Sam Hawk Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’ve been reading the blog or following on Instagram you may know that I have a thing for unusual surfboard labels and rare laminates. Today we’ve got an example of a very cool Sam Hawk single fin with a logo I have never seen before. Shout out to Pete, who owns the board you see here. Pete was kind enough to send over the pics found below.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the Sam Hawk surfboard is a lovely single fin with a swallow tail and some wings towards the back. It measures in at 6’5″.

Sam Hawk was famously one of Dick Brewer‘s proteges in the Seventies, along with Owl Chapman. It’s not uncommon to see Sam Hawk surfboards that were shaped under Dick Brewer’s label, complete with the iconic plumeria wreath logo. See an example of a clean Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboard below.

I have also seen a fair number of Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboards with slightly different laminates. See an example below, which was a photo I snapped at a Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club event.

I believe the Sam Hawk single fin featured in this post is a vintage board, but I’m not 100% sure. The owner tells me that the board has been restored. I have not seen photos of the Sam Hawk surfboard in its original condition. The stringer seems to indicate the board was shaped in 1975, but I can’t get over how new it looks. This could be attributed to the aforementioned restoration. I’m also unfamiliar with the “RL” laminate that appears on the deck towards the tail, and I wonder if this was added during the restoration. It’s hard for me to say anything conclusive about when the board was shaped. That said, it’s a beautiful surfboard shaped by a well-regarded shaper, and any time I come across a logo I haven’t seen before, that’s enough reason to get excited.

Thanks again to Pete for sharing photos of this beautiful Sam Hawk stick and I hope you all enjoyed this post!

Photo at the top of the page was taken by Lance Trout and it originally appeared on Trout’s website

Yater Abalone Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Pictured here is a beautiful Reynolds Yater single fin that features some eye-catching abalone and mother-of-pearl accents. The board is currently listed for sale on Craigslist, and you can see the listing here.

According to the seller, the Yater surfboard is a single fin and it measures in at 6’10”. You can also see the gorgeous resin pin line work on the deck that complements the insane inlays.

Regardless of whether or not it’s your particular cup of tea, there’s no denying the long hours and skilled craftsmanship that went into producing this stick.

The seller claims the surfboard is a collaboration between Kevin Ancell and Reynolds Yater. However, I have my doubts.

First of all, I’d like to be clear: to me, this is about researching the history behind a beautiful surfboard, nothing more, nothing less. It’s also worth mentioning that while I don’t think the Craigslist board was created alongside Kevin Ancell, I could very well be wrong. And even in the case that my guess turns out to be correct, the last thing I want is for this post to be interpreted as a critique of the seller.

First, Yater appears to have made many surfboards with abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays. (Confession: I’m not 100% sure which one is which in the Craigslist board; I’m pretty sure the inner deck patch is mother-of-pearl, and the area closer to the rails is abalone.) For example, see below for a photo I snapped a few years ago when I visited Bob Haakenson’s glassing room. Haak does the glassing for Renny Yater, and he has made more than a few Yater boards featuring some abalone details.

Separately, Renny Yater and artist Kevin Ancell collaborated on a few different projects. Many, if not all, of the collaborations between the two involved surfboards that had elaborate abalone, mother-of-pearl, and scallop shell inlays. The pair debuted a collection called “Water Columns” at the now-defunct Klapper Gallery in Los Angeles. Someone was kind enough to reprint the press announcement from Yater and Ancell’s show on a Swaylocks thread.

One Yater / Ancell collaboration consisted of a few different boards with various surf spot names written on them. You can see the “Rincon” example below (only fitting, given Renny’s Santa Barbara roots). The board below was featured on the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center website a few years back as part of a larger Yater exhibit.

More recently, see here for a Yater / Ancell pintail gun that was sold at the 2018 California Gold Surf Auction. According to the auction listing, only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever made, and Yater owns two of them. I tend to put a lot of faith in the California Gold descriptions, given the high quality of the boards that are sourced for the show.

One thing I have noticed about the Yater and Ancell boards is that they seem to be signed by both the shaper and the artist. See below for a closeup of the logo from a Yater / Ancell board, which was originally posted to Surf-n-Wear Beach House’s Yelp page. Surf-n-Wear, of course, is the legendary Santa Barbara shop that probably sells more Yaters than anybody else.

I also found another example of a Yater / Ancell board, this time via Surf-n-Wear’s Instagram account. I have embedded the post below. You can see that the board below also has the dual signatures.

This brings me back to the original Craigslist Yater. The seller has provided a close up photo of the logo, and there doesn’t appear to be an Ancell signature anywhere.

For all I know, it’s possible that Renny and Ancell collaborated on boards that weren’t signed by both men. But considering that every other example I’ve seen has dual signatures, I think it’s likely that if the Craigslist board were a collaboration board, it would have Ancell’s name somewhere on it. I also keep returning to the fact the California Gold listing claims only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever created, and two still belong to Yater. Based off these points, I can’t help but think that the board that’s listed for sale on Craigslist was likely created without Ancell’s involvement.

You can check out the Yater abalone board on Craigslist here. As always, if you have any ideas about the origins of the board, please do drop me a line, as I always love learning more about surfboards and the people who make them.

Logo at the top of the page via California Gold

Rick Surfboards Plastic Fantastic V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might know that I’m a huge fan of two things: Transition Era surfboards from the late Sixties, and Rick Surfboards, the defunct but influential South Bay surfboards label. Well, today’s post checks both boxes, as it represents an unusual board: the Rick Surfboards Plastic Fantastic V Bottom. The board is actually being offered for sale by its owner — reach out to @tcroose on Instagram if you’re interested.

I’ve written up a few vee bottom boards on the blog. One of my favorite remains the Surfboards Hawaii “Hawaii V” model, which features some pretty out there design elements, befitting the Transition Era’s open-minded attitude towards experimentation.

I have actually never seen a Rick Surfboards Plastic Fantastic V Bottom before. The closest I have seen is a 1967 9’6″ Rick Surfboards Plastic Fantastic, but that board appears to be more of a classic longboard shape. To make things even more confusing, there was also an entirely different Plastic Fantastic surfboard label in the late Sixties, as well as the 1969 surf film “The Fantastic Plastic Machine“. As far as I can tell, there isn’t any link between these various projects.

The Rick Surfboards Fantastic Plastic V Bottom has been restored. It’s nice to see a fifty year old board that can still be ridden regularly.

The tail of the board is a trip, as is the case with so many Transition Era vee bottom boards. It looks more chopped off than the angular tail found on the Surfboards Hawaii V, but there’s still plenty of thickness throughout. Compare the Rick above with Gene Cooper’s updated vee bottom shapes, which are much sleeker in comparison.

View this post on Instagram

Alex got his #vbottom #carsoncoopervbottom

A post shared by Gene Cooper (@gcoopa) on

As I mentioned earlier, the Rick Surfboards Fantastic Plastic V Bottom is up for sale, and you can drop the seller a note here. The board is located in Ventura, California, and you can contact the seller for any and all details around price, shipping, etc. Many thanks to the board’s owner and anyone else who has generously shared photos with this humble little blog, and I hope you enjoyed this look at an unusual board from the Transition Era.

Another Mike Slingerland Aipa / SNI Sting

It’s been less than a week since I wrote up an Aipa / Surfing’s New Image sting, but when it rains, it pours. Pictured here is another Aipa / SNI sting shaped by Mike Slingerland. The board belongs to Steve Wray, who has been kind enough to share photos of many boards in his quiver, including a killer Eighties Wave Tools / Echo Beach twin fin, a pair of Bill Shrosbree-shaped Sunset single fins, and a Mike Eaton UEO model Bonzer. Well, Steve is back with even more heat, and personally, this might be my favorite board of Steve’s that he has been kind enough to share. Click the photos below to enlarge.

The Aipa / SNI sting above measures in at 7’4″. Steve found this board at a garage sale, where it had been stashed away in the rafters. Even though it’s more than four decades old, the board remains in remarkably good condition. The airbrush on the deck is insane!

Now, this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz production without overthinking some of the small details on the board. I couldn’t help but notice that the Surfing’s New Image logo has a slightly different font than other boards I have seen. The first image below is the logo from Steve’s board. Compare this to the second image, which is taken from a different Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up earlier. I don’t know enough about typefaces to describe the differences, but hopefully it’s pretty clear from comparing the two laminates.

Mike Slingerland Surfing's New Image

Finally, Steve’s Aipa / SNI sting appears to be shaped by Mike Slingerland. This is denoted by the “S” that appears after the serial number along the stringer. See below for a close up.

I don’t know enough about Slingerland’s serial numbers to make any guesses as to when the board might have been shaped. The Aipa / SNI stings were produced in San Diego during the Seventies. I’ve read that the boards were shaped in the mid-Seventies, but I haven’t been able to verify that with anyone with first hand knowledge. For what it’s worth, the Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up last week has serial number 3828.

Mahalo Steve for sharing photos of this board, and I hope all of you got as much of a kick out of seeing this gem as I did!

Aipa / Surfing’s New Image Sting by Mike Slingerland

Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I’m practically contractually obligated to write a blog post any time I see a rad little Aipa / Surfing’s New Image sting that’s listed for sale. There just so happens to be one such example listed on Craigslist. I’ve reproduced some of the photos from the listing below.

First, you’ll probably notice the beautiful gradient airbrush that decorates so many of these Aipa / SNI boards. I’m not sure who worked in the SNI factory during this time, but I’ve noticed that these boards almost always have killer airbrushes on them (check out this beaut, for example).

According to the seller, the Aipa / SNI sting measures in at 6’6″. Apparently this was not one of the stock lengths that the brand offered when the boards were made, and this had to be custom shaped. The seller claims the board is in all original condition, and while it’s not museum quality or anything, it’s obviously still in great shape.

Shout out to the seller, by the way, for taking great pics of a beautiful board. I also really dig the foliage in the background. It sounds petty, but one of my Craigslist pet peeves are people who insist on taking photos of beautiful boards set against some hoarder-like backdrops. Anyway, I digress!

One final little tidbit about this stick: I believe that it was actually shaped by Mike Slingerland, as evidenced by the “S” that appears on the stringer after the serial number. The vast majority of the Aipa / Surfing’s New Image stings I have seen were shaped by Rick Hamon, who went on to become a longtime in-house shaper at Rusty Surfboards. You see less of the Slingerland boards, and then every once in a while you’ll stumble across the Donald Takayama-shaped stings. I have only ever seen pictures of a handful of the Aipa / SNI stings shaped by Takayama.

The seller hasn’t mentioned a price — looks like he’s fielding offers for this stick. The board is located in South Florida. Check out the listing here and if you end up snagging this thing, please do give me an update.

Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer with Glenn Vitalis Airbrush

Greetings, Shredderz! I think we can all agree that one of life’s great pleasures is the feeling that comes along with finally getting to the bottom of a particularly frustrating mystery. Some of you may remember an Eaton-shaped Bing Bonzer I recently wrote up featuring a stunning airbrush by a mystery artist. Well, it turns out the artist responsible for the airbrush is a gentleman named Glenn Vitalis. In addition, a reader sent me another killer example of a Vitalis airbrush, this time on a rad vintage G&S stick. I ended up sharing the G&S / Vitalis board to Instagram, which you can see below.

Today’s board is another Eaton-shaped Bing Bonzer, and the photos you see here come courtesy of Bing collector Tom Moss. Tom graciously gave me permission to use the photos of his absolutely killer board. Tom is an admin of the excellent Classic Bing Surfboards group on Facebook, where he also shared some pics of his Bing Bonzer. And, if like me, you prefer to see (and ride!) surfboards in person, Tom is putting some of his personal boards up for display in the new Bing 60th Anniversary exhibit at the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center. Tom claims the board below was shaped in 1978. Click the photos below to enlarge.

How sweet is that airbrush? The more I see of Glenn Vitalis’ work, the more I dig it. It’s interesting that the airbrush covers the deck of the board and not the bottom, as you might expect. Moss tells me that Vitalis later went on to do numerous covers for “Field and Stream” magazine. Sadly, I was unable to find any of Vitalis’ work online. Don’t miss out on the subtle red resin pin line, either.

And yes, the tail has the exaggerated concave and branded side bites (or runners, in Campbell Brothers parlance), just as you would expect from any vintage Bing Bonzer worth its salt. Tom has what looks like an original small Eaton fin installed as well.

Thanks Tom for sharing photos of your rad Eaton-shaped Bing Bonzer, and for sharing another fantastic example of Glenn Vitalis’ beautiful airbrush art!

Note: the article was updated on July 26 with a few corrections. The board is a Mike Eaton-shaped Bing Bonzer, not an Eaton Bonzer. Tom Moss is an admin of the Classic Bing Surfboards group on Facebook, and I also added some color around the fact that the Campbell Brothers refer to the side bite fins as runners. Thanks Tom for your help!

Vintage Steve Coletta Natural Curves Surfboards Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! If, like me, you are a regular foot who lives in Northern California, then you have probably surfed some of Santa Cruz’s beautiful right hand points. Despite having great waves and talented surfers, Santa Cruz doesn’t seem to get mentioned as much as its counterparts further south. Something tells me that the locals in Santa Cruz are just fine with this setup. Likewise, you don’t necessarily hear a ton about shapers from the Santa Cruz area. I can’t stake any sort of claim to Santa Cruz, as I only surf there once every couple of months, but nonetheless I have an affinity for its local craftsmen. I’m always eager to learn more about people like Doug Haut, Bob Pearson, Chuck Vinson, Rick Noe, Mike Zeh-Croteau, and others. You can imagine my excitement when I recently stumbled across this vintage Natural Curves Surfboards single fin shaped by Steve Coletta, which I have since added to my quiver. Click any of the photos below to enlarge.

The surfboard you see above measures in at approximately 7’10” x 19″ x 3.25″. (The thickness is a rough guess, but I think the height and width are probably pretty close.) I contacted Steve about the board and he was gracious enough to provide some details. The board was shaped in the Seventies, and according to Steve, it could have been shaped for Hawaii, the Central Coast, or Mainland Mexico. As you can see it has a beautiful acid splash resin job and then a super clean double pin line around the rails. The board has a very narrow baby swallow tail and a single glass on wooden fin as well.

There have been some repairs — if you look closely you can see the light blue areas in the tail in the photo above, and then on the bottom towards the nose in the photos below — but overall the board is in very good condition.

And if you were wondering if I’m still tripping out over that incredible acid splash…the answer is yes! Check out the photo below for a close up. I particularly love the contrast between the contained chaos of the acid splash and the precision of the double resin pin lines. The double arrows pointing towards the logo on each rail is also a fantastic touch. Last but certainly not least, I really dig the older logo, too. I wrote up a 1981 Steve Coletta single fin a few weeks ago, but that board didn’t have any Natural Curves logos.

I’m hoping to take this vintage Natural Curves Surfboards stick to Steve himself to try and get some more info on it. I don’t make the rules here, but I do try and follow them, and any time you own a rad vintage surfboard, there’s an obligation to show it to the shaper whenever possible. Stay tuned as I hope to get this awesome stick into Steve’s hands, and perhaps learn a little bit more about it as well.

HI 1K by Justin Jay

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got something a little bit different, but in my opinion, no less rad. Yes, Shred Sledz is (mostly) a blog about vintage surfboards and surf history. But more than anything else, we do our best to celebrate surf history, surf culture, and the people who make it all happen.

The last decade has been an eventful one for surf media. Print magazines, which for decades were critical in defining surf culture, have been largely pushed aside by the internet. And while I fear for the future of Surfer Magazine, I’m simultaneously encouraged by the rise of fantastic new media projects, many of which have been directly enabled by social media. One such project is the new book HI 1K, which features the photography of Justin Jay and was designed by the good folks at Indoek. HI 1K is running a pre-sale campaign on Kickstarter, which you can find here.

I could get on my soapbox and tell you how important it is to support independent media, blah blah blah, but really, you’re only doing yourself a favor if you back the Kickstarter campaign. HI 1K is a beautiful 244 page hardcover book that depicts a decade’s worth of portraits taken on Oahu’s infamous North Shore. The North Shore needs no introduction as surfing’s ultimate proving grounds, and Justin Jay has brought his talents to bear in documenting surfing’s most action packed stretch of sand over the past ten years. Moreover, HI 1K was designed by the same people responsible for bringing you the excellent Surf Shacks book, which remains one of my all time favorite surf-themed coffee table books. All in all, HI 1K promises to be an in-depth look at one of the more enduring and compelling subjects in surf culture. But don’t take my word for it — check out the photos in the post and the trailer you see below.

Last but certainly not least, you know we had to feature a photo involving a memorable surfboard. The picture you see below is a bit bittersweet, given Sunny Garcia’s ongoing health struggles, but it’s a beautiful tribute to one of Hawaii’s greatest surfers. The board is a 1982 Reno Abellira-shaped Lightning Bolt with a Team Bolt laminate.

Anyway, if you haven’t supported the project yet on Kickstarter, you can do so here. Frankly, it’s a bargain, as you get to buy the book below its retail price, and then sleep better knowing that you did your part to support a promising independent project. In addition, there’s a whole bunch of potential goodies and bonuses for those interested in putting a few more dollars to work. I’ve already plunked down my own hard earned cash and I can’t wait to get this thing later this fall. While you’re at it, check out Justin Jay and Indoek, as they are working on really rad projects that are definitely worth your time and support.

Vintage Sixties Con Surfboards Longboard

Greeting, Shredderz! Today I’ve got a vintage surfboard that is equal parts cool and mysterious. I would love nothing more than to enlist all of your help in figuring out more information about the origins of the Con Surfboards longboard featured here.

This thing is an absolute unit. The Con Surfboards longboard measures in at an eye popping 10’9″ x 22″ x 3 1/2″ (the owner suspects it may even be thicker). The photos you see here come courtesy of a mystery collector who has a thing for Con Surfboards. In fact, two of his Con boards were previously featured on the blog. Many thanks for sharing photos of this unique board!

The Con Surfboards longboard is in impeccable condition. According to the board’s owner it is completely original. Beyond the fact the board has been remarkably well preserved, there are a bunch of details that have me losing my mind.

I’ve gone on before about how much I love the Con Surfboards logo, and it is one of my single favorite pieces of graphic design from surf history. I love the way it’s presented here, with just a set of clean logos on the deck and the bottom. I love the contrast between the board’s minimalist aesthetic and its more out there details, such as the impossibly beefy stringer, the fin, and the rails.

I have no idea what to make of the tail, other than the fact it looks incredibly cool. First, I should caveat this all by saying that I am far from an expert on Sixties longboards. But upon first look, the pintail on the Con Surfboards longboard looks to be much fuller than other pintail boards from the same ear, such as the Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight Pintail, for example. Maybe this is just due to the angle at which the photos were taken. I can’t say for sure, as I have yet to see the board in person.

Similarly, the rails have me constantly wondering if there’s something wrong with my computer monitor. I’ve never seen a Sixties longboard with these dramatic down rails, which I’m far more used to seeing on Seventies single fins.

Honestly, I feel like the more angles from which I view this board, the more questions I have! The owner wonders if the board might have been a paddle board, but I can’t say for sure. The only things I can say with any certainty is that it’s awesome, and I’d love to own one like it.

If you have any information about the board, I would love to hear it! Please drop me a line if you do, as I am very curious about this beautiful Con Surfboards longboard. Thanks again to the board’s owner for sharing the photos of this ridiculously awesome stick!

Herbie Fletcher Square Nose “Killer Model”

Greetings, Shredderz! Happy Father’s Day to you and yours. Speaking of fathers, here’s a board from Herbie Fletcher, dad to Nathan and Christian, grandfather to pro skater Greyson, and husband to wife Dibi. I’ve written about the Fletcher clan many times before, including some cool old Astrodeck ads. Herbie is something of a renaissance man: he invented the surfboard traction pad; he is an artist who has collaborated with Julian Schnabel; and helped pioneer the modern surf video. But given Shred Sledz is primarily a blog about vintage surfboards, it’s only natural that we would focus on Herbie’s accomplishments as a shaper.

I covered this in an earlier post, but for the longest time I didn’t grasp the significance of Fletcher’s famous arrow logo. Fletcher, as it turns out, means arrow maker. Herbie talks about the personal significance of the arrow on his website, which adds some gravitas to his logo choice, beyond the fact it happens to look cool. One of Fletcher’s most famous surfboard designs is his square nose noserider. Sadly, I can’t find any interviews or first hand material online about the origins of Herbie Fletcher’s square nose surfboard. All I can tell you is that Herbie has shaped and ridden square nose boards for years. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Fletcher founded his eponymous surfboard label in 1976. During the Seventies and Eighties, when the rest of the surf scene had fully embraced the shortboard, Fletcher was one of the few advocates for longboards and the art of noseriding. I imagine his square nose boards were shaped for better noseriding — or, at least, more convenient toe placement — but I can’t say for sure.

There’s currently an intriguing Herbie Fletcher square nose surfboard for sale on Craigslist. As you see in the photo above, it’s a doozy. When I first saw the ad, I assumed the board was a longboard. In fact, it turns out the board measures in at a tidy 7’2″.

On an aesthetic level, I’m a sucker for any surfboard with wings. There’s something so cool about the curves, particularly when they’re slightly fluted, as the wings on this board seem to be. There is an undeniable visual flair to the square nose Herbie Fletcher board pictured here. You don’t have to know about surfboards to take one look at the outline and go “wow, that thing looks awesome.” And, if you’re like me and you like to geek out on laminates and placement, I think the two small arrow logos right near the wings are a killer, subtle touch.

At first, I was surprised to see that the square nose board was only 7’2″. But a little bit of digging — particularly on Dibi Fletcher’s Instagram — revealed some very similar Herbie Fletcher boards.

As you can see in the Instagram post immediately above, Dibi describes a board called the “Killer Model”, which is a mini version of Herbie’s square nose longboard. The Killer Model in the photo above measures in at 6’10”, putting it in the same ballpark as the yellow Craigslist board featured in this post. Herbie shaped the Killer Model for himself in order to navigate the barrels at V Land on Oahu’s North Shore. There’s no mention of the Star Wars airbrush, but it’s awesome. Dibi describes the Killer Model mini square nose as a sting running into a pintail. I believe that the yellow Craigslist board is almost certainly a Herbie Fletcher Killer Model, too.

I’m not sure whether the yellow Fletcher surfboard was shaped by Herbie. Fletcher, like countless other surfboard labels, employed in house shapers. (See here for a Herbie Fletcher longboard that I think was shaped by Tim Stamps, but it’s clearly signed by someone other than Fletcher himself.) I also can’t say whether the Craigslist board was one of Herbie’s personal boards. That said, I would not be surprised to learn that the yellow board belonged to Herbie at some point, given that he clearly surfed other boards with the same outline and almost identical dimensions.

Finally, here’s a quick note about the price. The seller has listed the yellow Herbie Fletcher square nose surfboard for $1,895. On one hand, I think this is expensive, especially when considering the condition of the board. Apologies to the seller, who was kind enough to link to my original post on Herbie’s square nose surfboard on the Craigslist listing, but that’s my take. On the other hand, if the board is indeed a Herbie Fletcher personal rider, that would obviously change the math a bit. But I have no way of proving it one way or another.

At the end of the day, I don’t care too much whether the board was shaped by Herbie or if it belonged to him. Of course, all else being equal, I’d rather those things be the case. But it’s a distinctive vintage surfboard from one of the surf world’s all time characters, and to me, that’s always worth noting.

You can find the Craigslist listing here. All photos of the board in this post are via the listing.

Photo at the top of the page via Terry Snyder; I believe the photographer is Mike Blabac.