Shawn Stussy “The Brotherhood” for Russell Surfboards

For the most part, there are few things I enjoy more than discovering unusual vintage surfboards and writing about them. Today’s post, however, is written with a heavy heart, as an absolutely primo example of a Shawn Stussy The Brotherhood board popped up for sale on Craigslist at a decent price, and then was snapped up by someone else.

Here at Shred Sledz we celebrate anything and everything related to Monsieur Stussy, whether it’s his Echo Beach boards of the 1980s, or his latest shapes, which he creates under his new S Double label.

For a long time, however, I have been fascinated with Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards. On one hand, the thrusters and twin fins Stussy shaped for his eponymous brand in the 1980s are among some of the most collectible items from the entire decade. For whatever reason, the boards Stussy shaped for Russell Surfboards in the 1970s aren’t nearly as expensive. See here for an earlier post I wrote about Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards.

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A young Shawn Stussy with a pair of sleek single fin missiles. Date, photographer and source unknown, but judging from the outlines of the boards, I would guess this photograph was taken during the Seventies, during Stussy’s days at Russell Surfboards.

The Brotherhood refers to a crew of Orange County surfers that coalesced around Russell Surfboards and Newport Beach. (Not to be confused with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a group of Laguna Beach hippies turned drug dealers that counted Mike Hynson among its associates.) You’ll often see The Brotherhood referred to in early Russell ads from the era.

While I love Stussy The Brotherhood boards, it’s also apparent that as an artist, Stussy had yet to come into his own in the 1970s. My favorite thing about Stussy’s 80s boards are the intricate graphic designs that appear everywhere. By contrast, the graphics that appear on Stussy The Brotherhood shapes don’t have quite the same level of polish as those on his 80s designs. I also wrote up another Russell Surfboards 70s single fin a few weeks back, with a graphic that looked suspiciously like a Stussy drawing (John Gothard, a Stussy team rider in the 1980s, also agrees!).

In any event, I can’t get enough of the 70s Stussy The Brotherhood single fin pictured above. Other than a bent original fin and a noticeable repair on the upper rail, the board is still in great condition. I love the clean, classic 70s single fin lines, and the triple stringer is a nice touch, too. Of course, the Stussy graphic on the deck is the star of the show, too.

If you bought the Stussy The Brotherhood board pictured above, and you have more info to share, please drop me a line! Until then, the hunt for a 70s Stussy grail continues…

Harbour Spherical Revolver with Variant Logo

Greetings, Shredderz! Craigslist has been a real treasure trove of interesting surfboards lately, meaning this pro bono blogger has had his hands full with things to write about. Today’s post concerns one of the cooler named boards to come out of surfing’s famous Transition Era: the Harbour Spherical Revolver.

The board pictured above recently popped up for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. Pics are via the listing, which you can find here.

The Spherical Revolver was invented in 1969 when Mark Martinson, then a Harbour team rider, caught a glimpse of Nat Young surfing a shortboard. Martinson dashed off a letter to Rich Harbour describing how he wanted his own version of Nat’s board, and this later became the Harbour Spherical Revolver we all know and love today.

There are two extremely interesting details about the example pictured above. First is the logo: note that the word “Spherical” does not appear anywhere on the board. Contrast this to the standard Spherical Revolver logo, which has the same “Revolver” text, but has a much more detailed graphic to go along with it.

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Classic version of the Harbour Spherical Revolver logo taken from another board. Compare this to the one at the top of the page. The board featured in the post is missing the graphics as well as the “Spherical” text.

The other interesting aspect about the board at the top of the page is the fact it doesn’t have a wooden stringer. Instead, it has a stringer made of high-density foam, which is much thicker. Compare the logo shot immediately above with the close-up of the deck at the top of the page.

I’m not quite sure what to make of the Spherical Revolver featured here, other than to say it’s unlike any other I have seen. It is the only example I know of that features either the high-density foam stringer or the variant logo, much less both at the same time. There are some other cool touches, too: the pics clearly show the displacement hull bottom, and what looks like the original W.A.V.E. Set fin is included, too. The seller is asking $400, which is a bit steep in my opinion, but it’s also a very unique example of a Harbour Spherical Revolver.

You can check out the board here.

Natural Progression Surfboard Duo

Greetings, Shredderz! By now, longtime readers of the blog might know that I have a huge soft spot for vintage California surf brands, like Rick Surfboards, the eponymous label of the late Rick Stoner; Zephyr, Jeff Ho’s legendary Dogtown marque; John Bradury’s Creative Freedom label, and Hot Lips, just to name a few. For all the richness of California’s surf history, I remain baffled that more people haven’t taken an interest in lesser-known labels and shapers. One brand whose underground status I find particularly baffling is Natural Progression. I hate to be so shallow, but LA-based Natural Progression boasts one of the all-time great logos from the 1970s. (Can you tell where Aviator Nation might have gotten their steez?) You’ll see a Natural Progression surfboard pop up on eBay and Craigslist here and there, but from what I can tell, these boards aren’t quite as collectible as other 1970s shapes. That’s a shame, because Natural Progression not only boasts a legit roster of shapers — including Scott Anderson and Owl Chapman — but the brand just seems pretty dang cool, too.

If you are in the market for a Natural Progression surfboard, there are two examples currently for sale on Craigslist right now.

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Gotta love those clean lines! Natural Progression single fin; shaper unknown.

The first board, pictured above, is a beautiful jade-colored 1970s single fin that is listed for sale on Craigslist near Ventura, California. You can find the original listing here. It’s hard to ascertain the exact condition of the board. I don’t see any major issues, but there is no fin, and it looks like there are some dings here and there that may require some work. Still, at $375, my first reaction is to say this is pretty reasonably priced (as always, though, you can never know for sure until you see the board in person). I love the color of the board, the pinline work, and of course, the contrast between Natural Progression’s incredible rainbow logo and the rest of the deck.

The other Natural Progression surfboard for sale on Craigslist can be found in San Diego. You can find the listing here. I love the little details on this board, as well, beginning with the wings in the tail, the swallowtail design, and the triple stringer. What really struck me about the swallowtail Natural Progression single fin was a closeup shot of the signature. I believe that the blue Natural Progression surfboard pictured above was likely shaped by Phil Becker, who is famous for being one of the most prolific shapers in California history.

The picture to the above left is taken from the blue swallowtail Natural Progression surfboard; the signature on the top right was taken from a 1970s Rick single fin. The signatures look identical, from the bullet points bracketing the text, to the “76-xxx” number scheme. In fact, it looks like both boards were shaped during 1976. I’m not sure why Phil Becker would not have signed the Natural Progression surfboard. Stoked-n-Board confirms that Becker shaped for Natural Progression from 1972 to 1978.

The Phil Becker Natural Progression board is being offered at $275, which seems like a great deal. Note, however, that there is a decent chunk of the swallowtail that has been replaced, although the listing is quite clear about the repair.

There are some cool examples of Natural Progression boards floating around online. However, I will note that Buggs, the famous collector behind Surfboardline.com, has a feature on Natural Progression, which is a pretty good stamp of approval. Boardcollector.com has a pristine twin fin that is absolutely worth the click, too.

You can check out the boards here and here.

Making a Splash: Jacobs Mike Purpus V Redux

Greetings, Shredderz! We’re back with another sterling example of one of the most popular boards in Shred Sledz history: the Jacobs Mike Purpus V. Purpus’ second signature model under the Jacobs label — the first was a standard noserider — is an appropriately radical design for a pretty radical dude.

The board pictured above comes courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Steve Wray. Pick your jaws up off the floor and put your wallets away — this bad boy is not for sale.

Shred Sledz’s aesthetic veers more towards the neon of the 80s, but there’s no denying the appeal of the colorful acid splash paint job on the board above. I stumbled across a color version of an old Body Glove ad, which I had featured in the initial Mike Purpus V post, and was shocked to see one of the boards featured is almost identical to Mr. Wray’s example.

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Now THIS is a quiver. Check out the board second from right. It has a remarkably similar acid splash paint job to Steve Wray’s board, which is featured in this post.

Mr. Wray was also kind enough to provide some close-up shots of the tail and the fin area of his Jacobs Mike Purpus V. Check out the all-original W.A.V.E. Set fin, whose color is best described as cough syrup purple (I mean that in a good way). You can clearly see the pronounced vee in tail, as well as the dramatically domed deck.

Jacobs Mike Purpus V Surfboard 4Jacobs Mike Purpus V Surfboard 6

Finally, I was able to uncover a few old Jacobs Surfboards advertisements that featured Mike Purpus. The first actually features Purpus in tandem with Robert August. I’m guessing this is a board from when Purpus was a teenager, based on the fact that both Purpus and Roberts are shown riding longboards.

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Vintage Jacobs ad featuring Robert August and Mike Purpus. Purpus can be seen on the bottom. I believe this is from Purpus’ earlier days riding for the label, but I’m not certain. Pic via Easy Reader News

The second ad is for the Jacobs Mike Purpus V Model, courtesy of Liquid Salt. The graphic design on this ad can only be described as groovy as heck.

Finally, here’s another shot of Purpus, riding a shortboard, this one from famed Southern California boardshorts company Katin. You can see Purpus at the top right.

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Katin ad from 1973 featuring Purpus at the top right. Pic via Katin USA

Many thanks to Steve Wray for sending pictures of his beautiful acid splash Jacobs Mike Purpus V Model! As always, if you own a rare and / or interesting board and you’re interested in having it featured on Shred Sledz, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Shred on and thanks for reading!

 

Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom “Hawaii V” Model

Here at Shred Sledz we are unabashed fans of the Transition Era and all of its crazy designs. The shortboard revolution of the late 1960s was a time of unprecedented experimentation. One of my all-time favorite Transition Era boards is the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom.

According to Stoked-n-Board, the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom was produced between 1968 and 1971. S-n-B has record of four different logos that were made during this run. One of these boards recently popped up on Craigslist in San Diego for a mere $250! The fin box was busted, but that still strikes me as an incredible price for one of the more interesting v bottom boards.

Surfboards Hawaii V BottomSurfboards Hawaii V Bottom 1

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Close up of the Hawaii V logo

I believe the model is technically considered the “Hawaii V”, as indicated by both the close-up of the logo to the left, as well as the copy in the advertisement posted above. (All pics of the board first appeared in the original Craigslist posting, which has since been taken down.)

I love how the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom boards often have elegant, minimalist pinlines. The one pictured above is no exception, with beautiful resin work around what looks like a volan patch in the middle of the board, as well as in the signature angular tail block. The Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom pictured above also came with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, another indication of its age.

Even though the Hawaii V is a coveted Transition Era shape, I still can’t find any reliable information on who actually designed the board. As always, if you have any ideas, please drop me a line! I love hearing from fellow Shredderz.

Sadly, an eagle eyed reader snapped up the board above before I had a chance to act. Stay tuned for another special v bottom board coming up tomorrow!

Late 1960s Harbour Single Fin

Greetings Shredderz, and I’d like to wish you a warm welcome to 2018! We’ve got plenty of big things in store for you this year, but we’re starting things off nice and gentle with a certified classic: a late 1960s Harbour single fin, shaped during the Transition Era.

The board pictured above is currently being offered for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the listing here. Photos above are via the eBay listing.

The Harbour single fin has a bunch of cool details. There are a few giveaways that point to the fact it was likely shaped in the late 1960s or maybe early 1970s, all of which are pretty common during the Transition Era. First, you’ll notice the Vari-set fin box (complete with a regrettably bent fin still in there). Second, if you click through to the listing, there are some pictures that show off a pronounced S Deck shape to the board.

Harbour Single Fin Transition Era 2

The logo on the board has some fascinating details. You’ll notice that a lot of the measurements are actually written on the deck of the board. Note the measurements off-set to the right, and then a number that is located right beneath the main Harbour Surfboards logo. On more recent Rich Harbour boards, you’ll often see a signature located near the fin and on the bottom of the board. However, I have seen many older Harbour boards that feature a serial number on the deck near the stringer. The Harbour single fin pictured above, however, is a bit of an outlier in the sense that it has the measurements on the deck. This is an unusual touch that I haven’t seen much, if at all. The board also doesn’t seem to have a Rich Harbour signature anywhere on it, either. From what I can tell, this is not unusual.

The seller is asking $500, which I do not find outrageous. The bent fin is a shame, but the fin box itself looks like it’s in sturdy condition. I happen to love the classic coke bottle color, and otherwise the board is pretty clean. Check out the link here.

Vintage Russell Single Fin

Vintage Russell single fin that may or may not be shaped by Shawn Stussy

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re visiting because you’re on the prowl for last-minute holiday gifts for your favorite blogger, well, look no further. A beautiful Russell single fin is currently up for sale on Craigslist in Huntington Beach. You can find a link to the board here.

As you can see, the Russell single fin pictured above is in impeccable condition. The board boasts some pretty primo details as well. The triple stringer setup is a classy touch, and check out those beautiful wooden nose and tail blocks.

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Close up of the graphic on the board. This has the look and feel of some of the graphics Shawn Stussy put on his later boards.

However, the detail that drew the most interest is the hand-drawn graphic on the deck of the board. I have included a close-up picture of the graphic to the left. I love the styling of the graphic, which is whimsical, but small enough so that it doesn’t detract from the clean lines of the board.

More importantly, I am wondering if the graphic might have been drawn by Shawn Stussy. Stussy shaped for Russell Surfboards in the 1970s before striking out on his own. Fellow Stussy-ologists will recognize the little fishing graphic above as fitting Stussy’s pattern of decorating his surfboards with a number of small, intricate hand-drawn graphics. I have included some examples of some of my favorite Stussy graphics below, which were taken from an old eBay listing for a beautiful 80s Stussy twin fin.

This, of course, leads to the inevitable follow-up question of whether or not the Russell single fin was shaped by Stussy himself. I have spoken with the seller and there are no signatures anywhere on the board. The graphic in question is completely unlike any other Russell Surfboards logo I have ever seen (you can see some other Russell logos on Stoked-n-Board’s site.) In conclusion, I have no way of definitively knowing whether or not Stussy played a hand in shaping the board.

Either way, the Russell single fin pictured above is a unique shape. At 7’8″ it’s not exactly an option for everyday surf. And in the very likely the case the board has nothing to do with Stussy, it’s still a super clean example of a shape from a great Seventies California label, to say nothing of the craftsmanship that went into the wooden details! Check out the board here.