Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got another classic for you, courtesy of Jason Burnett, the man behind Edinburgh-based Jay Surfboards. Check out Jay Surfboards on Instagram here.
The Yater Spoon is one of a handful of classic 60s noseriders that is still going strong today. The board you see here is a somewhat newer Yater Spoon, shaped in 1997. Until recently, the board had been owned by one person, who ordered it directly from Renny. I’m told it had never been surfed. The board is in amazing condition.
The signature on the board gives away some interesting details. First, you can clearly see the “Classic” laminates flanking either side of the balsa stringer. I believe this refers to a limited run of Spoon reissues. I can’t find any definitive information about the Classic Yater Spoon models, but I was able to dig up some useful information online.
I believe the Classic Yater Spoon models had a number of attributes in common. I mentioned the “Classic” laminates, which are the most noticeable. In addition, you can see that there’s a wedge balsa stringer, sandwiched between two others. There’s also a gorgeous wooden tail block — which I think is cedar and balsa — and then a glass on fin.
The board’s signature reveals a decent amount of info as well. Starting at the top, you can see the board is numbered, in this case #85. A recent Classic Yater Spoon was sold at the California Gold Surf Auction, which you can find here. I’ve read multiple sources — old Craigslist posts and the aforementioned auction listing — that suggest each run of Yater Spoon Classic models consisted of 150 boards. I believe Renny produced 150 Classic Yater Spoon models each year over a span of time during the 90s and 2000s, which would explain a) the fact each board is dated down to the month and year; b) what would otherwise be non-sequential numbering (it wouldn’t make sense for the 2003 auction board to be #6, and the 1997 board to be #85, if only 150 in total had ever been made).
The style of Renny’s signature on the stringer combines a few different elements from other boards I’ve seen. There’s the small handwritten “Y” right beneath the laminate, which in older boards indicates a Renny hand shape; and then the full “Reynolds Yater” written in parallel on the board.
Thanks again to Jay for sharing photos of this beautiful Classic Yater Spoon. I still can’t believe he scored one in the UK, of all places, and in this great shape. To me this board is a wonderful combination of form and function — yes, it’s stunning, but even better, it is a killer example of a design, invented by one of the masters of surfboard shaping, that has endured for decades. Check out Jay Surfboards on Instagram here, and I also wrote up some Hot Buttered Surfboards he sent me here.
I lived on the East Coast on Long Island, NY. In 1965 or ’66 I bought my second surfboard from Renny Yater and had him ship it to me. I still remember the cost, $145 for the board ($1305 in 2022 $$$). It was a 9’9″ parallel rail board not a Spoon. No pigment, T-band stringer. I became somewhat familiar with Yater through Surfer Msgazine and by Bob Cooper who was traveling around the East Coast when I met him in Long Beach, NY. I was a lifeguard and a hardcore stoked surfer. Cooper talked up Yater boards when I asked him about them. As old as I am (76), I still remember most of the specs I ordered. BTW,
all communication was by hand written letters. Man, times have really changed. Anyway some of the specs… No pigment, 22 1/2″ wide, 4″ tail block, T-band stringer. I think the nose was 17 1/2″ (?). Anyway, years later out comes Apocalypse Now and Yater becomes crazy famous with hodads & gremmies around the world.