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.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Hydro Foam 5.jpeg
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.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Hydro Foam 6.JPG

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:

Happy Birthday Herbie Fletcher: Social Media Roundup

Greetings, Shredderz! As 2018 comes to a close I figured I put together one last Social Media Roundup for the year. Even better, it was Herbie Fletcher’s birthday yesterday, which conveniently provides a theme for this post. Check out the photo above of Herbie launching a Jet Ski with an awesome Pottz airbrush design. (Eagle eyed readers may remember that Herbie featured prominently in the last Roundup, but there can’t be too much of a good thing, right?) For anyone who’s read this blog in 2018, I can’t thank you enough. I hope you enjoyed reading Shred Sledz, and more importantly, I hope 2019 has even better vintage surfboard goods for you to enjoy. Now onto the fun stuff…

View this post on Instagram

Happy 70th Birthday @herbiefletcher Pic bolster

A post shared by Joel_tudor (@joeljitsu) on

Joel Tudor posted this photo of Herbie, which was taken by famed photog Warren Bolster. If you do a bit of digging in the comments, it turns out that this photo was the basis for the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards logo. Dig a comparison shot below.

Herbie Fletcher Logo.jpeg
Close up of the Herbie Fletcher Surfboards logo. You can clearly see the design is based off the Warren Bolster photo featured in Joel Tudor’s Instagram post above.

 

View this post on Instagram

Here’s a Greg Liddle inspired 7’10 x 21 x 3.25 displacement hull type surfboard that I hand-shaped  last week designed for North Shore surf. 5 years before I left California for Hawaii, I consistently surfed Malibu in the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall months as my favorite surf spot in California. One of my very favorite surfer’s to watch and surf with there at that time, was Greg Liddle, who was also a board builder and absolutely ripped first and second point on his Displacement Hull creations at Malibu along with his sander, Steve Crieski. When I see the “stubs” that are currently popular, and that many surfers are riding now, I can only think back 50 years ago to Greg and his long lasting influence on my surfing and shaping journey.  For those interested in Hull Displacement ideas, Greg can be reached at his website: gregliddledesigns.com

A post shared by Pat Rawson (@rawsonsurfboard) on

View this post on Instagram

Here’s two different singlefin flex keels from the 1973 era, that I still have from my South Bay influences from Jeff Ho @therealjeffho These fins were so dynamic, they made the boards we were riding and testing much faster and looser. They were thin and made from solid weave fiberglass. They also had curved bandsaw cuts in them to extenuate flex, and sometimes you could turn them so hard, that pieces would break off the fin during the turn!! Heres @therealjeffho and I together at Bob Milner’s (Robert’s Surfboards) memorial back in February 24,2018. In my opinion: in 1971-74, Jeff was way ahead of the curve over everyone else in advancing board design in our California South Bay area. What I remembered most then was Jeff innovating swallow tails, with flat decks and tucked edge rails, along with progressive flex keel fins.

A post shared by Pat Rawson (@rawsonsurfboard) on

Pat Rawson continues to be one of my favorite follows on Instagram. For the longest time I associated Pat with high performance boards made to tackle serious Hawaiian surf, like the sled that enabled Tom Carroll’s infamous under the lip snap at Pipeline. I was pleasantly surprised to read that Rawson spent time surfing Malibu and overlapped with Greg Liddle, during which time Rawson developed an affinity for Greg’s famous displacement hulls. But that’s not all — Rawson’s time in Los Angeles also overlapped with Jeff Ho, the mind behind Zephyr Surfboards.

This is a stunning Morey Pope / Bob McTavish tracker. I love the groovy rainbow slip check on the deck. Transition Era designs don’t get much more classic than this one.

Last but not least Bird’s Surf Shed has a beautiful Natural Progression twin fin with a Bertlemann-esque airbrush on the deck. Love the double logo on this thing.

 

Photo at the top of the page by Denjiro Sato, and originally found via Zak Noyle.

Happy Holiday from Peter Schroff: Sagas of Shred

If you look closely at the Schroff Surfboards ad above you’ll notice that Peter Schroff, the artist and provocateur behind the label, is holding a Christmas ornament that says “Happy Holiday.” Honestly, this strikes me as a little strange — creepy, almost — for a holiday themed ad, but if Schroff’s Instagram feed is any indication, that’s probably what he was going for. This ad originally ran in an issue of Surfing Magazine from either the Eighties or early Nineties.

I can’t say what Schroff had in mind, but I can speak on behalf of Shred Sledz, and I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends and of course, vintage sticks and tasty waves.

Stussy S/Double Swingin’ Single

While Shred Sledz predominantly focuses on vintage surfboards, there are many modern surfboards that are also deserving of attention. I have written up Shawn Stussy‘s vintage boards many times before, but have paid comparatively little attention to his new label, S/Double. Part of this is because of the aforementioned focus on vintage boards, combined with my love for Stussy’s earlier work, like his stint at Russell Surfboards, and the boards made in the Eighties under his own name. There are few surfboards I would like to add to my quiver more than a Stussy S/Double. Like Skip Frye’s surfboards, it’s not possible to simply call up Señor Stussy and have him whip something up in a few months’ time. As a result, I keep an eye peeled for the rare occasions when S/Double surfboards pop up for sale on the secondary market.

The board pictured above is an S/Double single fin that was posted for sale on Craigslist in Orange County earlier this month. The board is not mine and all pics in this post are via the original listing, which has since been taken down. The board measures 6’5″ x 21″ and it was glassed by the talented folks at the Waterman’s Guild.

Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 5Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 4

I love the clean lines of this board and the restrained color palette. The incredible appearance shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given Stussy’s well-documented career as a designer and the equally regarded work of the Waterman’s Guild.

Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 1Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 2

The board is a Stussy shape, so you know the logos and the details are all going to be on point. I’m not sure if “Swingin’ Single” is an official model or just a catchy name, but either way, I’m into it. The signature has all the flair you’d expect, and I love the handwritten description of the board and its dimensions.

In the original listing, the seller claims he purchased the board from Shawn Stussy himself. Apparently the board was never ridden, either. It’s clear from the photos that the board is in absolutely pristine condition. The original asking price was $1,500. I don’t have much basis for comparison, given how few S/Double boards publicly change hands. On one hand, $1,500 is a lot for a surfboard, even if it is brand spanking new and has a beautiful glass job like the Stussy S/Double board featured above. But as we all know, the combination of scarcity and cool has a way of driving up prices past the limits of logic.

And if you’re not one for talking about prices, at the end of the day, the board above is a beautiful surfboard shaped by one of the most culturally influential figures to ever pick up a planer, and that’s always worth checking out.

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test by Stab Magazine

Merry Christmas, Shredderz! This holiday season I’m afraid I didn’t get any of you anything…but lucky for you the good folks at Stab Magazine decided to release “The Electric Acid Surfboard Test” in its entirety. “Electric Acid” is a continuation — or variant, I guess — of Stab’s awesome Stab in the Dark series, which pairs a number of anonymous surfboards with a top flight shaper. This time around, Dane Reynolds took a number of alternative surfboards through their paces at some right hand points down south. The folks at Stab lined up a real murderer’s row of shapes, ranging from a Liddle Designs displacement hull to a Matt Biolos fish, with just about everything in between. As a spectacularly untalented surfer myself, it’s always awesome to watch a phenomenal surfer like Dane immediately pick up on all the nuances of these different boards…and then flat out rip even when he’s clearly not feeling the equipment.

You can see a link to the full video below but how about you also throw Stab magazine some page views and hit up their site.

As always, thanks for reading! Wishing all you Shredderz some goodwill and holiday cheer.

Weekend Grab Bag: Bill Stewart Airbrush & More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s another installment of our Weekend Grab Bag series, which features cool boards I have seen listed for sale online recently. Keep reading for the rundown, including a rad OP surfboard with a sweet Bill Stewart airbrush, and more…

Surf Line Hawaii Fish (Craigslist Hawaii)

Surf Line Hawaii Fish.jpg

The board above is an unusual twin fin fish with a classic Seventies Surf Line Hawaii laminate on it. I wrote a Deep Dive on Surf Line Hawaii a while back, and it remains one of my favorite blog posts, even if it doesn’t seem to be all that popular. I’m not sure who shaped the board, and I suspect it might have been originally made as a twin fin, but just about every other Surf Line Hawaii surfboard I have seen is a Seventies single fin.

Dewey Weber Ski Model (Craigslist Hawaii)

Click the photos above to enlarge. This is a gorgeous Transition Era surfboard that comes complete with a WAVE Set fin. The board has been restored by Randy Rarick. I have a weakness for hulls of all shapes and sizes, and this one definitely fits the bill.

OP Thruster with Bill Stewart Airbrush (Craigslist Norfolk)

OP Bill Stewart Airbrush 1.jpg

Bill Stewart’s airbrushes were the subject of the most recent installment of the excellent Surfboards and Coffee series. This OP Surfboard has a pretty bitchin’ Bill Stewart airbrush, which you can also see in the image at the very top of the page. The board is priced at $475. It also happens to come with what looks like an original Rainbow Fin, so if you’re local, this could be worth it with the Bill Stewart airbrush and the collectible fin.

View this post on Instagram

Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

A post shared by Surfboardsandcoffee (@surfboardsandcoffee) on

Hobie Corky Carroll Stringerless Model (Craigslist Monterey)

Anecdotally, I see a lot of Hobie Corky Carroll models floating around for sale on Craigslist, eBay, etc. I’m guessing they were produced in pretty high numbers during the Sixties. The Hobie Corky Carroll model featured above is a stringerless variant, which I don’t believe I have ever seen before. Looks like the glass leash loop was probably added after the fact, but it’s still a very cool board complete with the original bolt through fin.

Superior Mothers: Sagas of Shred

Is this More Core Division lineup from 1991 the greatest surf team ever assembled? Dino Andino, Brock Little, Sunny Garcia, Martin Potter, Matt Archbold, Cheyne Horna, Gerry Lopez, Michael Ho and Derek Ho. That is just stacked!

There’s a lot of hair and a lot of swagger in this ad, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

Tune in next Thursday night for another vintage surf ad!

Price Checks: Skip Frye Glider Edition

First and foremost, because surfboard pricing can often be a sensitive subject, and because Shred Sledz is a blog that celebrates surfboards and the craftsmen who make them, please do not interpret this post as a criticism of any sort. That said, I wrote this post because it seems like the prices for Skip Frye’s boards have recently reached new highs. Few, if any, shapers generate as much interest about pricing as San Diego’s very own Skip Frye. Most of this is due to the fact that Skip’s boards aren’t available to mere mortals like myself. The most realistic option for buying one of Skip’s boards is on the secondary market, putting regular joes like you and me at the mercy of those lucky enough to have a Skip board to list.

Skip Frye’s surfboards command a premium thanks to the sheer difficulty of getting a board made, and of course his stature as one of California’s premier shapers. That said, I was still taken aback when I saw the prices for a trio of Skip’s boards that ended up at Mollusk Surf Shop in Venice.

Starting from left to right — the red board with the thruster setup is a 10’6″ Skip Frye Magic model. The board is no longer for sale, and the last price listed on Mollusk’s site was $4,375. The green board in the middle — which I am guessing was never even surfed, as mentioned in the caption on the Mollusk Instagram post — is an 11’2″ Skip Frye Eagle glider, and the price was $5,625. The Eagle is no longer listed for sale, either. Finally, the board on the right is a 8’6″ Skip Frye K Model. The K Model is still for sale and the price is $2,500. All the photos above are via Mollusk’s website.

From what I can tell, these prices are the highest I have ever seen for any of Skip Frye’s boards on the secondary market. It should be noted there’s a chance that the boards sold for cheaper than what they were listed, and only the folks at Mollusk will know for sure. (Side note: I believe that Mollusk lists a lot of boards for consignment, so I imagine these prices were set by an independent third party. Either way, if it is at all unclear, Mollusk is a super rad surf shop and you should definitely support them, even if it’s not to the tune of a $5K surfboard.)

I recently wrote up some Skip Frye boards that were listed for sale, and many of them are still up for grabs. For starters, there’s still a 7’6″ Fish Simmons in pretty good condition for $2,000, which you can find on Craigslist in San Diego. The last time I wrote up the Fish Simmons the board was listed for $2,200. Look, $2K is still a TON for a used board, but relative to the ones at Mollusk, I think that represents a bit more bang for your buck. I also think that you should expect higher prices for boards being sold at retail, as a place like Mollusk obviously has to pay for rent, etc., which your usual Craigslist poster does not.

Skip Frye Eagle Glider 2

Skip Frye Eagle Glider Fins.jpg

And even if you want to go the ultra premium route, there’s a beautiful 11′ Skip Frye Eagle glider for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, priced at a comparatively cheap $3,500. The Eagle pictured above has been listed for sale for some time now as well.

Hopefully this has been a somewhat informative post. It’s hard — frustrating, even — to try and apply some consistency around surfboard prices, as it’s definitely more art than science. Either way, though, I think we can all agree that Skip Frye surfboards are things of beauty, and they’re not cheap for a reason!

Photo at the top of the post via Waves Forever.

Relatable Form by Ryan Lovelace

I loved “Relatable Form”, a new short surf film from Santa Barbara shaper Ryan Lovelace. You can watch it in its entirety above. The movie features Lovelace and crew as they unleash a quiver of varied shapes on the perfect setups of the Mentawais. The surfing is great and the boards are groovy, but what I enjoyed most was the movie’s insistence on shedding some light on the local Mentawai people. It’s an angle that is far too often overlooked — or omitted altogether — in the usual media coverage of one of the most famous archipelagos in surfing. I particularly dug the parallels drawn between hand shaping surfboards and the Mentawai tradition of building canoes. “Relatable Form” has a wonderfully relaxed vibe, but it also manages to pack plenty of substance into his brief running time. If you like travel, high performance surfing, or gorgeous hand crafted surfboards, then I can’t recommend “Relatable Form” enough.

Blood, Sweat and Foam: Blue Hawaii Pottz Twinzer by Wil Jobson

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry — in which I scan an old surf magazine ad and write a bit about it — builds upon yesterday’s Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model post. As you can see in the photo above, it’s an advertisement for Pottz’s line of signature models shaped under the Blue Hawaii brand, but with a couple of very interesting twists. First, I wrote a separate Sagas of Shred post a few months back that featured the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model, which you can find here.

The ad above — which originally ran in May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27, No 5) — features a quad fin variant of the Pottz board. Gone is the flame spray along the rails, replaced by a twinzer fin setup, what I guess you would call a bat tail, and then some interesting concave out of the back. Glenn Minami shaped many boards for Martin Potter, starting at Town & Country during its early days, and then going on to found Blue Hawaii. The ad above, however, clearly features Wil Jobson, the shaper credited with inventing the twinzer fin setup.

Pottz Blue Hawaii Twinzer via Swellnet.jpg
Close up of a Blue Hawaii Pottz twinzer. This board was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy. Pic via Swellnet.

Swellnet wrote up a post on Wil Jobson and the twinzer, and they also included this awesome close up of the business end of one of the Blue Hawaii / Pottz twinzer boards. The Swellnet board, however, was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy, and not Jobson. When you compare the Swellnet board above with the one featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, you’ll notice some key differences. First, the Blue Hawaii board has a different shape in the tail, and what looks like only two channels, versus the four in the Swellnet board above. However, both boards have the smaller twinzer stabilizing fins, which, according to Swellnet, are called canards.

Shawn Stussy Personal Twinzer
Business end of a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider. This board looks very similar to the board featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, down to the channels and the bat tail. And you know I love the logos on the glass-on fins!

And because here at Shred Sledz we celebrate Shawn Stussy’s entire catalog, of course we had to mention the board featured above. That board you see in the photo is a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider that was apparently inspired by Jobson himself. The Stussy twinzer was sold at last year’s California Gold Surfboard Auction. Now, I know that Stussy shaped boards for Michael Tomson, who was CEO of Gotcha. Gotcha, in turn, was Pottz’s longtime clothing sponsor. Is it possible that somewhere in this mix Stussy got the idea to shape the twinzer pictured above? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly would be cool if that turned out to be the case.

Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in next Thursday evening, California time, for more vintage surf ads.