Greetings, Shredderz! Unfortunately I’m on a bit of a tight schedule today so I won’t be able to scan any new ads. That said, I’m happy to point you in the direction of an absolutely fantastic Body Glove ad, featuring none other than Bing Copeland. The ad you see above was posted to the Classic Bing Surfboards group on Facebook, which is definitely worth checking out. There’s a nice community of collectors there who show off some really sweet vintage Bing Surfboards. The ad itself was originally posted by Haggerty’s Surf Club on Facebook. Check out the rad Bing Karma board underneath Bing’s knee, too. If I had to guess I would say this ad was published sometime in the late Sixties or early Seventies, but I’m not sure.
Thanks for reading today’s abbreviated entry and we’ll be back with more vintage surf ad scans next Thursday evening.
This time around there’s another ad from the venerable Victoria wetsuit brand, but featuring Larry “The Rubberman” Bertlemann. Before I flipped open a magazine just a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know that Bertlemann had ever ridden for Rip Curl. And a very quick and incomplete Google Image search didn’t turn up with any other good photos of Bertlemann rocking any Rip Curl gear, either.
But hey, the Rubberman can be seen not-so-subtly pointing to the Rip Curl logo in the ad you see above, so that should settle it. This ad ran in the May 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 21, No 6).
And given that this is a blog about vintage surfboards, you know I’m going to have to geek out on the surfboard. If you look closely, you can see some Byrne logos towards the tail of Larry’s stick. Byrne Surfboards was founded in the Seventies by Australian brothers Phil and Chris. According to the Byrne website, during the Seventies the Byrne brothers were frequent visitors to Hawaii. During this time they struck up working relationships with both Shaun Tomson and Larry Bertlemann. Later on, Phil Byrne would gain even more attention for his collaborations with Tom Carroll.
This Rip Curl ad features the only example I have seen of a Byrne surfboard shaped for Larry Bertlemann. I can only guess that these are quite rare.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in a week with more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s late and I gotta be up early tomorrow so I’ll make this one brief. Pictured above is a Rip Curl ad that appeared in the January 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 22, No 1), featuring none other than Derek Hynd. It’s funny to see Hynd in an ad for a big surf brand, considering that his elusiveness has now become central to his reputation. Nonetheless, I can’t argue with any advertisement that features a surfer of Hynd’s stature getting slotted on a flawless wave.
Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday night for another vintage surf ad as part of the Sagas of Shred series.
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and by now readers will hopefully know that means a heaping helping of vintage surf advertising goodness is about to be served up, courtesy of Sagas of Shred. If I do say so myself, the blog has been on a bit of a tear lately with regard to quality cuts of the Hawaiian variety. Here’s an absolutely killer Dane Kealoha T&C single fin shaped by Glenn Minami, and I also wrote up a tidy quiver of Hawaiian single fins, which included a different but no less bitchin’ T&C Minami stick.
For today’s Sagas of Shred entry we turn the clock back to 1982. Check out the classic T&C Surf ad you can see at the top of the page. The ad ran in the December 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 12). It features some stalwarts of the storied Town & Country Surf Designs brand. In the larger picture, from left to right, are Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha and Randall Kim. Inset is a picture of Craig Sugihara, T&C’s founder, and Kealoha again. The photos in the ad were taken by Warren Bolster. Bertlemann and Kealoha need no introduction as two of the most famous Hawaiian pros from the Seventies. Rounding out the roster is Randall Kim, a standout big wave surfer from Hawaii who was later killed in a tragic shooting.
Since this is a vintage surfboard blog, we’re going to have to take a second to geek out on the photo props. Dane is posing alongside an incredible stick in the main picture. I can’t tell what the fin setup is, but the airbrush on the deck is insane. You can detect some wings towards the tail, but that’s about it.
The smaller photo in the ad was part of a larger photoshoot for the T&C brand. Here’s another photo from the same shoot, which I featured in an earlier Sagas of Shred post.
In both ads Dane Kealoha can be seen posing with an awesome T&C twin fin. I can’t say who shaped it, sadly. But I can say that the airbrush is just as an incredible as the other board. It’s also cool to see Sugihara front and center, as he isn’t present in the brand’s marketing during its Eighties heyday.
Finally, I think these ads depict the T&C brand during an interesting point in its history. I would say T&C hit its peak popularity later on during the Eighties, and in the ads here you can see early signs of the aesthetic that would become world famous in just a few years. And for anyone with a passing interest in surf history, you simply can’t go wrong with the combination of the Rubberman, Kealoha, and one of Hawaii’s iconic surf brands.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!
If neon isn’t your thing, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and close this tab immediately. Likewise, if you’re not into seeing a handful of all-time surf greats all in one photo, this one might not be up your alley. But if those two things are your kind of deal, then you just might enjoy this O’Neill ad from 1988 as much as I do.
This ad is just beyond classic. It’s taken from a full page spread in the May 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 5). The O’Neill roster at the time is chock full of talent: Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons (I’m rather partial to Snips’ first Sagas of Shred appearance, courtesy of Uggs), Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter all rode for the Santa Cruz-based wetsuit label at the time. To be honest, I’m not sure who either Anderson or Farnsworth are — my apologies, but this ad is a little before my time.
For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, Carroll seems to dominate this ad. He looks completely relaxed, confident, and in his element. Then again, Carroll had won two world titles by the time this photo had been taken, and this was about three years before his famous under the lip snap at Pipe. If you look at the top right photo, you’ll notice Carroll riding one of his Byrne boards with the signature swooping airbrush. Or maybe it’s just his Oakley blades.
Pottz, on the other hand, is almost subdued in the main spread. Granted, at this many words in, I am definitely guilty of reading way too far into a random wetsuit ad from the late Eighties. Still, it’s odd to think that this ad ran shortly before Pottz won his world title on the back of his progressive surfing.
Anyway, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred. We’ll have another fresh scan of a vintage surf ad next Thursday evening, California time. Mahalo for reading!
Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sagas of Shred, it is a series on the blog in which I feature a scan of a different vintage surf ad every Thursday night. If, like me, you live in California, this time of year means it’s time for south swells. And of all the spots in the world that light up during a proper south swell, I don’t think there are any more famous than Malibu. This ad is an old Lightning Bolt ad that originally ran in Surfer Magazine in the early Eighties (February 1982, Vol 23 No 2, to be exact.) During this time Lightning Bolt ads commonly graced the back cover of Surfer Magazine, and there are some real gems from their run. This Lightning Bolt ad features Mark Richards, Margo Oberg (the subject of a recent Sagas of Shred entry), and I believe Buzzy Kerbox. Instead of going the standard graphic design route, the ad itself has been spray painted on the infamous wall at Malibu. I’m not sure why they went with the “Boo” spelling over “Bu”, but I’m not a local there. The only thing I know for a fact about LA’s most famous right hand point break is you should never, ever drop in on Allen Sarlo AKA Wave Killer.
Mahalo for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s the rare two-fer (check out the earlier post I just finished on the soon to be concluded California Gold Surf Auction.) But Thursday night means it’s time for more Sagas of Shred, the series where I scan a new (old) surf ad every week.
Today we have notorious Hawaiian power surfer Johnny Boy Gomes, who was a feared enforcer in Hawaiian lineups. This ad cracks me up, bad spelling and all. I’m also a little confused by the dual “Life’s a Beach” and “Bad Boy” branding — these labels have two very different vibes going on.
Any post about Hawaiian power surfers wouldn’t be complete without mention of Sunny Garcia, who is currently battling a serious health issue. We wish Garcia and his family the best in this difficult time.
Thanks for reading and hit us back next week for more vintage surf ads!
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, the series that brings new vintage surf ads every single Thursday. Here we have an old Lightning Bolt ad featuring none other than Margo Oberg. Oberg’s entire Encyclopedia of Surfing entry is well worth the read. Not only was she a trailblazer on the women’s pro surfing scene, Oberg also won her first world title at the age of fifteen! Anyway, check out the article. The ad you see above ran in the June 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 6). Oberg was not yet thirty when this ad ran, and yet she was already a surf fixture.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next week for more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a doozy for you, courtesy of Offshore, a defunct surfwear brand. Once upon a time Offshore was a surf industry staple, but at some point it must have folded. Second from right in the Offshore ad above is none other than Michael Ho, Pipeline royalty and father of Mason and Coco. Michael Ho still charges Pipeline in his fifties, surfing at a level that would be impressive for someone literally half his age. (And here’s Derek Ho, younger brother of Michael and uncle to Mason and Coco, navigating a proper cavern just this past winter.) The Offshore ad originally ran in the June 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 6).
That said…there appear to be some nervous smiles in this photo. I’m no fashion expert, but c’mon, these shorts are hilarious. The poses don’t appear to be doing anybody any favors, either.
I may have said too much already. I recently visited the North Shore for the first time ever, and I’d like to go back, so I’m not going to risk offending any locals who may have starred in some ill-advised surfwear ads back in the day.
Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with some fresh scans of some vintage surf ads.
Before “More Core”, Gotcha was apparently focused on keeping the beat. Sagas of Shred has featured some Gotcha ads before, including this classic, and for good reason. I still think Gotcha’s contributions to surf culture are criminally overlooked. (On a related note, here’s an incredible Stussy thruster that belonged to Gotcha founder Michael Tomson.) Sadly, the brand didn’t stick around much further past the Nineties, although even in its waning days it still counted Rob Machado and Andy Irons (through the More Core Division label) among its flag bearers. A lot about this Gotcha ad feels thirty years old — unless I’m mistaken and abstract neon bikinis are back in style — but the distinctive energy and creativity is palpable. I don’t mean to kick the surf industry when it’s down, but you compare this Gotcha ad to the recent and rather lifeless offerings from Billabong, Quiksilver et al, and the difference is stunning.
Gotcha also had the benefit of counting Martin “Pottz” Potter as its marquee rider. This ad was published in the May 1990 issue of Surfer Magazine, shortly after Potter captured the world championship. Pottz’s brand of raw aggression was a perfect match for Gotcha’s rebellious aesthetic, and I think it’s one of the great athlete / sponsor pairings in the recent history of the sport, joining partnerships like Slater and Quiksilver, Occy and Billabong, etc.
What can I say? This ad is so awesome. The photos, the clothes, the typeface…everything is perfect. Oh, and lest I forget, shout out to Dino Andino, father of Kolohe, who was also a staple throughout some of the better Gotcha marketing during the Eighties and early Nineties.
At some point Gotcha’s website had a vault featuring its old ad campaigns, but sadly it doesn’t look to be functional right now. This is a shame and I hope it gets restored, as there are a ton of gems in there.
Thanks for reading and visit next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred!