Natural Progression Owl Chapman Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re featuring a very cool stick combining a few different threads of surf history, all of which I love: legendary LA label Natural Progression, distinguished Hawaiian shaper Owl Chapman, prolific South Bay board builder Phil Becker, and Steve Mangiagli (I think!). Many thanks to Steve from Surfside Projects for sending over the photos you see here. The board is a Natural Progression single fin shaped in 1978 by Phil Becker, sporting NP’s rare Owl Chapman laminate. It measures 6’8″ x 20″ x 2 3/4″.

You’ll likely notice the gorgeous glass job, featuring what I believe are a few different resin tints. I’m almost certain the board was glassed by Steve Mangiagli (more on that below). Mangiagli, like Becker, is a longtime surfboard builder based on the South Bay of Los Angeles, and Mangiagli Manufacturing has been glassing since 1976.

I just love the quality and craftsmanship that went into boards in the 70s. Sure, you can still get boards like this done today, but by and large they are custom orders. When you think about the work that went into this thing, from the multiple resin tints to the pin lines, it’s pretty remarkable.

The board also sports an unusual Owl Chapman logo, which you’ll find on some Natural Progression boards from time to time. Here’s another example of an NP board with the Owl laminate. I’m not totally sure on the story behind Chapman’s involvement in NP, but there’s no mistaking the original source for the logo. See the top left for an Owl Chapman Underground laminate (which is so sick, by the way), and top right for a closeup of the laminate on the NP / Phil Becker board.

Here’s a shot of the signature on the NP. Becker didn’t sign his name, but this was somewhat common; the convention of the dots separating the year (in this case, 1978) and the number (#186) is consistent with countless other Becker boards I’ve seen. Steve from Surfside Projects actually sent me a different Phil Becker-shaped NP a while back, which I wrote up here, and is a very cool board.

Last but not least, see directly above for a 1976 Phil Becker-shaped single fin for Palos Verdes surf shop Kanoa Surf. When I posted this board to Instagram, Steve Mangiagli commented to let me know he had glassed it, and that the color was all resin tints. Given the fact Phil Becker shaped both boards, they were made within two years of one another, and the extremely similar glass jobs, I have to figure the NP was also glassed by Mangiagli.

Thanks again to Steve for sharing the pics of this awesome 1978 Natural Progression single fin!

Further Reading More Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Be the first to comment