Greetings, Shredderz! I’ve been fortunate enough to feature some really rad Gordon & Smith Skip Frye boards on this blog over the years. (If you’d like to browse some of the greatest hits, I’m partial to this ultra clean example of a 60s G&S Skip Frye longboard, and then this super early G&S Skip, which even pre-dates his famous wings logo).
Today we’ve got another insane and early G&S Skip Frye Model. I’ll go into depth on all the various details below, but I am told the board is one of the first handful of G&S Skips ever built (not counting the examples that pre-date the wings logo). The owner of the board is a gentleman named Chuck Edwall. Chuck is not only the owner of the board, he glassed it back in 1967 when he was working for Gordon & Smith. Chuck has worked with some top shapers during his career, including his stint with G&S, and he also glassed some boards for Carl Ekstrom and Wardy Surfboards. Needless to say there’s a ton of awesome story and context behind this stick, so keep reading for the full rundown.
Chuck tells me the board was shaped in 1967. It measures 9’10” x 22 1/2″ (not sure the thickness). According to Chuck, the board was the 2nd ever example of a G&S Skip Frye production model. Chuck was kind enough to provide some background on how the board came about. During this time, Skip was experimenting with making his boards as light as possible. Skip would experiment with different foam densities, while Chuck — who was known as “Psychedelic Chuck” at G&S — would try out different weights of fiberglass. One of their prototype designs was so light it literally broke in half while paddling out.
One thing you’ll note about this Skip Frye model is that there is only one G&S logo, which is a tiny laminate on the tail. It’s barely noticeable in the photo at the top left. Apparently Larry Gordon was not happy with the lack of Gordon & Smith branding on the board, as well as Chuck’s idea to combine three Skip wings logos into one design towards the nose. These two details almost got Chuck fired, but he and Larry Gordon were able to make amends at G&S’ 50th Anniversary celebration.
Pictured above are some shots of Chuck, the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Model, and the two namesakes of the label at the aforementioned 50th Anniversary party. The top left photo shows Chuck alongside Larry Gordon; the top right is Chuck with Floyd Smith.
Chuck says the 1967 G&S Skip Frye Model was glassed with a 10 ounce single layer of Volan on the bottom and a 6 ounce single layer top, and then an additional 6 ounce layer for the deck patch. There are some absolutely killer resin pin lines on the board, too: check out that beautiful little number in the photo above. There are double pin lines on the deck, too, with some yellow color between them (not sure if the yellow was airbrushed or what.)
Last but not least, the board has a glass on Skip Frye fin. It looks gorgeous, if I do say so myself.
Many thanks to Chuck for sharing not only some great photos of a cool board, but all the fantastic stories behind it, too.