Lance Collins for Jack’s Surfboards: Before they Were Famous

One of my favorite things is stumbling upon rare and unusual creations from the early stages of various shapers’ careers. I love the moments that reveal obscure collaborations, whether it was Shawn Stussy’s stint at Russell Surfboards; some of Dick Brewer’s creations for lesser-known brands, like Inter-Island Surf Shop and The Greek; or Barry Kanaiaupuni’s gorgeous boards for Surf Line Hawaii. Today’s post features a Lance Collins surfboard shaped for Huntington Beach staple Jack’s Surfboards, rather than the Wave Tools brand that took the eighties by storm.

The board above is currently for sale on Craigslist in the Los Angeles area. Pics are via the Craigslist posting, which you can find here. The seller of the board is a well-known collector who sells some very cool gems that often have cool Southern California roots. For example, I wrote an earlier post about a 1970s Wave Tools Lance Collins single fin that was also posted by the same seller. His boards are often very reasonably priced as well. The Lance Collins surfboard for Jack’s above is being listed at $275, which seems quite far to me.

The board bears a clear Lance Collins signature, as you can see in the photo to the top left. The “Shape by Lance” followed by a fish is visible on a number of Lance’s hand shaped boards. The Jack’s Surfboards logo, pictured at top right, is a bit unusual. Stoked-n-Board’s entry for Jack’s Surfboards has a few different variants of this logo and typeface, which it dates to the 1970s.

What’s interesting about this board is that it appears to have been shaped while Wave Tools was up and running. Wave Tools’ website says the brand was established in 1969. Meanwhile, the Lance Collins surfboard featured in this post was clearly shaped sometime during the 1970s. I’m not sure what to make of this. Did Lance simply shape some boards for Jack’s in-house brand to supplement his income on the side? Given that Jack’s Surfboards is primarily a retail business, it makes more sense why Lance would shape boards under both Jack’s label and his own Wave Tools brand, but it’s still a little unusual to me.

The Lance Collins surfboard featured above has some beautiful touches. I love the pinlines on the deck and along the rails. The original fin is a great touch, too: check out the eye bolt and the early leash attached! More importantly, the board looks like it’s in great condition, especially for something that is likely forty years old. If you’re a fan of Wave Tools, Lance Collins, or just beautiful surfboards from the 1970s, check out the Craigslist post here.

Foiled: Mystery Bing Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very interesting example from one of the all-time great American surfboard brands: Bing Surfboards. Pictured below is a vintage Bing single fin that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below are via the listing.

A few things about the board stand out. First, the board looks fantastic. The seller claims the Bing single fin pictured above was shaped in 1981. If so — and I have no reason to dispute the date — the board is in great condition for its age. It’s also hard to miss the detailed airbrush on the bottom. If you look closely at the left-most picture, you’ll notice the airbrush extends to the rails, too. In fact, the airbrush on the rails looks like a more subtle version of the signature look of Mike Eaton Bonzers.

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Classic example of a Mike Eaton Bonzer. Check out the detailed airbrush on the rails, which is very similar to the design on the Bing single fin above. Pic via eBay

Eaton, of course, famously shaped under the Bing label for many years. Stoked-n-Board claims Eaton was shaping for Bing between 1965 and 2001, and given the airbrush design, I think it’s very possible the board pictured above was made by Eaton. That said, the listing does not mention an Eaton signature anywhere, nor is one visible in any of the pictures.

The other interesting thing about the Bing single fin pictured above is the phoenix logo on the bottom of the board.

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Close up shot of the phoenix logo found on the bottom of the vintage Bing single fin. And how about that paint job?! Pic via Craigslist

The Bing single fin above is interesting because it is the only time I have ever seen the Bing phoenix logo appear on a board that was not a Bing Australian Foil or a Maui Foil model. When I initially saw the board for sale, I figured it was an Australian Foil that I had simply never seen before. However, every other Australian Foil and Maui Foil I have seen has also had a script laminate with the model name. I do not believe the Bing single fin at the top of the page is an Australian or Maui Foil model.

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Clean example of a Bing Australian Foil logo. You’ll notice the phoenix design is the same

Furthermore, the “eye” Bing Surfboards logo is off-set on the Foil Models to make room for the script laminates. On the Bing single fin at the top of the page, though, the Bing Surfboards “eye” logo is centered beneath the phoenix laminate.

Does the presence of the phoenix logo on a non-Foil Bing single fin mean anything special? Honestly, I doubt it. But I always love examples of unusual vintage surfboards, and the Bing single fin above certainly seems to fit the bill. It’s being offered for sale on Craigslist and the price is $550. If you’re interested, you can check out the board here.

To Bolt, or Not to Bolt? 1970s Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt Single Fin

First, allow me to beg for forgiveness regarding the bad pun in the title of the post. I’d promise not to do it again, but I don’t want to waste whatever little credibility I have left!

More to the point, there is a fascinating example of a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board that is currently for sale on eBay. I have posted pictures of the board below (pics are via the eBay listing).

While a genuine Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt board from the 1970s is a holy grail for many surfboard collectors, there’s one catch: it’s often difficult to establish the provenance of true Lopez handshapes. For example, there are the California Bolts, which, as their name suggests, were produced on the West Coast and not in Hawaii. The California Bolts often bear a Danny Brawner-designed laminate meant to approximate Lopez’s signature. The California Bolts were mostly shaped by Mickey Munoz and Terry Martin.

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Great example of a Mickey Munoz-shaped California Bolt. You can clearly see the rectangular shape around the “Gerry Lopez” signature, which is a laminate that was applied to the board. Click through for more pics of the board, which were originally posted by Island Trader Surf Shop. Their site also has a clear picture of Munoz’s signature.

In addition, I have heard from Randy Rarick, who is the authority on all things relating to Hawaiian surfboards and their creators, that Lopez only signed the blanks of his handshapes — never on top of the glass.

Still, I am a bit confused, given that there are some distinct qualities about the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt being sold on eBay, that matches up with some other boards that were recently sold at auction.

As you can see in the pictures above, “A Pure Source” has been written on either side of the Lightning Bolt laminate. You can also see a Gerry Lopez signature off to the far right in the second picture. Back in the 1970s, “A Pure Source” was the marketing slogan for Lightning Bolt. Based on Rarick’s guidelines — the fact the eBay board has a Lopez signature on top of the glass, and not the blank itself — one might say the board is not a handshape.

And yet there were two boards sold at recent US Vintage Surf Auctions that were advertised as Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolts.

Board #1: 1975 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #180, Sold at USVSA (Link)

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Close up of the first USVSA board. You can see it has the same formatting with the signature. Pic via USVSA

The first USVSA board, pictured above, has the exact same signature formatting as the eBay board at the top of the page: you have “A Pure Source” written across the Bolt laminate, and then a Lopez signature off to the right, signed on the glass itself. The USVSA website dates the board to 1975, and it claims that it is a Lopez handshape. In addition, the USVSA site claims the Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt is numbered #180.

Board #2: 1977 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt #404, Sold at USVSA (Link)

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Are we noticing a pattern yet? Same “A Pure Source” logo and handwritten signature in the exact same placement as the other two boards featured in the post. USVSA dates this board to 1977. This time, there’s a closeup of the serial number. The board is #404, which is stamped on the stringer. USVSA board #2 has a wedge stringer, which is an unusual touch.

It should also be noted that both USVSA boards have fin boxes. Rarick also tells me that the vast majority of Lopez handshapes made in Hawaii had glass-on fins.

In conclusion, I’m confused about how to explain this curious trio of Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt surfboards. Based on Rarick’s context, I do not believe any of these three boards are Lopez handshapes. As a refresher, none are signed beneath the glass, and at least two have fin boxes (it’s unclear with the eBay board whether or not the fin is glassed on.)

Second, both USVSA boards commanded relatively low prices at their respective auctions. Board #1 sold for $2,700 and board #2 went for $2,400. Compare this to a 1972 Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt (with a glass-on fin, and a unique “signature”, which is a whole different story) sold at USVSA for $4,225, which you can find here.

I guess I can’t figure out why Lopez would go through the trouble of hand signing these boards with “A Pure Source” and a signature on the deck if he didn’t shape them himself. As always, if you have any information, please let me know! If there’s one thing I enjoy more than making bad jokes in blog post titles, it’s hearing from readers.

Mike Hynson for Bahne Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a lovely surfboard that involves a few of the best-known figures in San Diego surf history, including none other than Mike Hynson. Over his long and illustrious career, Hynson has been associated with many well-known labels from his own label, Hynson Surfboards, to other recognizable brands like Rainbow Surfboards, Gordon & Smith, and Bahne. Hynson’s history is a colorful one, often quite literally. He first burst onto the scene as one of the stars of “The Endless Summer”, and then became a figurehead of sorts for the psychedelic 70s, thanks to the equally trippy and elaborate airbrushes on his boards. For an excellent rundown on Hynson’s involvement with drugs and the notorious Brotherhood of Eternal Love, I recommend this long-form Surfline feature on the subject.

Mike Hynson Surfboards Downrailer Gun Airbrush Jeremiah Klein
Close up shot of the Hynson downrailer featured in the picture at the top of the page. Photo by Jeremiah Klein; pic via Surfline

Hynson Surfboards is still in business today, and the man himself continues to churn out hand shaped designs. Today’s post concerns an older board that, upon first look, doesn’t have any overt ties to Hynson.

First, a little background: Hynson is widely credited with creating the down rail, which helped usher in a new era of high-performance surfing during the 1970s. None other than all-around guru Gerry Lopez claims the down rail was one of the critical elements in turning shortboards into fully functional surf craft. One little-known fact about the down rail is that one of Hynson’s first test pilots for the design was none other than Herbie Fletcher!

It’s difficult to put together an exact timeline of when Hynson shaped for the various surfboard labels with which he is associated. Gordon & Smith was an early stop, and Hynson’s signature red fin model is still coveted by collectors today. Hynson worked at Hobie and also founded Rainbow Surfboards in 1970, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing.

The board pictured above is a rare example of a Hynson shaped downrailer that was created for Bahne during Hynson’s brief tenure at the brand, which took place between 1969 and 1970. It is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, and you can find a link to the board here. The Bahne Hynson downrailer measures 6’8″ and it has been restored by Sam Cody, who works on glassing boards at Bing Surfboards today.

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You can clearly see the down rail design in the picture above. This may look pretty unremarkable by modern standards, but that’s the point: compared to Transition Era boards in the late 1960s, Hynson’s down rail designs represented huge performance gains

According to the seller, Bahne produced these downrailers in production quantities during 1969 and 1970, and the boards were shaped by Hynson himself. (Stoked-n-Board claims Hynson shaped for Bahne only during 1970; however, both Surfy Surfy and the board’s seller claim 1969 was the year Hynson started, so I’m going with 1969.) There is no signature on the board. Nonetheless, I believe the seller’s account, given that he is a current surfboard industry executive and a knowledgeable collector. The seller also took the board to both Bill Bahne and Mike Hynson, who confirmed that the board was shaped during 1969 / 1970 in the old Bahne factory, which was located on top of the hill on Westlake in Encinitas.

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Appropriately mystical spray job by Gary Brummett

But wait! There’s even more back story. The seller believes the airbrush was done by Gary Brummett, an artist who also did some pinline and resin work with Surfboards Hawaii. The seller initially showed the board to Peter St. Pierre, founder of Moonlight Glassing and father of the owner of Leucadia shop Surfy Surfy. It was St. Pierre who identified the airbrush as being the work of Gary Brummett.

While the Bahne Hynson downrailer above doesn’t bear a Hynson signature, there are a few other Bahne boards that do.

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Bahne Mike Hynson surfboard, as originally seen on Surfy Surfy. Click through to their blog for more pics of the board, which is another example of a 1969 downrailer.

To no one’s surprise, Surfy Surfy has a great example of a different Bahne / Hynson board. See the photo above. It’s interesting to see the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” laminate right beneath the Bahne logo.

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Another example of a Bahne / Hynson collaboration. Even though Hynson definitely shaped for Bahne, I tend to think the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” logo is a laminate. Pic via Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Facebook)

There’s another example of a Bahne Hynson shape on Facebook. You can find the link to the board here. The board is also dated to the late 1960s, according to the poster. I highly recommend clicking through, as the board has a beautiful acid splash paint job and it is in beautiful condition.

Hynson Surfboards and its creator have a long and illustrious history that is well-deserving of another, more in-depth post. In the meantime, however, enjoy the evidence of Hynson’s time at legendary Bahne Surfboards. Finally, you can find a link to the Bahne / Hynson downrailer being offered for sale here.

 

Price Check: Eighties Stussy Boards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be looking at a selection of some of the most prized sticks in any would-be collector’s sights: Eighties Stussy boards. Shawn Stussy is best known for his clothing label, but before he became one of the godfathers of streetwear, he made a name for himself as one of the better shapers in Southern California. Stussy continues to shape today under his S/Double label. But given this is a vintage surfboard blog, it is Stussy’s earlier designs — both at Russell Surfboards and under his own name — that really get pulses going over at Shred Sledz HQ. Recently, a trio of Eighties Stussy boards went for sale on eBay, and here’s a rundown of the pricing and the condition of the various boards.

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #1: QZ/3 Thruster #1056 (eBay)

Eighties Stussy Boards QZ:3 Thruster 1

The Stussy QZ/3 pictured above has all the bells and whistles you might want from an 80s Stussy board. Stussy’s shapes often feel like treasure hunts — there are always cool little graphics and details to be discovered if you look closely enough. I personally love the laminate on the glass-on fins, and what I like to think of as a laser show airbrush on the deck of the board. However, I am wondering if the board pictured above wasn’t re-finished, at least on the bottom. I don’t know why there’s a cutout around the signature, but it sure looks as if the yellow paint on the bottom was an after market addition. That would also explain the relatively low price — the board sold for $280, which is practically unheard of for Eighties Stussy boards.

 

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #2: QZ/3 Thruster #2748 with The Brotherhood Logo (eBay)

Please forgive the lighting on the pics, which are all via the eBay listing linked above. This board isn’t in phenomenal condition. It has a bit of a tan and there are some huge old traction pads on both the tail and the middle of the board. Nonetheless, I am drawn to a unique detail on this board, which is the neon Brotherhood logo located directly beneath the Stussy laminate. It’s far more common to see references to The Brotherhood on old Russell boards.

The board has a lot of the thoughtful touches you’ll find on Eighties Stussy boards. I love the little “SS” laminate right above the fins, and Stussy even finds ways to make his signatures look cool. The Brotherhood logo board is being offered at $400, and a few days into the auction, there are no bites.

 

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #3: QZ/3 Thruster #2373 (eBay)Eighties Stussy Boards Q:Z3 1.jpg

Here we have another example of a Stussy QZ / 3 thruster. The QZ / 3 was a model name that Stussy used for a thruster-based design. You can find a tiny bit more context on Board Collector, along with some cool pics of some other Stussy shapes. Sadly, #2373 has seen better days. The board is being offered at $350.

 

 

Vintage Surfboard Trivia with Mayhem and Kolohe Andino

Attention vintage surfboard trivia buffs: Matt “Mayhem” Biolos and …Lost Surfboards team rider Kolohe Andino are giving away a free surfboard to the person who can name all of the surfers who inspired the various paint jobs in the Instagram post above. Edit: Kolohe also included close ups of all the boards on his Instagram account, which I have included below:

nostalgia is scary. since, the last two weeks of (barely get to your feet) flatness around town. i have dipped back into some surf movies i frothed on when growing up and tried to widen my range with some "history of surfing" type shiz. every single person who used one of these (dirty garage non artist replica) designs absolutely captivated me when there story/ part turned on. mostly because the style of surfing they were doing at the time of the flick was much beyonds its years. so, i challenge all surf nerds/ historians/ parking lot carps/ the 80's were better dudes to name every single design of these boards. first person to do it will win one of my boards. oh, and two things, sorry OCCY all your boards were white, and i couldn't find the Michael Ho broken arm deisgn at pipe. #europequiver

A post shared by Kolohe Andino (@koloheandino22) on

Some hints are rapidly filling up in the comments. Even with the added help, I’m only certain of three of them, and I have an educated guess for another.

The board at the top left is modeled after a board Kelly Slater surfed at Trestles in “Kelly Slater in Black & White.” I only know this from the comments, but I was able to find a YouTube video with the incriminating evidence.

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Kelly Slater on a Channel Islands / Al Merrick potato chip at Trestles, 1990. Frame grab from Kelly Slater in Black & White via YouTube.

The red / blue board on the top row, second from right, is clearly Tom Carroll’s board from his famous under the lip snap at macking Pipeline. I’m not sure who the shaper might be, though.

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Tom Carroll, committed at Pipeline. Photographer unknown.

On the bottom row, the board second from right is clearly Martin Potter’s “The Saint” board, which is one of the most recognizable airbrushes ever.

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Martin “Pottz” Potter sporting one of his signature T&C Glenn Pang boards. Note that there were actually many of these boards produced, which is the subject for an upcoming post. Photographer unknown, pic via Rorden Surfboards

I believe the board that is second from left on the top row is a Mark Richards Lightning Bolt, but I’m not 100% sure.

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MR AKA “The Wounded Gull” going off the lip in Hawaii. Photo by Steve Wilkings

I suspect many of the boards aren’t what some would consider vintage. For example, there are a lot of guesses in the comments that suggest the top left board was one ridden by Kelly Slater in one of his earlier videos.

I’ll be running an updated post once all the answers are in, as I’m dying to know myself. In the meantime, check out the post here.

Terry Fitzgerald for Lightning Bolt

Hawaii is, and will always be, the center of the surfing world. Even as globalization pushes surfing into new and interesting corners, like retro longboarding’s unlikely resurgence in Indonesia, Hawaii is not only the birthplace of surfing, but the very place where much of its history continues to be made.

The 1970s were a particularly fertile and fascinating time in surfing’s development. It was during this decade that Australians descended upon the North Shore of Oahu, raising eyebrows with their brash surfing and matching attitudes. While the “Bustin’ Down the Door” episode has rightfully earned its spot in surfing history, the arrival of top Australian pros on Hawaiian shores had another side effect: many fruitful collaborations between Aussies and their Hawaiian counterparts.

I wrote an earlier post about a board Terry Fitzgerald shaped for Dick Brewer, which you can find here. Mark Richards is another example of an Australian surfer / designer who found inspiration in the Hawaiian boards of the 1970s. MR still counts Ben Aipa and Dick Brewer among his influences. MR has written some great posts on the subject, and he continues to produce his version of an Aipa sting today! And if you prefer the reverse commute, Von Weirdos has a Hot Buttered surfboard shaped by Owl Chapman.

Today’s post, however, covers another Terry Fitzgerald board: a rare example of a Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt collaboration. The story behind the board comes courtesy of Gavin Scott, an Australian collector with a special interest in what he calls the “Aussie / Hawaiian cross-pollination.” During the early 1970s, Lightning Bolt founders Gerry Lopez and Jack Shipley invited Fitzgerald to do some shaping for the brand while he was spending the winter on the North Shore. Fitzgerald already had Hot Buttered up and running, but the way Fitz tells it, he took on the gig shaping for Lightning Bolt for some money on the side and to refine his designs. The board below is one of but four boards Fitzgerald shaped for his initial run at the Lightning Bolt shop.

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Terry Fitzgerald posing with one of the few surfboards he shaped for Lightning Bolt. Note the fluted wings in the tail, which TF attributes to Reno Abellira’s influence. Pic via Gavin Scott

The Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt board is filled with all kinds of beautiful details. I’m particularly drawn to the precise double-winged pintail and the striking white pin line on the bottom of the board:

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Close up of the fin. Check out the white pin line! Pic via Gavin Scott

The Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt board also has some interesting laminates. On the deck you can see the famous Bolt laminate. The bottom, though, has a Lightning Bolt logo that I have personally never seen before. The board’s owner tells me that the text Lightning Bolt logo along the stringer is something that Roy Stamm did with many of the boards he glassed.

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Unusual Lightning Bolt logo along the stringer on the bottom of the board. Apparently this was a common technique for Roy Stamm, who glassed the board. Pic via Gavin Scott

After purchasing the board, Gavin was able to get a certificate of authenticity from Terry Fitzgerald that details the board’s history. I have included a photo below:

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Certificate of Authenticity by Terry Fitzgerald for the board pictured above. TF goes all out on these certificates! Not only does Fitzgerald get deep into the design elements, he also provides great context on the state of surfing during the time the board was made. Pic via Gavin Scott

As you can see in the certificate of authenticity, the board was shaped in Hawaii in 1973. I love how TF goes through the various influences that informed the board’s final design, including a nod to Barry Kanaiaupuni’s radical stylings at Sunset Beach. The board truly is a product of Hawaiian and Australian influences, spanning Fitzgerald’s experiences from Narrabeen to Sunset. I love how comprehensive the certificate is, going as far as to credit Roy Stamm with the lovely glass job.

Randy Rarick also played a part in this board making its way back to Australia. Rarick was kind enough to share some back story on the board. Apparently Rarick found the Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt on the West Side of Oahu and then turned it over to a friend. Eventually the board made its way to Gavin Scott, its current owner. Scott was responsible for getting the certificate of authenticity and the back story from Terry Fitzgerald. Many thanks to Gavin for making this post possible! You can also check out Gavin’s activity on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Group on Facebook, where he is kind enough to share more of his incredible collection.

Photo at the top of the page taken by Jeff Divine.