Jeff Ho for Blue Cheer Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! One of the things I enjoy most about writing this blog is unearthing lesser-known bits of surf history. In particular, I love geeking out on shapers’ more obscure boards: Dick Brewer shaping under the Lahaina Surf Designs label during the Sixties (yes, the acronym is intentional); Shawn Stussy’s stint at Russell Surfboards; and a Donald Takayama sting created under the Aipa / Surfing’s New Image label, just to name a few.

I know I say this about just about every shaper, but to me, Jeff Ho is one of the more fascinating figures in the rich history of California surf culture. Jeff Ho is the mastermind behind legendary Zephyr Surfboards, which played an instrumental role in defining surf and skate culture during the Seventies and beyond.

Jeff Ho and Zephyr are so intertwined, it never occurred to me that he might have shaped boards for another label. Thus my mind was absolutely blown when I saw an early Jeff Ho shape for Blue Cheer Surfboards pop up on my Instagram feed. Blue Cheer Surfboards was a Los Angeles label that mostly operated during the Seventies, and was home to people like Tim Phares, Clyde Beatty Jr, Mike Perry, and Wayne Miyata. The post came courtesy of Sean Tully, an LA-based artist and surfer, who shared the entire backstory of the board on his Instagram account. I highly recommend checking out the entire thing below:

Been waiting years to get my hands on a @therealjeffho surfboard. They’re not easy or cheap to come by and rightfully so. The universe shined on me last week finally. . A couple days back I was casually giving craigslist a look over for surfboards as I occasionally do. I’m not nearly as engaged in the hunt on CList like some of my comrades. However occasionally I look and last week I glanced at a yellow single fin unnamed and priced at $250 obo. Template looked amazing from the post and I’m a sucker for diamond tails so I messaged the guy and offered what I could afford ($170). He was game! Went and picked up the board the following day and sure enough it was a beauty! Guy didn’t know how good he had it. But he was stoked on the payment and I was psyched on the board so it really was a great deal for us both. . Upon receiving the board I took notice to the “Blue Cheer” logo and knew slightly about its Los Angeles origins. I needed to know more and rang up Uncle Jeff Ho for some schooling. – Me, “What’s the story with Blue Cheer?” – Jeff, “What about them?” – Me, “What’s the story?” – Jeff, “Why you ask?” – Me, “Well I got a board.” – Jeff, “Ohhh reallly?!!” . So Uncle Jeff starts asking specific questions about the board; it’s pin lines, it’s bottom contours, the nose, etc. By the end of our conversation I got the informative behind the scenes history of Santa Monica’s Blue Cheer Surfboards and Jeff’s brief legacy with them prior to going off on his own with Zephyr Surfboards. Turns out this board was shaped by Jeff in 1970. It was glassed by his mate Orlando with gloss/pinlines by the legendary Wayne Miyata. The board is a full on time period piece specific to an era of Jeff’s life that was pretty pure at the time. We were both blown away that the board made its way back to home and in the hands of someone who cared for the right reasons. . Promised Uncle Jeff I’d take care of her and ride it often when the waves permit. Just after leaving I took the board to Malibu and had a blast! Definitely a gem and definitely not going back on craigslist. . And so the legend continues… .

A post shared by Sean Tully (@sean_tully) on

As it turns out, I had saved some pictures of the Jeff Ho Blue Cheer Surfboards shape a while back, when it was still kicking around on Craigslist. As far as I can see, there are no signatures or markings anywhere that indicate it’s a Jeff Ho shape. Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The Jeff Ho Blue Cheer Surfboards shape is a 6’6″ single fin that was shaped in 1970, per the caption on the Instagram post above. As you can see from the pics, it’s still in remarkable condition, especially considering that it’s almost fifty years old. It’s rad to know the board has found its way back home, and I’m just as excited by the new information on the pre-Zephyr days of Jeff Ho’s legendary career. As always, thanks for taking the time to read this blog, and I hope you enjoyed this mini-discovery as much as I did!

Vintage Infinity Surfboards Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is short and sweet: I just want to notify you all of the super clean and interesting vintage Infinity Surfboards single fin that’s currently for sale on Craigslist. You can find the board in question here. All of the photos in this post are via the Craigslist link.

Vintage Infinity Surfboards Single Fin

First, I am a little puzzled as to how to describe the outline. The first thing that comes to mind is the classic Aipa sting, due to the prominent wings in the tail. The wings on the vintage Infinity Surfboards single fin are more severe than what you would expect to see on a wing tail single fin, for example. But there are a number of reasons why I would stop short of describing the vintage Infinity Surfboards single fin as a straight up sting. First, with regard to the wing placement, I think the wings are pushed just slightly further towards the tail than you would expect from a standard sting outline. Then again, it’s hard to tell without being able to see the board in person. The other odd element is the pronounced diamond tail, which you don’t really see in many Seventies stings. The vast majority of stings I have seen are swallowtail designs, with a few round pins here and there.

It’s worth noting that shaper Terry Senate is a link between Ben Aipa and Infinity Surfboards. (Check out this sweet Aipa twin fin shaped by Senate I wrote up a little while ago.) Senate shaped for both Aipa and Infinity, so there are least some definitive links between Infinity and the inventor of the sting.

The other thing that really has me scratching my head is the board appears to be stringerless. Again, it’s difficult to say — this might just be a result of the glassing job. But if you look at the close up of the tail and then the photos on the Craigslist post, I can’t see any evidence of a stringer lurking beneath the glass.

And with Stoked-n-Board still out of commission from SHACC’s website, I don’t have any clear ideas on who might have shaped the board. If you click on the close up of the tail above and to the right, you’ll see “DC2” (or is it “RC2”) inscribed on the board. I don’t know who this is.

The board isn’t in perfect condition, but dang, it is beautiful. The colors really pop, and I think the vintage Infinity Surfboards single fin is all original. Truth be told, I prefer the vintage look to fully restored boards, which can sometimes take on an artificial brightness. As a sucker for careful resin work, I really love the pale blue pinline around the rails. And when it comes to the all-important topic of logo placement, I can’t get enough of the twin Infinity logos positioned right near the wings on the tail.

The seller seems firm on his price of $300. Yes, there are some dings and imperfections, but I think this is a more than reasonable stance given everything else that’s going on with the board. Check it out here and if you end up snapping up this vintage Infinity Surfboards single fin, definitely give me a shout!

Owl Chapman Underground Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features a very cool and unusual board on eBay: an Owl Chapman Underground surfboard from the Seventies. The board is a single fin and it measures in at a relatively tidy 6’4″. You can find a link to the eBay listing here. All photos in this post are via the eBay listing.

Owl still shapes today under the Brewer Chapman Surfboards label — Brewer, of course, being the peerless Dick Brewer. Of all the Owl Chapman shapes I have seen, the vast majority are under the Brewer Chapman label, which bears an almost identical logo to Dick Brewer’s famous plumeria wreath design. See below for a side-by-side comparison of the Brewer Chapman Surfboards and Dick Brewer Surfboards logos:

It’s far more unusual, however, to come across Owl Chapman Underground surfboards, like the one that’s currently for sale on eBay. I really dig the groovy vibes of the Owl Chapman Underground logo.

Owl Chapman Underground Surfboard Logo
Close up of the Owl Chapman Underground logo from the board that is currently for sale on eBay

The Owl Chapman Underground boards seem to be pretty collectible, too. Most recently, an Owl Chapman Underground 8’0″ single fin pintail was sold at The Vintage Surf Auction for a cool $2,000. The auction board was restored by Randy Rarick, whereas the eBay board looks all original.

If you’re interested in checking out the board, the eBay listing can be found here.

Photo at the top of the page by Jeff Divine; pic via FlySFO.

Mark Angell for Haut Surfboards

When it comes to surfboards, I love the bold-faced names as much as anyone else. Who wouldn’t to add a Skip Frye to their collection? What is there not to like about a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt? The list goes on and on. And while I enjoy the classics, I also have a soft spot for the so-called underground shapers of the sport. One reason why I began writing this blog is the fact I often found it so difficult to find reliable information about certain shapers. Take for example someone like Chuck Vinson, the late, distinguished Santa Cruz shaper. I would periodically see Vinson’s name pop up in places that would signal his impact — Marc Andreini’s Instagram feed, or an obscure Surfing Heritage blog post — and yet it was impossible to find any examples of Vinson’s boards anywhere online. One of the more enjoyable parts about writing this blog is finding unusual boards and then featuring them so that they can be discovered by others. Which brings us to the subject of today’s blog post, yet another craftsman with Santa Cruz roots: Mark Angell.

Angell currently resides on the North Shore of Kauai, after a stint in Maui, and he first cut his teeth in Northern California. Angell’s Hawaii resume alone is unreal, with stops at Lightning Bolt, Surf Line Hawaii, and Dick Brewer Surfboards, just to name a few! One of Angell’s California contemporaries was none other than Doug Haut, whom I recently saw described as Santa Cruz’s answer to Renny Yater. (I want to say this might have been from Andreini’s excellent book “The Gift”, but don’t quote me!) Haut has stayed in Santa Cruz, where remains a local fixture to this day.

Pictured above is a Seventies Mark Angell single fin that was shaped under the Haut Surfboards label. The board is in far from perfect condition — if you look closely you can see a bit of water damage around the tail, and there looks to be at least a few dings on the bottom — but it also looks to be mostly intact. The board above was recently sold on Craigslist in Northern California for an absolute steal. As I write this post I’m mostly kicking myself for not picking up the board and having it fixed up.

While the board’s outline and glass-on fin scream Seventies single fin, this is also confirmed via Mark Angell’s signature on the stringer. It looks like the board was shaped in 1978. It’s interesting to see the combination of both Angell and Haut logos. On one hand, this is completely unsurprising given both men’s mutual roots in Santa Cruz. On the other, I have only seen one other Haut / Mark Angell surfboard, which was sold at the California Gold Vintage Surf Auction in 2013. Sadly, there’s no link to the board still available, but if you have a copy of the catalog from the 2013 auction, the Haut / Mark Angell gun was Lot #128.

Anyway, add this beautiful Mark Angell single fin to the long list of boards I wish I could have pounced on when I first saw them on sale. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye peeled for another example. And if you find yourself in the position where you now have to have your own Angell shape, the man is still shaping boards, and you can find his website here.

Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be featuring another unusual vintage surfboard: the Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius Model.

The Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius pictured above is actually still for sale. I won’t put the exact link here, but the board is not mine and all photos in this post are via the listing. Happy hunting.

f you look at the photo on the left (click to enlarge), you’ll notice the Surfboards Hawaii text running horizontally, with the Aquarius text running vertically. The Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius is packed full with all kinds of groovy touches, as it was likely shaped during the late Sixties, or perhaps early Seventies, during the Transition Era. I can’t tell whether or not the board is stringer-less, and of course, that psychedelic paint job on the bottom is awesome. The deck patch looks a bit like similar patches you’ll see on some Surfboards Hawaii Vee Bottom boards.

What’s really interesting to me about this board is that it has a different logo than just about every other Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius I have seen.

Every other example of the Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius I have seen has the logo pictured above and to the left. (What’s up with the devil just hanging out near the cornucopia?) I was also able to dig up a cool example of an old Surfbards Hawaii Aquarius ad from a Swaylocks thread, which is above and to the right. It’s interesting that the logo above indicates the Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius was a series, as opposed to just one model. However, that’s all the info I have on these boards.

As always, if you know more about the Surfboards Hawaii Aquarius, please let me know!

 

The Surfboard Shaping Company by Harold “Iggy” Ige

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re featuring two quick surfboards shaped by Hawaiian legend Harold “Iggy” Ige. Ige was born in Hawaii in 1941, and spent time in both California and his native Hawaii shaping for some of the best known names in the business. Ige worked for both Greg Noll and Dewey Weber when both brands were headquartered in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Dewey Weber produced an Iggy signature model, which you can still find now and then. Ige returned to Hawaii in the Seventies, where he began shaping boards under The Surfboard Shaping Company label.

Today I wanted to feature two The Surfboard Shaping Company boards that were sold recently. The first one, featured at the top of the post and below, was sold on Craigslist in Honolulu.

Harold Iggy Ige The Surfboard Shaping Company 1

It’s a beautiful Seventies single fin with some really gorgeous touches. I love the warm colors, right down to the fin. The logo placement on the bottom of the board, right above the fin, is also neat and unexpected. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the deck — I can’t tell if the orange patch is simply just an opaque resin tint. The second leash plug up by the nose is unusual, too. This board was listed at $520.

Another Harold “Iggy” Ige The Surfboard Shaping Company board was recently sold on eBay…and, well, this somehow managed to slip past a lot of folks. You can find a link to the listing here, although the sale ended over two months ago. The board is a beautiful Seventies sting, and somehow it sold for a mere $250.

The Surfboard Shaping Company sting isn’t in perfect condition — not pictured are some open dings on the swallowtail, for example — but it’s well worth $250 when considering Ige’s place in surf history, not to mention that super sweet fin! You’ll also notice the sting has a slightly different logo. If I had to guess, I would say the sting was probably shaped a little later on in the Seventies than the yellow The Surfboard Shaping Company single fin above, but I’m not certain.

Ige is most certainly deserving of a longer post (sadly, he passed away six years ago), but for the time being, I hoped you enjoyed this quick overview of some of the boards he made shortly after his return to Hawaii.

Morey Pope Camel Mini Pepper

Greetings, Shredderz! As long time readers may know by now, Morey Pope is a Shred Sledz favorite. Tom Morey boasts one of the most incredible resumes in surf history. Morey’s fertile mind helped bring along advancements like hollow surfboards, removable fins, and yes, Boogie Boards. The Morey Pope label was a short-lived collaboration with Karl Pope (Pope later on went to work on collapsible surfboards) that had its heyday during the Transition Era of the late Sixties. And while Morey Pope boards are known for being innovative, a lot of the reason why I like them is because they happen to be really cool.

Case in point is a very cool Morey Pope Camel Mini Pepper that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the listing here. All pics in the post are via the eBay listing. The board is being sold by Chubby Surf — I recommend checking out their website as well, as they sell some cool vintage surfboards at reasonable prices.

As is generally the case with Morey Pope boards, the details on this one are killer. I love the giant Hawaii text on the deck. There look to be some unusually shaped volan patches on both sides of the board as well, and I’m guessing this is a largely aesthetic piece. You’ll also notice the cool small Morey Pope laminate running along the fin box — a W.A.V.E. Set box and matching fin, of course — along with a small serial number towards the tail.

I have never seen a Morey Pope Camel Mini Pepper before. I thought I had made a neat little discovery a few weeks back when I stumbled across a Morey Pope 3/4 Camel, which I wrote up here. I have no idea whether there’s a Morey Pope Camel Pepper, as the name of the Mini Pepper suggests. Either way, the Camel Mini Pepper has a pretty racy outline for the Transition Era, and it’s a lot more gun-like than what I associate with a “standard” Morey Pope Camel design. See below for an example of a Sopwith Camel, which has a lot of hull-like aspects to it.

The eBay auction for the Morey Pope Camel Mini Pepper ends on Monday. Bidding is currently at a mere $105, which is worth it for the fin alone! Once again check out the listing here, and there are more cool boards listed on Chubby Surf’s website.

Mystery Seventies Lightning Bolt Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features a classic board: what looks to be an original Seventies Lightning Bolt single fin. This board comes to Shred Sledz courtesy of a reader, who emailed me the photos. Many thanks for the submission (and a reminder that if you have any cool boards to share, I’m always interested, whether it’s by email or DMs on Instagram).

You can click on any of the above photos to zoom in. As you can see, this vintage Bolt is still in beautiful condition. I love what appears to be a grey resin tint on the exterior, and the glassed on fin gives some beautiful pop against the neutral color of the board.

The downside to Lightning Bolt’s status as the surfing brand of the Seventies meant its logo was shamelessly ripped off during this time. It’s common to see boards shaped during the Seventies bearing the signature Bolt logo that had absolutely nothing to do with the brand. As a result, it can be a bit tricky to identify so-called “authentic” Lightning Bolt boards.

Before we go in-depth on the grey board, let’s discuss a quick note on the inconsistent nature of Lightning Bolt logos. There is a huge variation in the number of different logos on vintage Bolts, even when looking strictly at authentic examples. See below for two examples:

The yellow board on the left is a Rory Russell board; the blue board on the right was shaped by Tom Parrish. (Note: I’m not 100% sure that both of these boards are vintage.) The proportions in the respective Bolt logos are completely different. I would consider both of these boards genuine, given the signatures, and as you can see below, these two logos are also very different from the two-tone shadow effect on the grey Bolt single fin.

Seventies Lightning Bolt Single Fin Roy Stamm 4

What’s really interesting about the grey board is the small “akoni” text that appears beneath the Bolt. This is almost certainly Roy Stamm’s handwriting. I have seen Roy Stamm mentioned as an original Lightning Bolt shaper during the Seventies. The other data point I have is a certified authentic Terry Fitzgerald-shaped board for Lightning Bolt, which was glassed by Roy Stamm. You can find a link to the Fitz-shaped Bolt here.

I was able to find another example of a Roy Stamm signature, which you can see on the blue board above and to the right. The orange and yellow board is Roy Stamm’s handwritten Lightning Bolt text from the Terry Fitzgerald board, which was certified by Fitz himself. The blue board was shaped by Wayne Santos, I believe, and likely glassed by Stamm. This leads me to believe the grey Lightning Bolt single fin that was sent in by a reader was at least glassed by Stamm, and possibly shaped by him, too. Therefore I believe the grey Lightning Bolt was shaped in Hawaii during the Seventies, but I can’t say for sure who the shaper was.

The final aspect about the grey Bolt is the “akoni” text. I have no idea what this means. As always, if you have any ideas, please let me know!

Many thanks to the reader who submitted the photos of this beautiful Lightning Bolt single fin!

 

Hobie Terry Martin Twin Fin

I don’t get paid by the word here — in fact, I don’t get paid at all — so I’ll keep it short and sweet. There is a super cool Hobie Terry Martin twin fin for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, and it’s listed at what I think is an exceedingly reasonable $210. You can find a link to the board here.

All the photos here are via the original Craigslist post. As you can see, the Hobie Terry Martin twin fin has all the bells and whistles: a vaguely Pottz inspired airbrush, with a sick contrasting bottom; glass on twin fins; a four channel bottom; and yes, a Clark Foam laminate. The seller claims the board was shaped in the Eighties.

There’s no close-up shot of that laminate between the fins on the bottom of the board. Anyone have any ideas what that might be?

I think this is a great deal for a very cool board, and that’s really all there is to it. Check out the Hobie Terry Martin twin fin on Craigslist here, and if you end up snagging it, let me know what that laminate is.

Steve Lis Fish For Sale

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is more of an FYI than anything else, because there’s currently a Steve Lis fish for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the Craigslist post here. All photos in this blog post are via the original Craigslist ad.

Steve Lis is widely credited with inventing the fish design. Lis made a name for himself as a kneeboarder who pushed his swallowtail shapes to their limits at various San Diego breaks.

Despite Lis’ stature, it’s not always easy to find information about the man (though of course the Encyclopedia of Surfing has a great entry), and it’s definitely not easy to buy his boards. Steve Lis fish don’t seem to change hands all that often, and I couldn’t tell you whether or not he’s still producing shapes.

The Steve Lis fish featured here looks pretty recent to me, but I don’t have any sort of bead on when it could have been made. I’m thinking 2000s, maybe even sometime after 2010, but that’s almost twenty year time window during which the board could have been shaped. If there’s someone with more info I would love to hear it.

I love geeking out on small details like signatures, and the seller of this board happened to post a nice close up of Lis’ signature (see top left picture). As you can see, it involves two mirrored yin yang designs along the stringer. I believe Rich Pavel’s signature is an homage to Lis’ design, as well. The bird you see on many Lis boards is strikingly similar to the one that appears on many of Donald Takayama’s shapes. Both shapers were based in San Diego, and I have to think this isn’t a coincidence, but that’s all I know.

The seller refers to the board as a Whale Fish. No idea if this is a Steve Lis fish official model name, but it’s packing a ton of foam: 7’11” x 23″ x a whopping 3.5″. That is monstrous.

Finally, the seller has mysteriously left off any mention of a price for the Steve Lis fish. I’m guessing he’s not even going to consider anything below the $1K mark. That’s just a guess though — all I know is that it’s not easy to find a real deal Steve Lis fish for sale.