Mr. Bertlemann, the Hawaiian pro surfer dubbed “Rubberman” for the physics-defying body torqued that defined his surfing, was one of the best known surfers of the 70s.
Bertlemann was one of the few men who could truly lay claim to having a signature style, whether it was his radical surfing, his awesome hair, or, of course, his surfboards. Bertlemann was sponsored by Pepsi during the height of his career. He embraced his role as an ambassador (some might say billboard), going as far as to decorate his boards with the Pepsi logo.
The Pepsi boards have not only become synonymous with Bertelmann’s legacy, they are one of the more enduring symbols of 70s Hawaiian surf culture itself.
One of Bertelmann’s infamous Pepsi boards is currently up for grabs on eBay. It is a classic twin-fin swallowtail shape (not sure if it qualifies as a fish or not…anyone got thoughts here?). Even better, it bears a Donald Takayama signature, and one of Takayama’s clear bird logos (I believe it’s an ewa / frigate bird, but also cannot confirm). There’s a bit of damage around one of the glassed on fins, but hey — that’s a small price to pay for an iconic piece of Hawaiian surfing history.
It’s a mere $65. The poster claims there are no dings on the board, but it’s kind of hard to tell with that bizarre whitewash paint job on the bottom. I feel like you could easily strip the paint. It looks like it’s sitting on top of the fiberglass.
The logos make me think this is an older Mitsven, via the always-helpful Stoked N Board. Nowadays you can find Bob Mitsven’s shapes at Mollusk, but they tend to focus on his eggs, and the logos look more modernized. This board might be less popular, given it looks to be a kind of step-up or some sort of mini gun, but hey – a watertight surfboard for $65 is generally a pretty good deal. Mitsven, of course, is an extremely well-regarded San Diego shaper. You can read more about him here.
Surfer or not, you have likely heard of “The Endless Summer”, filmmaker Bruce Brown’s timeless ode to surfing, and one of the few surf movies to receive equally rapturous responses from surfing insiders as well as the mainstream (alongside “In God’s Hands”, of course.)
Mike Hynson, one of the stars of “The Endless Summer”, went on to a distinguished career as a surfboard shaper. Hyson’s life is a compelling story of its own, sadly filled with more drama and lows than the movie that made him famous, recounted in an autobiography released in 2011.
What we have here, via Craigslist in San Diego, is a 9′2″ Hynson hand shaped board with a clear signature on the stringer. The signature includes the “Om” symbol, a favorite of Hynson’s. You can see another example of an excellent and clear Hynson signature here, via a board that was once on sale at peerless San Diego shop Surfy Surfy.
The best part about this listing? The board is going for a mere $525. I think this is a steal. There’s a 9′0″ on sale directly from Hynson’s website currently going for $1500. Hynson is 74 and while he’s still shaping today, I think it’s likely that his most prolific days are behind him. Surfers and shapers don’t get any more legendary than one of the guys who starred in “The Endless Summer”. And most importantly, of course, Hynson’s pedigree as a shaper cannot be overstated.
This surfboard (via Craigslist in LA) is like seeing Helen of Troy with a terrible boob job. It is a beautiful old board from the 60s, likely shaped by Larry Weise. (You can barely see his initials – “L.W. Crow” underneath the #93 in the fifth picture). The board is such a cool old school shape, and Carbonell, a Laguna Beach-based brand, wasn’t one I had ever heard of before. I like that it measures in at a solid 10′, too – I can imagine taking this thing out in some small waves and being able to just scratch into anything.
Sadly, though, there is the matter of that horrible black noseguard. It looks like it’s likely hiding some damage near the nose as well. It might all be a dealbreaker considering the board is going for $500. Either way, worth checking out. You can see the listing here.
Whoever posted this little number must be dreaming about the price – $1,000 is a lot for a surfboard, no matter what! – but it’s still worth looking at the pictures. Located on Craigslist in Daytona Beach, Florida is a cool little Blue Hawaii ‘Pottz’ board, named after legendary former tour surfer Martin Potter and shaped by well-regarded Hawaiian shaper Greg Minami. This is different from the board most surf fans associate with Pottz – the T&C with the jagged green outline and yellow deck – but nonetheless still a fantastic memento from the surf industry of yesteryear. Check it out here.
Up for grabs on Craigslist in Ventura CA is a Zuma Jay single fin for $100. Warning: there could be a decent amount of repair involved in this one. The duct tape on the tail is never a good sign, and it looks like the bottom has a bunch of little dings or discoloration. Still, not an awful price for a little project, especially considering Zuma Jay’s status as a well-known Malibu brand. Not sure who the shaper could be, but Stoked N Board pegs the logo as sometime between 1985 and 1990. I wonder if it could be a little earlier than that, even, given the singlefin setup. Check it out here.
File this guy under things I have never seen before…
This is a 9′ Ben Aipa-shaped longboard with a logo from Kimo’s Surf Hut. The Aipa signature is definitely consistent with other signatures I have seen from genuine Aipa boards. I have never heard of Kimo’s Surf Hut before, but it looks like it’s a surf shop located on the eastern side of Oahu.
The board measures 9′ and it’s $550, available on Craigslist near Los Angeles. I think the asking price of $500 might be steep – especially since it looks like there could be some pretty bad damage on the nose – but it’s a cool example of a board from a well-known shaper with a very uncommon logo.
Earlier today I was perusing some pictures of boards with channels, and I started thinking about how Shred Sledz has yet to feature anything from legendary Central Coast (CA) shaper Dave Parmenter. Parmenter is a former tour competitor and So Cal competitive surf rat who has gracefully transitioned into a career as one of the wisest (and most opinionated) men in surfing. Parmenter is famously prickly, but he makes beautiful – and functional! – surfboards (I’ve never met the man, but I imagine he would much prefer if I reversed the order of those adjectives).
What we have here (via Craigslist) is a 7′6″ version of Parmenter’s Stubb Vector shape, which is intended to deliver high performance in the guise of a hybrid / funboard. The best part? The poster claims this stick has never even seen wax, and it comes in at an extremely reasonable $350. Check it out here.
This board, from Anderson’s now-defunct Energy label, likely predates Anderson’s wonderful invention. It’s a great example of an early-era Anderson board. Energy thrusters in good condition are more coveted (and command higher prices), but what we have here is still the product of one of the most important shapers ever, and it’s water-tight, to boot!
According to the listing the board has been looked over by well-known Aussie surfboard restorer Levi Jones (who is very active on Vintage Surfboard Collectors). It measures in at 6′5″, and it’s ready for a surf right now. Good luck on the bidding here.
There’s a sweet Mike Diffenderfer gun up for sale on eBay, which you can find here. By now my affinity for neon paint jobs is well-documented, but let me just say I love the way this board looks. Diffenderfer, of course, is a legendary surfboard shaper. I suggest reading up on his entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Seems like Diffenderfer specialized in big wave guns, and this board looks like it fits the bill, clocking in at a healthy 7′2″ x 18.25″. This looks to be a later-era Diffenderfer, if I had to guess, and there are a bunch of dings on the board. Sadly, Diffenderfer passed away in 2002, so they’re not making any more of these. Starting bid is $399 and you can find the listing here.