Pop quiz, Shredderz: how many years have you been stylin’? If you’re Katin, the venerable Southern California surf trunks brand, the answer is nearly six decades! The vintage Kanvas for Katin ad you see here was featured in an issue of Surfer Magazine during — yup, you guessed it — the Eighties. You know, in case the pearly white Uggs and the matching sweatpants didn’t give it away. This ad cracks me up, and I absolutely love it. Those sweatpants are legitimately awesome (although the pink and white ones might be a bridge too far for me.) Even if you don’t share my affection for all things Eighties surfwear, you gotta admit it’s distinctive. As far as advertising goes I would say the earlier Katin ad I featured is probably a better piece of marketing, but both are incredible.
If you enjoy these vintage surfwear ads, give us another visit late next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred. And as always, thank you for reading!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a doozy as part of the Sagas of Shred series, where we post a vintage surf advertisement every Thursday night. This ad is for Bradshaw Hawaii Surfboards, the surfboard label of big-wave charger and shaper Ken Bradshaw. The Bradshaw Hawaii Surfboards ad originally ran in Surfer Magazine in the March 1986 issue (Vol. 27, No. 3). The very same issue featured an infamous cover that also featured Bradshaw. Beyond Bradshaw’s impeccable surfing resume, you gotta love the matching patterns between the Hawaiian shirt and the deck of the board, not to mention what I can only guess is an air guitar pose. I’m a real sucker for the Bradshaw Hawaii logo, too.
Don’t forget to return next Thursday, where we’ll have more vintage surf ads to share with all of you fine folks. As always, thanks for reading — every visit to this humble little blog is much appreciated.
Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you unfamiliar with Sagas of Shred, it is a weekly series — every Thursday night, California time — that features a new vintage surf ad. Well, I guess the ads are technically old, but you catch my drift. Today’s post actually features an ad that you can already find online. I first saw this vintage Wave Tools Surfboards ad on Board Collector. I decided to re-scan the ad and upload a higher quality image because it’s a real doozy.
As you can see in the image, the ad features Lance Collins, founder and head shaper of the Wave Tools brand, and then team riders Jeff Parker, Preston Murray and Steve Richardson. The Wave Tools Surfboads ad originally ran in the August 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 21, No. 8). I was surprised to see the date on this ad, as it originally ran a few years earlier than I would have guessed. Traditionally Surfer Magazine’s dates are a bit ahead, meaning that the August 1980 issue was likely sold sometime around May or June 1980. In turn I would guess the team photo was taken in early 1980 at the absolute latest.
You’ll notice that four out of the five boards featured in the Wave Tools ads are twin fins, and the jury is out on the one on the far right. I’d be willing to bet it’s a twinny as well, but unfortunately the deck is facing up. Well, I shouldn’t say unfortunately, because we’re treated to a shot of the amazing flouro gradient spray / checkerboard combo, which was an Echo Beach staple during the Eighties. Murray’s board — second from right, with the brick motif — is also a doozy. I’m not sure what the brick wall signifies, but you can also see it in the background of the ad itself. I also really dig the stripes on the twin fin to the far left. While everyone equates the Eighties with thrusters, it’s fascinating to see an ad that pre-dates Simon Anderson’s invention, during the last days of the twin fin’s dominance.
As always, thanks for taking the time to reach this post, and we’ll have even more Sagas of Shred for you next Thursday night!
Before we even get started on the subject of surfing, can we all just agree that the stretch limo is absolute power move, and one that has gone neglected for far too long now? Okay, great, glad we’re all on the same page.
The vintage Katin ad featured here originally ran in the March 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 22, No. 3). There was a lot of silliness in the Eighties when it came to surf industry advertising, but I genuinely think this is a fantastic ad. The contrast between the super serious limo driver and his slightly more chilled out passenger is amazing.
It’s also interesting that Katin is billed as “Katins” in the ad. Katin is one of California’s most venerable surfwear companies, and I was surprised to learn earlier today that it counts a woman among its co-founders. Shout out to Nancy Katin, who, along with her husband, originally ran a company that made canvas boat covers, and then transitioned into making surf trunks. (Read the entire entry on Nancy Katin on the Encyclopedia of Surfing for more history.)
Katin is still alive and well today, although I think the business has new owners. Until recently Katin would post a ton of its awesome vintage ads under the Katin Vault series on their site, but a recent formatting change made it impossible to see the pics. In fact, they posted the very ad featured above, but I was able to get a higher quality version of the image by scanning it again.
As always, check back in late next Thursday night for another vintage surf ad as part of the “Sagas of Shred” series here on your favorite vintage surfboard blog.
First of all, I’d like to say that I find this Eighties Japanese Lightning Bolt ad deeply offensive. As a new dad with a long-standing aversion to non-surfing related exercise, I feel body shamed by the presence of these very fit gentlemen.
In all seriousness, I love this ad. It ran on the back cover of the September 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 23 No. 9). For a good chunk of the Eighties, the Lightning Bolt brand staked out the primo real estate on the back cover of Surfer Magazine. The end result was a pretty inspired set of ads. You can rest assured I’ll continue to post more of them here!
You’ll notice the bottom right hand corner of the ad reads “For translation go to page 26.” I have copied and pasted the translated text below:
A PURE SOURCE AROUND THE WORLD
The Lightning Bolt Team came to life in the early 70’s on Hawaii’s North Shore, energized by the challenge of Pipeline’s massive tubes and by each individual’s drive to create more progressive surfing equipment to tap that energy source. The resulting combination of dynamic surfers and ideas added up to more than the sum of its parts…and the known limits of wave riding were greatly expanded.
In the ongoing tradition of that first Pipeline crew, Team Bolt Japan joins our honored group of international surfers; each one a proud contribution to the constantly expanding energy of the whole.
That’s what Team Bolt is all about.
There’s something really rad about the Eighties Japanese Lightning Bolt ad featured above, whether it’s the Japanese text — always cooler if you don’t know what it says — or the simple color scheme. Many might say that Lightning Bolt’s glory days were squarely in the Seventies, defined by Gerry Lopez’s effortless styling at Pipeline, but I’m rather partial to this version of the brand, too.
As always, check back in next Thursday night for Sagas of Shred, where we’ll be sharing more bitchin’ vintage surf ads.
Greetings, Shredderz! Some exciting developments are afoot here at the world’s lowest budget vintage surfboard blog: I finally ponied up for a scanner, which means fresh material for Sagas of Shred, the weekly series featuring a vintage surf ad every Thursday evening. First up is technically only half of a Rip Curl ad from the January 1988 issue of Surfer Mag (Vol. 29, No. 1), featuring Brad Gerlach and co-starring his truly flawless head of lettuce. Between the volume, the sun bleach, and the styling, it’s a real murderer’s row.
Sagas of Shred often ends up as the expression of my fascination with Eighties surf culture, which lies somewhere between nostalgia tinged affection and outright amusement at the things that haven’t aged as well. But this Rip Curl suit still looks dope today, a good thirty plus years after the ad originally ran. That color scheme is awesome, and I love all the details in the suit, whether it’s the uneven line of the top, or the futuristic knee pads. Vader is a pretty badass name for a wetsuit line, copyright infringement and all. The rainbow hued Rip Curl logo clearly hails from earlier times, but I would argue it has aged handsomely. It’s also worth noting that Gerr seems to be drinking from the fountain of youth himself, given that he’s in his early fifties and still absolutely rips.
The funny part is the second half of this Rip Curl ad actually features Tom Curren doing a nice off the top on a vintage Channel Islands Al Merrick board. I’ll scan it at some point and probably share it on Instagram, but what can I say? I actually found Gerr and the wetsuit more interesting, somehow.
Thanks for checking out the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, and don’t forget to pop back in next week for even more vintage surf advertisements and other assorted goodness.
Once a week I’ll share a vintage surfboard ad as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Usually it is posted late Thursday night California time, but thanks to the Fourth of July, we’re running behind schedule this week. Better late than never, they say! In any event, pictured here is an Ole Surfboards ad from the 1960s. What’s interesting is the fact the ad features Mickey Munoz, not just as a team rider of sorts, but as the manager for the brand’s Seal Beach shop. It’s cool to think that you could have stopped by the Ole Surfboards shop to get some advice from Munoz on what kind of board to ride.
As always, thanks for reading and stop by next week for more Sagas of Shred.
Here we have another Maui and Sons ad from the Eighties, right on the heels of last week’s Sagas of Shred post. I don’t have much to add here. I think the more I write, the more I potentially take away from this hilarious ad featuring a half human, half shark hybrid wearing sunglasses while pig dogging in a pretty serious barrel. This is pretty close to perfect, and I’ll just leave it at that.
As always, check back in next week for more vintage surf ads in the Sagas of Shred series. Thanks for reading!
Greetings, Shredderz! As some of you probably know by now, every Thursday night (sometimes early Friday morning), I’ll write another entry in the Sagas of Shred series featuring a different vintage surf ad. I mostly focus on ads for old surfboard labels or shapers. And while surfing is proud of its counter culture bona fides, one interesting aspect of surf culture is the fact that it has been driven in large part by fashion over the years. For all the chest beating about being core and staying true to the spirit of the sport, selling t-shirts and boardshorts — mostly to non-surfers — has been surfing’s economic engine. I’ll always love geeking out about vintage surfboard ads and design trends, but much of modern surf history has been shaped by the accompanying clothing brands and their marketing campaigns.
This is not a criticism, by the way. I can’t really say I care that much for surf fashion these days, but I think that’s a function of age more than anything else. For bright eyed young groms, there are few decisions more momentous than choosing the right brands as a form of self-expression. And in the Eighties, perhaps more than any other decade, fashion really helped shape surf culture at large.
Maui and Sons is one of the great surf brands of the Eighties, alongside stalwarts like Ocean Pacific and Gotcha. The brand has gone through a few reincarnations and it’s still up and running today, but it’s a far cry from its heyday.
I really love this vintage Maui and Sons ad, if for no other reason than the unmistakable Eighties aesthetic. The old school Maui and Sons logo is an Eighties modern art classic. The rest of the ad has a kind of breezy carelessness to it, and the vibe is more important than what’s actually happening on the page. Why is there a pair of shorts flying through the air? And is that a baby shark in the pool — that fin can’t be more than six inches, right? But who cares when everything is neon and carefree?
Maybe this kind of nostalgia doesn’t hold the same appeal unless you grew up in the Eighties. But that’s exactly when I did, and as a result, I’ll never stop loving this kind of stuff.
Thanks for reading and check back in next week for more Sagas of Shred!
In theory, I love all of my blog posts equally. In practice, that couldn’t be further from the truth. (I’m still partial to my first-ever Deep Dive, which features a history of Wayne Lynch’s early shapes.) And while I have been writing Sagas of Shred for a while now, this one just might be my favorite.
First, before I get started, much credit to Ted Campbell, who originally posted a snapshot of the photo on Instagram. When I asked for more background on the photo, he generously shared the full picture with me. Thanks again Ted!
But more to the point, the photo above is an advertisement from Primo, which seems like an old wetsuit brand. I wasn’t able to find much about it online, though I was able to find another great old school Primo ad. The Primo advertisement features two of the best known surfers to come out of the South Bay area of Los Angeles: Dru Harrison, on the left, and the inimitable Mike Purpus, standing to the right.
Dru Harrison had a signature model for Rick Surfboards. And while Harrison was an incredible surfer, I can’t get enough of Purpus. He just looks like he’s having the time of his life — which is appropriate when you consider the setting for the photo shoot. Purpus was an early Jacobs team rider, and then he went on to produce boards under the Hot Lips Designs label. Hot Lips is still one of the greatest name and logo combinations in the history of consumer brands, much less surfing (only slightly joking there.)
What can I say? I’m just a sucker for any of Purpus’ ridiculous antics, whether it’s posting in a hilarious Seventies aircraft or his infamous Raquel Welch airbrush:
Once again, thank you to Ted for sending me the ad in this post. Give him a follow on Instagram — he posts some great content. I hope you enjoyed this installment of Sagas of Shred, and as always, come visit late next Thursday, California time, for even more awesome vintage surf ads.