Takayama, Rusty Preisendorfer + More: The Not Quite Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! The Weekend Grab Bag has very strict rules in that all boards featured in a post must be listed for sale somewhere online as of publishing time. This time around we’ve got a handful of sleds, not all of which are up for grabs, but are still worth writing about. We’ve got a Donald Takayama egg, an early Rusty Preisendorfer shape, and then an example of a John Kies stick from an unusual label. As always, keep reading for the full rundown:

6’5″ Canyon Surfboards Single Fin by Rusty Preisendorfer

Like many others who were teenagers in the 90s, I first probably discovered Rusty Surfboards and the famous R Dot logo in a local mall — shamefully, probably a PacSun or something equally lame. But it’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at, and I’ve loved the distinctive R Dot marque since.

In recent years I’ve gained a new appreciation for Rusty’s shaping chops, naturally, but also lesser known aspects of his wide-ranging career. Of course, everything starts and ends with Preisendorfer’s pre-eminent status as a shaper to generations of top pros, including names like Occy, Shaun Tomson, Dave Parmenter and Kalani Robb. Preisendorfer not only built a thriving apparel business (and one of the most enduring labels with surfboards at its core, unlike, say, Quiksilver, Billabong, Rip Curl et al), but he is a meticulous craftsman. See the post below for more on Preisendorfer’s data driven approach to board building, influenced by longtime Lightning Bolt shaper Bill Barnfield.

Last but not least, Rusty — who graduated from UCSD in 1978, where he majored in visual arts — designed the R Dot logo himself, along with the logos for his earlier brands. Which brings us back to the 6’5″ x 19″ x 2 1/4″ Canyon single fin at the top of the page. Preisendorfer designed the Canyon Surfboards so-called “T Bird logo”, which was inspired by the artwork for the Bing Maui Foil. I think it still looks sick today, almost 50 years after its invention.

For more reading on Rusty, check out this awesome Surfer’s Journal feature by John Durant. The piece has tons of interviews with other San Diego surf fixtures and does a great job covering Preisendorfer’s long and influential career.

7’4″ Donald Takayama Thruster Egg

I actually wrote up this board a little over a month ago, and it looks like it’s on the move once more. The dims are 7’4″ x 22″ x 2 3/4″. The pic above is a bit on the dark side; I recommended check out the blog post I linked to earlier for what appear to be more accurate pics. I own an 80s Takayama thruster egg in a similar size and love it. This one happens to be ultra clean. Unfairly or not, I’m always a little suspicious when you see boards that frequently change hands, but hey, I’d still like to try this one for myself.

6’10” Country Honk Swallow Tail Single Fin by John Kies

I most associate John Kies with Encinitas Surfboards, which he co-founded in 1975 with Marc Adams. This rad 70s single fin was shaped under the Country Honk label, which I had previously never heard of. Joel Tudor has a yellow John Kies downrail egg that he busts out for big swells at Blacks, which has helped pique my interest in Kies’ shapes.

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