Social Media Roundup: Santa Barbara Edition

It’s the first Social Media Roundup of 2019, and today we’re focusing on some recent posts that delve into the rich history of Santa Barbara surfing. Alright, enough from me, and onto the pics…

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This is a photo of an early eighties shaping machine – Al Merrick. I wish I would have shot more of Al actually shaping. Using film back in the day to shoot in the shaping room, you really needed to spend time setting up lights to do well. It is a room design to absorb light not bounce it. Film and cameras just did not have the ability to capture motion in that type of lighting conditions without some form of strobe. Very much different than the cameras now. The full lighting setup took too much time and when shooting Al or any shaper in high demand, you were stopping production, literally. Shooting Al was usually a 30 minute disruption max with one hand held strobe. Al was always great about it, never pressured me to hurry. The rush was always self imposed. This shot is outside of the old factory. It’s an insurance shot in case the one strobe did not render anything desirable. • Shaper, board, and rider • @cisurfboards #almerrick @curfuffle #tomcurren #surfboards #surfboardshaper #surfboardshaping #surfphoto #surfphotos #surfphotographer #surflifestyle

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I’ve featured his work here a few times before, but I can’t help doing it again, because Jimmy Metyko is a must follow! His Instagram feed is a who’s who of the Santa Barbara surf scene back in the day, and he’s also a very talented photographer. You should check out a recent slideshow of his photos on Surfer Magazine’s website. This portrait of Al Merrick is simple and striking. I’m assuming it’s from the same shoot as the featured photo at the top of the page. Make sure you scroll through for the bonus shot of a young Tom Curren riding a Channel Islands shape.

The black & white Santa Barbara theme continues, but this time around we have a very clean Transition Era Yater hull / vee bottom board. Wish there were some dimensions listed on this bad boy. You don’t see these late Sixties Yaters everywhere, but I think they are among some of Renny’s coolest shapes.

Alan Casagrande is a talented artist who has a long history with Liddle Surfboards. I was blown away to discover that the board he’s holding in the picture is a Liddle. I can’t be sure but it almost looks like a sting! Either way the outline doesn’t have much in common with Greg Liddle’s famous displacement hulls.

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ABALONE SPOON YATER LOGO

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And what better way to introduce a little color to this entry than by way of a stunning abalone inlay on a Yater Spoon? Abalone was once plentiful up and down the California coast, and I love how Bob Haakenson, one of Santa Barbara’s finest glassers, still uses it for special occasions. This is a subtle but awesome touch to add to a custom Yater, if you ask me.

Photo at the top of the page by Jimmy Metyko; via Surfer Magazine.

Happy Birthday Herbie Fletcher: Social Media Roundup

Greetings, Shredderz! As 2018 comes to a close I figured I put together one last Social Media Roundup for the year. Even better, it was Herbie Fletcher’s birthday yesterday, which conveniently provides a theme for this post. Check out the photo above of Herbie launching a Jet Ski with an awesome Pottz airbrush design. (Eagle eyed readers may remember that Herbie featured prominently in the last Roundup, but there can’t be too much of a good thing, right?) For anyone who’s read this blog in 2018, I can’t thank you enough. I hope you enjoyed reading Shred Sledz, and more importantly, I hope 2019 has even better vintage surfboard goods for you to enjoy. Now onto the fun stuff…

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Happy 70th Birthday @herbiefletcher Pic bolster

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Joel Tudor posted this photo of Herbie, which was taken by famed photog Warren Bolster. If you do a bit of digging in the comments, it turns out that this photo was the basis for the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards logo. Dig a comparison shot below.

Herbie Fletcher Logo.jpeg
Close up of the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards logo. You can clearly see the design is based off the Warren Bolster photo featured in Joel Tudor’s Instagram post above.

 

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Here’s a Greg Liddle inspired 7’10 x 21 x 3.25 displacement hull type surfboard that I hand-shaped  last week designed for North Shore surf. 5 years before I left California for Hawaii, I consistently surfed Malibu in the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall months as my favorite surf spot in California. One of my very favorite surfer’s to watch and surf with there at that time, was Greg Liddle, who was also a board builder and absolutely ripped first and second point on his Displacement Hull creations at Malibu along with his sander, Steve Crieski. When I see the “stubs” that are currently popular, and that many surfers are riding now, I can only think back 50 years ago to Greg and his long lasting influence on my surfing and shaping journey.  For those interested in Hull Displacement ideas, Greg can be reached at his website: gregliddledesigns.com

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Here’s two different singlefin flex keels from the 1973 era, that I still have from my South Bay influences from Jeff Ho @therealjeffho These fins were so dynamic, they made the boards we were riding and testing much faster and looser. They were thin and made from solid weave fiberglass. They also had curved bandsaw cuts in them to extenuate flex, and sometimes you could turn them so hard, that pieces would break off the fin during the turn!! Heres @therealjeffho and I together at Bob Milner’s (Robert’s Surfboards) memorial back in February 24,2018. In my opinion: in 1971-74, Jeff was way ahead of the curve over everyone else in advancing board design in our California South Bay area. What I remembered most then was Jeff innovating swallow tails, with flat decks and tucked edge rails, along with progressive flex keel fins.

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Pat Rawson continues to be one of my favorite follows on Instagram. For the longest time I associated Pat with high performance boards made to tackle serious Hawaiian surf, like the sled that enabled Tom Carroll’s infamous under the lip snap at Pipeline. I was pleasantly surprised to read that Rawson spent time surfing Malibu and overlapped with Greg Liddle, during which time Rawson developed an affinity for Greg’s famous displacement hulls. But that’s not all — Rawson’s time in Los Angeles also overlapped with Jeff Ho, the mind behind Zephyr Surfboards.

This is a stunning Morey Pope / Bob McTavish tracker. I love the groovy rainbow slip check on the deck. Transition Era designs don’t get much more classic than this one.

Last but not least Bird’s Surf Shed has a beautiful Natural Progression twin fin with a Bertlemann-esque airbrush on the deck. Love the double logo on this thing.

 

Photo at the top of the page by Denjiro Sato, and originally found via Zak Noyle.

Social Media Roundup: Herbie Fletcher’s Hawaiian Boards and More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a smattering of social media posts from the past month or so, that I think you might enjoy. Keep scrolling for more…

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In 1969, I was having the time of my life living on the North Shore with Dibi, and surfing some of the biggest waves that ever hit the Hawaiian Islands. I hand shaped this 7’4” diamond tail board, and the nose on this board had plenty of concave; it was perfect for riding fast in the tube — and that’s just what I did! ——————————————————————————— (📷: @artbrewer) #astrodeck #theoriginator #since1976 #tractionpad #45degreetovert #wavewarriors #adrenalinesurfseries #thethrillisback #sideslipboogie #surfhistory #surffilm #fletcherdna #genepoolofcool #herbiefletcher #dibifletcher #artist #style #love #fun #performanceart #wrecktangles #wallofdisaster #archipelagos #bloodwaterseries #caseofarrows #hawaii #northshore #1969 #60s #fbf @dibifletcher @astrodeck @wavewarriors @fletcherdna @rvca @rvcasurf

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Pictured above we have two Herbie Fletcher boards shaped for Hawaii, happening at opposite ends of his career to date. The board in the top photo is a square nose longboard Herbie made recently and the lower photo features a 7’4″ diamond tail shaped in 1969.

This month Taylor Knox comes with not one but two separate entries. The first shot shows Ben Aipa making it look easy in some serious Hawaiian juice; the second is Taylor Knox putting a Mark Richards twinny through its paces.

And here’s one more that really ties the room together: MR, Owl Chapman, and Ben Aipa, sometime during the Seventies.

I wrote up this awesome Stussy twin fin recently. Here’s a shot of former Stussy team rider John Gothard brandishing another S double stick with some interesting looking fins.

Social Media Roundup: Autumnal Awesomeness

Greetings, Shredderz! By now you may know the drill: here’s a collection of some of my favorite vintage surfboard related social media posts from the past month or so. Keep scrolling for more.

I believe this photo was actually taken and published by Jeff Booth’s dad. True story: as a seventeen year old “grom” one my first surf experience was attending a Quiksilver surf camp in Montauk. Jeff Booth was the resident pro that day, and not only was he nice enough to push me into a wave, he politely declined to point out the fact that I was five to ten years older than all the other campers. Thanks Jeff — I owe you for that one! Anyway, peep that killer Eighties Stussy stick, complete with the NSSA lams. (The photo at the top of the page features Booth in a later ad for Stussy Surfboards.) I’m also trying to zoom in on the Stussy logo beneath the NSSA sticker, but can’t quite make out what it might be.

I love vintage Yater single fins. This one is classic: all clean lines and understated cool. This is a grown ass man’s surfboard.

Here’s a killer Town and Country twin fin. Make sure you scroll through all of the pics, including the beautiful glassed on fins with the T&C yin yang logo. Lots of people go nuts over the Eighties T&C boards with the crazy airbrushes — and I love them, too — but I think the slightly earlier T&C vintage boards are every bit as cool.

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Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

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Surfboards and Coffee held their latest event this month, and by all accounts, it was a doozy! They collected a bunch of boards with some amazing airbrushes. Shout out to all my Airbrush Aficionados out there!

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Flashing on empty secos with a stringerless….. early 1980s… i usually keep my trap shut but….I always hear guys talking about hulls these days talking about how they enjoyed them back in the day … when I’m thinking to myself wait a minute wernt you the kid on that stupid pointy down railed rocketship that just didn’t work in most surf or that ampy echo beach thingy… or whatever.. fact is for now at least my memory is pin perf…. I can spin about 20 names off like Greg, steve, mardy,Andy,bozo, wocheck,Tim kabota,ed Phillips, kp, McKnight , buck,wemple…dadams to name a few…. (sorry if I left u out, it’s early) i mean show me a shot of you riding one better yet how bout a shot of you just holding one?…. in the 70s…. naw… 80s nope…, 90s, maybe…. 2000s yeh probally… better late than never…. this post isn’t ment for you younger guys….. #hulls #liddlesurfboards #surfboards #glomontoanything 👣bongo archives photo: Kirk Putnam

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Now this is a vintage Liddle flex! Happy that Mr. Casagrande spares “younger guys” like me — I’m in my mid thirties, do I still count? — but regardless, respect to the hull trailblazers. And how dope is that board?

Last but not least we have a rare and beautiful Surfboards Haleiwa single fin shaped by none other than Mike Diffenderfer. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Diff board under the Surfboards Haleiwa label before, but this one is so cool. Love the resin pin lines, the bold red bird logo on the bottom, and the unmistakable outlines of a classic Seventies single fin.

Social Media Roundup: September Sticks

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s time for some more vintage surfboard selections from the interwebs. Keep scrolling for more…

The Surfer’s Journal recently ran a great feature on Skip Frye’s boards. It’s among the best surfboard-related articles I’ve ever read. Photographer and TSJ Photo Editor Shawn Parkin will occasionally post nuggets from this incredible shoot. I still can’t get enough of that lineup of pristine Skip boards! Just gimme one of those, Skip, and I swear I’ll die I happy man…

Good luck finding a photo with more surfboard shaping firepower than the one featured above. Skip Frye and Donald Takayama is a combo that’s hard to beat!

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Good morning With @davidnuuhiwa

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Is David Nuuhiwa the most stylish surfer of all time? He’s gotta be in the conversation. I don’t have the stones to show up to a surf spot rocking a vest without a shirt underneath, but then again, I don’t surf nearly as well as Nuuhiwa does! I wish there were more photos of the boards in front of Nuuhiwa. If you look closely at the one on the far right, it looks like it has the red and white yin yang David Nuuhiwa logo, similar to an earlier Nuuhiwa single fin surfboard I wrote up.

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Nice Liddle 8'0" Find .

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This is an older post — it’s over two years old — but vintage Liddles are timeless. I’ve featured vintage Greg Liddle boards many times on the blog before. The vintage Liddle that Kirk Putnam posted above is one of the cleaner examples I have seen. I love the smaller logo, set perpendicular to the stringer. This is a somewhat unusual setup compared to Liddle’s later boards. The red coloring provides just the right amount of pop, too.

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It’s been a while since I posted a board. ~1976 Gordon & Smith, Steve Griffiths Bonzer 7’3, 20’1/2, 2’7/8 it is beat up, got fungus in the top 1/3 had the leash plug removed and repaired in a seriously dodgy way but wouldn’t change a thing. Speed more speed and a little more speed on top of that, wide point is pushed back for the period and is at 3’3 from the nose. The double concaves start in the nose and are quite prominent down the the entire length of the board narrowing and deepening between the bronzers. It is an awesome board for the era. It is now a favourite to take out Long Reef Bommie @gordonandsmithaustralia @houseofbonzer #bonzer #bonzersurfboards #bonzersurfboard #whatsinyourquiver #stevegriffiths #elouraboardriders #cronullasurfers #gands #longreef #longreefboardriders #longreefbeach #toomanysurfboards #myshaperisnotacomputer #handshaped

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Finally, I love these Aussie Gordon & Smith Bonza boards (AKA Bonzer for my fellow Seppos.) “Curvaceous” is the word that comes to mind whenever I look at those swooping bottom channels.

 

Social Media Roundup: End of Summer Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! You know the drill: here are some of the coolest boards I’ve seen on Instagram lately. Keep scrolling for more…

Renny Yater. Jock Sutherland. Pipeline. And yes, a red high density foam stringer to top it all off. This thing is clean and mean!

Technically I believe only one of these boards is vintage (that would be the Brewer on the bottom). This is far from a “classic” Brewer in the sense it’s an Eighties thruster, but hey, it’s got Dick Brewer’s name on it, and the airbrush is awesome.

I recently wrote up an early Energy Surfboards / Simon Anderson / Frank Latta thruster, but featured above are three of Simon’s personal riders. Super cool stuff.

Meanwhile, Simon Anderson also shaped for Shane Surfboards early on. Here’s a very interesting wing pin setup.

Here’s Al Merrick posing with a Channel Islands Surfboards thruster that was likely shaped in the Eighties. From the OP sticker I’m guessing this has to be one of the boards that Tom Curren rode en route to a US Open victory. You don’t hear much about Al these days, as his son Britt has taken the reins at CI, but it’s great to see an update!

Social Media Roundup: RIP Charlie Bunger

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here are some of my favorite social media posts I have seen over the past month. Keep scrolling for more.

I hate to start off with one of my own posts, but this time it’s important. Sadly, Charlie Bunger, one of the true OGs of the New York surf scene, passed away earlier this month. The only reason I included my own post is, well, it’s my favorite photo of a Bunger surfboard. RIP to Mr Bunger and thoughts and prayers to all his family and friends.

If, like me, you have an obsession with both Skip Frye boards and their opaque pricing, you’ll also enjoy the post above from Bird’s Surf Shed. (Roperized, for those who are unfamiliar, means the board was fixed up by San Diego local Joe Roper, who runs one of the better-known repair shops in town.) The Modern Machine is a G&S model, not a Skip outline, which Joel Tudor referenced in another recent Instagram post. Anyway, the G&S / Skip Frye board was listed for $1,200, which seems extremely fair to me.

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First gun I ever shaped, in Sumer of 1988. …30 years ago. @renoabellira was in San Clemente, building some boards @herbiefletcher SurfShop ( now @catalyst_sc ) that summer, where I worked. He gave me a little help with the outline and rocker. I took it to Hawaii (on my first trip ever) and surfed fun sized #SunsetBeach…as well as the best #Laniakea I’ve still ever seen to this day. I ran out of money and sold it to a used board surf shop in Honolulu. In 2005, on Hawaiian holiday with my family, I found it sitting in the used racks @ #SurfandSea SurfShop, Haleiwa ( remember that @crawford.eddie ! ). Ofcourse I bought it, and brought it back. Here it is now, sitting in the lam room, @catalyst_sc , exactly where is was first built. Home 🏠. #PacificCoastFiberglass #Suds #MickyT @astrodeck

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Is this pushing the limits of vintage? Maybe. Do I care? Not one bit. I hardly ever write about high performance thrusters — mostly because I can’t surf them! — but I am an unabashed fan of Matt Biolos and his Lost Surfboards label. I’ve never met the dude but he seems knowledgeable without being the least bit pretentious. Anyway, this board has some nice history, as it not only involves Mayhem, but also Reno Abellira and Herbie Fletcher.

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Surfed out Al looking at his watch, futility trying to convince Shaun that he needs to get back to the shaping room. Shaun almost smirking, “as if.” Low tide and firing. 5 minutes later Shaun and the professor are walking back up the point for another go. • These early 80’s session, “Shaun at the Con” with Al are legendary. Al has often cited these surfs as some of his most cherished surfing memories. The presence of Shaun, his board, his surfing were all out of place, not Rincon's status quo. This one seemingly basic image of two guys talking, of cobblestones and sticks, red single fins, of black wetsuits and mustaches at the foot of the cove where the trail empties out, this one simple image represents a relationship and the flash point of all that was to come. • #almerrick #shauntomson #rincon #twinfin #santabarbara #surfinglife #surfphotography #cisurfboards @cisurfboards @cisurfboards_sbstore @oneill #adayatthebeach #cobblestone #mustache #allday @cisurfboardssantamonica @cisurfboards_europe @cisurfboards_japan @cisurfboards_africa @cisurfboards_oz

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Jimmy Metyko is a photographer who has been sharing some real gems on Instagram lately. I urge you to give him a follow. He has chronicled some of the great moments in California surf history, with a particular focus on Santa Barbara and legends like Tom Curren and Al Merrick.

Finally, Pat Rawson is well worth the follow. Despite having a resume that any shaper would envy, Rawson is still going strong. He shares a lot of posts on his modern shapes and the details behind the boards, rooted in his deep knowledge of the craft.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 30 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! That’s right, it’s time for some fresh selections of vintage surfboard goodness from social media. Check it out below.

Let’s start this thing off right with an absolutely cherry Rick Rasmussen surfboard. Before Balaram Stack and Quincy Davis, Rasmussen was one of the few bright lights in New York’s otherwise dim history of pro surfers. It’s rare to find Rasmussen’s boards floating around, and this is one of the cleanest examples I have ever seen. As a native of the Empire State, I’m obligated to write up any awesome Rasmussen surfboard I come across.

George Greenough is as mysterious as he is influential. While Greenough’s designs still live on via many other talented shapers, it’s quite unusual to find actual Greenough shapes. Santa Barbara shaper Ryan Lovelace — a young and thoroughly modern shaper who insists on doing all of his boards by hand — featured a fascinating array of Greenough boards on his Instagram. Make sure you scroll through all the pics.

I mean, honestly, if we were lazy, we could just direct you to Luis Real’s Instagram feed. This man is a pretty prolific collector of vintage boards, and he often finds some real Hawaiian gems. If, like me, you’ve got a thing for the Eighties, there’s no better fix than a Town and Country thruster with a rad neon spray job.

I’ve featured the Campbell Brothers and their signature Bonzer design many times on Shred Sledz. They might be old school but don’t let that fool you: they post some of the best stuff on Instagram. I love this ultra clean 1976 Bonzer that was actually shaped under the William Dennis label. I have never seen another Malcolm Campbell board for the William Dennis label. Check out that resin job on the deck!

Social Media Roundup (May 22 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a random selection of cool Instagram posts that I have come across. Without any further ado:

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‘67 – ‘71 was a transitional period. Thicker (or thinner), shorter, knife-ier rails; performance and surfing styles were evolving constantly. The pintail, along with the #McTavish V-Bottom, were the performance traits of the day. This particular Yater shape was specifically designed for speeding down the fast waves of Rincon, just on the cusp of the shortboard. Interesting Fact: Renny’s wedge stringer (seen here) was created to minimize the weak point of the fin in the stringer by splitting the stringer around the fin.  It is unique to his shapes. . . . 1968 “No Name” • Foam, Glass • Shaper: R. Yater . . . Check out our upcoming documentary on Santa Barbara surf heritage 🗿 “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story,” directed by Wyatt Daily with @PaintShopLA (link in bio). Board courtesy of Roger Nance of @surfnwearbeachhouse. 📷 @Wyatt_Daily . . . #SpoonsFilm #Yater #1968 #rennyyater #pintail #Longboard #singlefin #vbottom #SantaBarbara #SBSurf #BeachHouse #SurfHistory #History #Handcrafted #handshaped#Foam #Surfboard #ClassicSurfboard #Classics #YaterFilm #RinconFilm #PaintShopLA

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Here at Shred Sledz we are firm believers that Renny Yater can do no wrong. While Yater’s noseriders and his single fins are among his most classic shapes, I also love his more unusual boards, like the hull pictured above. Check out this write up of a Yater single fin that sold recently.

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8'6" #eatonsurfboards #bonzer #ace 1992

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I am fascinated by the Bonzer and all its various iterations, but the holy trinity has to be the Campbell Brothers, who created the shape; the Bing Bonzer; and Mike Eaton’s take on the multi-finned design. The concave on this Mike Eaton bonzer is a trip — it almost looks like there’s a small hump near the center fin. Gotta love the airbrush on the rails (forget who the name of the artist is, but you’ll often see similar designs on Eaton’s boards).

Echo Beach era Wave Tools boards are all pretty outrageous, but this one just might take the cake. The warped checkerboard on one side and then the red and pink stripes on the other is completely excessive…and perfect. You know I’m a sucker for branded fins and oversized Clark Foam lams. This Wave Tools Lance Collins twin fin ticks every checkbox on the list.

Leave it to Luis Real to come through with an amazing Mike Diffenderfer shaped Lightning Bolt single fin! The board has been “semi-restored”, and while I prefer the character of all-original boards, there’s no denying the pedigree or radness of this stick.

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i poached this from @casurfmuseum . if you aren’t following or supporting them some how, you are blowing it!!!! below is the text to support this post , swipe -> to check all of the 3+ minutes. shit is MENTAL!!!!!! ……………………………. ・・・ ⚡️J O H N S E V E R S O N ⚡️ presents ⚡️B A N Z A I P I P E L I N E ⚡️ This film is from 1962 and could be ordered out of the back of @surfer_magazine for $5. This film is extremely rare and hasn’t been seen in over 50 years. The music by Link Wray was added recently. The surfers in the film aren’t named but we have a pretty good idea who these legends are, we’d love to hear your guesses too. Make sure you bring the whole family in to tour our newest exhibit “Salute to Pipeline” sponsored by @billabong @josecuervotequila @wsl @visitoceanside . . If you #repost please tag us. Thanks. . . #northshore #oahu #hawaii #pipeline #johnseverson #surf #surfing #film #8mm #digital #photography

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The post above is not a surfboard, per se, but it’s safe to say that surf culture as we know it would not exist without John Severson’s influence. The late, great Severson is best known as the creator of Surfer Magazine, but he was also an artist and a filmmaker. I’ve really been digging the graphic design on various Severson creations — things like posters and lobby cards for his early films — and I love that someone unearthed a clean copy of an old Super 8 movie he made. The packaging is amazing!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (Oct 6)

Greetings, Shredderz! I hope a weekend chock full of tasty waves is on the forecast. In the meantime, see below for a selection of some wonderful boards that have recently caught the eyes of the Shred Sledz editorial staff.

Ben Aipa. Town & Country Surfboards. Neon.

There is nothing else that needs to be said about this gem.

There’s actually a Harbour Trestle Special for sale on eBay right now. You can find the eBay board here. Unfortunately, the example that’s being sold isn’t in great condition, which is more or less expected, given the age of the board. The example above is super clean and it also has a great close-up shot of the fin. We’re big fans of Rich Harbour here at Shreddies, and we’re always on the lookout for a particularly cherry example of a Harbour Trestle Special!

I didn’t realize the iconic Larry Bertlemann twin fin board with the Pepsi spray job was also produced in Australia until I saw both posts above. LB’s legendary board is begging for a more in-depth feature. Stay tuned…

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One classic found in a 1982 issue of @surfinglife … 🌴

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Hilarious Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad from back in the 1980s. According to the caption, the ad originally appeared in Australian Surfing Life magazine. I had always thought Nectar Surfboards had only distributed Anderson’s thrusters in the US, but I guess I was mistaken!