Greetings, Shredderz! Yes, it’s Thursday night, and yes, we are here to give you some more vintage surf ad goodness! Sadly, there won’t be any fresh scans of ads for the rest of the year, so I am forced to resort to digging up some goodies available online. Today’s Bing Surfboards David Nuuhiwa ad comes courtesy of an old California Gold Surf Auction listing for a sweet Bing Nuuhiwa Lightweight Model. The ad itself, however, is for Nuuhiwa’s Noseriding Model. I’m not sure what year the ad ran but I’m guessing it was sometime in the mid Sixties.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next week for more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! It is Thursday evening, so as is customary around these parts, we’re serving up a fresh scan of a vintage surf ad. This time around we have an advertisement that originally appeared in the April 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 4). But we also have an example of a rad Canyon Surfboards stick — shaped by Rusty, natch — which we’ll get to in a bit.
I love learning about the early labels of various shapers’ careers, whether it’s Shawn Stussy cutting his teeth at Russell Surfboards, Gerry Lopez’s stint at Surf Line Hawaii, or countless others that I haven’t covered yet. Rusty Preisendorfer had established himself as a top shaper well before he established the eponymous brand that would make him something of a surf mogul. By the early Eighties, Rusty had already shaped boards for world champs Peter Townend and Shaun Tomson.
There’s a comprehensive San Diego Reader article that has a nice profile of Rusty and his early shaping career. According to the article, Canyon Surfboards was a collaboration between Rusty and his longtime glasser, John Durward. Durward owned Canyon Glass, which glassed most of Rusty’s shapes, and at some point the two men went into business together. Later on Canyon Surfboards would become the official licensee for Shaun Tomson’s personal line of shapes.
You’ll notice the ad features Peter Townend, Tomson and Dave Parmenter, among others. The sheer number of surfers Rusty has shaped for during his long career is mind-blowing, not to mention his role informally tutoring folks like Parmenter, who has gone on to become one of the foremost authorities in building surf craft.
There also happens to be a nice and clean Canyon Surfboards twin fin listed for sale on Craigslist in the Bay Area. You can find the listing here. I really the Canyon Surfboards label, which Rusty designed himself, having majored in visual arts at UCSD.
The board was shaped by Rusty, as clearly indicated on the signature, and it has a neat pair of Star System fins, complete with an Eighties-appropriate checkerboard print.
Even after all the accolades and the decades spent in the surfboard industry, I suspect Rusty might still be underrated. At the very least, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t more attention around Rusty’s earlier boards, whether they were shaped under the Canyon Surfboards and/or the Music! labels. That said, I think Rusty is easily considered one of the greatest living shapers in California, and at some point I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a renewed interest in the shapes he produced towards the beginning of his career.
Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re here in California it’s the waning hours of Thanksgiving. For those celebrating I hope you had a wonderful day of gratitude, hopefully spent in the company of family, friends and some swell. Today we’ll be pointing you towards one of our favorite sources of vintage surfboard goodness: the Harbour Surfboards advertising archive. The archive has a ton of high quality scans of ads spanning Harbour’s fifty plus years in business, and it’s definitely worth a visit. I chose this particular ad — which features a model called the New Sol — because it also features one Herbie Fletcher. I had no idea Fletcher had anything to do with Harbour Surfboards, but hey, there’s never anything wrong with learning new things. The ad originally ran in the Jan 1967 issue of Surfer Magazine, which means Fletcher was only nineteen when the New Sol was released. I had never heard of Bill Fury before seeing this ad, but I was able to find this tribute to Fury on the Surfing Walk of Fame website.
Today’s Sagas of Shred post is a bit more somber than the usual tongue-in-cheek commentary on Eighties surf advertising. But hopefully this post can be a modest tribute to one of the most influential people in the entire history of board sports. It’s the first post on the blog that doesn’t have to do with surfing, and for good reason: Jake Burton Carpenter was and remains an absolute legend. The Burton Snowboards ad you see here originally ran in the December 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 12). The predecessor to the snowboard was actually named The Snurfer, in a nod to the sport’s surfing roots. Later on, Burton Snowboards would go on to purchase Channel Islands Surfboards.
I don’t snowboard myself, but I have long admired the Burton Snowboards brand. As a teenager I was simply a fan of the annual Burton catalog, which was always well-produced, even if you didn’t know the first thing about snowboarding (and they had great gear, too.) The older I got, though, the more I grew to appreciate Burton’s unique career path. He invented the brand in a barn in Vermont in 1977 and grew it into one of the most influential outdoors labels of all time. Later on, I was blown away when Burton, still serving as Burton CEO, made the decision to spend most of a year traveling the world with his family and snowboarding. If there’s a better example of someone making a career out of their passion, I have yet to see it.
Rest in Peace Jake Burton. Thanks for setting an example of how to live life without ever losing the stoke.
Greetings, Shredderz! I’m delighted to be back this evening with a fresh scan of an Eighties surf ad. This, of course, is the latest entry in the Sagas of Shred series. I don’t have a lot to say about this particular ad, other than my love for Eighties surf nostalgia is as strong as ever. This O’Neill ad, which originally ran in the September 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 9), features Chris Frohoff, who I understand is now a surfboard shaper. I get an endless amount of amusement from the less serious aspects of Eighties surf ads — like the “Wave Cult” tagline seen here — but I dig the graphic design that’s happening here. The ad features the work of not one but two great surf photographers. Jeff Divine took the surfing photos, and Aaron Chang shot the portraits of Frohoff. And finally, if you look closely, you’ll see Fro is shredding on a cool looking Rusty stick with a nice gradient airbrush at both ends.
Thanks for checking in and we hope to have you back next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! I’m on the road this week, which means no fresh vintage surf ad scans for today’s Sagas of Shred entry. The good news, though, is that we’re borrowing an ad originally posted by the cool kids at Saturdays NYC. If surf nostalgia has a more classic combination than Danny Kwock, Quiksilver and the Echo Beach heydays of the Eighties, I have yet to see it. The ad you see here features a young Kwock absolutely stylin’. I nabbed this photo from an excellent interview with Kwock on the Saturdays NYC website. Sadly, I think Saturdays has discontinued their short-lived but awesome magazine project. If you can dig up a hard copy of the magazines they printed it’s definitely worth it — they are beautiful printed pieces, and mine are carefully stashed away for safekeeping.
And just in case you thought Danny Kwock was a one-tricky pony, here’s proof that he does black tie every bit as well as more casual ensembles. I found the shot of Kwock posing alongside a killer Wave Tools stick on this completed vintage surfboard auction listing. Not sure who the photographer is — if you have any info please do let me know.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening, which means it’s time for a fresh scan of a vintage surf ad. The latest Sagas of Shred entry features Button in an ad for Local Motion Surfboards. The ad originally ran in the October 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 10). I featured a different Buttons / Local Motion campaign almost two months ago, which you can check out here.
I’m not quite sure what, exactly, is going on. Buttons looks…mad, almost? And is the woman in the ad supposed to be emptying sand out of her shoe? Confusing Eighties surf ads are a constant source of amusement for me, but I’m legitimately puzzled by this one.
Still, though, I’m into it! The graphic design is rad. How good does that simple red Local Motion palm tree logo look? And yes, I’m intrigued by Buttons’ board. It’s too bad you can’t get a good look at the tail and the fin setup.
Thanks for reading and we hope to catch you next week for more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Due to some unforeseen scheduling issues I was not able to provide a fresh scan of a vintage surf ad for this installment of Sagas of Shred. After spending some time in some strange Google rabbit holes — you haven’t hit rock bottom until you’ve scrolled through pages of results for “More Core Division” — I found the rad O’Neill advertisement you see here. The ad sports O’Neill’s classic “It’s Always Summer on the Inside” tagline, which was also the title of Jack O’Neill’s autobiography. The same tagline is also associated with O’Neill’s most infamous (and NSFW) ad, which you may have seen before. I found this image on a blog called Jack Elliott’s Santa Barbara Adventure. See here for the original post. The same blog also posted a very cool vintage Channel Islands Surfboards ad from the same year, which you can find here. According to Jack Elliott’s blog, the artwork in the O’Neill ad was done by an artist named Rick Sharp. I love this style and I can’t help but wonder if it’s overdue for a comeback! It appears as though Sharp continues to work today; you can check out his website here.
Thanks for reading and we’ll resume our regularly scheduled Sagas of Shred scans next Thursday.
Alright, Shredderz, I don’t exactly get paid by the word here, so I’m going to make it snappy. As part of the Sagas of Shred series I post a different vintage surf ad every Thursday evening. One of the Sagas mainstays are Lightning Boltads fromthe Eighties, which were featured on the back cover of Surfer Magazine. Pictured here is the Lightning Bolt ad on the back cover of the February 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 2). As you can see, the ad covers Rory Russell‘s travels throughout Morocco. It’s interesting to note that as of late 1982, by the time Simon Anderson had invented the thruster, Russell was still sticking to single fins. I love how each and every ad is a short, self-contained story. One of these days I’ll try and put up a monster post featuring all of the Lightning Bolt back cover ads, but in the meantime, this one should be enough to tide you over. And if you know where I can snag one of those amazing Team Bolt beach towels, definitely hit me up!
Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you who aren’t hip to the program, I scan a different vintage surf ad every Thursday evening and post it as part of the Sagas of Shred series. I’ve written up Gotcha’s groundbreaking advertisements many times here on the blog. If it’s still not clear, I’m a huge fan. By all accounts, Gotcha’s creative and brash marketing took its cues from founder Michael Tomson‘s larger than life personality. (Here’s a Stussy thruster that was shaped for Tomson, which, for my money, is one of the cooler boards I have written up.) The Gotcha Martin Potter ad featured here originally ran in the April 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 4). Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the surfer in the ad looks nothing like Martin Potter! It’s mind blowing to me that they would go out of the way to have an artist whip up an entire painting without making sure that it bore some resemblance to their star team rider at the time.
As for the rest of the ad…I mean, your guess is as good as mine. I can’t stop alternating between the surfer — who, let me repeat, could not look less like Pottz — and the (leg-less?) woman who looks like she’s about to pass out from heat stroke. This is to say nothing of the desert motif, much less the pairs of shorts that are inexplicably floating through the frame. And why does the surfboard cast a shadow, but Pottz does not? The longer I look at this Gotcha Martin Potter ad the more questions I have, and frankly, it’s starting to get a little late here.
That said, do I love all of it? Yes, yes I do. The Eighties were an incredible time in the surf industry, and I simply can’t get enough.