Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another installment of Price Checks, coming in hot off the press. The subject of today’s entry is a unusual vintage Larry Bertlemann surfboard shaped under the Hawaiian Expressions label. All of the photos of the green Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard you see in this post are via the original eBay listing, which can be found here.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the vintage Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard is a Seventies single fin that looks to be in great condition. According to the seller, the board was shaped in 1974. Amazingly, the swallow tail is mostly intact. Given how delicate swallow tails are, it’s great to see one that is still sharp and undamaged.

According to the listing, the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions board measures in at 7’6″ x 19 3/4″ x 2 7/8″.

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Close up of the signature on the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard featured in this post. The “L.B.” indicates this board was shaped by the Rubberman himself.

The board was hand shaped by Larry himself, given the “LB” signature that can be found on the stringer. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see a 7’6″ inscribed on the stringer, and then a very faint “L.B.” to the right.

The final bidding for the vintage Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions surfboard ended at $1,901, not including $150 for shipping. I was very curious to see where the bidding might end, considering that Bertlemann’s famous Pepsi boards are some of the most collectible vintage surfboards out there. I most recently wrote up a Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Pro Designs surfboard that sold on eBay just about a month ago. The HPD board sold for $1,085, nearly half of the price of the Hawaiian Expressions board featured here. However, the Hawaiian Pro Designs / Bertlemann board was in much worse condition, and it had also had some restoration work done. My guess is a classic Seventies Bertlemann Pepsi board in impeccable condition will command more than just about any other kind of vintage Bertlemann shape.

That said, the Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions boards are unusual. In my opinion, this makes them very interesting collectors’ boards. I had personally never even heard of the Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions model until Buggs posted one on his Instagram about two weeks ago. In fact, I still can’t find any info on Hawaiian Expressions, and whether the label produced any other surfboards. See below for more pics of Buggs’ stick.

Buggs’ board and the green board that just sold on eBay have almost identical airbrush designs and laminates, except for the color differences. It’s interesting that Buggs’ Larry Bertlemann Hawaiian Expressions board is almost a foot shorter than the green eBay board; otherwise the width and thickness are pretty similar.

Finally, eagle eyed readers may have noticed that Bertlemann’s name is actually mis-spelled on the logo! Yikes, that is not the mistake you want to make when producing someone’s signature model, but I digress. At some point, I believe this logo was updated. Buggs has an excellent page on the Larry Bertlemann boards in his ridiculous collection, where you can see the refreshed Hawaiian Expressions logo.

As you can see in the photos above, the copywriters at Hawaiian Expressions got around to adding the second ‘N’ to Larry’s name. The updated version is the red board on the left, which comes courtesy of Buggs’ site. They also changed the image to a picture of the Rubberman doing a cutback, instead of the silhouette of Bertlemann walking with a board under his arm. I have to say I prefer the misspelled version, but that’s just me.

You can check out the original eBay listing here and make sure you check out Buggs’ Instagram and also his Surfboardline site.

Clipz: Bill Delaney and Euro Hulls

Greetings, Shredderz! As we ease into the weekend I thought I’d share some videos I’ve been enjoying lately.

Well, you can’t watch the video above embedded in this blog, but it’s worth checking out on Vimeo. The Encyclopedia of Surfing has published the entirety of “Waterborn”, a 1987 surf movie from Gotcha, on their Vimeo page. Gotcha’s surf team was the stuff of legends — Pottz, Gerlach, Cheyne Horan, Brock Little, Derek Ho, I can keep going — and this is a cool video. It has some great footage of Pottz surfing some of his classic signature boards, including his Glenn Minami twin fin as well as some colorful T&C sticks, like the one pictured above.

More importantly, “Waterborn” was directed by Bill Delaney, who sadly passed away recently. Delaney directed the seminal Seventies surf movie “Free Ride”, and he will surely be missed.

Tristan Mausse AKA Fantastic Acid is one of my favorite follows on Instagram. Monsieur Mausse has also published a couple of cool books on surfboards, “Glass Shops” and “Surfboard Dynamics”, which you can find on his site. In this video Mausse and fellow shaper Jean Penninck of Naje Surfboards test some hand-shaped hulls in some fun and relaxed European winter surf.

Apropos of nothing, I have been enjoying South African Mikey February’s surfing lately. Most of the surfing in the clip is done on standard thrusters, but he’s just got great style.

Tom Curren and Brad Gerlach for Rip Curl: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening, and I come bearing gifts. For those of you who have never read the blog before, welcome to Sagas of Shred. It’s a weekly series, published Thursday evenings (California time), where I scan a different vintage surf ad for every entry. Tonight we have some pretty familiar territory: a Rip Curl wetsuits ad from the Eighties featuring Tom Curren and Brad Gerlach. (Here’s an earlier Sagas of Shred entry that has a Rip Curl ad with Tom as a goofy foot; and here’s a shot of Gerr modeling a very similar wetsuit to the one in this post.)

I love that the ad features two style masters doing similar turns, but enough variation to allow for some contrast of their respective styles. Gerr’s wetsuit, of course, is either an eyesore or the coolest thing you’ve seen, depending on your perspective. I think it goes without saying that I’m in the latter camp. This Rip Curl ad originally ran in the March 1987 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 28, No 3). The photo of Tom Curren was taken by Jeff Hornbaker, and the photo of Gerlach was taken by Sonny Miller (RIP).

As always, thanks for checking out the blog and visit again next Thursday for another peek into some surf ads from an earlier time.

Sixties Jacobs Surfboards Step Deck

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very brief entry focusing on a board that was listed for sale last week on Craigslist. Pictured here is a Jacobs Surfboards step deck longboard that was shaped in 1967, according to the listing. Sadly the listing is no longer live, but I managed to save the photos, which you can find here.

For today’s post I have more questions than answers. As always, if you have some insight to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch! The Jacobs Surfboards longboard you see here was described as potentially having been shaped by none other than Donald Takayama.

A few months ago I wrote up a Jacobs Donald Takayama Hawaii model, which you can find here. In addition, Jacobs Surfboards also produced a separate Donald Takayama Model. I have seen a few different variants of the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model. First, you can see an example here, apparently from 1965, with a triple stringer setup and a Donald Takayama Model laminate. Here’s another Jacobs Donald Takayama Model, but you can see there’s a double stringer setup, and the logo is slightly different. The double stringer board posted on Swaylocks was apparently shaped in 1967, but I’ve also read that Takayama left Jacobs for Bing in 1966.

As for the board featured here, I’m not quite sure what to say. It has the red fin and a clear step deck, but it has a relatively straightforward single stringer setup. More importantly, it doesn’t have any Donald Takayama laminates anywhere on the board. The seller estimated the board was shaped in 1967, which again would mean it was shaped after Takayama had already decamped for Bing. That said, I don’t have any confirmations on these dates other than the sources I have already linked to.

The Jacobs Surfboards step deck longboard you see here is a beautiful board, and it’s still in pretty good condition considering its age. I wish I had some more definitive info about whether or not it is at all related to Takayama, but in the meantime, I’ll just admire these photos of a very cool vintage surfboard.

 

 

George Greenough Design Edge Board Shaped by Bob Duncan

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a real doozy for you. Featured here is an absolutely insane George Greenough Design edge board shaped by Bob Duncan of Wilderness Surfboards. All of the photos come courtesy of a fellow Shredder in New Jersey who would like to remain anonymous. He stumbled across this board while on an adventure in California, and was kind enough to share the photos you see here.

The George Greenough Design edge board featured here is actually a sail board. In the photo of the deck you can see a slot for a sail, as well as where the foot straps would have been placed. The George Greenough Design edge board was shaped by Bob Duncan in either the late Eighties or early Nineties. It was apparently made for large swells at Razor Blades, a spot within the famed Hollister Ranch.

The edge board comes from the fertile mind of George Greenough, the legendary and reclusive design genius who helped usher in the shortboard revolution, and is still influencing surfboard design today. Recently Greenough’s edge board has undergone a revival of sorts thanks to a lineup of well-regarded shapers, including folks like Marc Andreini, Kirk Putnam, Scott Anderson and Manny Caro. Andrew Kidman and Ellis Ericson recently released a film / book project called “On the Edge of a Dream”. Kidman and Ericson’s project documents their explorations of Greenough’s edge board design, which were produced in collaboration with Greenough himself.

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Ellis Ericson puts his own spin on George Greenough’s edge board design and makes it look good. Photo via Surfing World; photo by Woody Gooch

What makes the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design sail board interesting is the fact it was shaped well before the current edge board craze. The best summary of the history of Greenough’s edge board can be found in Marc Andreini’s excellent book “The Gift.” The relevant chapter on the Greenough edge board was excerpted in Liquid Salt. Greenough invented the edge board in the Sixties, and by the Seventies, surfboard shapers had shifted their attention elsewhere. Greenough began windsurfing in the early Eighties, and during this process he rediscovered the benefits of the edge board design. One of Greenough’s famous sail boards was a 7’3″ shape he dubbed “The Backyard Special”, which was profiled in The Surfer’s Journal. The Backyard Special was an edge board that helped prove the benefits Greenough had initially envisioned about the design.

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George Greenough’s magic board, AKA The Backyard Special. This is a sail board that incorporates a number of Greenough design elements, from the spoon-like deck to an edge board on the bottom. It also includes a power blade fin, which is not pictured here. Photo via The Surfer’s Journal

The way Greenough tells it, the Backyard Special was a magic board. In 2014, when Greenough decided to shape some surfboards for Dave Rastovich following a multi-decade hiatus, he drew on the edge board concepts from the Backyard Special. The end result were two edge boards, one of which Rasta surfed at decent sized Cloudbreak.

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Dave Rastovich putting a 6’3″ George Greenough edge board through its paces at Cloudbreak. Greenough shaped two boards for Rasta’s trip to Fiji: the 6’3″ pictured here, and an 8’8″ that Rasta did not get to surf after injuring his knee. These two boards represented the first stand up surfboards Greenough had shaped in years. Photo via The Surfer’s Journal / Liquid Salt; photograph by Nick Liotta

Rasta’s Fiji trip was also chronicled in the Surfer’s Journal. You can find the original article here, which was originally published in 2014 (and if you don’t already subscribe, you really should.) Rastovich, in turn, mentioned the Greenough edge boards to Ellis Ericson during a trip to the Maldives. Ericson and Kidman then collaborated with Greenough to produce updated versions of some of his famous designs, and documented the entire process for “On the Edge of a Dream.”

Back in California, it appears that Bob Duncan had been shaping interpretations of the George Greenough Design edge board concept since the late eighties and early nineties, right when Greenough was pushing the limits on his Backyard Special. Perhaps Duncan was in touch with Greenough at this time, or word of Greenough’s edge board designs had gotten back to Duncan somehow. It’s not clear to me how Duncan initially picked up the edge board concept. That said, Wilderness Surfboards, the label under which Bob Duncan shapes, was actually founded by George Greenough and Michael Cundith. However, it appears Greenough hasn’t been involved with the label (either its Santa Barbara or New South Wales variants) for a while now.

In addition to the George Greenough Design sail board featured here, you can find plentiful evidence of other edge boards shaped by Bob Duncan. See below for a photo of an edge board gun with a thruster setup that was shaped in 1993.

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Photo of a Bob Duncan-shaped Wilderness Surfboards gun that incorporates Greenough’s edge board concept. I can’t be sure but the edge looks different than the more dramatic version on the board Rasta is surfing at Cloudbreak further up in the post. Photo via Swaylocks

Kirk Putnam also published a photo of a Bob Duncan edge board on his blog back in 2011, a few years before Greenough shaped his boards for Dave Rastovich. You can see the photo below:

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On the left is an old Wilderness Surfboards hull shaped by Richie West. On the right is a Bob Duncan / Wilderness Greenough edge board. You can also see what looks like a variant of Greenough’s power blade fin. Photo via KP’s Round Up

Finally, I couldn’t help but notice the logo on the Bob Duncan edge board. The deck has the classic George Greenough Design airplane logo. What’s interesting is the logo on the bottom of the board, which appears to be a variant of the airplane logo. I’m not sure the story behind this version of the George Greenough Design airplane logo, so if you have info, let me know.

Thanks again to the mystery Shredder in New Jersey who shared these photos of the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design edge board. It’s a fascinating window into a design that has roots both in California and Australia, spanning across decades of surfing history, involving a number of talented surfers and craftsmen.

Weekend Grab Bag: Single Fins Galore

Greetings, Shredderz! For many of you it’s a three day weekend, which means even more time to consider making an ill-advised surfboard purchase. If your money is really burning a hole in your pocket, keep reading for some ideas on where to spend your hard earned cash.

G&S Swallowtail Single Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

G&S Swallowtail Single Fin 3

I really dig the outline on this Gordon & Smith surfboard. It measures in at a generous 7’8″. I also love the double blue pinline around the rails. Not sure how you would describe this, exactly, as it’s a good deal bigger than you might expect for a standard single fin. It almost looks like an oversized fish, but there’s only one fin. The seller is asking $430, which I think is pretty fair.

Surf Line Hawaii Ryan Dotson Single Fin (Craigslist Orange County)

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To me, Surf Line Hawaii is something of an unsung surfboard brand, considering the incredible lineup of shapers that mowed foam under the label. (For more on Surf Line Hawaii, you can check out the Deep Dive I wrote here.) Here’s a gorgeous Ryan Dotson shaped Seventies single fin that’s currently listed for sale. I can’t tell if the board was restored at some point, but either way, it’s gorgeous. Check out the cool glass on fin, too.

Mystery Lightning Bolt (Craigslist Orange County)

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I have no idea whether or not the board pictured above is a genuine Lightning Bolt. Bolt is probably the single most ripped off surfboard brand ever. During the Seventies people pumped out tons of boards with the iconic logo that had absolutely nothing to do with the Hawaiian label. A few people on Instagram suspect that it might have been shaped by Tom Eberly. I can’t say one way or another whether that’s likely, but I love the detail of the Bolts on the rails.

Occy Reads Surfer Magazine: Sagas of Shred

Leave it to good ol’ Occ to not overthink things! This ad, which ran in the December 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 27, No 12), absolutely kills me. I also happen to think it’s a good summary of Occy’s considerable, offbeat charm. (For more Occy and Sagas of Shred, see here and here). Last, but not least, it’s also a great reminder of why Surfer Magazine has earned its title as “the Bible of the sport.” It’s no secret that the media business has been hit hard as of late, and sadly, times are looking tough for Surfer. The iconic magazine saw a round of layoffs earlier this month, and there are rumors that Surfer’s parent company is set to be acquired by AMI, which might be in a bit of trouble itself.

But rather than dwell on Surfer Magazine’s uncertain future, I’d like to celebrate all the incredible content it has put out over the years, including the ads that get posted here every Thursday evening. (It’s not too late to subscribe, either.) Almost all of the content in Sagas of Shred comes about from scanning ads from back issues of Surfer Magazine. This, of course, doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the wonderful editorial output over the years, which has single handedly helped shape surf culture into what it is today. I don’t pretend to know the future of the media business, or how that relates to surfing, but it’s my sincere hope that Surfer Magazine continues to publish the same high quality content for many years to come.

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.

Weekend Grab Bag: February Funk

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I understand some of you might have gone to the Malibu Board Riders surfboard swap on Saturday. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend, but in the meantime, here are some cool vintage surfboards that you can currently find on sale online. Keep reading for more.

O’Neill Dagger Surfboard (eBay Florida)

This is a very cool Transition Era board that is in pretty amazing condition. It looks like it comes with an all original WAVE Set fin as well. I really dig the clean blue pinlines on the deck, and it looks as if there’s a hull-like belly on the bottom, too. The board isn’t cheap — the seller is asking $1,450, with local pickup — but it’s unusual to see fifty year old surfboards in this kind of condition.

Clearlight Surfboards / Jim Overlin Single Fin (eBay Florida)

This is a unique surfboard with a lot of stuff going on. For starters, it’s a pretty tidy 6’8″. I’m guessing this was shaped sometime during the Transition Era, maybe 1969, considering the board’s short length. I always have a hard time IDing these old fins, but it looks to be all original. I’ve always been drawn to Jim and Tom Overlin’s shapes, partly because of their bi Coastal reputation, and this is a neat example. The seller is asking $500.

Eighties Nectar Surfboards Twin Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

I’ve got a soft spot for vintage twin fins, and this example of a Nectar Surfboards stick checks a lot of the boxes. I really dig the colors, whether it’s the blue gradient spray or the bright yellow logo, as well as the touches on the glass on fins. Sadly there are some dings on the upper rails, and the gradient might make color matching any repairs a bit of a pain (caveat: I am not an expert in ding repair), but for $250, I think this is a reasonable deal.

Eighties Corky Carroll Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Thursday evening is upon us. The weekend is so close it’s like acid in your mouth, and depending on where you live, the forecast might even call for some incoming swell. It also means that it’s time for another entry of Sagas of Shred. In this series I’ve tried to highlight vintage surf ads that I find interesting. Sometimes, such as with this pair of vintage Yater Surfboards ads, I try to preserve and share ads that shed light on surfing history and the rad people who made it happen. A lot of the time, though, I’ll just post stuff that makes me smile and/or laugh. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features a combination of the two approaches. On one hand, Corky Carroll arguably pioneered pro surfing as a viable career, and his place in surfing’s pantheon is secure. On the other, there’s no way to look at this ad and keep a completely straight face, which I’m sure is the desired effect.

If you’re putting together a checklist for a great Eighties surf ad, this Corky Carroll ad has most of them covered. We’ll get back to the visuals in a bit, but the copy is absolutely next level. “Do you wanna be having this much fun?” Absolutely, Corky. Just tell me where to sign up. And signing off with “Be ultra cool, OK. OK.” is simply a touch of genius.

I just want to know who the art director was for this shoot and shake their hand. I love the fact Corky looks like he’s about to hit up a white party in the Hamptons, flanked — of course — by two women in fashion that could have only come from the Eighties. Naturally, I’m also very intrigued by the surfboard in the corner. I dig the airbrush and it looks like it’s got some nice volume. Oh, and going back to the copy, Corky describes his wares as “shred-o-matic surfboards”, which you know warms my heart.

Overall this Corky Carroll ad is just a joy. It’s hilarious, it draws you in, and it leaves an impression, one way or another. And isn’t having fun what surfing is all about, anyway?

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred.