Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you are all enjoying the last few days of the decade. I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to 2019 than by checking out some sweet sticks, so without any further ado, here are some of my favorite social media posts from the past month or so.
Stab Magazine called Tom Curren’s Maurice Cole-shaped reverse vee “the most famous board ever shaped”, and it’s hard to argue with that description. The Surfer’s Journal recently weighed in with some cool trivia, letting us know that there were two boards with the signature yellow rails and logo-less design: a 7’3″, along with the more famous 7’8″ featured in Servais’ timeless cutback photo. The existence of the nearly identical 7’3″ and 7’8″ boards is described at length in the Stab Magazine article linked in the first sentence of the caption.
Here’s where things get weird: in last month’s Social Media Roundup I featured an Instagram post from Maurice Cole himself, posing alongside an 8’0″ board with the same reverse vee, yellow rails and blank logos. Cole also claims the 8’0″ was shaped in 1991, along with the 7’3″ and 7’8″. Does this mean there are actually three reverse vee boards, and not two? I figure if anyone knows it’s Maurice Cole, but consider me intrigued.
Rob Machado is a Pipeline Master, he gets paid to travel the world and surf his brains out, and he’s also got phenomenal hair. If you find yourself running out of reasons to be jealous of the dude — who, by all accounts, is a super nice guy — he also gets Skip Frye boards for Christmas. This one is a beautiful 7’11” Frye Nozzle.
Speaking of things I’d like to see under my Christmas tree, add a Marc Andreini balsa Serena model to the list. My 9’0″ Andreini Serena is probably my favorite board of all time. You can see Marc posing alongside a different board in the picture immediately above this caption — note the White Owl logo on the deck, whereas the first board doesn’t have any logos. The logo-less Serena is actually a gift to the woman whom the board was named after, which makes it even cooler.
There’s no special significance to this shot, which was taken by multi-hyphenate Andrew Kidman. It’s just a gorgeous photo of a skilled craftsman that highlights the beauty and skill of hand shaping surfboards. RIP Allan Byrne.
The Campbell Brothers have been featured in the Social Media Roundup countless times now. They always have cool tidbits from their decades long history with one of surfing’s most enduring designs. Here’s an early Hawaiian quiver from 1983, featuring a trio of sweet sleds. Check out that Cafe Haleiwa logo on the far left!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a real doozy for you. Featured here is an absolutely insane George Greenough Design edge board shaped by Bob Duncan of Wilderness Surfboards. All of the photos come courtesy of a fellow Shredder in New Jersey who would like to remain anonymous. He stumbled across this board while on an adventure in California, and was kind enough to share the photos you see here.
The George Greenough Design edge board featured here is actually a sail board. In the photo of the deck you can see a slot for a sail, as well as where the foot straps would have been placed. The George Greenough Design edge board was shaped by Bob Duncan in either the late Eighties or early Nineties. It was apparently made for large swells at Razor Blades, a spot within the famed Hollister Ranch.
The edge board comes from the fertile mind of George Greenough, the legendary and reclusive design genius who helped usher in the shortboard revolution, and is still influencing surfboard design today. Recently Greenough’s edge board has undergone a revival of sorts thanks to a lineup of well-regarded shapers, including folks like Marc Andreini, Kirk Putnam, Scott Anderson and Manny Caro. Andrew Kidman and Ellis Ericson recently released a film / book project called “On the Edge of a Dream”. Kidman and Ericson’s project documents their explorations of Greenough’s edge board design, which were produced in collaboration with Greenough himself.
What makes the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design sail board interesting is the fact it was shaped well before the current edge board craze. The best summary of the history of Greenough’s edge board can be found in Marc Andreini’s excellent book “The Gift.” The relevant chapter on the Greenough edge board was excerpted in Liquid Salt. Greenough invented the edge board in the Sixties, and by the Seventies, surfboard shapers had shifted their attention elsewhere. Greenough began windsurfing in the early Eighties, and during this process he rediscovered the benefits of the edge board design. One of Greenough’s famous sail boards was a 7’3″ shape he dubbed “The Backyard Special”, which was profiled in The Surfer’s Journal. The Backyard Special was an edge board that helped prove the benefits Greenough had initially envisioned about the design.
The way Greenough tells it, the Backyard Special was a magic board. In 2014, when Greenough decided to shape some surfboards for Dave Rastovich following a multi-decade hiatus, he drew on the edge board concepts from the Backyard Special. The end result were two edge boards, one of which Rasta surfed at decent sized Cloudbreak.
Rasta’s Fiji trip was also chronicled in the Surfer’s Journal. You can find the original article here, which was originally published in 2014 (and if you don’t already subscribe, you really should.) Rastovich, in turn, mentioned the Greenough edge boards to Ellis Ericson during a trip to the Maldives. Ericson and Kidman then collaborated with Greenough to produce updated versions of some of his famous designs, and documented the entire process for “On the Edge of a Dream.”
Back in California, it appears that Bob Duncan had been shaping interpretations of the George Greenough Design edge board concept since the late eighties and early nineties, right when Greenough was pushing the limits on his Backyard Special. Perhaps Duncan was in touch with Greenough at this time, or word of Greenough’s edge board designs had gotten back to Duncan somehow. It’s not clear to me how Duncan initially picked up the edge board concept. That said, Wilderness Surfboards, the label under which Bob Duncan shapes, was actually founded by George Greenough and Michael Cundith. However, it appears Greenough hasn’t been involved with the label (either its Santa Barbara or New South Wales variants) for a while now.
In addition to the George Greenough Design sail board featured here, you can find plentiful evidence of other edge boards shaped by Bob Duncan. See below for a photo of an edge board gun with a thruster setup that was shaped in 1993.
Kirk Putnam also published a photo of a Bob Duncan edge board on his blog back in 2011, a few years before Greenough shaped his boards for Dave Rastovich. You can see the photo below:
Finally, I couldn’t help but notice the logo on the Bob Duncan edge board. The deck has the classic George Greenough Design airplane logo. What’s interesting is the logo on the bottom of the board, which appears to be a variant of the airplane logo. I’m not sure the story behind this version of the George Greenough Design airplane logo, so if you have info, let me know.
Thanks again to the mystery Shredder in New Jersey who shared these photos of the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design edge board. It’s a fascinating window into a design that has roots both in California and Australia, spanning across decades of surfing history, involving a number of talented surfers and craftsmen.
Today we’d like to alert you fine folks to a very cool project that is under way: a film and book combination called “On the Edge of a Dream.” “On the Edge” is a collaboration between Andrew Kidman and Ellis Ericson, alongside the legendary George Greenough. The project is made up of a short film and an accompanying book, both of which are available exclusively through the website. “On the Edge” is an exploration of George Greenough’s edge board design, which has seen a resurgence recently due to shapers like Marc Andreini and Scott Anderson, as well as a crew of alternative surf craft enthusiasts such as Kirk Putnam and Dave Rastovich. Oh, and in case not enough bold faced names have been thrown at you, Barry McGee designed the artwork.
The Surfer’s Journal ran a great piece a few years ago that featured Dave Rastovich taking two other Greenough edge boards through their paces at Cloudbreak. The two boards featured in the Rastovich / TSJ article look extremely similar to the one Ericson can be seen surfing in the trailer for “On the Edge of a Dream.”
If you’d like to see the film in person, “On the Edge of a Dream” will be doing a series of premiers up and down the California coast. See the Instagram post below (and give the official account a follow) for more info on this rad undertaking:
Greetings, Shredderz! Here to take you into the weekend is a celebration of one of California’s finest board builders, one Harry “Skip” Frye. Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal for a comprehensive look at Skip’s personal quiver. In the meantime, here are some social media selections showing off Skip’s shapes…
I wrote about this Skip Frye single fin when it was posted on Craigslist…and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it! This is the only Frye I have seen with a Select Surf Shop laminate, and it’s got a sick little wing pin outline to boot. I’m glad that it found a good home with Buggs, who runs Surfboard Line. The board has been fixed up and looks better than ever. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures!
Taylor Knox owes his long career to his powerful rail surfing. It’s difficult to imagine him laying these gliders into his patented spray-chucking carves, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Taylor Knox! I’m just stoked to see this unexpected but rad union between two opposite ends of the famously varied spectrum that is San Diego surfing. Don’t hold your breath for Joel Tudor to bust out a high performance thruster, though…
This board is a bit of a mystery, but don’t skip over it because of the abstract picture! Skip Frye shaped this board for use at Jeffrey’s Bay, and it ended up being ridden by Derek Hynd (and I believe Tom Curren, too). You can read more about the board and the session in Andrew Kidman’s forthcoming Beyond Litmus book.
Allan Byrne, the force behind Byrning Spears, tragically passed away a few years ago as the result of a motorcycle accident in Bali. His legacy as the world’s pre-eminent shaper of channel bottom boards remains, though, as shown in this Instagram post by Andrew Kidman. The board in the post is an absolute beast, measuring at 10’4″ and designed to tame Pipeline. The surfer is underground Aussie charger Sam Yoon, who was written up in a nice Surfer profile that can be found here.