George Greenough for O’Neill: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Sorry that the blog has been a little less frequent these days. But today I’ve got a treat: an ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine featuring none other than George Greenough, the surfcraft guru whose influence still looms large over the sport. It’s funny to see Greenough featured in an ad, given his famous aversion to any kind of publicity. It’s also cool to see that the ad likely features one of Greenough’s custom camera rigs, which allowed him to capture then-revolutionary footage of himself deep inside the tube. The shot still looks modern today. It’s no wonder that Greenough is still revered by surfers across many generations.

As always, thanks for reading, and tune in next Thursday night for more Sagas of Shred!

Rainbow Fin Ad from 1974: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! I’m currently writing this update from the road. As some of you may know, every Thursday night I’ll select a vintage surf ad and upload it as part of the blog’s Sags of Shred series. Unfortunately, I have been on the road the past few days, which means I don’t have any new scans for this week. For now this bitchin’ Rainbow Fin Company ad from 1974 will have to suffice. I’m not sure where I found this originally — maybe Swaylocks? — but either way, it’s a rad look at the beautiful vintage fins Rainbow Fin Company was producing in the Seventies. Rainbow is still alive and kicking, and still located in Santa Cruz. I’ll always love the beautiful fiberglass fins of the Seventies, and hopefully this Rainbow Fin Company ad does a good job of explaining exactly why that is.

Thanks for reading and tune in next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Vintage Campbell Brothers Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! What, you thought just because it was a national holiday the Sagas of Shred train would come screeching to a halt? Think again, amigos, because just like every other Thursday evening, we are coming in hot with a vintage surf ad for your viewing pleasure. Today we have a Campbell Brothers Surfboards ad that originally ran in the May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27 No 5).

The Campbell Brothers have never been ones to conform, whether it’s fin setups or political views. Thus the military propaganda style imagery of the Campbell Brothers Surfboards ad featured above doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The stark black and white lines are a significant departure from the dominant aesthetic of the late Eighties and early Nineties, which favored bright graphics and lighthearted, feel good messages. I love the old school Bonzer script logo splashed across the bi-plane, which took me a bit of time to even notice.

While I can’t personally claim to regularly surf Bonzers, there are plenty of ultra talented surfers who have joined the Campbell Brothers’ revolution. One such surfer is Alex Knost — check out some of his stylings on a Russ Short model in the video below. The Campbell Brothers’ place in surfing history is assured, thanks to their groundbreaking design and the accompanying decades-long effort to spread the word of its high performance capabilities.

Finally, given that it’s the waning hours of Thanksgiving here in the States, I’d like to offer a few words of gratitude to anyone who has made it this far through this post. If you’ve ever read the blog, checked out my Instagram, or even laughed at one of the pitiful dad jokes littering this site — okay, that’s probably taking things too far — then I can’t thank you enough. Frankly, I’d write Shred Sledz even if no one read it, but the knowledge that there are a few people who actually enjoy what I do makes it all the better.

Tom Curren Channel Islands Ad

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, it is late on Thursday evening, California time, which can only mean an incoming post about a vintage surf ad, courtesy of Sagas of Shred. This time around we have another tried and true classic: a Tom Curren Channel Islands Surfboards ad congratulating him on his third world title.

What’s interesting about this ad is the fact is the line about Tom Curren surfing his way to a title on “a laser generated Al Merrick shape.” I’m wondering if this isn’t a reference to an early version of a shaping machine. While Channel Islands employed a number of ghost shapers for years to meet demand, it would later become one of the largest surfboard manufacturers in the world, thanks to the use of shaping machines. I can’t say for sure whether this Tom Curren Channel Islands ad is specifically referencing that shift, but either way, it’s an interesting mention.

Tom Curren Pipeline Art Brewer 1990 via Surfline.png
Curren cranking off the bottom. I’m almost certain this is the same board as the one pictured in the ad at the top of the page, which I’m guessing was taken at the 1990 Pipe Masters. Photo by the peerless Art Brewer and via Surfline.com

A few years back Surfline published a post wishing Curren a happy fiftieth birthday, and it contained the Art Brewer photo you see above. I’m almost certain this is the same board from the Tom Curren Channel Islands ad featured at the top of the page. You’ll notice the same Marui singlet, and I can only guess this came from the Pipe Masters during 1990. I’m not sure what advantages one gets from riding a “laser generated” surfboard, but it seems to work good enough for one of the greatest surfers ever at the sport’s single most iconic spot.

As always, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and stop on by next Thursday evening for yet another vintage surf ad.

Christian Fletcher Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a modern day classic for you: a vintage Christian Fletcher Surfboards ad from 1989. Yeah, I know, it was just last week when I ran another Christian Fletcher ad as part of the Sagas of Shred series, but what can I say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (And actually, if you must know, both ads come from the same original source — the June 1989 issue of Surfing Magazine, Vol 25 No 6).

First, I love the simple but effective black and white motif going on. It almost reminds me of some early Volcom creative. It’s a fitting aesthetic for Christian Fletcher’s image as one of surfing’s punk antiheroes. What’s interesting to me about this Christian Fletcher Surfboards ad is it features an alternate logo. If you look closely, you’ll notice that in the logo in the lower left hand corner of the ad, you have a skeleton busting a frontside air.

However, the better known version of the Christian Fletcher logo features a skull framed by a perfect A frame peak:

Christian Fletcher Surfboards Steve Boysen Thruster 6'1 1
Here’s an example of the classic Christian Fletcher Surfboards logo, which features a skull against a wave background. The board above was shaped by Steve Boysen.

Truth be told, I like the classic version of the logo better, but I think they’re both pretty cool. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a board with the aerial version of the Fletcher logo, but I always have my eyes peeled. And actually, it looks like the board Fletcher is riding in the ad at the top of the page has the aerial logo, but it looks to me like it was edited in.

As always, thanks for visiting (and hopefully, even reading this far!) Next Thursday night we’ll have another vintage surf ad for even more Sagas of Shred.

Christian Fletcher Style Eyes Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Have I got a curveball for you: here’s an ad featuring legendary surf rebel Christian Fletcher in a spiffy black tie getup. It’s a pretty dramatic departure from Fletcher’s reputation as a tattoo covered, mohawk sporting, chainsmoking anti establishment figure. But hey, Fletcher cleans up nice! This ad originally appeared in the June 1989 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 25, No 6).

Thanks for reading and check back in next Thursday night for more vintage surf ads as part of our Sagas of Shred series.

Occy Billabong Ad: Sagas of Shred

First, let me say that I am a huge Occy fan. For a while Occy was my favorite surfer, and his redemptive 1999 World Championship campaign was a huge inspiration to your Shreditor in Chief. Occ’s legacy is not only a spot on power surfing’s Mount Rushmore, but also a space as one of the most beloved Aussie characters ever to hit surfing. Occy’s still going strong today, and if you haven’t yet had a chance, I urge you to check out The Occ Cast. I never pegged Occy for a talk show host, but it turns out his guileless charm makes him a natural. Anyway, as you can see, I’ll sing Mr Occhilupo’s praises until the cows come home…but all that said, this Occy Billabong ad is downright hilarious.

The ad originally ran in Surfing Magazine in 1987 (Vol 27, No 2). I’m guessing the campaign must have been shot right after the peak of Occy’s early fame, on the heels of his back-to-back OP Pro finals against Tom Curren.

The clothes in this Occy Billabong ad are par for the course for the Eighties — that is to say, totally ridiculous — but I’m also oddly fascinated by the girl at the right hand side of the picture. Then again, there is a lot about Eighties surf ads that I will never understand, but that doesn’t stop me from getting a huge kick out of them.

Billabong and founder Gordon Merchant famously stood by Occy during his late Eighties / early Nineties swoon, and were rewarded with his feel good comeback win following Kelly Slater’s first retirement. In a way, Billabong is just as much a part of the Occy story as, say, a searing backhand attack at Bells Beach. It’s odd to say that now, when surf brands have hit an all-time low in terms of cultural relevance, but I’ll always associate Occy with his longtime sponsor.

As always, thank you for reading Sagas of Shred, and give us another visit next Thursday night for more vintage surf ads!

Gerry Lopez Astrodeck: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s entry in Sagas of Shred — the series in which we feature a different vintage surf advertisement every Thursday night, California time — is an unexpected pairing in the form of a Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad. Even though Astrodeck inventor Herbie Fletcher originally hails from California, he has a long relationship with Hawaii, including some amazing Jet Ski adventures in pumping surf. I’m not surprised that Lopez and Fletcher crossed paths on the North Shore during the Seventies and Eighties. (In fact, I even wrote up another Eighties Astrodeck ad where Gerry can be seen lurking in the background.) That said, Gerry Lopez and Herbie Fletcher strike me as an unusual pairing. Fletcher has always possessed a brash presence and the savvy of a sharp eyed businessman. Lopez, on the other hand, is known for being calm and low key, and by all accounts he has avoided the spotlight in recent years to dedicate more time to snowboarding.

This Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad ran in the September 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 9). I’m not sure when Fletcher invented Astrodeck, though I believe it was sometime during the late Seventies. There are a few clues that tell me the Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad featured above happened earlier on in the company’s history. First, the logo is an earlier design (see here for the current version, which I believe has been around since sometime in the Eighties.) Second, if you look at the traction itself, it’s clearly an earlier design that predates the iconic traction pad we all know and love. By contrast, here’s another Eighties Astrodeck ad I wrote up before, and you can see the updated logo as well as the transition to tail pads.

I love this Gerry Lopez Astrodeck ad, if for no other reason there aren’t too many examples of Lopez doing ads for non-Lightning Bolt surf brands! The same issue of Surfer Magazine also has a feature on Lopez’s experience on the set of “Conan the Barbarian”. Between this Astrodeck ad and a brief Hollywood phase, I’m guessing Lopez reached his fill of the limelight.

Thanks for reading and check back in next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Eighties Morey Boogie Body Wear: Sagas of Shred

Shredderz, I think I’ve done it: across every single issue of Surfer Magazine published throughout the glorious 1980s, I have found the single funniest ad from the entire decade. Yes, it’s for a boogie board spin off clothing line. (Shout out to Tom Morey, though, who can do no wrong in the eyes of this vintage surfboard blog.) Yes, our fearless model is wearing matching shorts and shirt — a bromper, if you will. And yes, this ad is nothing short of incredible!

Frankly, I’m not going to spoil this wonderful piece of surf nostalgia with more dad jokes. I’ll let you all admire every last detail of this Eighties Morey Boogie ad in peace. Check back in next Thursday night — California time, baby — for more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred.

Stussy Livin’ Stoopid Large: Sagas of Shred

If you don’t know, now you know: Shawn Stussy just might be the coolest man alive. If you’re sick and tired of this blog fawning over Stussy, well, you’ve got a point. But we’re not stopping any time soon. Pictured above is a rad vintage Stussy ad from 1990 or 1991. I scanned the vintage Stussy ad from the April 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 4), but as you can see, the ad itself is dated to 1990.

Obviously, I tend to focus on Stussy’s surfboards. I love his Seventies single fins, and of course the Eighties thrusters that elevated the Echo Beach aesthetic into something way more memorable. But when it’s all said and done, Stussy will probably be best known as one of the godfathers of streetwear due to his eponymous clothing line.

The vintage Stussy ad ran in 1990 or 1991, right as the brand’s popularity was beginning to explode. Earlier in 1990 Stussy had just opened up its first standalone store in New York City. (Check out Complex’s oral history of the brand here, which is told from a fashion-centric point of view.) It’s interesting to see the ad running in Surfing Magazine, but with no reference back to Stussy’s background as a shaper, or anything to do with surf culture, really. Curiously, I have never been able to find any vintage Stussy ads in Surfer Magazine during the Eighties and Nineties. I was surprised and stoked to see this turn up in an issue of Surfing Magazine, and I understand that Stussy also ran a lot of ads in Thrasher during the Eighties, too. To me the ad catches the Stussy brand at a moment where it is in between different worlds — not quite a product of the Orange County surf industrial complex, but still dabbling in surf culture. Shawn Stussy would end up leaving his brand at the end of 1995, but it still exists today.

Needless to say, I love the hand drawn lettering and the slightly off-kilter copy. It’s nothing if not distinctive, which is only fitting considering Stussy’s legacy of being far ahead of its time.

As always, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and check back in a week for even more vintage surf ads.