Eighties Corky Carroll Ad: Sagas of Shred

Corky Carroll

Greetings, Shredderz! Thursday evening is upon us. The weekend is so close it’s like acid in your mouth, and depending on where you live, the forecast might even call for some incoming swell. It also means that it’s time for another entry of Sagas of Shred. In this series I’ve tried to highlight vintage surf ads that I find interesting. Sometimes, such as with this pair of vintage Yater Surfboards ads, I try to preserve and share ads that shed light on surfing history and the rad people who made it happen. A lot of the time, though, I’ll just post stuff that makes me smile and/or laugh. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features a combination of the two approaches. On one hand, Corky Carroll arguably pioneered pro surfing as a viable career, and his place in surfing’s pantheon is secure. On the other, there’s no way to look at this ad and keep a completely straight face, which I’m sure is the desired effect.

If you’re putting together a checklist for a great Eighties surf ad, this Corky Carroll ad has most of them covered. We’ll get back to the visuals in a bit, but the copy is absolutely next level. “Do you wanna be having this much fun?” Absolutely, Corky. Just tell me where to sign up. And signing off with “Be ultra cool, OK. OK.” is simply a touch of genius.

I just want to know who the art director was for this shoot and shake their hand. I love the fact Corky looks like he’s about to hit up a white party in the Hamptons, flanked — of course — by two women in fashion that could have only come from the Eighties. Naturally, I’m also very intrigued by the surfboard in the corner. I dig the airbrush and it looks like it’s got some nice volume. Oh, and going back to the copy, Corky describes his wares as “shred-o-matic surfboards”, which you know warms my heart.

Overall this Corky Carroll ad is just a joy. It’s hilarious, it draws you in, and it leaves an impression, one way or another. And isn’t having fun what surfing is all about, anyway?

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred.

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