Rick Surfboards Part II: Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail (A Shred Sledz Deep Dive)

An in-depth overview of the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model surfboard produced during the Transition Era of the late 1960s

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is Part II of our exploration of one of surfing’s most influential but still somehow underground surfboard labels: Rick Surfboards. If you missed Part I, which covers Rick noseriders and pre-Transition Era models, please check it out here. The initial version of the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model, produced starting in 1966, was a noserider. Rick Surfboards BK Model longboards continue to command high prices; one recently sold at the California Gold vintage surf auction for $2,450.

In 1967, with the Transition Era underway, Rick Surfboards released a shorter surfboard made for the steep, challenging conditions of Hawaii’s North Shore, and, of course, its namesake’s radical surfing. The end result was the Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail model.

The canvas for Kanaiaupuni’s new equipment — I’ve seen his Transition Era boards referred to as both pocket rockets and mini-guns — was big wave spot Sunset Beach. Barry K’s exploits at Sunset resulted in some iconic surf photographs, including shots from famed photographers Art Brewer and Jeff Divine.

Barry Kanaiaupuni Sunset Beach Jeff Divine 1972.jpg
Barry Kanaiaupuni and one of his signature bottom turns. Sunset Beach, 1972. Photo by Jeff Divine.

Barry Kanaiaupuni’s Early Shaping Days

From what I can tell, the longboard version of the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model was produced only during 1966 and 1967. I believe sometime in 1967 Rick Surfboards began producing the Pintail version of the BK Model. Stoked-n-Board claims the BK Pintail was produced until 1982. I find this unlikely for two reasons. First, just about every BK Pintail I have seen has a distinct Transition Era outline, which would have been outdated for the 1970s, much less the early 1980s. Second, Barry Kanaiaupuni started shaping for other brands during the early 1970s.

The Encyclopedia of Surfing tells us Kanaiaupuni began his shaping career at Rick Surfboards, followed by stints at Country Surfboards, Surf Line Hawaii, and then Lightning Bolt. This sequence makes me think Rick Surfboards ceased production on the BK Pintail well before 1982. There are many examples of boards shaped by Kanaiaupuni for other brands well before 1982: Surfboard Hoard has a Chuck Dent brand shaped by BK dated to 1969; I have seen a BK Surf Line Hawaii board dated to 1971; and Surfing Cowboys has a Lightning Bolt BK board supposedly made in 1972. Based on this evidence, I believe the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model was produced from 1967 until the early 1970s, at the latest.

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail: Gun

Pictured above is an unusual example of the Rick Surfboards BK Pintail. Although dimensions for the board are not listed on the post, you can see the board has a traditional big wave gun shape. Compare this to all the examples below, which are shorter and have fuller noses paired with long, drawn out pintails. Nor is the pintail gun above a noserider, a la the board featured in the first post. The logo is interesting, too. It is the only example I have seen that reads “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail.” All the other versions in this post read either “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model” or “Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail.” The board has been fully restored by Randy Rarick. The restoration makes me think it’s possible the logo is not all-original. See below for a pic comparing the length of the board to a Hobie Dick Brewer Model. I couldn’t find dimensions for the gun, but it looks considerably longer than all the other BK Pintails featured in this post.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model: 7’1″, 1967, Serial No. 442 (Non-Pintail Logo)

Pictured above is another Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail oddity. Pics are via the USVSA. As you can see, the board is clearly a Pintail version of the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model. However, it does not have a Pintail logo. The Rick Surfboards laminate is in the original font, too. Note the board is numbered #442 on the stringer; more on this later.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail (Various)

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Logo Closeup.jpg
Close-up of the logo on board #368. Note the updated font on Rick Surfboards, and the slight name change for the board: what was the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model has been changed to the Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail. Pic via The Vintage Surf Auction

This section focuses on “standard” versions of the Rick Surfboards BK Pintail. I define these boards as follows: they possess a Transition Era outline, with a full nose and dramatic, pulled-in pintail; and the logos bear the updated Rick Surfboards font and the “Pintail” text (versus boards that simply read “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model”).

A number of the standard Rick BK Pintails have been sold at auction recently. The picture above is from a board that sold at the Vintage Surf Auction in 2015. The Rick BK Pintail above is dated to 1967, and it has the serial #368. No dimensions are listed for #368. One thing that throws me for a loop is the ordering of the serial numbers. #442, the board with the blue fin that appeared earlier in the post, does not have the updated font on the Rick Surfboards logo, nor does it have the Pintail text. The numbering indicates #442 was made after #368, but the logo suggests otherwise.

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail via Surfboardline.jpg
BK Pintail AKA Buggs’ Board. This is an all-original example of a standard Rick BK Pintail. Pics via Surfboardline.com

Buggs, the proprietor of Surfboardline.com, has a number of awesome Rick BK Pintails, which he has featured on his website and Instagram. The board above appears on Surfboardline.com. No serial number is listed for what I’ll call “Buggs’ Board.” I think it’s very possible Buggs’ Board and #368 are one and the same, but I can’t be sure without seeing pictures of the fin on #368. Buggs’ Board is all-original and it measures in at 8′ x 22″ x 2-1/2″, compared to #442, which comes in at 7’1″.

Pictured above is a 1967 Rick BK Pintail with an era-appropriate acid splash paint job. The board was sold at a USVSA event close to ten years ago. Pics are via the auction listing, which you can find here. The Acid Splash board measures in at 7’10”. Other than the rad airbrush, it looks quite similar to the other Rick BK Pintails listed above, from the silhouette down to the W.A.V.E. Set fin box.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail with Glass-On Fin

The board above comes courtesy of French surfboard site Surf-Longboard.com, and it is currently being offered for sale at €1,000. You can find a link to the board here. The French Board measures in at 7’4″. It has a very similar outline and length to the other Rick BK Pintails posted above.

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail Glass On Fin
Close up of the fin on the French Board. The fin looks different — it has more rake and is thinner towards the tip — than its counterparts on the Acid Splash Board and #442. You can also see a bit of color towards the base of the fin. Pic via Surf-Longboard.com

The thing that stands out about the French Board is its glass-on fin. This is the only example I have seen without a W.A.V.E. Set fin box. The French Board also has some nice pin lines, reminiscent to #442.

There are a few Instagram posts that show off the details of the tail on the French Board. I assume this is true of the other Rick BK Pintails as well, but it’s difficult to say without any close-up pics.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail with Signature

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail Mini Gun.JPG
The only triple stringer version of the Rick BK Pintail I have seen to date. Also note the signature on the bottom right. I can’t say for sure that it’s legitimate, but it’s promising!

The yellow board shown above is the only Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model I have seen that looks like it was signed by BK himself. The board was previously posted for sale on SurfnHula.com. You can find the link here. I don’t know whether or not this is a genuine BK signature. I have seen a variety of boards signed by BK, and his signature seems to vary.

Like the gun at the top of the post, the Triple Stringer board has two additional stringers.  It’s interesting the note the Triple Stringer board has been labeled a “Pocket Rocket.” The Triple Stringer’s dimensions are 7’9″ x 20-1/2″, putting it line with the other standard Rick BK Pintails featured here.

 

Conclusion

There you have it — every single Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail I have ever laid eyes on. I’m still bursting with questions: did BK shape all of these, or did Rick Surfboards use a ghost shaper? (I’m leaning towards the latter). What were the exact years during which the Rick BK Pintails were produced? How to explain the varying lengths of the boards — were they offered in different pre-set sizes? And, perhaps most importantly, are these boards every bit as cool as they look? As always, if you have any additional information or pics about the wonderful Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model, please give me a shout!

Check out the earlier post in the Rick Surfboards Deep Dive series here. Coming soon is Part III, in which we will delve into the beautiful single fins Rick Surfboards produced during the 1970s.

Photo Credit at the top of the page: Barry Kanaiaupuni surfing Sunset Beach, 1969. Photo by the peerless Art Brewer.

 

 

 

Rick Surfboards: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive (Part I)

Rick Surfboards is a surfboard label that should be more famous than it is. I admit, part of this stance is informed by my own extensive biases, starting with the fact I have a soft spot for Rick’s clean and classy logos. Setting aside these preconceptions, though, Rick Surfboards boasts a rich history intertwined with some of California surf culture’s most notable figures. Sadly, Stoner’s premature passing in 1977 brought an early end to a label whose influence can still be felt today. Today’s post is an exploration of the early history of Rick Surfboards, and the shapes it produced during the mid-1960s. This is the first part in a series. As always, if you have additional information on Rick Surfboards, please drop me a line!

Part I: History — Bing & Rick

Rick Surfboards is the eponymous label of Rick Stoner. Stoner was a native of the South Bay of Los Angeles, hailing from Hermosa Beach. In 1955 Stoner decamped to Hawaii alongside friend Bing Copeland. Even in the 1950s the North Shore of Oahu was a proving grounds for the emerging surf scene. Bing and Rick surfed until their funds ran out, then joined the Coast Guard reserves, where they were lucky enough to be stationed on a ship in Hawaii.

Rick & Bing Makaha
I believe Rick Stoner is pictured at the far left, and Bing Copeland is in the white boardshorts at the right. Makaha, 1950s. I’m not sure who the other two surfers are, although there’s a very similar version of this picture in the Easy Reader News.
Bing Copeland Rick Stoner New Zealand Piha Surf Club.jpg
Bing Copeland (left) and Rick Stoner, paying a visit to the Piha Surf Club in New Zealand in 1958. I believe Piha was a lifesaving club, hence the outfits on Bing and Rick. During this visit, Bing and Rick introduced New Zealand to modern lightweight foam surfboards. Pic via Piha

The two would later become business partners: in late 1959, following a trip to New Zealand, they opened Bing and Rick Surfboards in Hermosa Beach.

Bing & Rick Surfboards Logo.png
Bing & Rick’s cheeky original logo. Pic via Bing Surfboards

According to Copeland, shortly after opening up their shop, Rick decided to focus on being a full-time lifeguard, selling his shares of the business to Bing in the process. The newly renamed Bing Surfboards went on to become one of the most recognizable and influential surf brands in the world.

At some point, Stoner must have had second thoughts about the surfboard business. As best I can tell (mostly from the Stoked-n-Board entry for the brand), Stoner established Rick Surfboards in 1963.

Rick Surfboards Ad 1964.jpg
Rick Surfboards ad from 1964. Pic via Harbour Surfboards

Part II: Rick Surfboards from the Longboard Era (Mid 1960s)

Before the dawn of the Transition Era and shortboards, Rick Surfboards, like every other surfboard manufacturer at the time, initially focused on producing beautiful old-school longboards. Examples of 1960s Rick Surfboards longboards are highly coveted and demand high prices at auctions. Here is a rundown of some of the best-known early Rick Surfboards models.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Longboard

The Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model is one of its most famous designs. Produced in conjunction with the legendary Hawaiian surfer, The Barry Kanaiaupuni Model first hit shelves in 1966. For the first few years, the BK signature model was a traditional noserider. This changed when the Transition Era hit (more on that later). There’s a great example of a Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni model that was listed on eBay. The auction was pulled, so there is no final price associated with the board, but the initial asking bid of $2,500 is telling (as is the fact the seller, Brett7873, has sold a number of collectible boards before.) See below for pictures:

According to the seller, the Barry Kanaiaupuni model above was produced in 1966. The dimensions are 9’6″ x 21-1/2″ x 3″. The board has been restored by none other than Hawaiian surfboard whisperer Randy Rarick, which is the next-best thing to being completely original. One last important note about the board: even though Kanaiaupuni went on to famously shape boards at Lightning Bolt, it’s unclear whether or not he shaped these Rick boards, or merely leant his name to them.

 

Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model

Rick Surfboards also released the Dru Harrison Improvisor model in 1966. Dru Harrison was a well-regarded pro in the 1960s. Like Stoner, Harrison hailed from Hermosa Beach.

Rick Surfboards Ad Dru Harrison.jpg
Dru Harrison in a Rick Surfboards promo shot. Photographer unknown. Pic via the Encyclopedia of Surfing

Here are some pictures of a recent Improvisor model that was listed for sale on Craigslist (board has since been purchased). The dimensions of the Dru Harrison Improvisor example are 9’0″ x 20-1/2″ x 2-7/8″. I believe this board is all original, other than some repairs that were made.

The seller claims the Dru Harrison Improvisor above was produced in 1967. Production of the Improvisor ended in 1970, according to Stoked-n-Board. During this time, Rick Surfboards released a number of different logos for the Improvisor. However, I have yet to see any examples of genuine vintage boards bearing the alternate Improvisor logos. Here’s an example of an alternate Dru Harrison Improvisor logo, but I believe this board was part of Matt Calvani’s recent run of Rick reproductions.

As for the collectibility of the Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model, it is difficult to say. I haven’t seen any Improvisors sold at auction recently. The one data point I have is an eBay sale that took place almost six years ago. You can find the link here. The board sold for just under $3K, and apparently it had a very low serial number (#67). Sadly, there are no pics on the listing any longer.

 

Rick Surfboards UFO Model

Rick Surfboards also produced the UFO Model longboard between 1966 and 1968, according to S-n-B. The UFO Model had a bunch of advanced features at the time of its release, including an interesting scooped out tail, a step deck, and a teardrop concave design on the nose. These features were incorporated to improve the UFO Model’s noseriding capabilities. Adam Davenport of Davenport Surfboards has a nice writeup of the UFO Model’s functionality, which you can find on his personal website here.

Rick Surfboards UFO Model Tail Close Up.JPG
Close up of the Rick Surfboards UFO Model tail. Notice the pronounced concave in the deck at the tail, which creates a corresponding rounded bottom. Pic via Davenport Surfboards

Here’s another example of a Rick Surfboards UFO Model. Pics below are from an old Craigslist posting (board is no longer for sale). The multiple stringer configuration is a common characteristic of the Rick UFO. On an aesthetic note, I love the logos, particularly the ones framing the stringer.

The UFO Model can be seen on the far left in the gallery above; it is the board with the blue / green fin and the quadruple stringers (two center stringers, and then one on either edge). The seller listed the board at 10’0″ and claims it was made in 1967. The asking price was $1300, but seeing as the board sold on Craigslist (if at all), I have no insight into the final closing price.

Rick Surfboards UFO 10'.jpg
Rick Surfboards UFO Model 10′. Pic via Mollusk Surfboards.
Rick Surfboards UFO Logo.png
Alternate version of the Rick Surfboards UFO Model logo. I suspect this logo is from a later run (late-1960s versus mid-1960s). I say this because the font was later used on many Rick Surfboards models produced during the 1970s. Pic via TJ Carr on Pinterest

 

Rick Surfboards Assorted Noseriders

There are other longboard models that Rick Surfboards produced during the mid 1960s, but I have yet to see any examples for many of them. It’s difficult to comment on the rarity and collectibility of these boards. For example, I have only seen one D&B Pintail Model, and that was submitted to The Surfboard Project. Here’s a smattering of some random Rick pre-Transition Era noseriders::

Pictured above is a beautiful 9’9″ Rick Surfboards noserider with the classic old-school logo. I love the double laminates on the deck. It has serial number #1252, and the seller claims the board dates to 1965. This board has been listed on and off Craigslist for a while now. The seller has been holding firm at $1200, which I think is reasonable for an all-original 1960s Rick, but apparently I’m in the minority, judging from the fact the board has yet to sell. You can find a link here.

Rick Longboard 10'6 1Rick Longboard 10'6

Pictured above is another Rick Surfboards longboard. Check out the beefy stringer. It’s also interesting to note the tail block and the glassed-on fin. The Rick Surfboards logo appears to be a few shades of blue lighter than the double-logo version above. This board is listed at 10’6″; pics via an old Craigslist posting.

Here’s a Rick Surfboards model with a rare “Tripper” laminate. Check out the Rick logo on the fin, too! I have never seen this model before, and I haven’t been able to find any other information about it online. Stoked-n-Board has no mention of a Tripper model. Pics via an old Craigslist listing. According to the poster, this may be an experimental board that never saw the light of day. The wedge stringer is taken from the Improvisor Model, and you’ll notice the similarities between the Tripper fin and the one on the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model.

Finally, see above for an example of a Rick Surfboards Noserider with a corresponding logo. Pics via Island Trader Surf Shop, who date the board to 1966. This is a pretty unusual logo, that I have only seen on a few boards. The board measures 10’1″.

 

As always, my sincere thanks for making it this far through the post. As mentioned earlier, this is the first post in a series that will cover the history of Rick Surfboards. Subsequent posts will cover Rick Surfboards’ Transition Era models — including the famous Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail — as well as Rick’s transition to the 1970s and single fins produced under the stewardship of Phil Becker. Stay tuned and Happy Shredding!

Creative Freedom & John Bradbury: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

An overview and history of Creative Freedom and John Bradbury’s surfboards

Shred Sledz may have a silly name, but we’d like to think we’re (somewhat) serious about making an effort to help preserve surf culture. Then again, the blog’s name does have an ironic ‘z’ in it, so who can be sure? One thing is certain, though: Shred Sledz has a keen interest in examining lesser-known chapters of California’s rich surfing history, and in particular, the craftsmen who have helped make it all possible. One such underground shaper is Creative Freedom’s John Bradbury. Bradbury might not be a household name, partly due to his untimely passing in 1999. Nonetheless, Bradbury is still respected by some of the most famous board builders in the world. Among others, shapers like Al Merrick, Renny Yater, Marc Andreini, Wayne Rich and Bruce Fowler have all expressed admiration for Bradbury and his designs.

Bradbury was an early proponent of EPS / epoxy surfboards. In 1985 Pottz won a World Tour contest on a Bradbury design. The success of this collaboration led to Bradbury supplying boards to other top pros Cheyne Horan and Brad Gerlach.

Shaun Tomson Martin Potter Stubbies Contest.jpg
No Bradbury board here; just Martin Potter (center) celebrating a win at the 1983 Stubbies Surf Classic. You can see Shaun Tomson on his left. Pottz would surf a Bradbury epoxy design in a contest two years later and win, helping cement Bradbury’s status as a forward thinking shaper. Pic via Area561

More than three decades later, as companies like Firewire continue to incorporate alternate materials into their designs, Bradbury’s approach looks downright prescient.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Epoxy EPS Board
Here’s an example of an early Bradbury epoxy board, made for Reef founder and surfboard collector extraordinaire Fernando Aguerre. Note the lack of a stringer. In addition, you can see there is no “Creative Freedom” branding anywhere — by the mid-1980s it appears Bradbury was shaping boards under his own name. Pic via 365 Surfboards

While Bradbury is rightfully known for his early forays into epoxy surfboards, this post will focus on the boards he made during the earlier parts of his career. The pictures of the boards in the post below came from a Shred Sledz reader who has been quietly collecting Bradbury’s designs over the years. (Side note: If you have any interesting boards or stories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to reach out!)

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #1: “Double Logo” 7’10” x 19-1/8″ x 3″ Single Fin (Date Unknown)

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Double Logo Single Fin
Twice as nice: an early Creative Freedom John Bradbury logo. Stoked-n-Board lists this logo as having been produced during the 1960s; I’m not certain that’s the case. More on this below.

It’s unclear when this board was shaped. My guess is sometime during the 70s. The fin box looks like a Bahne Fins Unlimited box, which I believe were not popularized until the late 1960s. In addition, the outline looks similar to many of the single fin guns and mini-guns being made during this era. This logo was created by Michael Drury, who also did the updated version (see below).

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #2: “Compass Logo” 7’6″ x 20-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Single Fin (Approx. 1969)

Stoked-n-Board continues to be one of the finest online resources on vintage surfboards. Predictably, S-n-B’s entry on Creative Freedom / John Bradbury is worth a read. However, after discussing the boards in this post with their owner, I’m not sure that the dates corresponding to the logos in S-n-B’s entry are correct. See below for an example of a Creative Freedom surfboard with a “compass logo”. Despite what is listed on Stoked-n-Board, the compass logo was actually the first logo ever designed for Creative Freedom. The board below is also numbered #199, which pegs it as a pretty early shape.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Nautical Logo 1.jpg
Example of the “nautical logo.” The owner of this board believes this may have been the first-ever Creative Freedom logo. This board is also numbered #199, which would make it an earlier shape.

See below for more pictures of the board in question. Note the prominent S-Deck with the domed tail.

The tail in particular is pretty funky looking, as you can see in the pictures:

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Natutical Logo Board 1.jpg

And here’s a side shot, which gives you a clear idea of the S-Deck and the rocker.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Natutical Logo Board 2
Look at the dramatic S-Deck and the low rocker in the nose.

Fountain of Youth Surfboards shaper Bruce Fowler graciously took some time to read this blog post and offer some additional information on the board above. There is no tail rocker present in the Compass Logo board, which was likely shaped in 1969. According to Fowler, the more modern designs of shapers like Dick Brewer, Mike Diffenderfer, and Mike Hynson forced the Santa Barbara crew to adapt. Brewer, Diff, and Hynson’s boards featured beak noses, full down rails, and natural rocker in the tail. These advancements were later incorporated into Bradbury, Yater, et al’s designs.

There’s one other data point that supports the 1969 date for the compass logo board, and it comes from Kirk Putnam. Putnam posted a picture of a very similar looking compass logo Creative Freedom board, which Putnam dates to 1969 as well:

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #3: 1970s Single Fin 6’8″ x 19-1/8″ x 3-1/4″

At some point Bradbury tweaked his logo to include two surfers on the wave (maybe as a more accurate depiction of the crowds at Rincon?) The same collector owns a single fin sporting the two surfers logo.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Two Surfers Logo.jpg
There’s now another surfer on the wave. Note the signature that has been added to the bottom as well.

I believe the logo with the two surfers is more recent than both the single surfer logo, as well as the nautical logo. The board bears many of the hallmarks of a traditional 1970s single fin. It has a beaked nose, a removable fin box, and beefy rails (3-1/4″!).

The 70s single fin also has a Bradbury signature on the board, addressed to Lewis. You can barely make out the “J. Bradbury” below.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury 1970s Single Fin Signature1
Example of a Creative Freedom surfboard with a John Bradbury signature on the stringer.

At some point, Bradbury appears to have ditched the Creative Freedom brand altogether. Stoked-n-Board estimates the switch happened in the 1980s, and Bradbury continued to use the new logo until his passing in 1999. Here is an example of the modern Bradbury logo, taken from a board that was listed for sale on Craigslist a few months ago:

Creative Freedom John Bradbury 1980s Thruster 7'6.jpg
Clean and colorful example of the modern logo that John Bradbury used from the 1980s until his passing.

Bradbury was also recognized by the Boardroom Show’s “Icons of Foam” series back in 2009. Marc Andreini turned in the winning tribute board. I believe Andreini’s tribute board is a thruster, but I’m not certain. I took this photo myself at the Boardroom Show in Santa Cruz last fall.

Marc Andreini John Bradbury Tribute for Icons of Foam.jpg
Marc Andreini’s winning Icons of Foam tribute for John Bradbury. Pic from the author

Creative Freedom John Bradbury shapes continue to have a cult following, particularly in and around Bradbury’s hometown of Santa Barbara. While Bradbury’s career as a shaper might have been cut short by his untimely passing, there is no doubt about the extent of his contributions to the sport of surfing.

 

Many thanks to Jesse McNamara for much of the information in this post!

Photo at the top of the page taken by Matt George; via The Surfer’s Journal

Update 7/24: Post updated to include date on the compass logo board, and additional information regarding its shape. Michael Drury also credited with designing the surfer logo.

Con Surfboards CC Rider: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Deep Dive focuses on perhaps my favorite old-school surfboard brand ever: Con Surfboards. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the Con Surfboards logo is a gorgeous piece of graphic design. It’s classy and timeless, with just the right amount of color to make it pop. Today’s post examines a model that is near and dear to my own East Coast roots: the Con Surfboards CC Rider. The CC Rider is named after famed East Coast surfer Claude Codgen. Before one Robert Kelly Slater came along, Codgen was Cocoa Beach’s most famous surfing export who became a well-known pro in the 1960s. In 1966, Codgen had the honor of representing the East Coast at the World Surfing Championship held in San Diego. That same year, Codgen joined forces with Con Surfboards, which released his signature CC Rider model.

Claude Codgen & Greg Noll.jpg
A young Claude Codgen on left, Greg “Da Bull” Noll on the right. Looks like Codgen is holding a Con Surfboards CC Rider model, but Da Bull’s hand is in the way! Pic taken by Roger Scruggs, via East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame

Despite Con Surfboards’ status as a cult classic brand, and Codgen’s legacy as one of the first true East Coast pros, there isn’t a whole lot of information online about the Con Surfboards CC Rider model. This post is an attempt to explore the history of the CC Rider, and present pictures of the various iterations of Claude Codgen’s signature model. This post is by no means definitive, as I have done my best to cobble together the various bits of information available online. As always, if anyone has any better info on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider

The CC Rider was produced starting in 1966. I believe it was only produced for a handful of years, as Stoked-n-Board indicates that Sunshine Surfboards, Codgen’s own brand, was founded in 1970. Sunshine continues to produce the CC Rider model, and Codgen is still shaping today.

Sunshine Surfboards CC Rider Claude Codgen Logo.jpg
This is an example of the later Sunshine Surfboards CC Rider (here referred to as the “Claude Codgen Model.”)

According to a thread on Swaylocks, Bill Shrosbree was one of the early shapers responsible for making many of the early Con Surfboards CC Rider boards. I’m not sure whether or not this is true. Even though Codgen now shapes boards under the Sunshine label, I am under the impression that he was not responsible for shaping the various CC Rider models.

See below for an example of what I believe to be the most basic version of the Con Surfboards CC Rider. These pictures are via a Craigslist listing for a board from a few months ago.

Note the telltale black label on the board’s deck. Here’s another picture of a similar board, via the Long Island Surfing Museum, featuring Charlie Bunger’s personal collection of 1960s Con Surfboards. The board on the far right looks almost identical to the one posted above: same black label on the deck, and then the tapered yellow high-density foam stringer.

Con Longboards at Long Island Surfing Museum.jpg
The CC Rider model can be seen at the far right. Note the “CC Rider” lam at the top right and the black laminate towards the tail. I believe the boards that are second from left and fourth from left are CC Rider pintail models. Pic via Long Island Surfing Museum.

 

At some point it appears Con Surfboards expanded its CC Rider portfolio, and released a bunch of variants. Here is an old Con Surfboards ad detailing the different CC Rider variants.

Con Surfboards CC Rider Ad.png
Old Con Surfboards ad showing variants on the CC Rider: CC Lightweight, V-Wedge Bottom, and CC Pintail

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Lightweight

The main distinction between the standard CC Rider and the Lightweight variant is unclear, other than the different text that appears on the laminates. In other words, I believe the CC Rider Lightweight model has a “Lightweight Model” added to the logo, which you can see in the first picture. I imagine the construction of the board was likely changed as well, but I can’t say for sure. Otherwise, the high-density foam stringer looks the same as the standard CC Rider, and the board appears to have the same volan patch as seen in the example in the ad above. Pics via an old Craigslist posting.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom

Vee bottom boards were very popular in the late 1960s, and to my surprise, I learned that Con Surfboards produced one as well. I love the branding of this board, including the hand flashing the peace sign in the ad above. The only example I have found of a CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom comes via ChubbySurf.com and their Pinterest account. This is a pretty rare variant, and I have yet to see one up for sale. Check out the neat rainbow CC Rider logo on the bottom. No dimensions were listed.

Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge2
Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom. You don’t see these too often! Pic via ChubbySurf

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight

I have been able to find two versions of what I believe are CC Pintails, but there are a few details worth noting. First, neither of these boards bears a straight up “CC Pintail” laminate. The laminates on both boards read “CC Rider Lightweight.” I consider both of these boards CC Pintails, however, because their silhouettes are identical to the “CC Pintail” pictured in the ad above.

First is an CC Pintail Lightweight that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. This board is a trip, starting with the two-tone high-density tapered stringer. The board was listed at 9’10”, and according to the seller, it’s circa 1968.

 

Island Trader Surf Shop is a rad Florida-based shop that features a great collection of vintage boards. They have an example of another Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight, and you can find it here. I have reproduced some of the pics below. It also has the same two-tone high-density stringer, black pinline design, and logo placement. In addition to boasting an elaborate fabric inlay, the Island Trader board is considerably shorter than the orange board, measuring in at only 8’6″.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Minipin Lightweight

Finally, Con Surfboards also produced as CC Rider Minipin. This variant does not appear in the ad above, alongside the Lightweight, the V-Wedge Bottom, and the Pintail. I am guessing it is a later board — late 1960s? –but I’m not certain. There are three examples I have seen, the first being a 7’6″ CC Minipin Lightweight with a blue (probably re-done) bottom. This board was posted for sale on eBay a little while ago. According to the original listing, the board was produced in 1969, supporting the theory that this is a later-era CC Rider model. It certainly has the funky outline of a Transition Era board from the late 1960s, with the wide point pushed pretty far back towards the tail.

 

There’s another CC Minipin Lightweight that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. This one measures in at 8’6″, a full foot longer than the blue bottom example above. There’s also a small difference in laminates: this board has one logo reading “CC Minipin Lightweight”, whereas the blue bottom board has its CC Minipin and Lightweight laminates located on separate parts of the board. The example below also has a bitchin’ Con Surfboards logo on the bottom near the nose (see last photo). Pics below via the eBay listing.

 

Finally, there is another Swaylocks thread with an extremely clean example of a CC Minipin, complete with its original fin. I have reproduced the pictures below. In the thread, well-regarded shaper Bill Thrailkill weighs in on the board. He identifies the fin as being a rare first generation Fins Unlimited fin, and based on this, he estimates the CC Minipin below was likely shaped in late 1967 or 1968.

 

Those are all the examples of Con Surfboards CC Rider models that I have been able to find. Drop Claude Codgen a line at the Sunshine Surfboards Facebook Page; it seems like he is still stoked on surfing and shaping a good half century after his signature model was released!

Surf Line Hawaii: Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest Shred Sledz Deep Dive! Today’s Deep Dive features a venerable Hawaiian surf brand that has long deserved a closer look: Surf Line Hawaii. Before I get into the history, though, let’s skip right to the good stuff: pictures of awesome surfboards.

First up is a single fin shaped by none other than respected Hawaiian shaper Dennis Pang. Pang got his start at Surf Line Hawaii in 1976, before moving on to some of the most recognizable Hawaiian brands, like Lightning Bolt, Town & Country, and Local Motion. The board below was originally listed on eBay (pics originally found on the eBay post).

This thing is clean and mean. I love the black & white color scheme and the pinlines, with just a touch of color on the logos on both rails. I was a bit stunned when the board didn’t sell for $450, considering that another Surf Line board by Dennis Pang sold for $1800 ten years ago!

Surf Line Hawaii History

Surf Line Hawaii began as a surf shop on Oahu. It was founded by Dave Rochlen, and I believe Fred Swartz as well. By the time the shortboard revolution started in earnest, the shop began to put out boards under its own label.

I was blown away when I saw all the well-regarded shapers who passed through Surf Line over the years. According to Stoked-n-Board, Ben Aipa, Randy Rarick, Tom Parrish and Michel Junod, in addition to the aforementioned Dennis Pang, all shaped for Surf Line at some point!

Aipa Surf Line Hawaii
Aipa for Surf Line Hawaii. Board was made for Tony Moniz in 1981. Tony is a former pro and father to Josh and Seth, two up-and-coming Hawaiian pros in their own right. Pic taken from Boardcollector.com

However, I was even more shocked when I found out that Lightning Bolt’s famed core group — Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni — were all early Surf Line shapers. Lopez actually spent some time working in Surf Line’s offices on the business side.

Gerry Lopez Surf Line Hawaii Offices 1972.jpeg
Gerry Lopez working at his “first real job” in the Surf Line Hawaii offices on Oahu, 1972. Picture via Gerry’s personal website.

Here is a great Surfer Magazine interview with Tom Parrish that expands on how a bunch of Surf Line employees broke away to found Lightning Bolt. Bolt was founded by Lopez and Jack Shipley, the latter being Surf Line’s top salesman at the time. Shortly thereafter, Reno, Barry and co followed Lopez and Shipley out the door. It’s really saying something when it’s hard to find space to mention Dick Brewer‘s involvement with Surf Line, as well!

Surf Line Hawaii Surfboards

The board pictured below was shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni. It was sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007, where it went for a mere $1,000 (anyone have a time machine handy?) Pics were taken from the auction site (original link here). I love everything about this board: the listing calls the bottom a “root beer” color, the purple fin pops, and I love the logo, with its clean lines and two-tone color job.

After Lopez left to found Lightning Bolt, Buddy Dumphy took the lead on shaping boards at Surf Line. Lopez writes about Dumphy in his memoir “Surf Is Where You Find It”. Patagonia’s website has a great excerpt from Lopez’s memoir, “Surf is Where You Find It”, where Lopez describes his early friendship with Dumphy and their early experiences riding new surfboard designs.

I’m fascinated by Dumphy’s boards. While they seem to be coveted by a segment of collectors, Dumphy shapes don’t seem to generate the same excitement as those from shapers like Barry K, Reno, and of course Gerry himself. Still, Lopez’s respect for Dumphy speaks volumes about his abilities as a shaper. Sadly, Dumphy passed away as the result of a car accident sometime in the 1990s.

The single coolest Dumphy board I was able to find online was posted by HolySmoke.jp. I have no clue if the board is for sale but that airbrush is absolutely killer!

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The 70s were a great decade for surfboard airbrushes…

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Here’s another Dumphy single fin, which was also sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007. I love the plumeria logo on the deck. It looks like this thing was shaped in the 70s for some serious North Shore surf. Pics taken from the original auction listing.

 

I was able to find a few Dumphy boards currently for sale online. There’s one currently for sale at New Jersey’s Brighton Beach Surf Shop, and it’s only listed at $450. Link to the board can be found here. I think it’s underpriced, considering the history of both the brand and Dumphy, but then again, the Pang board at the top of the page failed to clear the same $450 mark.

Surfboardhoard.com has a different Dumphy Surf Line Hawaii single fin for sale, but they don’t list the price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s north of $450. You can find that board here.

Surf Line Hawaii has such a rich history and a deep stable of shapers, it makes it hard to spotlight just a few boards! Standard Store / UsedSurf.jp are selling two other 70s single fins. Note that because the boards are in Japan, the prices are much higher. But they illustrate the wide variety of cool logos that Surf Line employed throughout the years. Boards can be found here and here (pictures below taken from Usedsurf.jp). The boards are credited to Steve Wilson / Welson (guessing the difference is a translation issue), but I couldn’t find any evidence of a shaper by that name. If anyone has some details, let me know!

 

Finally, no Surf Line Hawaii post would be complete without a mention of Randy Rarick. In addition to organizing the Triple Crown of Surfing, putting on auctions like the aforementioned Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, Rarick restores old surfboards. There is currently a Surf Line Hawaii board for sale on eBay that Rarick restored. The board is not a Rarick shape, but rather, it was made in 1971 by Ryan Dotson. You can find a link to the board here, and I have included some pictures below as well. (Pictures are from the eBay listing.)

Surf Line Hawaii: Odds and Ends

Believe it or not, I haven’t even covered all of the Surf Line Hawaii shapers, like Rick Irons and Sparky Scheufele! If nothing else, that speaks to the incredibly deep collection of shapers that passed through the brand over the years. Sadly, Surf Line Hawaii no longer seems to be in business. It seems as if they stopped producing surfboards long ago (I would guess sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, but that is just a guess), and a Yelp listing indicates that Surf Line’s Honolulu retail location has closed, too.

Nonetheless, Surf Line Hawaii played a prominent role in the Hawaiian surf scene, and remains one of the most impressive collections of shaping talent ever.

I hope you enjoyed this Deep Dive! If you have any pictures of any Surf Line boards you would like to share, or any comments at all, please reach out via the Contact section. Thank you for reading, and may your stoke levels remain high and rising!

Featured Image at top from @aipasurf on Instagram. Original link to photo here.

Just A Country Kid: A History of Wayne Lynch Surfboards

Shred Sledz might have its roots firmly in the California tradition of surf history and culture, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any love for our friends across the pond. After all, who doesn’t love Australia? The accents are charming, the waves are great, and most importantly, Australia boasts a former prime minister who has skulled a beer (chugged, for you seppos) to a standing ovation at a cricket match not once but twice. But I digress. This post is a deeper look at various Wayne Lynch surfboards, and an attempt to document the Australian legend’s shapes as they evolved over time. This is Part I in a series.

I. Transition Era, Shortboard Revolution, and the Involvement School

It is hard to overstate Lynch’s impact on the sport. Surfer Magazine lists Lynch as the #17 most influential surfer of all time. For more on Lynch, I recommend the excellent entries from the Encyclopedia of Surfing and SurfResearch.com.au. Lynch, like his contemporaries, started off with longboards that were typical of the early to mid 1960s:

October 6th 1966 Lorne Point #waynelynch pic by #barriesutherland

A post shared by Wayne Lynch (@waynelynchsurfboards) on

Shortly after, though, Lynch would play a critical role in bringing about the Transition Era and the shortboard revolution, thanks to his radical surfing and equally revolutionary equipment. Many regard Paul Witzig‘s seminal 1969 surf film “Evolution” as Lynch’s coming out party.

Continue reading “Just A Country Kid: A History of Wayne Lynch Surfboards”

Hobie Phil Edwards Model (Part 1): A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Today, little children, we are going to do a quick little lesson on one of the most famous boards of all time. This is the first post in a new Shred Sledz series that hopes to shed light on the creations of the one and only Phil Edwards. Today we will be starting with the famous Hobie Phil Edwards model, one of the most collectible boards ever made.

For a certain generation of surfers, Phil Edwards is and will always be a legend. For starters, he was one of the first people to ever ride Pipeline, which is about as awesome as it gets. The picture at the top of this post – taken by the legendary Leroy Grannis, and courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Surfing – depicts Edwards surfing the fearsome Banzai Pipeline. Edwards is one of the rare humans who shaped as well as he surfed, and his name remains associated with some of the most sought-after boards in the world today.

Given Edwards’ resume, you would think there would be tons of information floating around online. Sadly, this isn’t the case. I had always assumed Edwards had passed away, given how little is said of his current whereabouts. But apparently he is alive and well, and he visited the Hobie factory about four years ago for an event. You can find a recent photo on Hobie’s website, which I’ve included below.

Hobie Phil Edwards
Phil Edwards at a recent Hobie Surfboards event. Photo via Hobie Surfboards

Phil Edwards his best known for two surfboards: the Phil Edwards “Honolulu” model, known as such for the “Honolulu” branding written on the board; and then the Hobie Phil Edwards signature model, which was produced over a few different time periods. This post will deal exclusively with the original run of Hobie Phil Edwards models. I will be devoting separate posts to Hobie Phil Edwards model re-issues (post 1960s); the Phil Edwards Honolulu models; and finally, a grab bag of some random boards that don’t fit into any other buckets.

According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Hobie’s Phil Edwards model was produced first in 1963. Today these boards are incredible collectors’ items. This post will examine three different Hobie Phil Edwards boards that were recently up for sale. The hope is to give some kind of context on this wonderful board, as well as what kind of prices it commands on the open market.

Hobie Phil Edwards Model Serial Number #999

The first board featured here was sold at the recent Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction. The picture below depicts a Hobie Phil Edwards model with serial number #999. The estimated closing price was between $2,000 and $5,000; I was unable to find info on the final price for the board, however. You can see the beautiful glassed-on D Fin in the pictures, the triple stringer design (with a wider center stringer), and then the silver foil label.

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Photo courtesy Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction

 

Hobie Phil Edwards Serial Number #865

The second board is a Hobie Phil Edwards from the 1960s, also in excellent condition. It is a 10′ board that is currently for sale on Surf Garage, and the listing claims it’s all original and dates to 1968. Here you can clearly see an example of the “foil” label that can be found on the earlier runs of the Phil Edwards models. Later on, especially with reproductions, these labels were replaced by silver, non-foil laminates beneath the glassing. This board is being listed for sale at $4,000, which is steep, but if this indeed all-original, that is in the ballpark of similar boards. You’ll also notice this board has the same features as the one sold at the California Gold auction: same triple stringer setup, same D fin, and then the foil label. It is serial number #865, as clearly shown in the picture. My last note is that this board seems to be in suspiciously impeccable condition. I am wondering if it was restored, but I have no further info.

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Close up of the famous Hobie Phil Edwards foil logo. Photo via Surf Garage

 

Hobie Phil Edwards Model Serial Number #103

The third Hobie Phil Edwards model was also sold at an auction, but this time it was at the US Vintage Surf Auction. This board has the same hallmarks of a Hobie Phil Edwards model, as explained above: you can see the triple stringer design, a glassed-on D fin, and, of course, the distinctive silver label with a clear serial number (#103). The auction claims that this is the lowest numbered Hobie Phil Edwards they have found in existence; I have no way to verify if this is indeed the case. It’s also curious to contrast this silver label with the one on Serial Number #865. #103 is way more faded, and the deep blue of #865 looks more like a green. There are likely differences in photo editing, etc., that explain the discrepancy, but I found it interesting nonetheless. This board was estimated by the USVSA to go for somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000, but again, there’s no info on what the final price ended up being.

Photo via USVSA

Photo via USVSA

 

What’s interesting about these original boards is I can’t find an example of a Phil Edwards signature on any of them. I tend to believe that none of the original run of Hobie Phil Edwards boards bore his signature, but I would love to know if there are any examples I might be missing. Edwards signed the re-issued version of the Hobie boards, which will be the subject for a future post.

Hobie Phil Edwards Model from John Mazza Collection at Pepperdine University Serial Number #479

Finally, I’d like to include a shot from a board that Pepperdine University has as a part of their John Mazza Surfboard collection. It’s a 10′ Hobie Phil Edwards model from 1963, and they’ve got some great pictures up on the site. In this shot you can see the fin. I’ve heard conflicting reports, as some sources indicate the fins are made of ash wood, and I’ve also heard they are made from balsa. I can’t say for sure. But I do know they’re pretty awesome to look at.

Closeup of a Hobie Phil Edwards fin from John Mazza’s collection at Pepperdine University. I’ve read that the fins on these boards were made of ash, and I have also read that they were made out of balsa. Photo via Pepperdine University.

And as a bonus, I came across this old Hobie ad on Swaylocks. From left to right are the following surfers: Joey Hamasaki, Joyce Hoffman, Mickey Munoz, Phil Edwards, and Bill Hamilton! Note how each name has an Encyclopedia of Surfing account linked to it. That’s a murderer’s row of surf legends right there. In the middle of an ad is an example of a classic Phil Edwards model. You can see the triple stringer and the silver foil logo.

I hope you found this post useful, and stay tuned for parts two, three, and four on Phil Edwards and his boards!

Old Hobie Surfboards ad. Photo via Swaylocks