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.
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’vegotapoint. 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.
Greetings, Shredderz! First off, apologies that this has been a slow week with the blog. I hope to get into a more regular cadence next week, as there have been many fine sledz that deserve a little more attention! In the meantime, though, for today’s Sagas of Shred entry we have a Nectar Surfboards ad from 1979. This was right before Nectar licensed Simon Anderson’s Thruster and brought the revolutionary tri-fin board stateside. I’m not sure who Pablo Dardon is — an early team rider, I’m guessing, and likely a San Diego local — but I love that Craig Hollingsworth gets a shout out in the ad, too. Hollingsworth is one of those rare old school shapers who maintains an active presence on Instagram.
Thanks for checking out this post, and for more vintage surf ads, tune in next Thursday evening for more Sagas of Shred.
Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I know we’re all thinking it, so I’ll just come out and say it: I think I may have been a little tough on Rip Curl in last week’s Sagas of Shred entry. Did the Aussie surf brand misspell the name of a certified surf legend? Yeah, there’s no way around that one. And did Rip Curl also take perhaps the most stylish regular foot of all time and try and pass him off as a goofy? Sadly, that one is also pretty cut and dried. But enough about Rip Curl’s missteps. Let’s focus on the positive, shall we? For all the fine folks that have surfed under Rip Curl’s banner, even the biggest Mick Fanning fan would agree that there was something special about Wayne Lynch’s stint as a team rider. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this union than by running this scan of a Wayne Lynch Rip Curl ad from 1983.
First, both Wayne Lynch and Rip Curl are native to Victoria, Australia. While best known as the home of Bells Beach, Victoria also has a reputation as a cold water paradise with a variety of mysto spots tucked away along its coastline. Likewise, for all of Wayne Lynch’s competitive success during pro surfing’s earliest days, his reputation is who preferred surfing in solitude in his home state over surfing’s rat race.
The Encyclopedia of Surfing points out that for all of Lynch’s suspicions about surfing’s commercialization, it was the surf media and surfwear companies — namely, Rip Curl — that made him famous, and presumably helped finance his solo excursions up and down the Victoria coast. But when I see the Wayne Lynch Rip Curl ad above, I can’t help but think Rip Curl found the perfect embodiment of their brand.
Maybe there’s something cynical — even hypocritical, if you want to be harsh — about monetizing the image of a so-called soul surfer. But I have no such objections. I figure if you’re in the wetsuit business, what better way to move product than by enlisting the man who personifies a unique brand of cold water wanderlust? (Side note: I can’t help but think that O’Neill is blowing it by not doing something similar with Timmy Reyes.) I love the Wayne Lynch Rip Curl ad featured here because it says something about Lynch and his surfing, and it speaks to the sense of adventure that has so much to do with surfing’s appeal.
As always, thanks for checking out this installment of Sagas of Shred, and check back in next Thursday night for more. And if you’ve made it this far, please do check out this post I wrote on Wayne Lynch’s early surfboards, which remains one of my all-time favorite posts I have written on this humble little blog.
First of all, Shredderz, I’d like to offer a sincere apology. I know that many of you — perhaps even more than ten! — come to this blog on Thursday nights for a lighthearted look at vintage surf advertisements as part of the Sagas of Shred series. And while we have a fresh ad to share, I’m afraid this is a very serious matter. Look closely at the Rip Curl Tom Curren ad above.
Sharp eyed readers might notice that Rip Curl have misspelled Tom Curren’s name. I can’t say I’m thrilled about that — I mean, it’s not like Curren is the greatest surfer in California history, the state that helped shape surf culture as we know it — but whatever, it’s just a single letter.
No, the line in the sand is the fact that the Rip Curl ad pictured above depicts Tom Curren as a goofy foot.
I’m sorry. But I find this extremely offensive.
Really, Rip Curl? Did Curren spend his formative years dissecting Rincon on his backhand, like an earlier version of Bobby Martinez? Had I misremembered Curren’s indelible cutback at perfect Backdoor on a logo-less board all this time?
I can’t even focus on the hilarious copy — the earnest, corny “Rip Curl Does it Vest!” tagline, or the fact the product was actually named Aggrolite — or even the presence of a young Danny Kwock, alongside East Coast legend Wes Laine. I was, however, able to put my indignation aside long enough to note that Laine is toting a sweet-looking Canyon thruster, which was likely shaped by Rusty Preisendorfer.
The ironic thing is the cover of the magazine in which the ad originally rad — August 1983, Vol 24 No 8 — features Curren, too!
The only acceptable explanation here is that Curren simply surfed this wave switch and Rip Curl neglected to mention it. Otherwise, I’m afraid that running a wetsuit ad with Curren as a goofy foot is like marketing “Terminator 2” as a romantic comedy. I like to think of myself as a pretty laid-back guy, but a good thirty five years after this ad originally ran in Surfer Magazine, I’m now considering a full-blown boycott to express my outrage over this Rip Curl Tom Curren ad.
As always, please visit us again next Thursday night, where we will have another vintage surf advertisement. Hopefully next week’s entry in Sagas of Shred manages to do justice to one of the greatest surfers of all time.
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s getting late, so I’m not going to mince words with this post. Pictured here is a Hawaiian Island Creations ad from the September 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 29 No. 9). What initially drew me in was the classic Eighties look that seems to check all the boxes: bright colors, edgy copy, and yes, checkerboard.
Upon closer inspection, though, I’m almost certain that the featured surfer is none other than the late, great Brock Little. Sadly, Little passed away about two years ago after a fight with cancer, but left behind a legacy as one of the greatest big wave surfers ever. He also infamously served as Patrick Swayze’s stunt double during the final Fifty Year Storm scene in “Point Break.” It looks just like Brock, and Gotcha was one of his long time sponsors as well.
As always, check back in next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Thank you for reading!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s vintage surf ad — part of the Sagas of Shred series — features the Eighties surf scene’s version of peanut butter and jelly: Tom Curren and Channel Islands Surfboards. Never mind that the ad is technically an OP ad. I still look back fondly on Ocean Pacific’s run as one of the surfwear heavyweights, but I think we can all agree that the real magic is the union between Tom Curren and CI mastermind Al Merrick.
Now, the real question is this: is the board Curren is holding none other than the legendary Red Beauty? Red Beauty was the name of the Al Merrick-shaped thruster Curren surfed to victory in the 1984 OP Pro. The Red Beauty model is still available via Channel Islands’ website today.
To be honest, I’m not sure. I doubt the board in the ad is the Red Beauty. First of all, the ran ad in the February 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 2), which means the photo was likely taken sometime in late 1985. This would date the ad to a good year plus after the 1984 OP Pro.
I also found the below picture online. You can clearly see the board Curren surfing below is very different from the one he was in the ad (the below picture doesn’t have the Tom Curren logo, for example), yet it has the same red rails. Either way, I think the red rails were a very common design for many of Curren’s boards over the years.
The other thing I love about the ad is the fact Curren is referred to as Tommy Curren. It seems like the Tommy name was favored by a number of Santa Barbara locals who grew up with Curren, and you’ll still see it pop up from time to time.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post, and we’ll have another vintage surf ad for you next Thursday night as the Sagas of Shred train continues to chug along!
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s late on Thursday night, which can only mean one thing: that’s right, it’s time for Sagas of Shred, where we feature a different vintage surf ad every week. Honestly, this ad speaks for itself, so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum. It originally ran in the January 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 1). I love how this T&C Surf Designs ad combines the cheerful neon aesthetic that dominated the Eighties, along with Kealoha’s brand of aggressive, powerful surfing. Kealoha’s boards look so sweet in this ad, too — I would love to see better pictures of both of them, along with some info around who shaped these sticks.
Thanks for reading and come back next week for another heaping helping of Sagas of Shred!
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.