Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another edition of Quivers of Distinction. This series features some rad quivers from individual collectors who were kind enough to share pics and info with yours truly. Today quiver belongs to Mike Essner from Maui, who has built up a sweet selection of Bing surfboards over the years. Check out the photos below and click to enlarge. Thanks to Mike for sharing all the photos you see here.
As you can see in the photos above, Mike has a couple of noseriders, and then no less than four Bonzers. Three of the Bonzers are Bing Bonzers, and the fourth is an Eaton Bonzer.
The Bing Bonzer you see above is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a classic example of the initial run of Bing Bonzer surfboards, with the super deep concave in the tail and the branded side bite fins. It looks to have an original Rainbow fin on it, too.
In contrast, the board above, while also a Bing Bonzer, looks like a later edition. I can’t tell who shaped the first Bing Bonzer — the orange board with the red and black Rainbow fin — but the one immediately above this paragraph looks to be a later model, and I’m almost certain it’s a Mike Eaton creation. Check out the small center fin, and the pintail outline is very reminiscent of other Eaton Bonzers I have seen, including this example of an Eaton Bonzer sporting an incredible airbrush.
Thank you to Mike for sharing! If you own a quiver packed to the gills with some heat, shoot me an email because I’d love to see it!
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 EatonBing 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!
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and so I’m obligated to serve up some more vintage surf ads for all you kind folks. Usually, the Sagas of Shred series features ads that I have personally scanned from my stash of Surfer Magazine back issues. Today’s post, however, features an ad that I found somewhere on the internet. If this is your original scan or upload please let me know so I can give credit where it is due! Anyway, today we have a vintage Bing Bonzer ad. The original file had 1973 in the filename, so I’m guessing the ad may have run that same year. According to the old Stoked-n-Board archives, the Bing Bonzer was produced between 1973 and 1976, so the timing adds up. Still, I don’t have any confirmation around the date.
That said, it’s probably best to focus on the downright sexy curves of the cherry red Bing Bonzer featured in the advertisement. I’ve geeked out about the Bing Bonzer many, manytimesbefore, and I still can’t get enough! By now you may know that I’m a huge fan of the branded side bites, but you can also see they’re complemented by a cool Bing branded fin in the ad above.
Last but not least the testimonials are all-time, too. Who is Wildman?! More importantly, the Bing Bonzer bears the stamp of approval from folks like Steve Wilkings, Jeff Hakman, Dru Harrison, and of course, the Campbell Brothers, who were responsible for creating the landmark design in the first place. Tiger Makin was a Rick Surfboards team rider alongside Dru Harrison. Between Makin and Dru Harrison, along with Rick Surfboards’ early ties to the Bing label, this rare Rick Surfboards / Mike Eaton bonzer I posted on Instagram recently is starting to make more sense. I had no idea that Hakman and Harrison had anything to do with the Bonzer before seeing this ad. Then again, the Bonzer has had no shortage of notable fans in its forty plus years, ranging from the folks mentioned above to people like Taylor Knox and Alex Knost.
If you’re gettingsick of mewriting aboutBing Bonzers…well, you might want to reconsider your Shred Sledz patronage. And trust me, this is not a blog that can afford to lose any more readers! But I digress — pictured here is a certifiably bitchin’ Bing Bonzer that’s currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. All pics in this post are via the Craigslist listing, which you can find here.
I don’t like to think of myself as a grouchy old guy grumbling about how they don’t make ’em like they used to…but it’s hard not to look at the fifty-year-old board pictured above and come to that exact conclusion. In particular, I can’t stop looking at the resin pinlines. They are so clean and subtle but also make the board pop. The color combo is incredible, too. Overall, the surfboard is striking without seeming at all excessive.
How sexy is that matching fin, too?! You can also see the signature deep double concave in the photo above, as well as the Bonzer branded side bites. I love the contrast between the sharp lines of the side bites and then the pronounced curves of the concave in the tail. I think the Bing Bonzer is one of the most beautiful shortboards that has ever been created.
Now, as for the price: the seller is asking $800. I have seen better deals on boards like this, but I have also seen much worse. And while it seems like Bing Bonzers aren’t ultra rare, they don’t often pop up for sale, and the condition can always be a crap shoot. This example has some noticeable heel dents on the deck, and some nicks scattered throughout, but the most important aspects of the board have been well preserved over the years. Of course, I haven’t seen the board in person myself, so standard caveats apply. Provided there aren’t any issues with the board that aren’t shown in the pictures, I think this is a pretty fair price for a genuine Bing Bonzer.
There’s no telling who shaped it — possibly Mike Eaton, I guess — nor are any dimensions listed. You can check out the Bing Bonzer on Craigslist here.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we are featuring a beautiful little vintage Bing Bonzer that sold on eBay for $800. You can find a link to eBay listing here; all photos in this post are via the listing.
My take is this is a good price for a very cool board. By contrast, I wrote up another Bing Bonzer, albeit one in much better condition, that sold on eBay for $1,100. The Bing Bonzer looks to be pretty good condition, especially considering its age.
When I first saw the vintage Bing Bonzer pictured below, it almost looked like a stubby-esque outline. However, I was surprised to see the dimensions: 8′ x 21 3/4″ x 2 1/4″.
I really love the prominent beak in the nose. This board looks like it has tons of paddling power. The subtle pinlines on the deck and the cream and blue colorway are both beautiful touches, too.
I can’t help but compare this Bing Bonzer to other examples I have seen. The first thing that stands out to me is the Bonzer logo that appears on the side bites. See below for a close up from the board that just sold on eBay:
Now, see below for three other Bing Bonzers I have written up previously. You’ll notice the Bonzer logo is different on the three boards below. The text is in all caps and it’s not quite as “round” as the font on the white eBay vintage Bing Bonzer, for lack of a better word.
In addition, the entire tail end of the eBay Bing Bonzer looks different from other examples I have seen. The white eBay board has a much more mellow double concave in the tail compared to the extreme scooped-out design of the three Bing Bonzers above. In addition, the eBay board has a round tail. One other random note: I have seen a different version of the Bing logo that includes the word “Bonzer” in it, which is different from the standard Bing logo on the deck of the eBay board.
It seems clear to me that the eBay board is a different model than the trio of Bing Bonzers pictured above. However, I’m not sure which came earlier — the Bonzers with the super deep tail concaves and the all caps logo on the side bite fins, or the eBay board. It’s also possible they were produced at the same time, but I think that’s less likely. A knowledgeable friend thinks the eBay board might be a later version of the Bing Bonzer, but I can’t confirm any of this. According to the Campbell Brothers’ website, the Bing Bonzer was only produced between 1973 and 1975 at the latest.
If you have any clues about the dates different vintage Bing Bonzer boards were produced, please let me know! Finally, you can find a link to the board featured in this post here.
Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re a regular reader of the blog by now you know that I have a soft spot for the Bonzer. The Bonzer is a board I have written up numerous times, and I don’t expect that to stop any time soon! As the title suggests, this post will focus on the dramatic concave that you see in early versions of the Bonzer. A friend read some of my earlier posts on the Campbell Brothers‘ iconic design, and was kind enough to send some close up shots of a few of the Bonzers he owns. Give him a follow on Instagram when you get a chance. He has an insane collection with a lot of gems from Santa Barbara-area shapers.
As you can see, the photos really give you a great idea of just how extreme the double concave is in the tail. Pictured above is a vintage Campbell Brothers Bonzer, which I would guess was shaped sometime during the Seventies. I’m still tripping out on the curvature of the fin box, which looks like it was modified to fit the bottom contours of the board.
The second board is a Bing Bonzer, which I think was also shaped during a similar time period. Check out those branded side bite fins! The tail of the board is practically scooped out, which would have helped create water flow out the back. I am far from an expert on fluid dynamics, though, so rather than butcher the science behind this influential design, I’ll instead refer you to Malcolm and Duncan Campbell’s helpful rundown on Bonzer mechanics.
Finally, you can see a comparison between the Bing Bonzer and the Campbell Brothers model at the very top of the page. As you can see, the two vintage Bonzers are extremely similar to one another, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the Campbell Brothers actively worked on the Bing version alongside Bing Copeland and Mike Eaton.
Thanks to Jesse for supplying the pics for the post! And if you have any photos of any rad boards you’d like to see featured here, don’t hesitate to reach me by email, or DM me on Instagram.
Greetings, Shredderz! As you may know by now, I’m an unabashed admirer of the Bing Bonzer (and heck, bonzers in general). I’ve written upnumerous Bing Bonzers before, and as long as cool examples keep popping up, that trend will continue. The Bing Bonzer surfboard featured in this post recently sold on eBay, which is a great opportunity to get some good info on what these boards command on the open market. Keep reading below for some more information on the board…
The Bing Bonzer surfboard featured here is in great condition. If you’re dead set on nitpicking, it looks like there might be a few tiny pressure dings on the bottom. Otherwise, it looks pretty pristine. The Bing Bonzer surfboard also has some beautiful colors. I love the combination of the deep cherry red pigmentation on the bottom and the subtle cobalt blue pin lines on the deck. I’m a sucker for the branded side bite fins, and on this board they are in great original condition. Finally, the Bing Bonzer surfboard comes complete with a Rainbow fin. The posting isn’t clear, but if I had to guess, I would say the board is entirely original. All in all, it’s a stunning board.
As you can see from the eBay listing, this Bing Bonzer surfboard sold for a cool $1,100. Even though the board is in great condition and has some wonderful touches, I was still a bit surprised by the high price. Moreover, the board was available only for local pickup in northern Florida.
Is the board worth the money? Well, that’s not really for me to say. Nonetheless, given the rarity of these boards, and the enduring appeal of the Campbell Brothers’ design, I wouldn’t be surprised if stellar examples of Bing Bonzers continue to climb in value over the years.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post brings you a pair of vintage Bing Bonzer boards that are currently for sale on Craigslist. I wrote up another Bing Bonzer earlier this month — check out that post here. Without any further ado, here are the boards:
Pics above are via the Craigslist posting. The yellow vintage Bing Bonzer pictured above is in pretty good condition considering it’s 40+ years old. Still, you can see some obvious spots on the deck where repairs were made. The deck has some sun damage, but now we’re just nitpicking. The glass-on side bite fins are remarkably well preserved, and I just love the Bonzer logo! The last shot gives a great close-up of the concave in the tail. The seller is asking $800 for this board.
Pics above via the Craigslist posting. Sadly, no dimensions are provided, but the board is very similar to the first vintage Bing Bonzer featured in this post. It’s nice to see a slightly different color combination, too: Board #2 has a green Bonzer logo on the side bite fins, and then a red Bing logo on the deck.
One thing that stands out about Board #2 is the different fin. Board #1’s fin looks like it is plastic, whereas Board #2 could be fiberglass. It’s difficult for me to say without looking at each board in person. If anyone has info on the original fins that came with vintage Bing Bonzer surfboards, let me know! This board is listed at $500, which seems like a great price for a Bing Bonzer in great condition.
It’s unclear to me who shaped each of these boards. The vintage Bing Bonzer I wrote up earlier bore Mike Eaton signatures (which were not pictured in the post). Both of the Bonzers above do not have any markings that I could discern.
Finally, you can see that both boards have standard Bing logos on the decks. At some point, however, Bing produced a combination Bing Bonzer logo. I have included one below. Stoked-n-Board offers up some clues for dating the boards above, via the logo designs. According to S-n-B’s excellent Bing entry, the non-Bonzer variant of the logo was produced starting in 1970. S-n-B claims the Bing Bonzer logo, pictured directly below, was used beginning in 1972. By that math, both vintage Bing Bonzers above were likely produced between 1970 and 1972. This is by no means definitive, but that’s the best I could come up with.
Check out Board #1 here, and Board #2 can be found here.
Pictured below is a Bing Bonzer shaped by Mike Eaton that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the board here. The Bonzer was invented by the Campbell Brothers in the late 1960s / early 1970s in Ventura, California. Their website has an excellent overview of the history of the design. The design, which predated the thruster by almost a decade, endures today. The board above, however, harkens back to the original days of the Bonzer, when it was first released in collaboration with Bing Surfboards.
Mike Eaton was one of the head shapers at Bing during the early 1970s, and he continued to shape Bonzers even after leaving the label. The Bing Bonzer pictured above measures in at 6’9″, and it looks like it’s in great condition. Check out the last shot for the close up of the branded Bonzer side bites. I can’t decide if the 70s themed color scheme is ridiculous in a good way, or, as the New York Times put it, harkens to “the decade that taste seemed to forget.”
The real star of the show is the tail of the board. Check out the Bonzer branding on the side bite fins. It looks like the board has its original fin, which isn’t always a guarantee when dealing with boards from the 1970s. Note the bolt located behind the fin, which has a loop around it holding the string that is attached. This indicates that the board was likely shaped before the leash became popularized. Take a look at the two pictures above for a nice close-up of the dramatic double concave in the tail. Later on, when Eaton shaped Bonzers under his own name, he continued to produce boards with extremely deep concaves.
The seller is asking $700 for the board. You can find a link to the board here. I am a bit torn on the price. First, it’s not every day you find a genuine Bing Bonzer in good condition. That said, a first generation 6’10” Bing Bonzer failed to sell at the 2013 California Vintage Surf Auction. Estimates for that board ranged from $300 – $600, which seems low to me.
Sadly, as I mentioned in a previous post, it appears that Mike Eaton suffered a serious stroke in 2015. See this page for updates on his condition, but it has not been changed since December 2015. Mike, if you are reading this, thank you for your contributions to surfboard history, and we wish you nothing but the best!
This thing is 8′4″ and it’s got all the cool branding you would expect from this unique Campbell Bros / Bing collaboration. However, there’s some discoloration going on. Check out the Bonzer-branded glass on fins, though!
This thing is pretty trashed, honestly. I don’t think it’s worth buying. Nonetheless, it includes a good close up picture of the Mini Gun logo. More than anything else this is a great opportunity to share some cool older surfboard logos. Click through only if you won’t be triggered by the sight of a collectible surfboard that has been abused throughout its lifetime.
This board is no spring chicken either. Same deal with the other Greg Noll board listed above – just look at the cool logo. This is a rare variant that has Noll holding a camera while riding (you can see that it actually rads “Surf boards and film productions.”) One interesting tidbit is that Stoked-n-Board has the filming logo corresponding to the late 50s, but the actual green logo as being in the 1960s.
This is a really cool looking vee bottom board. I don’t think Daytona was a particularly notable Florida label, but I’ve never seen one of these before. It’s in decent condition, maybe a little pricey at $300, but I love these cool vee bottom transitional boards.
Skip Frye Gordon & Smith Longboard on Craigslist (San Diego)
If you’re wondering why the link is missing…this thing was taken down very quickly! Someone jumped on this bad boy. It was going for $500. I couldn’t get a good idea of the condition but I tend to think these boards are quite collectible.