Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull

As longtime Shred Sledz readers know by now, Channel Islands is a surfboard brand with a special place in my heart. Many moons ago, as a wide-eyed and bushy tailed grommet, I plunked down a fistful of dollars bills earned from an old-fashioned manual labor summer job and bought my first surfboard, an oversized Channel Islands board I still own today. Putting aside my own soft spot for nostalgia, Al Merrick is a legend and someone whose contributions to modern surfboard design cannot be overstated. If you’re in the San Diego area there’s a nice old-school Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull single fin up for grabs on Craigslist. The dimensions are listed at 6′9.5″ x 20.5″ (with nothing listed for thickness). The poster claims this board is from the 70s, which looks about right to me. Stoked-N-Board’s entry for Channel Islands surprisingly doesn’t have any info on the Tri Plane Hull single fin model, which is surprising, given that these seem to have been somewhat popular back in the day.

The million dollar question, of course, is whether or not this Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull was shaped by Al Merrick himself. My guess is no, but I can’t be sure. Merrick has been known to sign his boards with an “Al” in front of the fish icon. This board, as you can see in the pics, only has the fish. I have heard conflicting reports. My guess is this: the “Al” accompanied by the fish definitely signifies a board shaped by Merrick himself. I also believe it’s possible that boards that only boast the fish icon on the stringer could be handshapes – especially from this time period, before the brand became huge – but there’s no way to verify.

The price for the Channel Islands Tri Plane Hull is $500, which is a bit steep. Otherwise, it looks to be in decent condition, and the owner seems to be the rarest of Craigslist posters in that he has provided decent pictures of the board. There are some dings on the bottom – shout out to the black paint job for making that clear – but otherwise it looks like it’s in great shape.

Check out the board here.

Bahne Single Fin

Sorry for the short-term hiatus, kids! I know that it has likely been a week of bleakness without Shred Sledz’ signature dosages of vintage surfboards, found in the hidden nooks and crannies of Craigslist, but fear not, for I am back and still frothing for some sweet vintage sticks.

I am writing this entry from mostly wave-less Long Island, New York – listed at a charming 1-2′ and “Very Poor” on Surfline right now – but there are still some gems to be found nearby.

Take, for example, this Bahne single-fin, which can be found on Craigslist in Ocean City on the Jersey Shore. Bahne Surfboards is the namesake of shaper Bill Bahne, who was mostly based out of the San Diego area. This board looks like it’s in fantastic condition, and the poster claims it has been kept in storage for decades. I would guess the board is from the late 70s for a few reasons. Stoked-n-Board’s entry for Bahne lists the swallow tail as having only been shaped in 1977. In addition, the board’s serial number looks like #5,042, which would also match up to S-n-B’s numbering data (lists #4,846 as being in 1975, which would put #5,042 sometime after that.)

Also, take a look at that gorgeous fin! I love how it seems to match the blue and cream color on the board itself.

There currently isn’t a price on the board and the poster is accepting offers. Who knows if he’ll be willing to part with it at a reasonable rate, but like I always say, it can’t hurt to take a gander at the pics.

Check out the board here.

Con Longboard

When it rains, it pours, and lately we’ve been seeing some Con Surfboards falling from the sky in copious amounts.

Today brings you the next installment in Shred Sledz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Dumpster Diving!

Check out this vintage Con log on Craigslist that can be found in wave-starved Fresno, California. For those of you unfamiliar with Dumpster Diving, the Peabody Award-winning series focuses on old surfboards in desperate need of some TLC, that can also be had for $100 or less.

This bad boy clocks in at $70, but shit, it’s definitely a project. Posting this thing just makes me wince. The silver lining of this surfboard’s troubled upbringing is that it can now be had for dirt cheap. It’s a restoration project, or maybe it oculd just be a beater if there isn’t too much else wrong with it, but either way you’re not going to be winning any beauty pageants quite yet.

Still, it’s $70 for a legit older Con board, and hey, you’ve got to compromise somewhere at that price. (I wrote about Con earlier this week, and you can see my detailed writeup on the Con Competition Wing Nose model here.)

Check out this bad boy here. And until next time, I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Dumpster Diving, a Shred Sledz Production, and a recent recipient of Columbia Journalism School’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Con 70s Single Fin

Just who is this mysterious Jeff of Palms / West LA?

Without fanfare he shows up on Craigslist and drops some vintage heat. Best of all, it is always at reasonable prices. Jeff doesn’t seem to be into the flashy shit, just some cool surfboards that harken back to a fondly remembered California of yesteryear.

He just posted some rad stuff, including a 1960s Sea King log, a colorful Robert August 70s single fin sporting some rad fluted rails in the tail, and the board pictured in this post, a Con 70s single fin that looks to be unrestored and still in decent condition.

It’s not perfect, and I’ve saved you some of the gore from the dings that invariably build up over time, but it is a cool board. And Jeff, being the generous soul that he is, has listed this at $170, which strikes me as being very fair.

Stoked-n-Board dates the logo to sometime between 1969 and 1974. Similarly, the serial number (#12279) looks like it probably happened sometime in 1970. I know I regularly sing Stoked-n-Board’s praises, but it is truly the single best resource for information on vintage surfboards, and humble Shred Sledz would not exist without it.

Check out the Con single fin here.

Competition

File this one under gorgeous but expensive.

Found on Craigslist in Long Island, New York (the boyhood and mostly wave-less home of Shred Sledz, I’d like to point out), is this beautiful 10′ Con Competition Wing Nose longboard. In my humble opinion, Con Surfboards has the sickest, cleanest, coolest logo of just about any surfboard manufacturer out there. Even today, fifty or so years after its founding, the logo looks modern and stylish.

Con made two variants of the Competition Wing Nose Model: one for the West Coast and one for the East Coast (which is a really rad idea if you ask me.) You can see an old Con Surfboards ad for these models here, via some crafty Swaylocks commenters. Another old ad references the fact these boards were originally made for competitions, and the East Coast / West Coast split was to reflect the fact contests were held on either coast.

As far as I can tell this board looks like it’s probably from sometime in the 60s. I would guess it is unrestored as well. I’ve spoken at length about my distaste for the unnatural bright and shiny colors of fully restored Frankenstein boards, and this one here looks sufficiently aged, but still in fantastic condition. You can see in the last picture there’s a serial number on the stringer (3337), and according to Stoked-n-Board’s reliably awesome and thorough entry for Con, this pegs the board at having been made sometime between 1963 and 1964.

Another indicator is the fin. Compare it to this thread on Swaylocks, where a couple of 40 oz beers are being poured out for a beautiful old Con wingnose whose original fin box was swapped out for something more modern. The fact this one is glassed on makes me think the board is older, not to mention the distinctive rake of the fin, which you often see on older boards. Same goes for the absence of any sort of leash plug.

Stoked-n-Board also dates the Con logo with the “Santa Monica” addition to anywhere between 1963 and 1977. Warning, though, to eagle eyed readers who want to go on this alone. I’ve seen some examples of Con boards that have the “Santa Monica” logo but are modern. Scroll to the bottom of this Swaylocks thread for an example. If you want to look at another Competition Wing Nose (West Coast Model), SHACC has some great pictures here.

The seller wants $1500 for this board, which seems fair to me, actually. Last year’s California Gold Vintage Surf Auction sold a Con Super Ugly in great condition and the estimate was $4K – $7K. Granted, the Super Ugly is a far more famous model, and auction prices are going to be higher, but to me the $1500 seems pretty fair in comparison to those prices.

Check out the board here.

Channin: Wings of Flight

Look, I get it – there are lots of reasons why you’d want to be a Shred Sledz reader. The paragraphs of incomparable prose, the community (AKA one dude sitting at his desk trawling the darkest corners of Craigslist until his eyes start bleeding), the babes…the list goes on and on.

But when it comes down to it, you’re here for one reason: to look at some sweet sticks that you’re not gonna find at the local surf shop, which is less a home for surf culture than the physical manifestation of the entire Orange County surf industrial complex.

Well, you came to the right place. Because yours truly has spent the better part of the afternoon looking for gems, and uncovered a cool little Channin board from the 1970s.

This here, which you can view in all its glory on Craigslist in St Petersburg, Florida, is a Channin “Wings of Flight” model. According to Stoked-n-Board, less than 1,000 boards of this model were produced between 1972 and 1973.

This particular example looks to be in pretty great condition, and if I had to hazard a guess, it doesn’t look restored, either.

Best of all? It’s going for $260, which sounds pretty fair to me.

Check it out here.

Lightning Bolt: Rory Russell

Obligatory Lightning Bolt post alert!

It’s a rule, really: if I come across any decent-looking Lightning Bolts of non-sketchy provenance, onto Shred Sledz they go. I have my own quibbles with the iconic label, starting with the insane prices ($1,000 for this board), the murky pedigree of many boards (and the numerous ripoffs you see floating around), and so on. But there isn’t a more recognizable surfboard brand out there, and in my quest to delight you all, my dear readers, I will continue to sling the goods.

This board, via Craigslist in Deerfield Beach, Florida, is a Rory Russell model twin fin. It’s got some sweet channels with airbrush, which you can see in the last pic. The owner claims it’s all original save for some ding repair, and while the board definitely doesn’t look like it has been abused too badly, it blessedly lacks the obvious sheen and plastic surgery look of full-on resto boards that I can’t get down with. I can go on about how old surfboards ought to look old, when we get these restorations that seem to be about fantasy fulfillment more than anything else, but I know Shred Sledz’s devoted readers are here for bitchin’ boards, and not some bellyaching. Anyway, this Lightning Bolt measures in at a nice compact 5′9″, and while it’ll cost you plenty, it never costs anything to look.

Check it out here.

Classic Combo: Channel Islands Tom Curren Model

Is there a more perfect pairing than Tom Curren and Al Merrick? (And while I am flattered by all the suggestions from faithful readers that yours truly and Gisele Bundchen would also make a fantastic combo, I’d like to reiterate that Mrs. Shred Sledz vehemently disagrees.) Pictured here is a beautiful Channel Islands Tom Curren Model.

Curren and Merrick both hail from the Santa Barbara area. Curren, of course, is one of the most celebrated surfers ever. While he has a tidy three world titles to his name, Curren’s popularity has more to do with his unhurried, smooth style, which is still mentioned as the gold standard for regularfoots. His mystique doesn’t hurt, either, as Curren has been content to disappear from pro surfing’s SoCal / Hawaii bubble and chase down mysto waves on obscure equipment.

Likewise, Merrick is one of the most distinguished shapers in surf history. He has made boards for just about every big name California pro you could think of, and during Kelly Slater’s run in the 90s and the 2000s, Merrick was responsible for putting boards under his feet. Unsurprisingly, Merrick’s Channel Islands brand became a behemoth (it’s now owned by Burton Snowboards), and it continues to boast a roster of top pros, although it seems like the shaping torch has been passed to his son, Britt Merrick.

What we have here, via Craigslist in the SF Bay Area, is a Channel Islands Tom Curren signature model. It doesn’t look like an Al Merrick handshape – boards that Al personally shaped have his signature on the stringer, along with the fish logo, like this one – but based on the “Max” signature on the stringer, and this Swaylocks thread, I’d wager this board is shaped by Max McDonald. (Max doesn’t show up as a shaper on Stoked-n-Board’s page for Channel Islands, but the explanation in the Swaylocks thread makes a lot of sense to me.)

I’d guess the Channel Islands Tom Curren model featured here is from sometime in the mid- to late-80s, maybe even the 90s. There are a few dings here and there, but overall it looks like it’s entirely original and in pretty good shape. There might be some damage on one of the glass-on fins, which is worth checking out in further detail. I gotta say I absolutely love the logos, even though it’s a bit overboard and excessive. The first board Shred Sledz’s Editor-in-Chief ever bought was a Channel Islands step-up, as a wide-eyed 16 year old grommet, and the brand has remained near and dear to my heart ever since.

Best of all this board is only going for $250. I remain stunned at how cheap you can get vintage Channel Islands boards – even Merrick handshapes – nowadays. I can’t imagine these boards will remain affordable for long, especially since Al doesn’t seem to shape anymore, even for his team riders. I think this is such a rad board at a phenomenal price.

Check out the Channel Islands Tom Curren Model for sale here.

Santa Barbara Throwback: White Owl Surfboards

Shred Sledz is a one-man operation, and sometimes, that means it can be hard work finding dope vintage sleds and sharing them with you all. (Sadly, one-man operation is a term that can be used to describe both Shred Sledz’s editorial staff as well as its entire reader base, but I digress.)

Part of what makes my job fun is stumbling across well-camouflaged nuggets, like this board here on Craigslist. It’s described as a “Vintage Surfboard by Bradley and White”, and while this is correct, this board is actually an old school White Owl noserider.

I’ve written up White Owl before. My interest in the brand is solely thanks to Marc Andreini, who grew up surfing White Owl boards. Since then, Andreini has begun shaping boards under the resurrected White Owl brand, going as far as to create a special 50th Anniversary board back in 2011, which you can read about on his blog. (One of these 50th Anniversary boards is up for sale on Craigslist, if you’re interested.)

If I had to guess – and I’m no expert – this particular White Owl board is from sometime in the 1960s. The logo on this board reads “Hand crafted by Bradley and White at Santa Barbara.” Stoked-n-Board doesn’t even show this logo on their page for White Owl. However, Andreini’s 50th anniversary boards clearly copy this unique text layout, as you can see here. I would also say the outline of the board looks like a pig, given that the wide point is behind center and the nose looks pulled in. More pics would help, though.

The board is listed for $400. That seems extremely fair if the bottom is in as good shape as the deck, but that’s not always a guarantee. The listing indicates the board is watertight right now, which is always a good sign.

Check it out on Craigslist here.

Skip Frye Eagle Glider

Spoiler alert: I have written about Skip Frye before, and I am going to write about him again. And probably a lot more after that, too. Shred Sledz might be a work in progress, and in its nascent stages, there are still some things we are trying to sort out. There are other beliefs to which we hold steadfast, and here at Shred Sledz HQ we take Skip Frye’s status as one of the most admired board builders on the planet as an article of faith.

Frye’s creations are some of the most sought-after surfboards on the planet, especially his fish, his noseriders, and his glider shapes. From what I understand you can’t even order a board from Skip without having some kind of in. His boards that pop up on the second market tend to move quickly.

Needless to say, I was delighted to see a Skip Frye glider in relatively good shape turn up on Craigslist. You’ll often see people attaching shameless prices to Frye boards that have been well-used and repaired. This here is an example of a Skip Frye Eagle, which is the model name he uses to describe his gliders, and it’s priced at an exceedingly reasonable $800. This particular example measures in at 10′2″, and while it’s not in perfect conditions, the dings look manageable (though I would want a closer look at the ones on the bottom.) I imagine it paddles like a Cadillac, and if you can’t catch waves on this thing, well, surfing just might not be your sport.

Shout out to the always incredible Stoked-n-Board for providing some great intel on this particular shape. You can see the numbering here in the last pic, which reads “S.D. 1028″. S-n-B has detailed info on the numbering, which pegs this board right at the end of 1994. The airbrush and the Moonlight Glassing logo (see the original Craigslist posting) look about right for this time period, too.

I’m curious about the hammerhead logo on the board, which I have never seen before. If anyone has any info about that, feel free to chime in.

Otherwise, check out the board on Craigslist here.