As far as I can tell, Shawn Stussy’s work isn’t displayed at Art Basel, or sold by big auction houses with billionaires on speed dial. Every once in a while he’ll shape a bunch of boards and then sell them all at once out of a friend’s backyard in Laguna Beach.
I don’t claim to be an expert in whatever is happening in the art world, but I can’t help but wonder why Stussy’s shapes aren’t more widely appreciated for their contributions to modern culture. In my humble opinion, Stussy’s surfboards are sculptures that deserve to be taken as seriously as anything you’ll find in a high end gallery. There is an argument to be made that Stussy’s 80s surfboards represent the genesis of modern streetwear, as the t-shirts he made to complement his shaping business eventually gave way to one of the first streetwear companies (and still one of the most influential). Stussy has shaped tastes around the world, all while maintaining legit surfing roots, starting with his time working alongside legends like Bob “Ole” Olson (still shaping in his early 90s!) and the crew at Russell Surfboards / The Brotherhood.
On the other hand, who cares what the so-called experts think? This 80s Stussy surfboard is a remarkable piece of art, and no tastemaker can convince me otherwise. Keep reading for more.
This double wing thruster 80s Stussy surfboard was sent to me by a gentleman by the name of Raimundo. You can follow him on Instagram here; and this is the Instagram account for his artwork. Many thanks to Raimundo for sharing the excellent photos you see in the post. The board resides in Chile, of all places, and it’s in fantastic shape.
As far as I can tell, it’s also a bit unusual compared to the other 80s Stussy surfboards I have seen. I can’t recall seeing another double wing thruster like this one.
Visually this board is next level. I love the colors, with cotton candy pink and blue separated by a classy white pin line on the deck. The classic Stussy logo in black is a striking complement to the otherwise bright colors. There are two separate laminates, one on the deck and one on the bottom; an ancient Egyptian graphic hit for the former; and then an “Equipment for the Modern Age” laminate for the latter.
Sadly I don’t have any great photos of the glass on fins, but as you can see they’re decorated with another awesome Stussy logo. I’ve said it many times but I’m gonna keep shouting it until people start listening: shapers, please, bring back the branded glass on fins! Bonus points for mixing up the artwork and keeping it fresh with designs that aren’t found elsewhere on the board.
Another interesting detail about this board is that it doesn’t appear to be signed by Shawn. Stussy commented on my Instagram post when I first published one of these photos, and his comment indicates that he did indeed shape the board. Sadly, I don’t have dimensions. If I were to guess I’d say this thing was made in the mid 80s, but I couldn’t tell you what year. It has a very similar color scheme to an impeccable Stussy twin fin I wrote up earlier on the blog; the wings and swallow tail are also somewhat reminiscent of this Stussy Stubbies board, which was apparently shaped in 1980. Here’s another Stussy thruster, which I believe was shaped in 1985; and another winged thruster that was shaped for then-team rider John Gothard in 1983.
Thanks again to Raimundo for sharing the photos of this killer 80s Stussy!