Moroccan Madness via Lightning Bolt and Rory Russell: Sagas of Shred

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 Bolt ads from the 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!

Gotcha Martin Potter: Sagas of Shred

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.

Tails of the Thruster: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Buckle in for another scorcher of a vintage surf advertisement. As a quick reminder, I scan a different surf ad every Thursday evening (California time, of course) as part of the Sagas of Shred series. I have a fondness for ridiculous Eighties ads, but usually I can only get in about one or two jokes, max, before I realize that my affection for the ad isn’t ironic after all. I’ve seen different scans of this ad floating around the internet somewhere, although I can’t seem to find them. What you see here is a Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad that originally appeared in the May 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 5). Anderson, of course, created the tri fin thruster design nearly forty years ago, and it remains the de facto fin setup for countless surfboards across the globe. I can only guess the magnitude of his invention hadn’t yet become apparent by the time he decided to pose for a half hearted Indiana Jones spoof. Nectar Surfboards, based out of San Diego, was the American licensee for Anderson’s boards. I don’t believe Simon shaped any of the US boards, but I’m not totally certain on that point. What’s interesting about this ad is that it also includes a closeup of some very cool and varied designs that were part of Nectar’s lineup at the time. From left to right there’s a standard Eighties bump squash tail; a wing round pin (not sure if that’s the precise term); and two swallow tail varieties. There’s also an interesting variety of fin sizes and shapes. You’ll notice some of the boards have smaller center trailing fins, whereas others have three fins of equal sizes. I’m not sure what to call the fins on the white and yellow board second from right, but they’re reminiscent of the trapezoidal fins currently found on some Vulcan Surfboards. This ad is definitely one of my favorites in terms of sheer ridiculousness, but, as is usually the case, it isn’t long before I find myself getting genuinely excited about the boards and the people that are featured.

La Jolla Surf Systems: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday again, which means we’re serving up some red hot scans of old surf ads as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Today we’ve got an unlikely all star cast in an ad for La Jolla Surf Systems. The ad originally appeared in the February 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 2). I assume La Jolla Surf Systems was an old San Diego surf shop, but that’s about all I know. What’s really interesting is the collection of shapers featured in the ad (and one notable craftsman who apparently didn’t make it to the shoot on time). The ad features the late Bill Caster, whose boards are still coveted among a selection of San Diego locals; Gary McNabb, of Nectar Surfboards fame; Tim Bessell, who is still shaping today; Eric “Bird” Huffman, founder of Bird’s Surf Shed; and of course, a young Shawn Stussy. If you look closely at the bottom right of the ad you’ll see a gorgeous-looking Stussy twin fin with purple rails and some wings in the tail. I’m a little intrigued by Stussy’s inclusion, as I believe he is the only non-San Diego local in the names listd above. While the ad mentions that La Jolla Surf Systems has Skip Frye boards in stock, if you look below Bird’s photo you’ll see “Skip Frye — gone fishing.” To me this suggests Skip was originally supposed to take part in the shoot, but that’s just a guess. Thirty six plus years after the ad was shot, I can’t even imagine the sheer luxury of walking into a surf shop and seeing a bunch of Skips on the racks, to say nothing of the Stussy boards! If you read this blog you know that my bread and butter is poking fun at the ridiculousness of Eighties art direction, but I’m still too starstruck by all the shapers in the ad to come up with anything halfway decent.

Mahalo for reading and don’t be afraid to come back next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Pottz, Dane and T&C: Sagas of Shred

A lot of times I have some smart ass commentary to go along with the vintage surf ads I scan every Thursday night. In this Sagas of Shred entry, though, I have nothing but deep respect for all the parties involved. When you’re dealing with the unholy trinity that is T&C Surf Designs in its Eighties heyday, Martin Potter, and Dane Kealoha, there isn’t much more to add. This advertisement originally ran in the July 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 7). Subconsciously I know that surfing is a sport and a culture obsessed with youth. Even so, it’s still a shock when I do some quick Googling and realize that Pottz was only eighteen when this ad first ran. It’s interesting to see Pottz surfing one of his famous “The Saint” boards, although his signature green and yellow jagged airbrush is nowhere to be found. I’m guessing it’s a Glenn Minami twin fin. Dane, meanwhile, is locked and loaded in the pit, and not even the hemline of his shorts can diminish the intensity of that shot.

Mahalo for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday evening for more Sagas of Shred!

Maximum Actionwear: Laird Hamilton for Salt Creek

Greetings, Shredderz! The sun has set on another wonderful Thursday, which can mean only one thing: yes, it’s time to dip into my stash of vintage surf magazines and find a ridiculous ad from the Eighties to share. This week we’re featuring an ad for Salt Creek — which I can only assume was a short-lived brand named after the famed Southern California surf spot — starring none other than Laird Hamilton. The ad originally ran in the June 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 6), when Laird was a mere twenty years old. The Salt Creek ad is something of a reminder of Hamilton’s sheer longevity, given that he has been in the surf spotlight for well over three decades. There are a ton of unanswered questions about what exactly the surf industry was thinking in the Eighties, and the first one that comes to mind is what the hell is maximum actionwear supposed to be. I guess we may never know.

Mahalo for reading and here’s hoping next Thursday brings us even more Sagas of Shred.

Buttons for Local Motion: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! We don’t have much for you today, just a sweet Local Motion ad nabbed from the pages of the April 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 4). As you can see, the advertisement features none other than Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani, better known as Buttons (RIP), posing alongside a few friends.

Thanks for reading and please do visit again next Thursday, when we’ll have another vintage surf ad for your reading pleasure.

Nat’s Nat and That’s That: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! I have returned from a long and relaxing trip back to the East Coast. I may have timed the trip perfectly to miss out on the swell that’s beginning to fill in, but hey, at least I have access to my back issues of Surfer Magazine and a scanner. Today we’ve got a Quiksilver ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Mag featuring none other than all-around legend Nat Young. Young has been making the news lately for the upcoming release of his new book, “Church of the Open Sky.”

Funnily enough, one of Young’s earlier books was titled “Nat’s Nat and That’s That”, echoing the copy you see in the Quiksilver ad posted at the top of the page.

I’m eagerly awaiting “Church of the Open Sky.” Not only does Young boast a championship resume, he has shown himself to be a thoughtful historian of all things surf related.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!

1970 Morey-Pope Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! My summer vacation is finally coming to a close. Beginning next Thursday Sagas of Shred will pick up where it left off, featuring vintage surf ads scanned from my collection of vintage magazines. (Side bar: I’m still looking for Surfer Magazine issues from the Sixties and Seventies, so get in touch if you’re in California and you have some up for grabs!) In the meantime the Sagas of Shred series is featuring some rad vintage surf ads that I have found elsewhere on the internet. Today we have a ridiculous spread courtesy of Morey-Pope Surfboards, coming on the heels of my writeup of a cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel that was recently listed for sale. Even better, the ad originally appeared on the peerless surfresearch.com.au. Seriously — please check out surfresearch.com.au. It is nothing short of a digital surf history museum. Don’t let the site’s distinct Web 1.0 vibe scare you off. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled with gems like the Morey-Pope ad pictured above.

The ad is actually a two page spread that ran in a 1970 issue of Surfer Magazine. I have included both photos above, which you can click to enlarge. There is a lot going on. You could even argue it’s too much, but to me, it’s a perfect expression of the limitless creativity that fueled Tom Morey’s career.

As a bonus, check out another Morey-Pope ad I found on Instagram below. I love the super colorful slipcheck designs on these MP boards.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday evening for more Sagas of Shred!

Vintage Rick Surfboards Joe Roland Ad

Greetings, Shredderz! I still don’t have access to my collection of magazine back issues, so I’ll be serving up random vintage surf ads I dig up online. This, of course, is the latest entry in the Sagas of Shred series, which features a different vintage surf ad every Thursday night. Today we’ve got an ad from none other than Rick Surfboards. Rick is one of my favorite labels ever, and in my mind, it’s a bit of an overlooked gem.

I’m not sure where I originally saw today’s ad, or when it’s from. If I had to guess I would say late Sixties or very early Seventies. Joe Roland was a top East Coast pro surfer from Jacksonville, Florida. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Roland won the Eastern Surf Association’s AAAA division in 1968 at the age of seventeen. Shortly afterwards, he released a signature model in conjunction with Hansen Surfboards. I was able to find two examples online.

Interestingly enough, I was able to find a different Rick Surfboards ad featuring Roland, which specifically called out his 4A / AAAA championship. I have re-posted the ad below. Curiously, the EoS entry doesn’t make any mention of Roland’s time with the Rick Surfboards label.

As always, mahalo for reading, and we’ll be back in a week with more vintage surf advertising goodness.