Leave it to good ol’ Occ to not overthink things! This ad, which ran in the December 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 27, No 12), absolutely kills me. I also happen to think it’s a good summary of Occy’s considerable, offbeat charm. (For more Occy and Sagas of Shred, see here and here). Last, but not least, it’s also a great reminder of why Surfer Magazine has earned its title as “the Bible of the sport.” It’s no secret that the media business has been hit hard as of late, and sadly, times are looking tough for Surfer. The iconic magazine saw a round of layoffs earlier this month, and there are rumors that Surfer’s parent company is set to be acquired by AMI, which might be in a bit of trouble itself.
But rather than dwell on Surfer Magazine’s uncertain future, I’d like to celebrate all the incredible content it has put out over the years, including the ads that get posted here every Thursday evening. (It’s not too late to subscribe, either.) Almost all of the content in Sagas of Shred comes about from scanning ads from back issues of Surfer Magazine. This, of course, doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the wonderful editorial output over the years, which has single handedly helped shape surf culture into what it is today. I don’t pretend to know the future of the media business, or how that relates to surfing, but it’s my sincere hope that Surfer Magazine continues to publish the same high quality content for many years to come.
Greetings, Shredderz! Thursday evening is upon us. The weekend is so close it’s like acid in your mouth, and depending on where you live, the forecast might even call for some incoming swell. It also means that it’s time for another entry of Sagas of Shred. In this series I’ve tried to highlight vintage surf ads that I find interesting. Sometimes, such as with this pair of vintage Yater Surfboards ads, I try to preserve and share ads that shed light on surfing history and the rad people who made it happen. A lot of the time, though, I’ll just post stuff that makes me smileand/or laugh. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features a combination of the two approaches. On one hand, Corky Carroll arguably pioneered pro surfing as a viable career, and his place in surfing’s pantheon is secure. On the other, there’s no way to look at this ad and keep a completely straight face, which I’m sure is the desired effect.
If you’re putting together a checklist for a great Eighties surf ad, this Corky Carroll ad has most of them covered. We’ll get back to the visuals in a bit, but the copy is absolutely next level. “Do you wanna be having this much fun?” Absolutely, Corky. Just tell me where to sign up. And signing off with “Be ultra cool, OK. OK.” is simply a touch of genius.
I just want to know who the art director was for this shoot and shake their hand. I love the fact Corky looks like he’s about to hit up a white party in the Hamptons, flanked — of course — by two women in fashion that could have only come from the Eighties. Naturally, I’m also very intrigued by the surfboard in the corner. I dig the airbrush and it looks like it’s got some nice volume. Oh, and going back to the copy, Corky describes his wares as “shred-o-matic surfboards”, which you know warms my heart.
Overall this Corky Carroll ad is just a joy. It’s hilarious, it draws you in, and it leaves an impression, one way or another. And isn’t having fun what surfing is all about, anyway?
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred.
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and so I’m obligated to serve up some more vintage surf ads for all you kind folks. Usually, the Sagas of Shred series features ads that I have personally scanned from my stash of Surfer Magazine back issues. Today’s post, however, features an ad that I found somewhere on the internet. If this is your original scan or upload please let me know so I can give credit where it is due! Anyway, today we have a vintage Bing Bonzer ad. The original file had 1973 in the filename, so I’m guessing the ad may have run that same year. According to the old Stoked-n-Board archives, the Bing Bonzer was produced between 1973 and 1976, so the timing adds up. Still, I don’t have any confirmation around the date.
That said, it’s probably best to focus on the downright sexy curves of the cherry red Bing Bonzer featured in the advertisement. I’ve geeked out about the Bing Bonzer many, manytimesbefore, and I still can’t get enough! By now you may know that I’m a huge fan of the branded side bites, but you can also see they’re complemented by a cool Bing branded fin in the ad above.
Last but not least the testimonials are all-time, too. Who is Wildman?! More importantly, the Bing Bonzer bears the stamp of approval from folks like Steve Wilkings, Jeff Hakman, Dru Harrison, and of course, the Campbell Brothers, who were responsible for creating the landmark design in the first place. Tiger Makin was a Rick Surfboards team rider alongside Dru Harrison. Between Makin and Dru Harrison, along with Rick Surfboards’ early ties to the Bing label, this rare Rick Surfboards / Mike Eaton bonzer I posted on Instagram recently is starting to make more sense. I had no idea that Hakman and Harrison had anything to do with the Bonzer before seeing this ad. Then again, the Bonzer has had no shortage of notable fans in its forty plus years, ranging from the folks mentioned above to people like Taylor Knox and Alex Knost.
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening in California, which can only mean one thing: more vintage surf ads coming your way, via Sagas of Shred. Today’s entry is another classic from the Eighties, AKA the decade that popularized neon, mullets, stonewashed jeans and countless other instances of poor taste. You know what has aged well, though? Dane Kealoha’s inimitable brand of Hawaiian power surfing. Here’s a T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha ad from an issue of Surfing Magazine published sometime during the Eighties. I am not going to make any comments about the outfits Dane can be seen rocking on the right side of the ad. No, not even those oversized baby blue shorts, because Dane is a better surfer than I could ever dream of being, and he’s definitely tougher than me, too. So I’ll keep the fashion commentary to a minimum and focus instead on the fact T&C Surf Designs and Dane Kealoha is an absolutely perfect pairing.
Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!
Shredderz, it’s late, and I’ve got stuff to do. But nothing — nothing — stops the Sagas of Shred train from leaving the station every Thursday night, delivering more vintage surf ads to all you internet surfers. The topic’s of today’s entry is none other than esteemed aerialist and counter culture icon Christian Fletcher. Here’s a pic of one of Fletcher’s famous frontside boosts, powered by a T&C Surf Designs stick bearing his awesome skull logo. I still don’t quite understand the relationship between Christian Fletcher Surfboards and T&C. As you can see in the ad, Christian Fletcher definitely rode for Town & Country Surfboards, and for at least part of that time, his boards had both the T&C yin yang laminates as well as the Christian Fletcher logo. I’m guessing he later split off to found his own Christian Fletcher Surfboards label — here’s a Steve Boysen-shaped Christian Fletcher Surfboards stick that isn’t from T&C — but I haven’t read any definitive accounts of what happened. Either way, Fletcher blazed a trail through surfing in the late Eighties and early Nineties with his radical moves and contempt for the pro contest scene.
Thanks for reading and check in next Thursday night for more Sagas of Shred!
Today, Shredderz, I don’t have much to say. Frankly, what more is there to add when your subject is a perfect power hack performed by one of the most famous backhands in the business? Even better is the fact this image features Mark Occhilupo lacerating a groomed wall at Jeffreys Bay. The Occy J Bay combo is up there with the most memorable surfer / wave pairings in history, and this photograph is a clear demonstration why. This is a Billabong ad taken from Surfing Magazine sometime in 1991.
It’s interesting that this ad ran during the low years of Occ’s career, when he slipped out of the surfing limelight despite having been one of the marquee stars of the Eighties. It’s startling to think how young Occy was during the height of his fame. (Check out the peerless Encyclopedia of Surfing for their in-depth Occy bio if you want to learn more.) By 1991, Occy was only twenty five, yet he had already experienced the white hot glare of the insane OP Pro crowds in the mid-Eighties, and was a mere eight years away from winning the World Title. When I first came across this ad I was surprised to see that Billabong was still giving Occy the star treatment in its marketing after he had already fallen off the world tour. It’s no wonder Occy’s world title is still viewed as one of the great feel good comebacks in professional surfing.
Curiously, I couldn’t find any good photos of Occy’s performance at the 1984 Country Feeling Classic. The contest is widely regarded as having begun the Occy J Bay love affair. I was able to find this highlight video. Check out the very end, which features Occy surfing in the foreground and Shaun Tomson on the next wave in the set.
Occy’s still going strong today via his Occ-Cast interview series. Check out the latest episode below, featuring the recently retired Joel Parkinson.
Greetings, Shredderz! If you missed yesterday’s post about a special Creative Freedom John Bradbury board, please do check it out. I was thrilled to get these pics from a reader, and equally excited to share it with the rest of you. Today’s post also would not be possible if it weren’t for a thoughtful and generous reader. A big thanks goes out to Danny, who sent me an awesome Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure that was likely published sometime during the mid Eighties. You can follow Danny on Instagram here. Usually, Sagas of Shred highlights vintage surf ads, but given how awesome the Eaton Surfboards brochure was, I figured it was worth the change.
The Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure is a folded up booklet, but as you can see from the photos above, I unfolded it and scanned each side of the document. Apologies if the formatting is a little strange, but I figured this was the best way to show off the content.
I love everything about this brochure. It is immediately recognizable as a document from a much older time. Danny, who sent the document to me, guesses it was likely from the mid Eighties or so. On one hand, I wouldn’t write this blog if I didn’t love vintage surfboards and anything related to them, but contrasting the brochure above with, say, Hayden Shapes’ Instagram profile makes me acutely aware of how differently surfboards are sold today. (For what it’s worth, I dig Hayden Shapes and their branding.)
I have actually never seen the different Eaton Surfboards models explained in this kind of detail. The only time I got any info around Eaton model names was when Steve, another awesome reader, sent me photos of this Eaton Bonzer UEO model, which you can see below. Judging from the brochure, the Eaton UEO was offered strictly as a Bonzer setup.
It’s interesting to note that SDKT and Semi models are offered in either single fin or Bonzer setups. I have heard that SDKT stands for “Step Deck Kick Tail”, and I’m guessing that Semi refers to what looks to be a semi gun outline. There isn’t a twinzer to be found in this lineup, either. I wish I had more info on the model names — if anyone does, please do let me know.
Finally, I noticed that the SDKT and UEO models have very specific lengths assigned to them. If I’m interpreting things correctly, the SDKT comes in 8’0″, 8’6″, 9’0″ and 9’6″; and the UEO comes in 7’3″, 7’6″, and 7’9″.
Thanks again to Danny for sending me this thing through the mail. Honestly, I’m so stoked just to be able to scan it and share it online where it can be seen by others. If you have any similar kinds of materials definitely let me know! I am always interested in seeing this stuff and writing posts about it, so don’t be shy and drop me a line.
We’ll be back next Thursday and resume our regularly scheduled Sagas of Shred, with some vintage surf ads for your viewing pleasure.
Note: Post edited on Jan 6 2019 to update details on the SDKT model
If you look closely at the Schroff Surfboards ad above you’ll notice that Peter Schroff, the artist and provocateur behind the label, is holding a Christmas ornament that says “Happy Holiday.” Honestly, this strikes me as a little strange — creepy, almost — for a holiday themed ad, but if Schroff’s Instagram feed is any indication, that’s probably what he was going for. This ad originally ran in an issue of Surfing Magazine from either the Eighties or early Nineties.
I can’t say what Schroff had in mind, but I can speak on behalf of Shred Sledz, and I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends and of course, vintage sticks and tasty waves.
Is this More Core Division lineup from 1991 the greatest surf team ever assembled? Dino Andino, Brock Little, Sunny Garcia, Martin Potter, Matt Archbold, Cheyne Horna, Gerry Lopez, Michael Ho and Derek Ho. That is just stacked!
There’s a lot of hair and a lot of swagger in this ad, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.
Tune in next Thursday night for another vintage surf ad!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry — in which I scan an old surf magazine ad and write a bit about it — builds upon yesterday’s Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model post. As you can see in the photo above, it’s an advertisement for Pottz’s line of signature models shaped under the Blue Hawaii brand, but with a couple of very interesting twists. First, I wrote a separate Sagas of Shred post a few months back that featured the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model, which you can find here.
The ad above — which originally ran in May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27, No 5) — features a quad fin variant of the Pottz board. Gone is the flame spray along the rails, replaced by a twinzer fin setup, what I guess you would call a bat tail, and then some interesting concave out of the back. Glenn Minami shaped many boards for Martin Potter, starting at Town & Country during its early days, and then going on to found Blue Hawaii. The ad above, however, clearly features Wil Jobson, the shaper credited with inventing the twinzer fin setup.
Swellnet wrote up a post on Wil Jobson and the twinzer, and they also included this awesome close up of the business end of one of the Blue Hawaii / Pottz twinzer boards. The Swellnet board, however, was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy, and not Jobson. When you compare the Swellnet board above with the one featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, you’ll notice some key differences. First, the Blue Hawaii board has a different shape in the tail, and what looks like only two channels, versus the four in the Swellnet board above. However, both boards have the smaller twinzer stabilizing fins, which, according to Swellnet, are called canards.
And because here at Shred Sledz we celebrate Shawn Stussy’s entire catalog, of course we had to mention the board featured above. That board you see in the photo is a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider that was apparently inspired by Jobson himself. The Stussy twinzer was sold at last year’s California Gold Surfboard Auction. Now, I know that Stussy shaped boards for Michael Tomson, who was CEO of Gotcha. Gotcha, in turn, was Pottz’s longtime clothing sponsor. Is it possible that somewhere in this mix Stussy got the idea to shape the twinzer pictured above? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly would be cool if that turned out to be the case.
Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in next Thursday evening, California time, for more vintage surf ads.