Stussy Surfboard: Eighties (?) Thruster

Greetings, Shredderz! Recently a cool little Stussy surfboard sold on eBay, and given my long standing interest in Senor Stussy’s boards, I figured I would do a quick writeup on the topic. The original eBay listing can be found here; pics in this post are via the listing.

The Stussy surfboard pictured above is a vintage thruster with a very cool airbrush. If I had to guess, I would say the board above was either shaped during the late Eighties, or perhaps even the early Nineties. There are a few things that stand out to me. First, you’ll notice the logos on both the deck and the bottom of the board. On the deck you’ll notice a crown logo with a Chanel-like double S beneath it. I believe the Stussy crown logo didn’t make its debut until the late Eighties or so. On the bottom of the board you’ll notice some Rasta themed logos, including a lion and the Rastafarian flag. The lion also appears on the glass on fins, which you can see below:

You can click the photos above to enlarge. Back to my earlier point, I believe the Rasta logos and influence didn’t show up on Stussy’s boards until the late Eighties or early Nineties.

Pictured above is an example of another Stussy surfboard with Rasta logos. I would say these boards were likely shaped within a few years of one another, although you’ll notice that the eBay board at the top of the page has a serial number of 1115, and then the Stussy surfboard “For Rocket” is #2837. I tend to think Stussy’s numbering is not totally sequential. In fact, I suspect #1115 was likely shaped after #2837, but I can’t confirm that.

Shawn Stussy Personal Rider Twinzer 1991

The one example of a Stussy surfboard I have seen with a definitive date is this super sick Wil Jobson inspired twinzer, which you can see above. The Stussy twinzer was sold at auction a few years back, and the photo is from the original auction site. Note the Jobson / Stussy surfboard has the same Rasta lion logo as the eBay board at the top of the page. It has a crown logo, too, although it’s a bit different than the one featured earlier in this post. Unlike the other boards in the post, the Jobson twinzer doesn’t have a serial number, but it appears to have been shaped in 1991.

The Stussy surfboard at the top of the page was listed on eBay with a price of $1,250. It looks like the board didn’t sell on eBay, but likely was sold in a private transaction off the site. There’s no way to tell the final price, and I’m curious to see if it reached the original asking, which I would put slightly on the steep side. Then again, the Stussy surfboard has a great original airbrush, which I think can improve the value of these boards considerably.

Donald Takayama Surfing’s New Image Surfboard for Dru Harrison

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re taking a quick look at a board that recently caught my eye. Pictured here is a Surfing’s New Image surfboard shaped by Donald Takayama. The board was originally listed for sale on eBay, and all pics in this post are via the eBay listing. You can find the original listing here. I’ve long had a bit of a fascination with the SNI brand, whether it’s the Aipa stings that were produced under the label (although most SNI / Aipa stings were not shaped by Ben Aipa), or some of Rick Hamon’s later designs. If I had to choose, though, I’m probably most fond of the SNI boards that were shaped by Donald Takayama. Takayama, of course, was a surfing fixture for decades, whether it was as a Velzy / Jacobs team rider during the sport’s earliest days, or his collaborations with Joel Tudor starting in the Nineties. The Surfing’s New Image surfboard pictured here is an unusual one. First, I would say that you don’t see a ton of Takayama / SNI boards in general, but this one is the only example I have seen that has a Dru Harrison laminate on it.

Surfing's New Image Surfboard Donald Takayama Dru Harrison 4.jpg

According the listing, the board measures in at 7’0″ x 19 1/2″ x 3″. The board was almost certainly shaped sometime during the Seventies, though I’m not sure what year. Dru Harrison’s best known surfboard is the Improvisor model he produced under the Rick Surfboards label during the Sixties. Here’s an example of a Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor that recently sold on eBay as well.

The SNI board sold for about $150. Even though the board would require a decent amount of repairs, I still think this is a pretty good price. After all, this is a Donald Takayama we’re talking about! From what I have seen, the SNI / Takayama boards can be had at fairly decent prices. Here’s another example of a Seventies SNI / Takayama stick that sold for $575, which I thought was a nice price from the buyer’s perspective.

Sadly, I can’t find any information on Takayama and Harrison’s relationship. I’m guessing they must have crossed paths in the South Bay in the Sixties. During this time Harrison was riding for Rick Surfboards, and Takayama was designing boards for both Bing Surfboards and then Weber. Considering the high profile of both men involved in making this board, you’d think there would be a little more information available.

You can check out the original eBay listing for the Surfing’s New Image surfboard designed by Dru Harrison and Donald Takayama here.

 

Rick Rasmussen Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! In honor of fellow New York native Balaram Stack’s finals finish at the 2019 Volcom Pipe Pro, here’s a beautiful Rick Rasmussen surfboard that was recently sold on eBay. All pics in this post are via the eBay listing, which you can find here. Rasmussen is one of the more fascinating characters in surf history. For many years, Rasmussen stood alone as New York’s only real pro surfer of note, thanks to his competitive prowess in the early professional scene, as well as his tuberiding in places like Pipeline and G-Land. Sadly, Rasmussen’s story cannot be told without mention of his tragic death, which happened during a drug deal gone bad. The Encyclopedia of Surfing has reprinted an excellent article detailing Rasmussen’s passing, which gives some additional depth to an already compelling subject.

The board, despite not being in great condition, sold for a cool $1,725. The price, when considering the condition, gives you a good idea of how rare it is to find a Rick Rasmussen surfboard for sale. The board measures in at 8’2′ x 19 3/8″ x 2 3/4″ and according to the seller it was likely shaped in either 1972 or 1973. The listing claims the board was mostly surfed on the North Shore in the Seventies before being relocated to Southern California in 1980, and then it was stashed away in storage for many years. I think there’s a decent chance that Rasmussen rode this board at Pipeline, which makes it extra sick.

While this Rick Rasmussen surfboard is no longer listed for sale, I did some digging on Instagram and was able to find a couple of other cool examples of Rick Rasmussen surfboards. Turns out that Rasmussen actually shaped for an early label called Clean & Natural, and before that, a local Westhampton label called Lizard. I had never even heard of Lizard before, and that brand isn’t even mentioned in Rasmussen’s Encyclopedia of Surfing listing. Scroll below for a shot of a Rick Rasmussen surfboard shaped for the Lizard label, which is the only one I have seen to date.

 

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Luke Moore, from Westhampton but longtime resident of San Diego, shared this photo with me last night. Luke is on the left, age 14 and Rick Rasmussen is on the right, age 18. This is taken in 1974, the year Rick won the U.S. Championship. Rick shaped both boards. Luke currently shapes out in San Diego and still does boards for some of the older guys out east on LI. Luke was also a legendary skateboarder, draining pools in the hamptons in the fall during the 70s. I asked him how he got into skateboarding and he said, "I just learned, mostly from surfing. I mean, surfing taught me skateboarding." His style shocked and awed Jay Adams, Peralta and others, and was developed completely in the Eastern LI incubator at that time. Surfing, Luke charged Pipe like a lot of his peers from the Westhamptons, and with their own style. A Westhampton relationship with second reef Pipe is starting to become clear to me #LukeMoore #RickRasmussen #BrendanBurrMcGill etc please tag more

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Vintage McCoy Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model

Greetings, Shredderz! As some of you may know, I have a fascination with surfboards that represent collaborations between Aussie and Hawaiian shapers. For example, here’s an incredible Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt single fin I wrote up, and a separate board TF shaped for Dick Brewer. The board featured in this post is a mashup of McCoy Surfboards, a classic Australian label, and Barry Kanaiaupuni, the Hawaiian pro who helped define power surfing. The best known BK signature board is the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model, which came as a noserider and then later as a Transition Era mini gun. BK also famously made boards for the Lightning Bolt label during its heyday. The board you see here is a vintage 6’10” McCoy Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model that was made under license in the early to mid Seventies.

You can click any of the photos above to enlarge. First, many thanks to Rory Oke, who provided photos of the board you see featured in this post. I originally saw the board posted to the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook, and Rory generously gave me permission to run a blog post featuring his photos. Based out of Victoria, Australia, Rory shapes under the Oke Surfboards label, and he also restores vintage boards. You can check out his website here and his Instagram page here.

Until I had seen Rory’s board, I didn’t even know that Kanaiaupuni had any association with the McCoy Surfboards label. It turns out that McCoy licensed designs by a trio of Hawaiian shapers during the Seventies: Barry Kanaiaupuni, Reno Abellira and Sam Hawk (I think technically Hawk is from California, but my impression is that the most impactful years of his career took place in Hawaii under Dick Brewer’s tutelage). Surf Research has a great example of the Reno Abellira McCoy model, along with some explanations about the board’s history from Reno himself (note the mis-spelling of Reno’s last name on the laminate).

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You can see the BK McCoy model in the top left. Ad was posted to the same thread on the VSC group on Facebook where the BK board pictured here was posted.

Check out the McCoy Surfboards ad featured above, which originally ran in an issue of Tracks Magazine in 1973. You’ll notice that the top left board is the McCoy / BK model.

I believe the vintage McCoy Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni single fin featured here has been restored. As you can see, it looks to be in lovely shape, and most of the details of the board have been well preserved. It has an absolutely beautiful Coke bottle blue resin tint, and I love the extra color on the center of the deck too.

Finally, the Oke Surfboards site has a listing for another vintage McCoy Surfboards BK Model, which you can find here. The board on the Oke Surfboards site is a red swallow tail that measures 6’11”. I have included photos of the surfboard below. It looks slightly different from the blue board pictured above, but you can clearly see the similarities.

One curious thing to note: I’m not sure if the blue board was hand shaped by BK himself. You can clearly see the “Designed by Barry Kanaiaupuni” laminate on the deck, but I don’t know if there is a signature anywhere else on the board. The red McCoy BK model, by contrast, looks like it was signed by Kanaiaupuni on the stringer.

I’ll never get sick of cool Aussie / Hawaiian surfboard mash ups, and the McCoy BK model definitely fits the bill. Thanks again to Rory for kindly allowing me to use the pics you see here. And if you have any photos of similar boards, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

Clipz: “HANDMADE” by Surfer Mag and More

Greetings, Shredderz! For all you Stateside vintage surfboard lovers out there, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend. And if you need some pointers on how to spend your gloriously work free Monday, here are a few recent (and not so recent) surfboard related videos.

I have loved Surfer Magazine since the very first time I picked up an issue, and that has not changed in the decades since. For all the fuss that is made about the headwinds facing traditional media, Surfer still puts out some high quality content. If you like what they do — and I can’t imagine why you’d be here if you didn’t — please consider subscribing to what remains the definitive source for surfing news and culture. Anyway, Surfer’s upcoming issue contains a feature on the current state of hand made surfboards, and they made a cool film to accompany the article. You can actually check out the film in its entirety above. This features rad surfer / shapers like Tyler Warren, Ryan Burch, Jared Mell, Andrew Doheny, Derrick Disney and Zack Flores shaping their own craft and then taking them through their paces.

The Burleigh Single Fin festival is known as a cruise-y, laid back even that celebrates vintage surfboards and local Gold Coast rippers during the Aussie summer. Here’s a nice little summary video from Billabong featuring legends like Shane Dorian, Occy, and Joel Parkinson, who immediately went from WCT retirement to winning the event.

Slater has famously spent the majority of his career refining ultra high performance designs, whether it was the extreme rockers of his mid Nineties boards with Channel Islands, or his current high tech Firewire / Slater Designs crafts made in collaboration with modern mad scientists like Daniel Tomson and Dan Mann. It’s fun to see Slater exploring some alternative surf craft for once, although I have to admit that I prefer seeing him pushing the envelope. Still, the video is a cool break from what we usually get from the greatest surfer to ever live.

Photo at the top of the page via the Billabong YouTube Channel for the 2018 Burleigh Single Fin Festival

 

Stealth Seventies Phil Becker Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Look, if there’s one thing this blog is good for — and God knows it’s not the writing — it’s putting readers onto quality vintage surfboards that are listed for sale. Featured here is a super clean Seventies Phil Becker surfboard, which is currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The board is not mine and you can find the listing here.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the Phil Becker surfboard might have a little bit of a tan, but other than that, it appears to be in good condition. I love the clean lines of this shape. The lack of any logos anywhere is another killer touch. In fact, this board reminds me a ton of another Phil Becker single fin I wrote up recently. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same seller is behind both listings.

As I wrote in the previous post, I mostly know of Becker from his work under his own name, as well as labels like Rick Surfboards. But this is the second no-label Becker surfboard I’ve seen, and I really dig it. There’s something very cool and understated about such a well regarded shaper foregoing the branding exercise altogether.

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Close up of the signature on the Becker surfboard

As you can see below, the board comes with a beautiful glass on fin as well. I love the all-around minimalism — no logo, no fin box, and what looks like a resin leash attachment that might have been added after the fact.

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Close up shot of the tail and the gorgeous glass on fin

The seller is asking $325 for the board, which you can find here. I think this is a fair price, although standard caveats apply given that I haven’t seen the board in person, and I’m judging it strictly from the pics. If you ask me, I think the previous Phil Becker single fin I wrote up was a bit more bang for the buck — I guess the triple stringer is something of a tiebreaker — but it’s hard to go wrong with either of these two.

 

Channin Diffenderfer Surfboard: Transition Era Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we just have a quick little hit for your viewing pleasure, but I think you’ll dig it anyway. Mike Diffenderfer is regarded by many as an incredibly influential shaper. Before he passed away in 2002 at the relatively young age of sixty four, Diffenderfer had established himself as one of the premier shapers of his generation. Diffenderfer was known for his big wave guns as well as his balsa designs. Even though the Encyclopedia of Surfing estimates Diffenderfer shaped over 25,000 surfboards in his career, they’re not super easy to come by. Needless to say, whenever a Mike Diffenderfer stick pops up for sale I’m always interested, and the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard featured here definitely fits the bill.

Pictured above is a very cool looking Channin Diffenderfer surfboard that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The board is not mine and all pics are via the Craigslist post, which you can find here. The Channin Diffenderfer surfboard measures in at 8’3″ and it was likely shaped sometime during the late Sixties, given its dimensions and hull-like features.

 

As you can see in the photo above and to the left (click to enlarge), the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard sports some really great resin pin lines on the deck. If you look closely you’ll see the inner most pin lines are done in yellow, contrasting with the two blue pin lines closer to the rails of the board.

The surfboard has been restored with a new gloss coat at some point, and you can see where there was some water damage on the nose. Nonetheless, it’s great to see the board is mostly preserved a good half century or so after it was initially shaped.

The seller is asking $950 for the board. You can find the listing here. I’m a bit torn on the price. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but while it’s pricey, well, these boards aren’t very common, and I am definitely a sucker for painstaking resin pin lines. I’d say this price is probably a little above what most people would be willing to pay, but that’s mostly a guess.

Here’s a photo of Diffenderfer in his shaping bay in Hawaii, taken by the peerless Jeff Divine. There’s an excellent Mike Diffenderfer fan page on Facebook, which I recommend checking out here.

Mike Diffenderfer Hawaii via Degree 33 Surfboards
Diffenderfer in the shaping bay. Photo by Jeff Divine; via Degree 33 Surfboards

 

 

Vintage Yater Surfboard: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is just a quick one, featuring a vintage Yater surfboard that came and went in the blink of an eye on Craigslist. Before I get into the post, though, I thought I would offer some quick thoughts on why I post so many boards that are listed for sale. First, I’m interested in surfboard prices. Much of the blog came about simply because I was so frustrated at how difficult it was to do research about vintage surfboards online. This is particularly true with pricing, which seems to be a sensitive topic in general. Second, and more importantly, I found that Craigslist and eBay were incredibly rich sources when it came to pictures of awesome surfboards. The only problem is that these boards get taken down — sometimes very quickly — meaning that unless you’re a full-blown Craigslist addict like myself, there’s a limited window in which one can see boards being posted for sale.

Which brings me to the beautiful vintage Yater surfboard you see pictured above. This bad boy measures in at 7’0″ and it was listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Barbara for about 48 hours before someone leapt on it. And while I wish I could post so-called original content all the time, I do think it’s important to preserve photos and records of these beautiful boards that pop up and then disappear as soon as some eagle eyed buyers catch wind of them.

Chances are if you’re reading this blog I don’t need to sell you on why it’s worth running photos of Renny Yater‘s creations. But in case there are any doubts, hopefully the photos above give you all the convincing you need. This vintage Yater surfboard was likely shaped sometime during the Seventies. A knowledgeable friend also guesses it might have been as late as the Eighties, based on the logo. I’ve seen a few variants on the Yater logo, and I recommend checking out Stanley’s excellent page for a more comprehensive rundown. As you can see, this particular one has “Santa Barbara Surf Shop” in the almond shape at the top, with “Surfboards by Yater” beneath. (For what it’s worth, this is the logo that is used on the newly redesigned Yater Surfboards website.) On the stringer you can also clearly see the “Y” and then a serial number beneath, denoting that this was likely hand-shaped by Renny himself.

Finally, the board was listed at $550. I think this is a nice price for a vintage Yater surfboard shaped by Renny himself, and the board also seemed to move quickly after being listed.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboards!

Vintage Channel Islands Single Fin With Jack Meyer Airbrush

Alright, Shredderz: it’s time I come clean. The board featured below is one of my absolute favorites since I have started writing this blog. First and foremost, as some of you might know, I am a card carrying Airbrush Aficionado, with a healthy appreciation for all and any spray jobs — the more outrageous the better. The board featured here has an absolutely killer Jack Meyer airbrush (RIP). Meyer, who was born in New Jersey before making his way out to Santa Barbara, made a name for himself as one of the best known airbrush artists before his untimely passing in 2007. Second, the board featured in this post is a vintage Channel Islands Surfboards single fin. CI might be one of the world’s largest surfboard brands, but I am continually surprised that its vintage boards aren’t in higher demand. (Shred Sledz has written a lot about vintage Channel Islands boards in the past.) Anyway, the board below is the best of both worlds: it’s a 1975 Channel Islands single fin, complete with an amazing Jack Meyer artwork on the bottom. Many thanks to KC, who purchased the board and was kind enough to take the awesome photos you see here.

The Channel Islands single fin pictured above measures in at approximately 7’2″ x 20.5″ x 3″. As you can see in the photos, the surfboard features an incredible and intricate Jack Meyer airbrush on the bottom, with Jesus standing over a surf spot. The spot is Government Point at the west end of Cojo Bay, located in the infamous Hollister Ranch. The fact the airbrush is an ode to the Ranch isn’t surprising when considering both Channel Islands’ and Jack Meyer’s Santa Barbara ties.

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Close up of the lineup on the board. This is Government Point in the Hollister Ranch.
Hollister Ranch via HollisterRanchListings.com
Lineup shot somewhere in the Hollister Ranch. I can’t say for sure if it’s the same spot featured on the board. If you’d like to invite me to surf at the Ranch to do some research for this post, my schedule is wide open! Pic via Hollister Ranch Listings

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The board features an original Channel Islands Surfboards logo — no iconic hexagon design to be found here — and a mysterious reference to Pepper Adcock.

Channel Islands Single Fin Jack Meyer Airbrush 3Channel Islands Single Fin Jack Meyer Airbrush 11Channel Islands Single Fin Jack Meyer Airbrush 15

There also a subtle, light purple pin line on the bottom of the board, which I think is the perfect minimalist complement to the detail-packed Jack Meyer airbrush.

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Close up of the stringer. There is no Al signature on the board. I believe the board was likely shaped by another Channel Islands shaper at the time.

I believe the board is not an Al Merrick hand shape. There is no Al signature on the stringer, just a serial number next to the fish outline, which is a staple of Channel Islands boards even today.

I was actually able to find a very similar looking board on Instagram, which you can see below. Sadly, this is the best quality picture was I able to find. If anyone has any ideas on the whereabouts of the other Jesus board, please do let me know!

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Here’s a similar Jack Meyer airbrush from another vintage Channel Islands Surfboard; this one shaped in 1976. Pic via the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Group on Facebook

Last but not least, the story behind the board is equally interesting. Somehow the board found its way to a pawn shop in South Dakota. The then-owner took the board to Orange County this summer while on his way to the Long Beach Motorcycle Swap Meet, and decided to throw the board on Craigslist. The rest, as they say, is history. I am also delighted to report that the board has found its way back to Jack Meyer’s family, in no small part thanks to KC’s efforts.

What can I say? You’re probably better off skipping the text in this post and just looking at the photos, because Meyer’s artwork says far more about this special stick than whatever description I might be able to muster. More than anything else I am stoked that the Channel Islands single fin in this post is with the Meyer family, where it will no doubt be properly appreciated and cared for.

Thanks to KC for sharing the pics and the story behind the board and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I liked writing it!

Note: Post updated to correct the name of the spot in the airbrush to Government Point, and not Cojo Point

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Hydro Foam Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! We are starting off 2019 with a bang. Featured here is a lovely Creative Freedom / John Bradbury Hydro Foam epoxy surfboard, which was shaped likely during the Eighties. For more on Bradbury, feel free to check out the Shred Sledz Deep Dive here. John Bradbury was a highly esteemed Santa Barbara shaper before his untimely passing in the late Nineties. One prominent part of Bradbury’s legacy is his role as an early advocate for alternative materials, particularly epoxy boards. All of the Creative Freedom / John Bradbury epoxy boards I have seen have very clear and prominent Hydro Foam laminates.

Naturally, when someone reached out with pics of a Creative Freedom John Bradbury Hydro Foam board, I was very interested. Many thanks to Brianna for generously sharing photos of the board you see featured here!

Click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, Brianna’s board is an absolute doozy. A good thirty years after it was shaped it’s still in great condition. I have noticed that the Hydro Foam boards I have seen tend to hold up very well, although it’s also a small sample size. This Creative Freedom John Bradbury board has the neon you’d expect from an Eighties thruster, but it also isn’t quite as over the top as, say, a T&C Surf Designs stick from the same time frame.

Despite what I said in the previous paragraph, it’s interesting to note the fin setup. The Bradbury board isn’t quite a thruster — I’d say it’s more of a twin fin with a small center trailing fin. The trailing fin is pushed pretty far back towards the tail as well. I haven’t see any other examples quite like this one.

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Close up of the Aleeda wetsuits laminate beneath the glass. I love all the detail on this board, from the contrasting rails to the cool Bradbury logos as well.

The Bradbury Creative Freedom board has Aleeda laminates underneath the glass on both the deck and the bottom. Aleeda was a wetsuit brand that I believe has gone out of business. The Aleeda laminates make me think the board might have been shaped for a Bradbury team rider or someone else who was sponsored, but I can’t be certain.

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Finally, it’s worth noting Clyde Beatty’s involvement in creating the board, as you can see in the photo above. Beatty is a shaper and a glasser who was involved in the Santa Barbara surf scene. In addition, Beatty was another proponent of alternative materials in board building. I’m not sure if Beatty was involved in Hydro Foam specifically, but I was able to find a link that indicates Beatty helped develop some epoxy resins. As you can see in the photo above, it looks like SP115 refers to the laminating system used in conjunction with the Hydro Foam blanks.

The majority of Hydro Foam surfboards I have seen were shaped by Bradbury under his Creative Freedom label. I have also seen a few shaped by Pat Rawson during his time at Local Motion, like the one you see below.

Many thanks again to Brianna for sharing pictures of this gorgeous John Bradbury Creative Freedom surfboard. As always, hit me up if you have pictures of a killer board you’d like to share with the rest of the Shred Sledz community! Finally, here’s another example of a Bradbury Hydro Foam board: