The Boardroom Show / California Gold Surf Auction 2019

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s that time of year again: the Boardroom Show is almost upon us. For those of you unfamiliar, the Boardroom Show is an annual event that showcases the surfboard manufacturing industry. Sadly, I won’t be in attendance this year, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

While there’s a ton of great stuff about the show — for starters, Wayne Lynch will be making an appearance — in this blog post I’ll simply cover my favorite boards from the accompanying California Gold Surf Auction. The auction closes in less than three days, so hop on it if you’re eyeing any of the pristine sleds that are up for grabs.

It’s interesting to note how the selection of boards has changed over time. In my write up of last year’s auction I noted the increasing popularity of Eighties neon / Echo Beach influenced designs. I think this year’s California Gold Surf Auction represents a bit of a return to the classics. There are a ton of Sixties longboards, some cool Transition Era shapes, and a host of cool Seventies single fins, and some newer stuff, too.

You can learn more about the Boardroom Show here, and see here for a full list of the boards listed at auction. All photos in this post are via the Boardroom Show’s website. Keep reading below for a brief summary of my personal favorites from the 2019 California Gold Surf Auction:

Terry Fitzgerald Hot Buttered Winged Pin (Link)

If you forced me to choose a favorite board from the auction, I think this would be it. I think Fitz’s boards are still a bit underrated here in the States, and this one has it all. How about that rainbow stringer? The airbrush on the bottom is killer, and the unmistakable, sleek Seventies outline is gorgeous. You can read my post on an unusual Fitz-shaped Lightning Bolt here.

Rick Rasmussen Seventies Single Fin (Link)

As a native New Yorker, I will always think of Rick Rasmussen as the gold standard for Empire State surfing. (Apologies to Balaram Stack, who is another favorite.) Here’s an absolutely stunning Rick Rasmussen single fin that’s listed for sale. The board pictured above is in much better condition than a previous Rasmussen surfboard I wrote up earlier this year. Click the photos to enlarge and get a shot of the black pin line on the deck.

Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight Fabric Inlay (Link)

The Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight is special enough on its own, but this example has the rare and gorgeous floral fabric inlay. I love the color of fabric pattern, especially in contrast with the fin. I have nothing against boards that have been fully restored, but I prefer them all original, imperfections and all. If anything, I dig the natural look of the slight discoloration on the deck.

Tom Parrish Lightning Bolt (Link)

Here’s another gorgeous Hawaiian heat seeking missile. Lightning Bolt is a classic for a reason. The board is all original, and for my money, I think it’s one of the prettiest sticks in the entire auction lineup. Check out that subtle double pin line, and the creamsicle colorway — complete with matching glass on fin — won’t ever go out of style. Parrish, of course, is a legendary shaper and one of the Lightning Bolt OGs. He’s still making boards today, so hit him up!

Miscellaneous / Final Thoughts

In no particular order, here are some other boards that I thought were really rad:

I realize some of my picks are a little unorthodox, but I like what I like, and that tends to skew more towards the Seventies and Eighties. No matter what, though, if you’re interested in surfboards, you can’t go wrong by giving the auction lots a closer look. Check out the California Gold Surf Auction site here and if you’re in San Diego, the Boardroom Show is well worth your time.

Radical Elegance: The Electric Acid Surfboard Test with Steph Gilmore

It’s not often that I’ll tell people to stop reading Shred Sledz, but today we’ve got a great reason. I’d like to point you all in the direction of Stab Magazine, which has just dropped the second installment of its Electric Acid Surfboard Test series. The first entry in the series, which I covered here, featured Dane Reynolds on a variety of “alternative” surfboards from a selection of well regarded shapers.


EAST, as the series is known, selects a talented surfer, whisks them to a wave rich location with a quiver of brand new surfboards, and then films the results. As much as I enjoyed the last entry — and it must be said that Dane Reynolds’ surfing is beyond reproach — I happen to think Steph Gilmore is a perfect fit for EAST. Gilmore brings to the table an approach that is equal parts feline grace and world champion shred. The end result is a bunch joyful, assured surfing on some cool experimental shapes. The “Radical Elegance” tagline from the title of this is a quote taken from Steph in the film, which I think is an apt description of her style.

Personally, I was delighted with the shapers Stab selected for the video. You can find a full list on Stab’s site, but I particularly geeked out on the inclusion of Simon Anderson, Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, a Shawn Stussy twin fin pictured below, a dramatic Alex Knost bonzer, and many more.

Throughout the video, Gilmore looks as if she’s having the absolute time of her life. The enthusiasm is nothing short of contagious. Shout out to Stab for delivering a rad piece of content, and make sure you check out their site for more behind the scenes pics from the shoot.

Photo at the top of the page by Alan Van Gysen; via Stab Magazine. Pictured in the photo is a Ryan Lovelace / Dan Malloy RabbitsFoot finless board.

Weekend Grab Bag: Jacobs Donald Takayama Model Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! Today is a special edition of the Weekend Grab Bag, a series that spotlights notable vintage boards currently listed for sale. This Sunday we have not one but two examples of the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model that are currently up for grabs.

I wrote an earlier post on the Jacobs Donald Takayama Hawaii Model, which you can find here. I have also written up the Bing Donald Takayama Model. While my memory of Donald Takayama is as an elder statesman of surfing, largely thanks to his work with Joel Tudor, during the Sixties Takayama was already a talented pro. It was in this decade that Bing and Jacobs both produced Takayama signature models, both of which are traditional longboards. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model was produced beginning in 1965. The following year, Donald jumped ship to Bing, where he designed the David Nuuhiwa Noserider.

A lot of the content on Shred Sledz veers towards the Seventies and Eighties. Nonetheless I think there’s a timeless aspect to the beautiful longboards shaped in the Sixties before the Transition Era. And given Takayama’s long career, whether it was as a pro in his teens, or the functional noseriders he shaped up until his passing, I think there’s something special about Takayama’s longboards.

9’8″ Jacobs Donald Takayama Model (Facebook — Oahu)

The first board is an all-original 9’8″ Jacobs Donald Takayama Model. Pics are via the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook, and are reprinted here with the permission of the board’s owner. This board is for sale, so please check out the post and DM the seller if you’re interested. Thanks Dave for allowing me to run your pics.

Jacobs Donald Takayama Model Deck.jpg

According to the listing, the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model is all original, without any delam or twists or any other major issues. You can see that it has some snackles and repairs from over the years, but overall, it’s in good shape for a surfboard that pre-dates the Moon Landing. The seller is asking $1,800 and the board is located on Oahu, so keep that in mind for any potential shipping costs.

Jacobs Donald Takayama Model FinJacobs Donald Takayama Model Rocker

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a board listed for sale with great pics accompanying it, and the seller definitely delivered in this regard. Check out the photos above for some more shots of the beautiful (and original) red fin.

9’7″ Jacobs Donald Takayama Model (Craigslist — LA)

The second Jacobs Donald Takayama Model is up for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the board is very similar to the first one I posted, although it has green colored panels towards the rails.

You can click the photos above to enlarge. The green Jacobs Donald Takayama Model is in worse shape than the earlier board. The green version has some water damage towards the nose, which is clearly depicted in the photos. Here’s another shout out to the seller for providing some great and informative pics of the surfboard. You’ll notice the matching red fins on both boards. I can’t quite tell if the fin silhouette is the exact same.

The Craigslist LA Takayama board is being listed for $550. This is a good deal cheaper than the other board, a good chunk of the price difference can be chalked up to the significant difference in condition. I don’t have any recent price comparisons for the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model, so make of these prices what you will.

Dave, the seller of the board at the top of the page, helpfully included some old ads and descriptions of the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model. Make sure you click the photos below to enlarge them.

According to the ad, Takayama apparently shaped many of his Jacobs signature models himself. This is cool no matter what, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that in 1965, when the board was introduced, Takayama was only twenty two! The photo above and to the right also goes into detail about the actual shape of the Jacobs Donald Takayama model:

Designer: Donald Takayama — 1965 — for waves up to 15′ in height. Cost: 9’6″ $155.00. Leading Rider: Donald Takayama / Denny Tompkins. Design Theory: This board has a speed shape for the fast beach break and point waves. Thin rails are used for edge control and going through white water. Also, loss of speed will not occur while going under sections of waves. The nose is shaped and very thin with a little round belly in the bottom for maneuvering while riding on the tip of the nose. The tail is also quite thin and six inches in width. The roundness is also used on the bottom in the tail to provide a faster and smoother turn without spinning out in a critical wave. A conservative amount of rocker is put in the board with a small lift or kick in the nose. This enables the board to perform to the fullest extent for this type of shape.

These are two beautiful vintage surfboards, and if you know more about the Jacobs Donald Takayama Model, or you have one to share, feel free to drop me a line!

Photo at the top of the page by LeRoy Grannis; via the Encyclopedia of Surfing

Mike Croteau Straight Up Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! By now, most of us are familiar with the biggest names in surfboard shaping: Dick Brewer, Gerry Lopez, Al Merrick…the list is long and illustrious. You can’t ever go wrong with the classics. But there’s something to be said about those shapers who might not match the star power of the aforementioned names, but, if you pay attention, seem to get mentioned by all the right people. Mike Croteau is one of those shapers. Croteau doesn’t have the immediate brand recognition as the earlier folks, but he gets praise from a diverse cast of heavy hitters in the world of surfboard shaping. Rusty Preisendorfer has mentioned Mike Croteau as an influence, and Croteau provided surfboards for top pros like Shaun Tomson and Occy. Croteau was well known in Santa Cruz, Hawaii and La Jolla before his passing almost exactly a decade ago. You don’t see a ton of Mike Croteau surfboards floating around, and even fewer of them that he shaped for the Hawaii-based Straight Up Surfboards label. Recently, however, a rad Mike Croteau / Straight Up Surfboards example popped up on eBay.

Croteau — I’ve also seen his name written as Mike Zeh-Croteau — must have shaped for Straight Up Surfboards during his time in Hawaii. Straight Up boards could be found under Occy’s feet during the late Eighties and early Nineties.

The board I’m writing about today doesn’t have any ties to Occy (who remains the Shred Sledz’s unofficial all-time favorite surfer.) Nonetheless, it’s a very clean example of an Eighties Mike Croteau surfboard, featuring some of his signature channels on the bottom. The board was originally listed for sale on eBay. You can find the original listing here, although the board is no longer for sale. All the photos below are via the eBay post.

The Mike Croteau Straight Up board you see above measures in at 7’2″. As you can see, it has a thruster fin setup, and the fins have been glassed on. It has an interesting baby swallow tail design. It goes without saying that the neon green spray job is 100% Shred Sledz approved.

Straight Up Mike Croteau Channel Bottom.jpg
Close up of the channel bottom of the Mike Croteau shaped Straight Up board

That said, the real draw of this board is in the intricate channel bottoms, as seen above. The Mike Croteau surfboard features six beautifully crafted channels towards the tail. Amazingly, the glass on fins and the swallow tail are all in great shape. It seems as if the board was hardly ever surfed in the three decades that have passed since it was shaped.

The board was undoubtedly created for some hefty North Shore juice.

Sadly, there aren’t many more details to be shared about the board, or Croteau’s shaping career. I’ve mostly seen Mike Croteau boards produced under his own label, which features a signature red white and blue bullseye logo. Nonetheless, I figured this was a great opportunity to showcase the work of Mr Croteau, a talented shaper whose work has remained a bit under the radar, even after his untimely passing.

Photo at the top of the page via Santa Cruz Waves

The Lady is A Champ: Margo Oberg for Lightning Bolt

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, the series that brings new vintage surf ads every single Thursday. Here we have an old Lightning Bolt ad featuring none other than Margo Oberg. Oberg’s entire Encyclopedia of Surfing entry is well worth the read. Not only was she a trailblazer on the women’s pro surfing scene, Oberg also won her first world title at the age of fifteen! Anyway, check out the article. The ad you see above ran in the June 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 6). Oberg was not yet thirty when this ad ran, and yet she was already a surf fixture.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next week for more Sagas of Shred!

Social Media Roundup: Ben Aipa for Greg Noll Surfcenter & More…

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a selection of social media posts from the last month or so.

I’ve long held a fascination with the crossover of Australian and Hawaiian surfers and shapers, and this is one of the best I have seen yet. I love the contrast of styles here: Wayne Lynch‘s cool reserve and Larry Bertlemann’s brash style. Also, Larry’s wetsuit vest is absolutely killer.

I love Aipa and his signature sting, but one of his less-heralded models is the Transition Era single fin he made for Greg Noll’s Surfcenter shop in Hawaii. You don’t see these every day, and I love the sideways logo as well as the subtle blue resin pin lines on the deck. The photo at the top of the page was taken from a recent USVSA auction for a similar board, which you can see here.

Dick Brewer needs no introduction. I really dig this super rare board, one of the few surviving samples of his early Lahaina Surf Designs label (yes, the acronym is intentional). Make sure you scroll through the pics for a close up of the trippy logo.

Nothing too crazy here: just a super clean and lovely example of a classic Sixties longboard, the Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model. I love the bright blue high density foam stringer and the matching glass on fin. They don’t make ’em like they used to!

Last but not least, here’s a gorgeous T&C Surf Designs sting from the Seventies. Not sure who shaped this bad boy, but it’s stunning. I think there’s a chance it may have been restored, judging from the impeccable condition, but either way you can’t go wrong with this one. I’ve said it before, but even though the Eighties T&C thrusters with the neon sprays are the most collectible vintage boards from the label, I just might like the Seventies single fins even more. In particular, I’m a sucker for that huge, clean old school yin yang logo.

As always, thanks for checking out the blog, and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboard goodness!

Shaper Spotlight: Surfboards by Todd Pinder

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to welcome all of you to a brand spanking new series on the blog, titled “Shaper Spotlight.” Up until now, this humble blog has focused mostly on vintage surfboards. I think it’s also important to profile contemporary shapers who are building boards today. There’s a ton of rich history found in older surfboards, and that will always be a big part of Shred Sledz. That said, there’s only one way to ensure hand shaped surfboards continue to get their due, and that’s by supporting the talented craftsmen who build them.

Last month I took my first ever trip to Oahu, and during that time I was lucky enough to meet up with Todd Pinder, the man behind Surfboards by Todd Pinder. Pinder plies his trade in Honolulu, where he painstakingly crafts each and every board by hand. This doesn’t just apply to shaping, however — Pinder is one of those rare shapers who also glasses all of his own creations, too.

Todd Pinder 1
Todd Pinder creates all his boards by hand, shaping and glassing his creations. Here are a few boards waiting to be finished. Love the bold but simple red color.

Pinder might be a modern surfboard builder, but he draws upon some very deep roots from years of living in Hawaii and working alongside some well respected folks, like Carl Schaper (pronounced Shopper) and Donald Takayama. Pinder also continues to provide boards for folks like Joel Tudor and his sons.

Pinder’s shop is filled with a bunch of rad vintage sticks. See below for a neat Seventies Greg Liddle single fin. I can’t recall off the top of my head whether it was a hull, but I really dig the unusual pattern on the deck. Click the photos below to enlarge.

I got to see the Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding model that Joel Tudor posted about below. Todd told me the Nuuhiwa is a little shorter than other stock DN Noseriding models from the same time period.

The single coolest board Pinder showed me was an insane Joe Quigg paddleboard. Make sure you click the photos below to enlarge, as they show off the paddleboard in a bit more detail. Check out the squared off tail. The Joe Quigg paddleboard has incredibly thick rails, and I think it’s about 12′ long, so there’s plenty of paddle power to spare. You can see Pinder posing alongside this board in the post at the top of the page.

Here are some earlier photos, via Pinder’s Facebook page, that show Joe Quigg alongside Todd and the paddleboard.

That’s not all Pinder had stashed away, however. Upstairs in his shaping room Pinder also had a Seventies Surf Line Hawaii single fin shaped by Buddy Dumphy and a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye from the late Sixties. Click the photos below to enlarge. I couldn’t quite figure out which model the G&S / Skip Frye board is — maybe a “Speed Board”? — but it’s interesting that it has a small text G&S logo, instead of the classic bow tie logo that we all know and love. Pinder tells me the outline on the G&S / Skip Frye board has inspired some of his own egg shapes.

If you’re still not satisfied, well, there’s more. Pinder also showed off a sick Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel. The Sopwith Camel is one of Tom Morey’s many quirky and incredible Transition Era shapes, featuring an early stringerless design. I could go on a rant about how Tom Morey might be the most underrated inventor in surfing history, but I’ll save that for another time.

Todd Pinder Morey Pope Sopwith Camel.jpg
Pinder with a very cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel.

And while Pinder’s shaping room is filled with vintage gems, I’m even more stoked about his current creations. I mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth repeating: Pinder shapes and glasses all of his boards. Yes, all of them. Surfboards are often marketed as bespoke goods, but the manufacturing reality can be the opposite. When you order a surfboard from Pinder, you know it was built by one set of very capable hands from start to finish. If you even have the slightest appreciation for craftsmanship, that should resonate with you. As a bonus, Todd is a very friendly and surf stoked individual.

Todd Pinder Surfboards.jpg
Pinder posing alongside some of his newer creations. Pic via Surfboards by Todd Pinder Facebook Page

If you’re in the market for a beautiful new board, hit up Surfboards by Todd Pinder and tell him we sent you! You can also follow him on Instagram here and on Facebook here. Thanks Todd for inviting me to your studio and for sharing the story behind some killer surfboards!

Offshore: Not All That Glitters…

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a doozy for you, courtesy of Offshore, a defunct surfwear brand. Once upon a time Offshore was a surf industry staple, but at some point it must have folded. Second from right in the Offshore ad above is none other than Michael Ho, Pipeline royalty and father of Mason and Coco. Michael Ho still charges Pipeline in his fifties, surfing at a level that would be impressive for someone literally half his age. (And here’s Derek Ho, younger brother of Michael and uncle to Mason and Coco, navigating a proper cavern just this past winter.) The Offshore ad originally ran in the June 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine  (Vol 23, No 6).

That said…there appear to be some nervous smiles in this photo. I’m no fashion expert, but c’mon, these shorts are hilarious. The poses don’t appear to be doing anybody any favors, either.

I may have said too much already. I recently visited the North Shore for the first time ever, and I’d like to go back, so I’m not going to risk offending any locals who may have starred in some ill-advised surfwear ads back in the day.

Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with some fresh scans of some vintage surf ads.

Wave Tools Twin Fin by Lance Collins

Greetings, Shredderz! First things first, and that’s giving credit where credit is due. The photos in this blog post of the amazing 80s Wave Tools twin fin come courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Steve Wray. Steve has blessed us with some awesome pics from his equally great collection, and for that I am forever grateful. Longtime readers may know by now that I have a huge weakness for any and all things from the 80s. There are few brands who exemplify the neon Echo Beach aesthetic of the decade quite like Wave Tools, and this Lance Collins shaped twin fin ticks all of the boxes.

The gradient fade on the checkerboard pattern on the bottom is pure 80s excess — not to mention the four laminates that sit on top of it (as if there were ever any question about the label of the board!) Mr Wray tells me the board is an even 6’0″. I’m not sure what year it was shaped. My guess it was in the earlier part of the decade, before the thruster craze took over.

I also love the contrasting color schemes on the deck and the bottom of the board. There’s a great natural contrast between the cooler blue and green tones of the deck, and the symmetrical airbrush, and then the complete sunburst chaos found on the bottom. And, even after all this, if by some chance you’re still confused about who shaped the board, the huge Lance Collins laminates on either side of the nose (and the two decals on the rails) should settle any questions once and for all.

Wave Tools Twin Fin 3.jpg

It’s also cool to see that Lance Collins glassed the Wave Tools twin fin in question. There aren’t too many shapers that glass their own boards these days, and there’s something rad about a board that has been made from start to finish by one set of hands.

Wave Tools Twin Fin 1.jpg
RIP Clark Foam…the oversized Clark Foam laminate will always be awesome to me.

As you can see, the Wave Tools twin fin has taken on some discoloration. Nonetheless, I am stoked to see that the colors and laminates are still very well preserved. In my opinion, the most important elements of the board have been retained quite well, and I actually prefer it in its current state to a full on restoration that would involve stripping off the glass.

Thanks again Steve for sharing pics of the board!

Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going to shine a spotlight on one of my all-time favorite Transition Era boards: the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom, or, as it’s technically known, the Surfboards Hawaii V.

The Surfboards Hawaii V bottom you see above (click photos to enlarge) comes courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Bobby. Thanks for sharing the photos of your beautiful board! As you can see, Bobby’s Surfboards Hawaii V is in pretty great condition. The fin — I’ll be honest, I always mix up my Transition Era fins, and I always guess W.A.V.E. Set when it’s not, so I’ll just pass for now — in particular stands out, and you can see the dramatic vee in the tail. (Update: I just asked a far more knowledgeable friend, and he confirmed that the fin is an early Bahne / Fins Unlimited design.)

I’ve heard some people say that the Surfboards Hawaii V doesn’t surf all that well, but I’m not one to judge. Rather, I tend to appreciate the unusual lines and dimensions of the board. I always trip out whenever I see a close up shot of the tail of a Surfboards Hawaii V bottom, like in the photo below. I’m always struck by the sheer amount of foam packed in the back end of these boards. The Surfboards Hawaii V bottom is almost reminiscent of a Corvette with its bulky, high tail. In addition to the dramatic vee on the bottom, you can also see how the tail section on the deck has been carved out, too. I love the black pinline on Bobby’s board and how it accentuates the Hawaii V’s angular lines.

Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom Tail.jpeg

There was another Surfboards Hawaii V bottom that was posted for sale on Craigslist earlier this month. I have reproduced some of those photos below, which give you a good idea of the rocker and outline of the board. You can click on the photos below to enlarge.

One thing I have never been able to track down is more information on who might have shaped the Surfboards Hawaii V bottoms. As many of us have been known to do, Bobby sought out the counsel of Bill Thrailkill on Swaylocks. According to Bobby, Thrailkill told him that there’s a good chance Ed Wright, who was on the Surfboards Hawaii label in the late Sixties, shaped a number of these boards. If anyone knows more, hit me up!

Last but not least, here’s a cool Surfboards Hawaii V bottom ad, courtesy of the @vintage_surf_ads account on Instagram. I love how the ad turns up its nose at the competing “mild V-bottoms on the market today”, and touts the fact that the Hawaii V is for “experienced surfers only.” It’s also interesting to read that these boards were apparently made with fiberglass stringers, too.

Thanks again to Bobby for sharing photos of his beautiful Surfboards Hawaii v bottom board, and I hope you enjoyed the post!