Herbie Fletcher Double Dip

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is just a quick hit from the archives featuring two unusual Herbie Fletcher surfboards. The photos of both boards were sent to me by a pair of generous Shredderz. Shout out to Russell and JD for passing these along — and I’d like to also issue a friendly reminder that my Instagram DMs are always open for some vintage surfboard heat! Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff:

First we have a classic Herbie Fletcher longboard, which Russell was kind enough to send along. Check out Russell on Instagram here. Apparently this board is mega thick — Russell tells me it’s close to 3″. I’m guessing it’s likely a noseriding machine, but I have yet to see this thing in person.

As you can see, the board is in pretty phenomenal condition. I can’t see any pressure dings on the surface anywhere, and it has been polished to a nice sheen. The Herbie Fletcher longboard has all the details you would want out of an older surfboard. I dig the slight bit of gradient in the tail of the Herbie Fletcher arrow logo, and the Clark Foam laminate is always a welcome sight. I’m not sure when this thing might have been shaped. If you held a gun to my head I would say the Seventies or Eighties, but that’s a wide range.

The second board is a unique Herbie Fletcher sting, which was likely shaped sometime in the Seventies. Gracias JD for sending over these pics! You can check him out on Instagram here. I mainly wanted to share this one because it’s so unusual. I have seen a good number of Herbie Fletcher single fins, but none with a sting outline, in an obvious nod to Ben Aipa’s groundbreaking design. I love the colors on this board too — there’s just something very mellow about the yellow logo and the sea green. Unfortunately some repairs were made on the bottom, as you can clearly see in the white areas, but the rest of the board looks remarkably well preserved.

Finally, if you’re in the market for a Herbie Fletcher single fin to call your own, the board featured above is still up for grabs on eBay. You can find a link to the orange Herbie board here. The price has dropped from $1100 to $850, although I’ll be curious to see if that does the trick.

Thanks again Russell and JD for the photos of these beautiful Herbie Fletcher shapes!

Surfboards Hawaii Glass Slipper & Hydro

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a contrast of two very different Surfboards Hawaii sticks. I love Surfboards Hawaii, and it’s maddeningly difficult to try and find information about the brand. Sadly, once SHACC took down Stoked-n-Board, researching Surfboards Hawaii got even harder. All I’ll say, though, is that Surfboards Hawaii was once home to both Dick Brewer and Ben Aipa, and that should settle any outstanding questions about the brand’s pedigree.

There are currently two very cool Surfboards Hawaii examples on sale on eBay. I wouldn’t say either is a particularly “classic” example from the label. I want to say the most coveted Surfboards Hawaii boards are the big elephant guns and noseriders from the Sixties, but don’t quote me on that. The Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom model — I have seen it referred to as the Hawaii V model — is also popular.

The first board in question is a Transition Era shape that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. It’s actually a Surfboards Hawaii Glass Slipper model, and you can find a link to the board here. The Glass Slipper surfboard is another well-known board with a history that’s tough to track down. Donald Takayama’s website credits DT with inventing the Glass Slipper during his days surfing Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu. I have also seen a Glass Slipper created under Takayama’s MTB label. The Glass Slipper surfboard pictured below was almost certainly shaped in the late Sixties, given the pronounced S Deck and the dimensions. It measures in at 7′ x 20 1/4″ x 3 1/8″. The seller claims it was shaped in 1969.

The photos above are courtesy of the eBay listing. There are some interesting things going on here. First is the unusual Surfboards Hawaii logo that reads “Just Honolulu, Hawaii.” For some period of time Surfboards Hawaii boards featured both Hawaii and Encinitas on their laminates. According to the seller of the Glass Slipper, during the late Sixties Surfboards Hawaii was sold back to someone in Hawaii, who then had new laminates printed up reading “Just Honolulu Hawaii.” Either way, I love it!

Surfboards Hawaii Logo .jpg
Here’s an example of a Surfboards Hawaii logo that has both Hawaii and Encinitas in the rectangle. Note that this one says “Haleiwa Hawaii” whereas I have also seen examples that say “Honolulu Hawaii”

The seller of the Glass Slipper is someone who has sold many vintage boards on eBay, and he clearly has a great collection and a ton of knowledge. He believes the Glass Slipper was shaped by Ben Aipa. However, I’m not as sure. All the Aipa / Surfboards Hawaii boards I have seen were all signed by Aipa and/or had different logos. Of course, it’s very possible that Aipa shaped boards for Surfboards Hawaii that didn’t have any markings. Therefore I’m not ruling out that the Glass Slipper was shaped by Aipa. But given Takayama’s involvement with the Glass Slipper model later on in his career, I’m wondering if this board wasn’t shaped by Donald.

Surfboards Hawaii Ben Aipa 1970s 8'2" 2.jpg
Yet another example of a different Surfboards Hawaii laminate. You’ll see this one still has the “Just Honolulu, Hawaii” text, but then it clearly credits Ben Aipa with having shaped the board.

The other Surfboards Hawaii example listed for sale on eBay was shaped much later by Mike Slingerland. You can find a link to the board here. At some point, and I don’t know when, Surfboards Hawaii seemed to move most of its production to Southern California, enlisting shapers like Slingerland and Rick Hamon. Hat tip to Matt Johnson for giving me the heads up on the board!

The Slingerland single fin measures in at a tidy 5’11”. Judging from the seller’s comments, the board was purchased brand new in Laguna Beach and has been kept since then. It’s in stellar condition, with a few minor snackles that could easily be cleaned up. Oh, and as a diehard airbrush aficionado, you know I’m stoked about the spray job on this bad boy! I love the alternating patterns between the deck and the bottom.

What’s interesting to me about the Slingerland board is that it doesn’t have any Hydro branding. Many of Slingerland’s shapes for Surfboards Hawaii featured similar channel bottoms, and these boards often had Hydro laminates that touted this design. See below for another example of a Slingerland / Surfboards Hawaii board, with the exact same channel setup.

Surfboards Hawaii Hydro Mike Slingerland.jpg
Another Surfboards Hawaii / Mike Slingerland Hydro board. Check out the channel bottom and yes, the exceptional airbrush as well!

Surfboards Hawaii is such a great brand with incredible history, and I love that there are two boards currently listed for sale that illustrate the variety of shapes made under the label. You can check out the Glass Slipper Model here and the Mike Slingerland single fin here.

 

 

Yes, Yet Another Bing Bonzer

If you’re getting sick of me writing about Bing Bonzers…well, you might want to reconsider your Shred Sledz patronage. And trust me, this is not a blog that can afford to lose any more readers! But I digress — pictured here is a certifiably bitchin’ Bing Bonzer that’s currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. All pics in this post are via the Craigslist listing, which you can find here.

I don’t like to think of myself as a grouchy old guy grumbling about how they don’t make ’em like they used to…but it’s hard not to look at the fifty-year-old board pictured above and come to that exact conclusion. In particular, I can’t stop looking at the resin pinlines. They are so clean and subtle but also make the board pop. The color combo is incredible, too. Overall, the surfboard is striking without seeming at all excessive.

Bing Bonzer Tail and Fin.jpg
This is a beautiful surfboard. The End.

How sexy is that matching fin, too?! You can also see the signature deep double concave in the photo above, as well as the Bonzer branded side bites. I love the contrast between the sharp lines of the side bites and then the pronounced curves of the concave in the tail. I think the Bing Bonzer is one of the most beautiful shortboards that has ever been created.

Now, as for the price: the seller is asking $800. I have seen better deals on boards like this, but I have also seen much worse. And while it seems like Bing Bonzers aren’t ultra rare, they don’t often pop up for sale, and the condition can always be a crap shoot. This example has some noticeable heel dents on the deck, and some nicks scattered throughout, but the most important aspects of the board have been well preserved over the years. Of course, I haven’t seen the board in person myself, so standard caveats apply. Provided there aren’t any issues with the board that aren’t shown in the pictures, I think this is a pretty fair price for a genuine Bing Bonzer.

There’s no telling who shaped it — possibly Mike Eaton, I guess — nor are any dimensions listed. You can check out the Bing Bonzer on Craigslist here.

Tom Curren, Ocean Pacific, and Channel Islands Surfboards: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s vintage surf ad — part of the Sagas of Shred series — features the Eighties surf scene’s version of peanut butter and jelly: Tom Curren and Channel Islands Surfboards. Never mind that the ad is technically an OP ad. I still look back fondly on Ocean Pacific’s run as one of the surfwear heavyweights, but I think we can all agree that the real magic is the union between Tom Curren and CI mastermind Al Merrick.

Now, the real question is this: is the board Curren is holding none other than the legendary Red Beauty? Red Beauty was the name of the Al Merrick-shaped thruster Curren surfed to victory in the 1984 OP Pro. The Red Beauty model is still available via Channel Islands’ website today.

To be honest, I’m not sure. I doubt the board in the ad is the Red Beauty. First of all, the ran ad in the February 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 2), which means the photo was likely taken sometime in late 1985. This would date the ad to a good year plus after the 1984 OP Pro.

I also found the below picture online. You can clearly see the board Curren surfing below is very different from the one he was in the ad (the below picture doesn’t have the Tom Curren logo, for example), yet it has the same red rails. Either way, I think the red rails were a very common design for many of Curren’s boards over the years.

Tom Curren Channel Islands.jpg
Curren about to launch into another beautiful bottom turn.

The other thing I love about the ad is the fact Curren is referred to as Tommy Curren. It seems like the Tommy name was favored by a number of Santa Barbara locals who grew up with Curren, and you’ll still see it pop up from time to time.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post, and we’ll have another vintage surf ad for you next Thursday night as the Sagas of Shred train continues to chug along!

 

Social Media Roundup: End of Summer Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! You know the drill: here are some of the coolest boards I’ve seen on Instagram lately. Keep scrolling for more…

Renny Yater. Jock Sutherland. Pipeline. And yes, a red high density foam stringer to top it all off. This thing is clean and mean!

Technically I believe only one of these boards is vintage (that would be the Brewer on the bottom). This is far from a “classic” Brewer in the sense it’s an Eighties thruster, but hey, it’s got Dick Brewer’s name on it, and the airbrush is awesome.

I recently wrote up an early Energy Surfboards / Simon Anderson / Frank Latta thruster, but featured above are three of Simon’s personal riders. Super cool stuff.

Meanwhile, Simon Anderson also shaped for Shane Surfboards early on. Here’s a very interesting wing pin setup.

Here’s Al Merrick posing with a Channel Islands Surfboards thruster that was likely shaped in the Eighties. From the OP sticker I’m guessing this has to be one of the boards that Tom Curren rode en route to a US Open victory. You don’t hear much about Al these days, as his son Britt has taken the reins at CI, but it’s great to see an update!

…Lost Presents: “Fish”

Greetings, Shredderz! As a vintage surfboard blog, we tend not to focus too much on the modern high performance shortboard. This is not a criticism by any means. Truth be told, if I were a better surfer this blog might be more focused on the finely tuned Ferraris you see all the pros riding!

Matt Biolos, the shaper behind …Lost Surfboards, one of the largest producers of said high performance thrusters, is one of the most fascinating (and influential) figures in modern surfing. He is a must follow on Instagram, where Biolos alternates behind tireless stumping for …Lost team riders and up-and-coming San Clemente rippers, and then the minutiae of surfboard design. Biolos has a clear sense of history, as seen by his collaborations with people like Mark Richards, for example. Simultaneously, …Lost Surfboards is unafraid to experiment with new materials and technologies, such as its work with Lib Tech, which is better known for creating innovative snowboards.

Early …Lost designs aren’t considered vintage quite yet, but personally, I think it’s only a matter of time before Biolos’ early shapes are coveted by collectors. I wonder if he is taken for granted to some extent, thanks to …Lost’s ubiquity, not to mention Biolos’ unpretentious approach. It’s amazing now to think that the fish revival, led by the landmark …Lost movie 5’5″ x 19 1/4″, is now twenty plus years old!

Today …Lost Surfboards debuted a cool little short film, “Fish”, which you can see online. I have linked to it below. The movie has some awesome historical footage, ranging from David Nuuhiwa in the Seventies to the infamous …Lost mid-Nineties highlights featuring  Cory Lopez and Chris Ward going berserk on what were then regarded as novelty boards. As a bonus, fhe film is narrated by none other than Dogtown legend and artist CR Stecyk. Finally, “Fish” brings things full circle by having current pros like Luke Davis and Josh Kerr lay down some amazing lines on these timeless designs.

Check out “Fish” below!

Grab Bag: Seventies Single Fin Selections

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of the Grab Bag, where I’ll happily point you in the direction of some really rad boards that are currently on sale. There are currently some great Seventies single fin surfboards floating around various corners of the internet, and here at Shred Sledz we see it as our duty to keep all you fine folks informed. Keep reading below for more…

Seventies Herbie Fletcher Single Fin (eBay)

Herbie Fletcher Dana Point Logo .jpg

I actually featured this board on my Instagram a few days back. First of all, I dig the swallow tail single fin combo. Actually, let me rewind: first of all, Herbie Fletcher is a legend, and for whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to shape boards that often these days. This Seventies Herbie shape looks to be in pretty good condition. It’s listed at $1,100, which I think is a bit on the steep side, but that’s not for me to decide.

Seventies Nectar Single Fin (Craigslist — Malibu)

Click the photos to enlarge. This Nectar Surfboards single fin looks like it could have been leaning against the wall of a house from “Boogie Nights.” The Seventies aesthetic is an easy punching bag for design snobs, but who cares?!. The painstaking spray job is truly a sight to behold, and there’s a bonus in the form of a lovely original Rainbow fin, too. The seller has listed this at $900. (I also happened to feature another Nectar board on Instagram today, too.)

Bing Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist — Santa Cruz)

Here’s a rad Bing surfboard with a very cool matching fin as well. This board is only $200, which I think is a great deal when you consider the fin is included. The Bing Seventies single fin has seen better days, for sure, but I think this is a great pickup.

Infinity Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist — North Carolina)

Infinity Seventies Single Fin.jpg

I wrote up a different Infinity surfboard last week, and it looks like that one is still for sale. Anyway, the one above is yet another swallow tail single fin, and it’s got an awesome spray job. Original fin is included, too. No price is listed on the ad but it’s definitely a lovely example of a vintage Infinity Surfboards stick.

G&S Skip Frye Longboard

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! Apologies in advance if today’s post makes you weep for missing out on a great deal on an even better board. That’s right, the G&S Skip Frye longboard featured here was listed on Craigslist for a mere $800. Getting one’s grubby paws on a Skip Frye board is hard enough as is, but deals on these coveted sleds are even rarer. Look no further than The Board Source, which has reasonably priced boards: they have a vintage 8′ Skip Frye egg thruster for $1350, and then an 8’1″ G&S Skip Frye egg thruster for $1400. The longboard on this post is in better condition and a good couple hundred bucks cheaper…but that’s all water under the bridge, as I’m pretty sure the board below has already been sold.

Anyway, enough about price — let’s take a look at the board itself. Like all of Skip’s boards, this thing is an absolute beaut. It measures in at a very healthy 9’6″ x 21 1/4″ x 2 3/4″. The board was posted on Craigslist somewhere on the East Coast a few days ago. All pics in the post are via the original listing. The seller claims he bought the board used in San Diego in 1984. It looks a little older, but beyond that I don’t have any information.

Honestly, I’m starting to get upset as I write this post, wondering if I should have called in a favor for some acquaintances who live nearby where the board was posted. Click on any of the photos to enlarge. I particularly love what looks to be a pretty flat rocker on the board — dare I say hull-like on the bottom? — and the amber-colored glass on fin is gorgeous.

G&S Skip Frye Longboard Signature.jpg
Close up of the signature on the G&S Skip Frye longboard. This is unusual for a Skip signature, with way more detail than I have ever seen on any of his boards.

What’s really interesting is the signature on the board itself. I have seen a variety of Skip’s boards both with and without signatures, but never one like this. One of my all-time favorite boards I have ever written up is this insanely clean 1984 Skip Frye pintail, which has a detailed inscription on the stringer, but none of the little drawings like the board above.

If you have any info about this board, definitely let me know! Either way I hope your Frye-day brings you an abundance of vintage sticks and tasty waves.

T&C Surf Designs with Dane Kealoha: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s late on Thursday night, which can only mean one thing: that’s right, it’s time for Sagas of Shred, where we feature a different vintage surf ad every week. Honestly, this ad speaks for itself, so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum. It originally ran in the January 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 1). I love how this T&C Surf Designs ad combines the cheerful neon aesthetic that dominated the Eighties, along with Kealoha’s brand of aggressive, powerful surfing. Kealoha’s boards look so sweet in this ad, too — I would love to see better pictures of both of them, along with some info around who shaped these sticks.

Thanks for reading and come back next week for another heaping helping of Sagas of Shred!

 

Energy Surfboards Thruster by Frank Latta

Greetings, Shredderz! While I generally don’t write too much about thrusters, there’s no denying that Simon Anderson’s signature invention belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the most influential surfboard designs ever. Even now, a good thirty plus years after Anderson first popularized the tri-fin shortboard, the thruster remains the standard setup for high performance shortboards. While there is no disputing the incredible work being done by modern shapers like Matt Biolos and others, given Shred Sledz’s primary focus on vintage surfboards, it’s only right that we examine some thrusters from the Eighties. The very first thrusters were shaped under the Energy Surfboards label. Simon Anderson also partnered with San Diego label Nectar Surfboards to bring the thruster design to the United States. As much as I love the Nectar collaboration boards, the Aussie thrusters made under the Energy Surfboards marque will always be my favorites.

As countless other shapers have done over the years, Anderson enlisted help keep up with demand once his design hit the big time. He turned to well-regarded Sydney shaper Frank Latta. Latta was a standout competitive surfer during the dawn of contest surfing during the Sixties who drew praise from the likes of Midget Farrelly. Sadly, Latta passed away while surfing eight years ago, at the relatively early age of sixty three.

Frank Latta via Cronulla Surf Museum
Frank Latta ad via the Cronulla Surf Museum

There is currently an Energy Surfboards thruster from the Eighties, shaped by Frank Latta, that is listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. I believe the board is being sold by well-known surfboard collector Buggs Arico, who runs Surfboardline.com. I have re-posted pics from the eBay listing below:

You can click on the photos above to enlarge. The board is in super clean condition, and it has a bunch of really rad touches. First, I believe it is from a later run of Energy Surfboards thruster boards, as it has a different Energy logo. Compare this to another Energy Surfboards thruster on Retro Surf Co, which is advertised as first generation. Note the triangle logo on the Retro Surf Co board, which doesn’t appear on the eBay / Frank Latta board featured above.

There are some great touches throughout. I love the simple but effective color on the bottom of the board (particularly with the white glass on fins, too). You can see the distinct Eighties outline in the board — the squash tail looks pretty severely squared off in the picture at the above left.

And this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz post if I didn’t geek out on the logos. “The Original 3 Fin Thruster Concept and Design” laminate is all-time, even if, on closer inspection, it looks pretty crudely hand drawn and cut out. The black and white Frank Latta laminate underneath the Energy logo on the left is also very cool. I also like that it features Latta prominently, whereas a lot of other so-called ghost shapers often go unmentioned.

Right now the board is under $180, but this is sure to rise as there are still five days left in the auction. It’s not every day you see a clean example of an Energy Surfboards thruster, especially not in the States, where the Nectar / Anderson thrusters are far more commonplace. If you’re interested in bidding on the board check it out on eBay here.