Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer with Seventies Airbrush

Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you here in the good ol’ US of A, I hope you’re having a wonderful Memorial Day. And what better way to close out the three day weekend than with a feature on a cool surfboard? Pictured here is a straight up ridiculous Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer shaped in 1978. The board’s owner, a gentleman named Mike who lives in Leucadia, was kind enough to send over pics of this top notch sled. Thank you Mike for sharing!

There’s a lot to dig about the Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer featured in this post. The Bonzer is not just a subject of fascination for this humble little blog; it’s also one of the most enduring designs in surfboard history. I’m particularly interested in the Bing Bonzer, given that it’s the only variant of the Campbell Brothers’ shape that was produced in collaboration with another label (I don’t count the more recent Channel Islands version). Finally, as someone who admires the arc of Mike Eaton’s career, I find myself gravitating towards the surfboards he shaped for the Bing label before striking out on his own.

But hey, why bore you all with this history talk when there’s a sick sled to be ogled? Even if you don’t care to learn more about Eaton’s contributions to shaping, this board has an unbelievable airbrush that anyone can — and should! — appreciate. Click the photos below to enlarge.

The board sports a classic Seventies airbrush depicting a dreamy lineup in soft pastels. Part of me wants to point out that yes, it’s a little cheesy…but really, it’s a gorgeous painting. I also love the hourglass shape of the airbrush. I wonder if some of the lines of the painting match the curves of the board itself.

I can’t quite make out the artist’s signature. If anyone knows more, please let me know! I’d love to credit whoever was responsible for this bitchin’ artwork. Scroll below for photos of both signatures on the board.

Last but not least, the board’s owner was able to provide a great shot of the tail. Most, if not all, of the Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer surfboards I have seen sport pretty dramatic double concaves in the tail. It’s hard to see from the angle below, but it appears as if there’s some deep concave here as well. As always, I love the branded side bite fins. The center fin is an interesting design, too.

I have seen many Mike Eaton Bonzers with stubby, almost hatchet like fins on them. The fin on the board above is much shorter than those found on the original run of Bing Bonzers, but it doesn’t have the bulbous hatchet outline I have seen on other Eaton boards. See below for two other examples of Eaton Bonzer fins. You’ll notice fin on the airbrushed board is similar to the one below and on the left; an example of what I have been referring to as the hatchet-esque fin is below and to the right. Click the photos below to enlarge.

I hope you all enjoyed the photos of Mike’s vintage 1978 Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: how killer is that airbrush? And if you know who the artist might be please do drop me a line. Thanks again Mike for sharing your photos of this beautiful surfboard!

Weekend Grab Bag: Airbrush Aficionado Edition, featuring 80s Stussy Surfboard and More

Well, Shredderz, if I’m going to waste a good chunk of my waking hours trawling Craigslist and eBay, I figure someone should benefit from all the time I’ve spent combing through listings. For today’s installment of the Weekend Grab Bag I’ve highlighted a few boards that all feature some pretty futuristic graphics, courtesy of some talented artists and craftsmen. As always, the Weekend Grab Bag features boards that are still for sale as of the time the blog post goes live. Anyway, keep scrolling to see a selection of special sleds that are currently for sale…

Stussy 80s Surfboard (Craigslist San Diego)

If there’s a cool 80s Stussy surfboard for sale, well, you know that I’m probably gonna write about it. Sadly this board has seen some better days, but the awesome airbrush is still largely intact. I think this board has an incredible paint job, even by the high standards of Stussy’s boundary pushing artwork in the Eighties. As an added little bonus, this 80s Stussy surfboard has a small planer logo, which is one of my favorite Stussy mini laminates. See below for an example of the planer logo that the S Double honcho shared on his Instagram:

M.T.B. Channel Twin Fin (eBay)

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We’ve got some more airbrush heat coming straight at you, this time courtesy of M.T.B. Surfboards. M.T.B. stands for Mulhern, Takayama and Brumett. Most of the M.T.B. Surfboards I see are located in Florida, which is where I think Mulhern was based. I personally haven’t seen very many Donald Takayama-shaped M.T.B. Surfboards, but I don’t know why that’s the case. Much like the 80s Stussy surfboard above, the bottom of the M.T.B. board doesn’t look great. As of the time of this post, the bidding was still under $200.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Single Fin (Craigslist SF Bay Area)

First of all, I love Mike Eaton’s surfboards, from his Bonzers to just about everything else he’s done. Second, Eaton’s surfboards commonly feature airbrushes by a particular artist, or at least very much influenced by that person’s style. I have never found any information online about who airbrushes Eaton’s boards, but I really dig them. See below for an example of a Bing board with a very similar airbrush, which I imagine was likely shaped by Eaton as well. I think the Mike Eaton surfboard is a little pricey at $800, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

Vintage Channel Islands Single Fin With Jack Meyer Airbrush

Alright, Shredderz: it’s time I come clean. The board featured below is one of my absolute favorites since I have started writing this blog. First and foremost, as some of you might know, I am a card carrying Airbrush Aficionado, with a healthy appreciation for all and any spray jobs — the more outrageous the better. The board featured here has an absolutely killer Jack Meyer airbrush (RIP). Meyer, who was born in New Jersey before making his way out to Santa Barbara, made a name for himself as one of the best known airbrush artists before his untimely passing in 2007. Second, the board featured in this post is a vintage Channel Islands Surfboards single fin. CI might be one of the world’s largest surfboard brands, but I am continually surprised that its vintage boards aren’t in higher demand. (Shred Sledz has written a lot about vintage Channel Islands boards in the past.) Anyway, the board below is the best of both worlds: it’s a 1975 Channel Islands single fin, complete with an amazing Jack Meyer artwork on the bottom. Many thanks to KC, who purchased the board and was kind enough to take the awesome photos you see here.

The Channel Islands single fin pictured above measures in at approximately 7’2″ x 20.5″ x 3″. As you can see in the photos, the surfboard features an incredible and intricate Jack Meyer airbrush on the bottom, with Jesus standing over a surf spot. The spot is Government Point at the west end of Cojo Bay, located in the infamous Hollister Ranch. The fact the airbrush is an ode to the Ranch isn’t surprising when considering both Channel Islands’ and Jack Meyer’s Santa Barbara ties.

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Close up of the lineup on the board. This is Government Point in the Hollister Ranch.

Hollister Ranch via HollisterRanchListings.com
Lineup shot somewhere in the Hollister Ranch. I can’t say for sure if it’s the same spot featured on the board. If you’d like to invite me to surf at the Ranch to do some research for this post, my schedule is wide open! Pic via Hollister Ranch Listings

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The board features an original Channel Islands Surfboards logo — no iconic hexagon design to be found here — and a mysterious reference to Pepper Adcock.

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There also a subtle, light purple pin line on the bottom of the board, which I think is the perfect minimalist complement to the detail-packed Jack Meyer airbrush.

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Close up of the stringer. There is no Al signature on the board. I believe the board was likely shaped by another Channel Islands shaper at the time.

I believe the board is not an Al Merrick hand shape. There is no Al signature on the stringer, just a serial number next to the fish outline, which is a staple of Channel Islands boards even today.

I was actually able to find a very similar looking board on Instagram, which you can see below. Sadly, this is the best quality picture was I able to find. If anyone has any ideas on the whereabouts of the other Jesus board, please do let me know!

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Here’s a similar Jack Meyer airbrush from another vintage Channel Islands Surfboard; this one shaped in 1976. Pic via the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Group on Facebook

Last but not least, the story behind the board is equally interesting. Somehow the board found its way to a pawn shop in South Dakota. The then-owner took the board to Orange County this summer while on his way to the Long Beach Motorcycle Swap Meet, and decided to throw the board on Craigslist. The rest, as they say, is history. I am also delighted to report that the board has found its way back to Jack Meyer’s family, in no small part thanks to KC’s efforts.

What can I say? You’re probably better off skipping the text in this post and just looking at the photos, because Meyer’s artwork says far more about this special stick than whatever description I might be able to muster. More than anything else I am stoked that the Channel Islands single fin in this post is with the Meyer family, where it will no doubt be properly appreciated and cared for.

Thanks to KC for sharing the pics and the story behind the board and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I liked writing it!

Note: Post updated to correct the name of the spot in the airbrush to Government Point, and not Cojo Point

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)

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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)

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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.

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Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

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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.

Social Media Roundup: Autumnal Awesomeness

Greetings, Shredderz! By now you may know the drill: here’s a collection of some of my favorite vintage surfboard related social media posts from the past month or so. Keep scrolling for more.

I believe this photo was actually taken and published by Jeff Booth’s dad. True story: as a seventeen year old “grom” one my first surf experience was attending a Quiksilver surf camp in Montauk. Jeff Booth was the resident pro that day, and not only was he nice enough to push me into a wave, he politely declined to point out the fact that I was five to ten years older than all the other campers. Thanks Jeff — I owe you for that one! Anyway, peep that killer Eighties Stussy stick, complete with the NSSA lams. (The photo at the top of the page features Booth in a later ad for Stussy Surfboards.) I’m also trying to zoom in on the Stussy logo beneath the NSSA sticker, but can’t quite make out what it might be.

I love vintage Yater single fins. This one is classic: all clean lines and understated cool. This is a grown ass man’s surfboard.

Here’s a killer Town and Country twin fin. Make sure you scroll through all of the pics, including the beautiful glassed on fins with the T&C yin yang logo. Lots of people go nuts over the Eighties T&C boards with the crazy airbrushes — and I love them, too — but I think the slightly earlier T&C vintage boards are every bit as cool.

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Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

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Surfboards and Coffee held their latest event this month, and by all accounts, it was a doozy! They collected a bunch of boards with some amazing airbrushes. Shout out to all my Airbrush Aficionados out there!

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Flashing on empty secos with a stringerless….. early 1980s… i usually keep my trap shut but….I always hear guys talking about hulls these days talking about how they enjoyed them back in the day … when I’m thinking to myself wait a minute wernt you the kid on that stupid pointy down railed rocketship that just didn’t work in most surf or that ampy echo beach thingy… or whatever.. fact is for now at least my memory is pin perf…. I can spin about 20 names off like Greg, steve, mardy,Andy,bozo, wocheck,Tim kabota,ed Phillips, kp, McKnight , buck,wemple…dadams to name a few…. (sorry if I left u out, it’s early) i mean show me a shot of you riding one better yet how bout a shot of you just holding one?…. in the 70s…. naw… 80s nope…, 90s, maybe…. 2000s yeh probally… better late than never…. this post isn’t ment for you younger guys….. #hulls #liddlesurfboards #surfboards #glomontoanything 👣bongo archives photo: Kirk Putnam

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Now this is a vintage Liddle flex! Happy that Mr. Casagrande spares “younger guys” like me — I’m in my mid thirties, do I still count? — but regardless, respect to the hull trailblazers. And how dope is that board?

Last but not least we have a rare and beautiful Surfboards Haleiwa single fin shaped by none other than Mike Diffenderfer. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Diff board under the Surfboards Haleiwa label before, but this one is so cool. Love the resin pin lines, the bold red bird logo on the bottom, and the unmistakable outlines of a classic Seventies single fin.