for a Bradbury team rider or someone else who was sponsored, but I can’t be certain.
Finally, it’s worth noting Clyde Beatty’s involvement in creating the board, as you can see in the photo above. Beatty is a shaper and a glasser who was involved in the Santa Barbara surf scene. In addition, Beatty was another proponent of alternative materials in board building. I’m not sure if Beatty was involved in Hydro Foam specifically, but I was able to find a link that indicates Beatty helped develop some epoxy resins. As you can see in the photo above, it looks like SP115 refers to the laminating system used in conjunction with the Hydro Foam blanks.
The majority of Hydro Foam surfboards I have seen were shaped by Bradbury under his Creative Freedom label. I have also seen a few shaped by Pat Rawson during his time at Local Motion, like the one you see below.
Many thanks again to Brianna for sharing pictures of this gorgeous John Bradbury Creative Freedom surfboard. As always, hit me up if you have pictures of a killer board you’d like to share with the rest of the Shred Sledz community! Finally, here’s another example of a Bradbury Hydro Foam board:
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6’5” John Bradbury epoxy surfboard from mid to late 80’s. 3” thick! Clyde Beatty Jr was instrumental in the development of Hydro Foam and John Bradbury shaped quite a few of these. Martin Potter rode one and won an event on tour with it and a few other pros ordered boards from John including Brad Gerlach in late 80’s. These board were before their time. I can’t find a pressure dent on the board. Pretty amazing considering it’s 30 years old. #vintagesurfboard #johnbradbury #creativefreedomsurfboards