Maui and Sons Shark Shoes: Sagas of Shred

Here we have another Maui and Sons ad from the Eighties, right on the heels of last week’s Sagas of Shred post. I don’t have much to add here. I think the more I write, the more I potentially take away from this hilarious ad featuring a half human, half shark hybrid wearing sunglasses while pig dogging in a pretty serious barrel. This is pretty close to perfect, and I’ll just leave it at that.

As always, check back in next week for more vintage surf ads in the Sagas of Shred series. Thanks for reading!

Vintage Dick Brewer Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a beautiful surfboard from one of the true masters of the form: Dick Brewer. Normally I’m a guy who is open to differing points of view. Yet everyone has their limits, and here are mine: if you don’t think Dick Brewer belongs on the Mount Rushmore of surfboard shapers, then I’m afraid there isn’t much for us to discuss. Pictured below is a sweet Dick Brewer Seventies single fin that is miraculously still listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. More about the board below…

The Dick Brewer Seventies single fin pictured above measures in at a relatively tidy 6’3″. No other dimensions are listed in the ad.

The listing claims the board was shaped during the late Sixties or early Seventies. To me it looks like a classic Seventies single fin, and it’s definitely not a Transition Era board. A good hint comes from the excellent Encyclopedia of Surfing, which tells us that Brewer’s surfboard production tailed off towards the mid-Seventies, during a particularly trying period in his life. This makes me think the board was likely shaped during the early Seventies, maybe mid-Seventies at the latest. As you can see in the photos above, the board has very slight wings before ending in a graceful pintail. Either way, the Dick Brewer board has a beautiful and timeless outline.

Dick Brewer Vintage Signature .jpg
Clear Dick Brewer signature on the stringer

It’s difficult to figure out the provenance of Brewer boards given that he didn’t always own the rights to the brand bearing his name. In addition, shapers such as Larry Blair and Sam Hawk were also known to shape surfboards under the Dick Brewer Surfboards label. But the Dick Brewer Seventies single fin featured here has a clear signature, which you can see above. The signature above is consistent with other Brewer signatures I have seen.

Trying to figure out pricing on vintage Dick Brewer surfboards can be maddening. At the super high end you have boards like the Bing Pipeliner, which can command thousands of dollars at auction. On the other hand, I’ve seen other Dick Brewer surfboards pop up for sale that don’t seem to be particularly exciting for most buyers — for example, a relatively recent (I would guess 2000s) thruster was listed for $400 on Craigslist in San Diego a few months back.

The vintage Dick Brewer Seventies single fin featured here is also listed on Craigslist for $400 (once again you can find the listing here.) Personally, I think this is an awesome deal. The board looks to be in pretty clean condition, it is almost certainly shaped during the Seventies, and it has a clear signature on it. And when you consider Brewer’s status as one of the legends of surfboard shaping, what more convincing do you need?

Eighties Maui and Sons Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! As some of you probably know by now, every Thursday night (sometimes early Friday morning), I’ll write another entry in the Sagas of Shred series featuring a different vintage surf ad. I mostly focus on ads for old surfboard labels or shapers. And while surfing is proud of its counter culture bona fides, one interesting aspect of surf culture is the fact that it has been driven in large part by fashion over the years. For all the chest beating about being core and staying true to the spirit of the sport, selling t-shirts and boardshorts — mostly to non-surfers — has been surfing’s economic engine. I’ll always love geeking out about vintage surfboard ads and design trends, but much of modern surf history has been shaped by the accompanying clothing brands and their marketing campaigns.

This is not a criticism, by the way. I can’t really say I care that much for surf fashion these days, but I think that’s a function of age more than anything else. For bright eyed young groms, there are few decisions more momentous than choosing the right brands as a form of self-expression. And in the Eighties, perhaps more than any other decade, fashion really helped shape surf culture at large.

Maui and Sons is one of the great surf brands of the Eighties, alongside stalwarts like Ocean Pacific and Gotcha. The brand has gone through a few reincarnations and it’s still up and running today, but it’s a far cry from its heyday.

I really love this vintage Maui and Sons ad, if for no other reason than the unmistakable Eighties aesthetic. The old school Maui and Sons logo is an Eighties modern art classic. The rest of the ad has a kind of breezy carelessness to it, and the vibe is more important than what’s actually happening on the page. Why is there a pair of shorts flying through the air? And is that a baby shark in the pool — that fin can’t be more than six inches, right? But who cares when everything is neon and carefree?

Maybe this kind of nostalgia doesn’t hold the same appeal unless you grew up in the Eighties. But that’s exactly when I did, and as a result, I’ll never stop loving this kind of stuff.

Thanks for reading and check back in next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Precision Surfboards: Vintage Robert August Sting

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an example from a well-known surf brand that has never before been featured on the blog: Robert August. August is probably most familiar to folks as one of the co-stars of “The Endless Summer” along with Mike Hynson. August, like Hynson, later founded his own surfboard label. Robert August Surfboards is still in business today, although it’s unclear to me whether or not the brand’s namesake continues to shape boards. At the end of the day, though, Shred Sledz is a blog about vintage surfboards, and today’s post features a neat little Robert August sting that was listed for sale a few weeks ago. Read more below…

Robert August Sting.jpg

As you can see in the photo above, the Robert August single fin has a classic sting outline. You’ll notice the wings that are about 1/3rd of the way up the board, paired with a swallowtail. While the terms “sting” and “stinger” are often used interchangeably, Ben Aipa, who created the design, is clear that the correct term is “sting.”

Robert August Sting 1.jpg

There’s a lot to dig about this board, although it has clearly taken some bumps and bruises during its time. I would guess it was shaped sometime during the Seventies, which was when the sting was at its most popular. Regular readers probably know that I love to geek out on surfboard logos, and this board doesn’t disappoint: I love the “Precision Surfboards” laminate you see at the top of the page, and then the simple mirrored “RA” that appears along the stringer on the bottom of the board.

Robert August Sting Step Tail.jpg

The other neat feature about this board is the step bottom. You can kind of make this out in the picture above. The black pinline towards the right side of the photo starts where the wings appear on the rails. Right beneath the pinline you can see the edge where the step tail appears, creating an effect where the back half of the board is a lower surface than the rest. I wish I could tell you more about the hydrodynamics of this particular design, but it’s fairly common to see in stings shaped during the Seventies.

The Craigslist post originally appeared in San Diego but it has since been taken down. The seller was asking $325 for the board. My two cents is the price was a shade high, although it seems like the board is no longer for sale. I would base this strictly on the condition — as you can see in the photos, there are a bunch of cracks and open dings on the board, and repairing it would take some work. Still, though, the vintage Robert August sting pictured here is a really cool board from a well-known California surf culture fixture, and I hope whoever ended up with it is restoring the board to its former glory.

Permanent Lightning “Tagging and Gliding” Exhibit feat. Shawn Stussy

This post probably should have been written a few days earlier, but better late than never. If you happen to find yourself in beautiful Guethary, France, check out the new Permanent Lightning “Tagging and Gliding” exhibit at Le Bar Basque. Permanent Lightning is the nom de ‘Gram of a talented Italian photographer named Daniele. As longtime Shredderz by now know, this humble vintage surfboard blog keeps an eye peeled for anything Shawn Stussy-related. Stussy designed a bunch of collateral for the exhibit.

Both fellows are definitely worth a follow on Instagram, where they have been sharing materials related to the show. “Tagging and Gliding” runs through September 1st, so if you’re local, be sure to check it out and report back. And, if like me, you’ll be chained to a cubicle when the show is running, content yourself with some previews below:

 

Primo, Purpus and Panache: Sagas of Shred

In theory, I love all of my blog posts equally. In practice, that couldn’t be further from the truth. (I’m still partial to my first-ever Deep Dive, which features a history of Wayne Lynch’s early shapes.) And while I have been writing Sagas of Shred for a while now, this one just might be my favorite.

First, before I get started, much credit to Ted Campbell, who originally posted a snapshot of the photo on Instagram. When I asked for more background on the photo, he generously shared the full picture with me. Thanks again Ted!

But more to the point, the photo above is an advertisement from Primo, which seems like an old wetsuit brand. I wasn’t able to find much about it online, though I was able to find another great old school Primo ad. The Primo advertisement features two of the best known surfers to come out of the South Bay area of Los Angeles: Dru Harrison, on the left, and the inimitable Mike Purpus, standing to the right.

Dru Harrison had a signature model for Rick Surfboards. And while Harrison was an incredible surfer, I can’t get enough of Purpus. He just looks like he’s having the time of his life — which is appropriate when you consider the setting for the photo shoot. Purpus was an early Jacobs team rider, and then he went on to produce boards under the Hot Lips Designs label. Hot Lips is still one of the greatest name and logo combinations in the history of consumer brands, much less surfing (only slightly joking there.)

What can I say? I’m just a sucker for any of Purpus’ ridiculous antics, whether it’s posting in a hilarious Seventies aircraft or his infamous Raquel Welch airbrush:

A shot of Mike Purpus on the North Shore, Hawaii in 1975. Photo @merkelmedia I was in the USA on a Quiksilver tour recently & the boys stopped for a surf at El Porto, Manhattan Beach in the South Bay. I knew Mike was from Hermosa Beach just down the road & I wondered if he was around. We had only been there for about 15 minutes & Mike appeared !! It was cool to see him, I don't think I'd seen him since those early years in Hawaii. Mike was one of California's first Pro Surfers & he was invited to the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku event in Hawaii five times. It was usually run at Sunset Beach with Waimea Bay as the back up location. I thought I rode boards with a lot of color, but I think Mike's quiver was even more colourful. @southbayboardriders @benny_big #mikepurpus @cidoubleyou @taywhis @mikereilly1 @bmcknight @rcastroo2 @katin_surfshop @quiksilver @quiksilver_originals @chrisdarrah

A post shared by Mark Richards (@markrichardssurfboards) on

Once again, thank you to Ted for sending me the ad in this post. Give him a follow on Instagram — he posts some great content. I hope you enjoyed this installment of Sagas of Shred, and as always, come visit late next Thursday, California time, for even more awesome vintage surf ads.

Vintage Ole Surfboards Stubby

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is gonna be quick and dirty, but sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Featured here is an odd little Ole Surfboards stubby that was for sale on Craigslist about a week ago. The board is no longer listed for sale, but I think it’s still worth a shoutout.

First and foremost, Bob Olson is an old school shaper whose resume is beyond reproach. And as I have mentioned before, Ole was actually Shawn Stussy’s shop teacher!

Anyway, back to the board in question. As you can see, it’s dramatically shorter than the beautiful longboards for which Ole is probably most famous. I also recently featured an Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, which bears some resemblance to the board pictured above.

I’ve dubbed the red Craigslist board a stubby, thanks to its outline and its 6’3″ length. I’m not entirely sure this is correct, though. I think it’s possible the stubby could have some hull elements to it, but without clear pictures of the entry rocker or any evidence of a belly on the board’s bottom, I can’t make any definitive statements.

If I had to guess I would say this board was shaped sometime during the early Seventies. The fin box looks a little more modern than the removable fins during the Transition Era of the late Sixties, for example. It also looks like the fin is pushed pretty far back towards the tail of the board.

The seller was asking $400 for the Ole Surfboards stubby, and I think it’s reasonable to say that it sold for near this price. Likewise, the Transition Era Ole Surfboards Hull I wrote up was also listed at $400, but was in worse condition than the stubby.

Vintage Ole boards aren’t particularly expensive, but I think that’s an oversight. And it seems like Ole’s more experimental vintage shapes can be had at reasonable prices, which can only be a good thing. Best of all? Ole is still shaping to this day, I understand, so hit the man up if you’re in the market for a board from a true surfboard shaping OG!

Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Longboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re featuring a rad and unusual nose rider from the Sixties: a Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard. The pics in the post were taken from a Craigslist listing on the East Coast, which you can find here.

First, a little background: I am a huge fan of Rick Surfboards, and I have featured the brand a few times previously on the blog. For starters, you can check out this Shred Sledz Deep Dive on Rick Surfboards. That post contains one of the only other Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard I have seen.

The Craigslist board, pictured above, looks to be unrestored. If you look at the pictures, you’ll notice it has all the classic elements of the Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard, from the triple stringer setup, including the red accents towards the rails; the red fin (although it’s hard to see); and the Rick Surfboards block letters laminate. Compare this to the other BK Model longboard I’ve seen, which was originally sold on eBay. See below for photos of the eBay board, which was restored by Randy Rarick:

The seller for the eBay board, whom I don’t know personally but seems very knowledgeable, dated the eBay board to 1966. I have to assume that the BK Model Longboard that’s currently listed on Craigslist is from a similar timeframe. In any case, it’s clear the Craigslist board is from the first run of Kanaiaupuni’s signature models. Perhaps BK’s most famous board is the pintail mini gun he made for Rick Surfboards during the Transition Era. You can read more about the Rick BK mini guns here, and I also wrote up a killer BK personal rider here.

One small difference between the eBay Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard and the one listed on Craigslist: the CL board is 9’11”, and the eBay BK longboard clocks in at 9’6″. Otherwise, the two look extremely similar.

Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Restored by Randy Rarick 4
Close up of the fin from the restored Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard sold on eBay

I also suspect the fin on the Craigslist board is different, but seeing as how there isn’t a direct shot on the listing, I have no way to confirm this. See below for a pic of the eBay Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard fin.

Finally, the seller on Craigslist didn’t supply a price for the board. The only other data point I have is the eBay board, which was listed for $2,500, but as far as I can tell, didn’t receive any bids.

If you’re in the market for a classic Sixties longboard, check out the Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model longboard on Craigslist here.

 

Harbour Rapier V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick glimpse at an interesting Transition Era board from a classic California surfboard label: that’s right, a vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom that was likely shaped during the late Sixties.

Harbour Rapier V Bottom 4.jpg
Love the detailed black pinlines on the deck

While the Transition Era took place only over a few short years, a whole lot of experimentation was condensed into this time in history. I am a huge fan of v bottom boards in general, although this has more to do with their history and how they look than anything else. I have heard mixed things about how v bottoms surf. It’s also worth noting that some well-regarded modern shapers have incorporated the v bottom into modern high performance designs, such as Marc Andreini, Gene Cooper, and Bruce Fowler.

Harbour Rapier V Bottom 3
A look at the bottom of the board. Looks like there’s very low rocker throughout, but it’s hard to tell from this angle.

The vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured in this post is currently for sale on Craigslist in Central California. You can find a link to the listing here. First, this is the only Harbour Rapier I have seen that boasts a v bottom. Harbour Surfboards continues to produce the Rapier today. Most versions of the Harbour Rapier I have seen, whether modern or vintage, have the board as a pintail longboard. By contrast, the V Bottom in the post is only 8’6″ in length, a good deal shorter than the longboards produced during the Sixties. See below for pics of a vintage Harbour Rapier, along with the classic “Sea Nymph” logo.

Beyond the rarity of the Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured here, I love a lot of the small details on the board. The creamsicle color scheme is absolutely killer, for starters. I also love the bold black resin lines on the deck, which were fashionable during the Transition Era. The double Harbour triangle logos are a sweet and unusual touch, too. As you can see below, the board also comes complete with a rare W.A.V.E. Set fin.

Harbour Rapier V Bottom W.A.V.E. Set Fin
Close up of the W.A.V.E. Set fin. You can also make out the vee in the tail.

As of the time this post was being written, the listing for the board is still up, but the board has apparently been sold. The price on the listing was $7,000, but I’m wondering if that was a typo. Even given the unusual nature of the board and its condition, I would have a hard time believing that the Harbour Rapier V Bottom sold for anywhere near that price.

Thanks for reading and you can check out the Craigslist listing here.

Vintage Hansen Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s entry in Sagas of Shred features a vintage Hansen Surfboards ad. The Hansen ad originally appeared in Surfer Magazine in 1963. It’s interesting to note the Hansen logo has Cardiff text on it, signaling the brand’s San Diego roots. A quick look at Stanley’s Surfboard Logo Library reveals that there have been many versions of the classic Hansen logo over time, both with and without the Cardiff text. It’s also funny that the ad is ostensibly about wooden tail blocks, but there’s no use of the exact term, hence “The End” text. The ad also suggests that Hansen seems to have invented the wooden tail block, but I’m sure that’s opening up a can of worms, and given that it’s almost midnight in California, I don’t really have the bandwidth to get into that debate. The other thing about these vintage ads is the pricing is always incredible. How about that $10 delivery to anywhere in California?!

Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday night for another installment of Sagas of Shred, where we feature a “new” vintage surf advertisement every week.