Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick hit for you, but I’d like to think it’s a good one. The board pictured here — again, a big shout out to those Craigslist sellers out there who go above and beyond with their pics — is a Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel model. I’ve written about Tom Morey many times, and I’m not planning on stopping any time soon. Morey is one of the rare individuals who covers both quality and quantity with his inventions, which include removable fins, traction and the Boogie board, to name a few. For you more traditional types, Morey has a math degree from USC and worked as an engineer for Douglas Aircraft before letting his brain loose in the direction of surfcraft. Now that is a resume.
There’s so much of Morey’s career that deserves our attention, but I personally have a soft spot for the shapes he created under the Morey-Pope Surfboards label, alongside Karl Pope. Morey-Pope had a number of out there designs, befitting the famously eccentric Morey (who later went by “Y”, Prince style). The short-lived label released a number of variants on the Morey Pope Camel model. While I believe the standard Camel and the Sopwith Campel were most common, I’ve written up a Mini-Pepper and a 3/4 Camel (no, I’m not making up those names.)
There’s currently a very cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel that is listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find the listing here. The seller is hoping for a trade, and you gotta love the pre-emptive notice that he’s not looking to swap for any waterlogged D-fins. My man is fighting the good fight on Craigslist, that’s for sure!
You can click the photos above to enlarge. According to the seller, the board measures in at 7’3″ x 22″, and it was likely shaped in either 1968 or 1969 during the height of the Transition Era.
I’m unclear on whether or not the Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel is considered a proper displacement hull. The board’s dimensions and the pics above — notably, the S-Deck and the convex bottom — suggest that it is, but that’s a guess. I hopped over to the Encyclopedia of Surfing to read their entry on the displacement hull but wasn’t able to find anything conclusive.
You can check out the Craigslist post here. As a bonus, check out the sweet Morey-Pope stringerless board that Buggs posted below.
Greetings, Shredderz! If you’ve been reading the blog or following on Instagram you may know that I have a thing for unusual surfboard labels and rare laminates. Today we’ve got an example of a very cool Sam Hawk single fin with a logo I have never seen before. Shout out to Pete, who owns the board you see here. Pete was kind enough to send over the pics found below.
You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the Sam Hawk surfboard is a lovely single fin with a swallow tail and some wings towards the back. It measures in at 6’5″.
Sam Hawk was famously one of Dick Brewer‘s proteges in the Seventies, along with Owl Chapman. It’s not uncommon to see Sam Hawk surfboards that were shaped under Dick Brewer’s label, complete with the iconic plumeria wreath logo. See an example of a clean Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboard below.
I have also seen a fair number of Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboards with slightly different laminates. See an example below, which was a photo I snapped at a Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club event.
I believe the Sam Hawk single fin featured in this post is a vintage board, but I’m not 100% sure. The owner tells me that the board has been restored. I have not seen photos of the Sam Hawk surfboard in its original condition. The stringer seems to indicate the board was shaped in 1975, but I can’t get over how new it looks. This could be attributed to the aforementioned restoration. I’m also unfamiliar with the “RL” laminate that appears on the deck towards the tail, and I wonder if this was added during the restoration. It’s hard for me to say anything conclusive about when the board was shaped. That said, it’s a beautiful surfboard shaped by a well-regarded shaper, and any time I come across a logo I haven’t seen before, that’s enough reason to get excited.
Thanks again to Pete for sharing photos of this beautiful Sam Hawk stick and I hope you all enjoyed this post!
Photo at the top of the page was taken by Lance Trout and it originally appeared on Trout’s website
Greetings, Shredderz! I still don’t have access to my collection of magazine back issues, so I’ll be serving up random vintage surf ads I dig up online. This, of course, is the latest entry in the Sagas of Shred series, which features a different vintage surf ad every Thursday night. Today we’ve got an ad from none other than Rick Surfboards. Rick is one of my favorite labels ever, and in my mind, it’s a bit of an overlooked gem.
I’m not sure where I originally saw today’s ad, or when it’s from. If I had to guess I would say late Sixties or very early Seventies. Joe Roland was a top East Coast pro surfer from Jacksonville, Florida. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Roland won the Eastern Surf Association’s AAAA division in 1968 at the age of seventeen. Shortly afterwards, he released a signature model in conjunction with Hansen Surfboards. I was able to find twoexamples online.
Interestingly enough, I was able to find a different Rick Surfboards ad featuring Roland, which specifically called out his 4A / AAAA championship. I have re-posted the ad below. Curiously, the EoS entry doesn’t make any mention of Roland’s time with the Rick Surfboards label.
As always, mahalo for reading, and we’ll be back in a week with more vintage surf advertising goodness.
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Clipz, where we’ll be serving up a heaping helping of tasty surfboard related videos. Kick back, relax and press play.
By now you are probably familiar with Ryan Lovelace, the young Santa Barbara-based shaper with a ridiculous waitlist and a passionate following for his entirely hand shaped, often colorful creations. Lovelace, along with photographer Morgan Maassen and surfer / artist Trevor Gordon, just released a sweet little clip titled “Dusts of Gold”, which you can watch above. I wrote up an earlier Gordon video effort in a previous entry. Maassen just might be my favorite surf photographer from this current generation from photogs; he’s responsible for the gorgeous photo you see at the top of the page, which I found via his Instagram account.
“Dusts of Gold” features a truly out-there Lovelace shape that will win you any game of surf hipster bingo: it’s a side cut edge board flex tail twin fin. Jokes aside, the board looks blazing fast under Gordon’s feet, and Maassen makes Rincon look downright romantic, crowds and all. It’s really cool to see a clip showing the full lifecycle of a board from its inception to its eventual journeys on some of California’s most iconic waves.
I loved this clip of Rob Machado messing around on a single fin in some strictly mediocre waves. I hate to say that it feels relatable, because, well, it’s Machado, man, but there’s something very nice — relaxing, even — about seeing ultra talented surfers ride waves that aren’t above my pay grade. Post-tour, Machado has taken a strong interest in alternative shapes, and I’m always excited to see what he’s surfing.
Likewise, there’s something special about this clip of Machado surfing his Go Fish model in a dreamy French lineup. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a Firewire. But I’d like to think that I can support both the traditional craftsmanship of hand made surfboards from local shapers, as well as companies that innovate and try new things. Hot button topics aside, I love the soft European afternoon lighting, the welcoming green of the ocean, and Machado’s unhurried style on some small but super fun waves.
Greetings, Shredderz! Pictured here is a beautiful Reynolds Yater single fin that features some eye-catching abalone and mother-of-pearl accents. The board is currently listed for sale on Craigslist, and you can see the listing here.
According to the seller, the Yater surfboard is a single fin and it measures in at 6’10”. You can also see the gorgeous resin pin line work on the deck that complements the insane inlays.
Regardless of whether or not it’s your particular cup of tea, there’s no denying the long hours and skilled craftsmanship that went into producing this stick.
The seller claims the surfboard is a collaboration between Kevin Ancell and Reynolds Yater. However, I have my doubts.
First of all, I’d like to be clear: to me, this is about researching the history behind a beautiful surfboard, nothing more, nothing less. It’s also worth mentioning that while I don’t think the Craigslist board was created alongside Kevin Ancell, I could very well be wrong. And even in the case that my guess turns out to be correct, the last thing I want is for this post to be interpreted as a critique of the seller.
First, Yater appears to have made many surfboards with abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays. (Confession: I’m not 100% sure which one is which in the Craigslist board; I’m pretty sure the inner deck patch is mother-of-pearl, and the area closer to the rails is abalone.) For example, see below for a photo I snapped a few years ago when I visited Bob Haakenson’s glassing room. Haak does the glassing for Renny Yater, and he has made more than a few Yater boards featuring some abalone details.
Separately, Renny Yater and artist Kevin Ancell collaborated on a few different projects. Many, if not all, of the collaborations between the two involved surfboards that had elaborate abalone, mother-of-pearl, and scallop shell inlays. The pair debuted a collection called “Water Columns” at the now-defunct Klapper Gallery in Los Angeles. Someone was kind enough to reprint the press announcement from Yater and Ancell’s show on a Swaylocks thread.
One Yater / Ancell collaboration consisted of a few different boards with various surf spot names written on them. You can see the “Rincon” example below (only fitting, given Renny’s Santa Barbara roots). The board below was featured on the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center website a few years back as part of a larger Yater exhibit.
More recently, see here for a Yater / Ancell pintail gun that was sold at the 2018 California Gold Surf Auction. According to the auction listing, only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever made, and Yater owns two of them. I tend to put a lot of faith in the California Gold descriptions, given the high quality of the boards that are sourced for the show.
One thing I have noticed about the Yater and Ancell boards is that they seem to be signed by both the shaper and the artist. See below for a closeup of the logo from a Yater / Ancell board, which was originally posted to Surf-n-Wear Beach House’s Yelp page. Surf-n-Wear, of course, is the legendary Santa Barbara shop that probably sells more Yaters than anybody else.
I also found another example of a Yater / Ancell board, this time via Surf-n-Wear’s Instagram account. I have embedded the post below. You can see that the board below also has the dual signatures.
This brings me back to the original Craigslist Yater. The seller has provided a close up photo of the logo, and there doesn’t appear to be an Ancell signature anywhere.
For all I know, it’s possible that Renny and Ancell collaborated on boards that weren’t signed by both men. But considering that every other example I’ve seen has dual signatures, I think it’s likely that if the Craigslist board were a collaboration board, it would have Ancell’s name somewhere on it. I also keep returning to the fact the California Gold listing claims only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever created, and two still belong to Yater. Based off these points, I can’t help but think that the board that’s listed for sale on Craigslist was likely created without Ancell’s involvement.
You can check out the Yater abalone board on Craigslist here. As always, if you have any ideas about the origins of the board, please do drop me a line, as I always love learning more about surfboards and the people who make them.
Greetings, Shredderz! Your Shreditor in Chief is still on the road — not on a surf trip, alas — which means that I’ll be relying on my advanced Google skills to bring you more vintage surf ads. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features an awesome Seventies Body Glove ad, which you can see pictured above. I found the ad on the Urban Outfitters website, of all places. It seems that UO has done a few surf-themed re-issues lately, including a separate mini-revival of the beloved Gotcha brand.
The notable thing about the Body Glove ad is that it prominently features a few Zephyr Surfboards team riders. Zephyr is the legendary Venice Beach, Los Angeles brand from which modern skateboarding emerged, along with figures like Stacy Peralta, Jay Adams, CR Stecyk, Tony Alva, and more.
The ad features a young Jay Adams (RIP); Nathan Pratt, who would later go on to found the LA-based Horizons West surfboard label; and a fully swagged out Allen Sarlo. (I featured a different Allen Sarlo / Body Glove ad a few weeks back, too.) I can’t tell what kind of board Pratt is holding, but you’ll notice it’s a sting with an unusual dual wing. Adams is toting a swallow tail Zephyr Team single fin, complete with signature Jeff Ho fin; and Sarlo has an absolutely classic Zephyr with what could very well be a CR Stecyk airbrush.
If you’re ever bored just look up a list of all the incredible shapers based out of the South Bay, starting with folks like Bing Copeland and Greg Noll, to Seventies fixtures like Jeff Ho, to current craftsmen like Tyler Hatzikian. California has no shortage of places with a rich history in surfing, but even by that standard, Los Angeles stands out. To me, the story of Zephyr and its incredible influence on skateboarding, surfing, and what we now take for granted as “California culture” is still underrated.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with another vintage surf ad for Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might know that I’m a huge fan of two things: Transition Era surfboards from the late Sixties, and Rick Surfboards, the defunct but influential South Bay surfboards label. Well, today’s post checks both boxes, as it represents an unusual board: the Rick Surfboards Plastic Fantastic V Bottom. The board is actually being offered for sale by its owner — reach out to @tcroose on Instagram if you’re interested.
The Rick Surfboards Fantastic Plastic V Bottom has been restored. It’s nice to see a fifty year old board that can still be ridden regularly.
The tail of the board is a trip, as is the case with so many Transition Era vee bottom boards. It looks more chopped off than the angular tail found on the Surfboards Hawaii V, but there’s still plenty of thickness throughout. Compare the Rick above with Gene Cooper’s updated vee bottom shapes, which are much sleeker in comparison.
As I mentioned earlier, the Rick Surfboards Fantastic Plastic V Bottom is up for sale, and you can drop the seller a note here. The board is located in Ventura, California, and you can contact the seller for any and all details around price, shipping, etc. Many thanks to the board’s owner and anyone else who has generously shared photos with this humble little blog, and I hope you enjoyed this look at an unusual board from the Transition Era.
The Aipa / SNI sting above measures in at 7’4″. Steve found this board at a garage sale, where it had been stashed away in the rafters. Even though it’s more than four decades old, the board remains in remarkably good condition. The airbrush on the deck is insane!
Now, this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz production without overthinking some of the small details on the board. I couldn’t help but notice that the Surfing’s New Image logo has a slightly different font than other boards I have seen. The first image below is the logo from Steve’s board. Compare this to the second image, which is taken from a different Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up earlier. I don’t know enough about typefaces to describe the differences, but hopefully it’s pretty clear from comparing the two laminates.
Finally, Steve’s Aipa / SNI sting appears to be shaped by Mike Slingerland. This is denoted by the “S” that appears after the serial number along the stringer. See below for a close up.
I don’t know enough about Slingerland’s serial numbers to make any guesses as to when the board might have been shaped. The Aipa / SNI stings were produced in San Diego during the Seventies. I’ve read that the boards were shaped in the mid-Seventies, but I haven’t been able to verify that with anyone with first hand knowledge. For what it’s worth, the Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up last week has serial number 3828.
Mahalo Steve for sharing photos of this board, and I hope all of you got as much of a kick out of seeing this gem as I did!
Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I might be on vacation (no surfing for me over the next few weeks, I’m afraid), but Sagas of Shred continues, paid time off or not. I’m away from my trusty stash of vintage Surfer magazines, so I’ll mostly be plucking some choice scans from the internet. Pictured here is a vintage Astrodeck ad featuring none other than Martin Potter AKA Pottz. Sagas of Shred has featured Potter afewtimes, mostly thanks to his work with Gotcha. The ad you see above also appears to feature the Pottz Pro Model, which was produced by Blue Hawaii, who sponsored Potter after his stint with Town & Country. And why is Pottz holding up a hand like he’s a crossing guard? Your guess is as good as mine. Confusion aside, though, this is an awesome ad featuring some of my favorite fixtures from the late Eighties / early Nineties surf scene, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Mahalo for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with more vintage surf ad scans!
Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I’m practically contractually obligated to write a blog post any time I see a rad little Aipa / Surfing’s New Image sting that’s listed for sale. There just so happens to be one such example listed on Craigslist. I’ve reproduced some of the photos from the listing below.
First, you’ll probably notice the beautiful gradient airbrush that decorates so many of these Aipa / SNI boards. I’m not sure who worked in the SNI factory during this time, but I’ve noticed that these boards almost always have killer airbrushes on them (check out this beaut, for example).
According to the seller, the Aipa / SNI sting measures in at 6’6″. Apparently this was not one of the stock lengths that the brand offered when the boards were made, and this had to be custom shaped. The seller claims the board is in all original condition, and while it’s not museum quality or anything, it’s obviously still in great shape.
Shout out to the seller, by the way, for taking great pics of a beautiful board. I also really dig the foliage in the background. It sounds petty, but one of my Craigslist pet peeves are people who insist on taking photos of beautiful boards set against some hoarder-like backdrops. Anyway, I digress!
One final little tidbit about this stick: I believe that it was actually shaped by Mike Slingerland, as evidenced by the “S” that appears on the stringer after the serial number. The vast majority of the Aipa / Surfing’s New Image stings I have seen were shaped by Rick Hamon, who went on to become a longtime in-house shaper at Rusty Surfboards. You see less of the Slingerland boards, and then every once in a while you’ll stumble across the Donald Takayama-shaped stings. I have only ever seen pictures of a handful of the Aipa / SNI stings shaped by Takayama.
The seller hasn’t mentioned a price — looks like he’s fielding offers for this stick. The board is located in South Florida. Check out the listing here and if you end up snagging this thing, please do give me an update.