Shaper Spotlight: Surfboards by Todd Pinder

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to welcome all of you to a brand spanking new series on the blog, titled “Shaper Spotlight.” Up until now, this humble blog has focused mostly on vintage surfboards. I think it’s also important to profile contemporary shapers who are building boards today. There’s a ton of rich history found in older surfboards, and that will always be a big part of Shred Sledz. That said, there’s only one way to ensure hand shaped surfboards continue to get their due, and that’s by supporting the talented craftsmen who build them.

Last month I took my first ever trip to Oahu, and during that time I was lucky enough to meet up with Todd Pinder, the man behind Surfboards by Todd Pinder. Pinder plies his trade in Honolulu, where he painstakingly crafts each and every board by hand. This doesn’t just apply to shaping, however — Pinder is one of those rare shapers who also glasses all of his own creations, too.

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Todd Pinder creates all his boards by hand, shaping and glassing his creations. Here are a few boards waiting to be finished. Love the bold but simple red color.

Pinder might be a modern surfboard builder, but he draws upon some very deep roots from years of living in Hawaii and working alongside some well respected folks, like Carl Schaper (pronounced Shopper) and Donald Takayama. Pinder also continues to provide boards for folks like Joel Tudor and his sons.

Pinder’s shop is filled with a bunch of rad vintage sticks. See below for a neat Seventies Greg Liddle single fin. I can’t recall off the top of my head whether it was a hull, but I really dig the unusual pattern on the deck. Click the photos below to enlarge.

I got to see the Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding model that Joel Tudor posted about below. Todd told me the Nuuhiwa is a little shorter than other stock DN Noseriding models from the same time period.

The single coolest board Pinder showed me was an insane Joe Quigg paddleboard. Make sure you click the photos below to enlarge, as they show off the paddleboard in a bit more detail. Check out the squared off tail. The Joe Quigg paddleboard has incredibly thick rails, and I think it’s about 12′ long, so there’s plenty of paddle power to spare. You can see Pinder posing alongside this board in the post at the top of the page.

Here are some earlier photos, via Pinder’s Facebook page, that show Joe Quigg alongside Todd and the paddleboard.

That’s not all Pinder had stashed away, however. Upstairs in his shaping room Pinder also had a Seventies Surf Line Hawaii single fin shaped by Buddy Dumphy and a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye from the late Sixties. Click the photos below to enlarge. I couldn’t quite figure out which model the G&S / Skip Frye board is — maybe a “Speed Board”? — but it’s interesting that it has a small text G&S logo, instead of the classic bow tie logo that we all know and love. Pinder tells me the outline on the G&S / Skip Frye board has inspired some of his own egg shapes.

If you’re still not satisfied, well, there’s more. Pinder also showed off a sick Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel. The Sopwith Camel is one of Tom Morey’s many quirky and incredible Transition Era shapes, featuring an early stringerless design. I could go on a rant about how Tom Morey might be the most underrated inventor in surfing history, but I’ll save that for another time.

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Pinder with a very cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel.

And while Pinder’s shaping room is filled with vintage gems, I’m even more stoked about his current creations. I mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth repeating: Pinder shapes and glasses all of his boards. Yes, all of them. Surfboards are often marketed as bespoke goods, but the manufacturing reality can be the opposite. When you order a surfboard from Pinder, you know it was built by one set of very capable hands from start to finish. If you even have the slightest appreciation for craftsmanship, that should resonate with you. As a bonus, Todd is a very friendly and surf stoked individual.

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Pinder posing alongside some of his newer creations. Pic via Surfboards by Todd Pinder Facebook Page

If you’re in the market for a beautiful new board, hit up Surfboards by Todd Pinder and tell him we sent you! You can also follow him on Instagram here and on Facebook here. Thanks Todd for inviting me to your studio and for sharing the story behind some killer surfboards!

Donald Takayama David Nuuhiwa Noserider: Hawaiian Pro Designs Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be examining an awesome surfboard that crosses over a few different standouts from surf history: a Donald Takayama David Nuuhiwa Noserider shaped in the 1980s, under Takayama’s legendary Hawaiian Pro Designs label.

Nuuhiwa and Takayama’s relationship goes way back. Nuuhiwa has mentioned Takayama as one of his early influences. Later on the two men were stablemates on Bing’s legendary surf team in the 1960s, and both Takayama and Nuuhiwa had signature Bing boards to call their own. Bing’s David Nuuhiwa Noseriding Model was produced during this time, and it remains coveted among longboard collectors. Takayama played a critical role in developing both of Nuuhiwa’s Bing models, which were the aforementioned Noseriding Model and the subsequent Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight Model.

The board pictured above is a Hawaiian Pro Designs Donald Takayama David Nuuhiwa Noserider (now take a breath), and it is currently available on Craigslist in Norfolk, Virginia, of all places. Pics in the post are via the listing.

The David Nuuhiwa laminate is an unusual one, and I have only seen it on a handful of Takayama boards before. On the other hand, I have seen a ton of Hawaiian Pro Designs / Takayama boards with “Noserider” logos, one of which you can see below. You’ll notice there is no mention of Nuuhiwa’s name.

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Donald Takayama Noserider laminate taken from another board.

I’m not sure to what extent the Takayama David Nuuhiwa Noserider is a variant of the Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding Model or the Bing Nuuhiwa Lightweight Model. Given the two men’s history with the Bing brand, however, I would be surprised if the HPD board pictured here didn’t at least contain some of the DNA from Nuuhiwa’s earlier Bing models.

The board that is being listed for sale also has something of an interesting history, according to the seller. He claims he was given the board as a Christmas gift from his wife around 1985. The mid Eighties represented longboarding’s dark years, as the surf world’s attention had turned to high performance shortboard thrusters. In the Nineties, noseriding underwent a resurgence, thanks in no small part to the likes of Takayama and his star pupil Joel Tudor. To complete the cycle, Tudor’s surfboard brand has also produced a Nuuhiwa-esque noserider model. In any case, the board featured in this post pre-dates Takayama’s resurgence in popularity by about a decade or so, which is a cool little touch.

As you can see in the pictures, the Takayama David Nuuhiwa Noserider is in impeccable condition. It looks completely new, despite being over thirty years old at this point. The seller is asking $1,600, and while I wouldn’t say this is cheap, it’s not insane, either. If you’re interested in the board, check it out on Craigslist here.

Shred Sledz Grab Bag: David Nuuhiwa Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! After yesterday’s detour to the darker corners of surf industry advertising, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming: sweet vintage sticks for your shralping (or collecting!) pleasure. Today’s Shred Sledz Grab Bag focuses on the boards of one of the coolest cats to ever paddle out: none other than the legendary David Nuuhiwa. We’ve written up Nuuhiwa’s designs before, but it just so happens there are a number of David Nuuhiwa surfboards for sale at the moment. Keep reading for a selection of Nuuhiwa boards that are currently listed for sale:

1966 Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding Model (eBay)

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There are many different David Nuuhiwa surfboards, but his earliest models just might be the most famous. Note: Bing Surfboards released not one but two David Nuuhiwa models in the 1960s. One was the David Nuuhiwa Lightweight; the other was the David Nuuhiwa Noseriding Model. I wrote about an extremely rare DN Lightweight model with a floral cloth overlay earlier, which you can find here. Anyway, the board pictured above is an absolute cherry. It is an all-original Bing DN Noseriding Model that dates to 1966, and it has been verified by Bing himself. The seller is asking $11K, which strikes me as pretty ambitious. That said, it’s rare to find these boards in such great condition.

There are a few other DN longboards floating around online. For example, there’s another Bing DN Noseriding Model on eBay, which you can find here. If you’re more of a Lightweight guy, there is a Bing DN Lightweight Pintail on Craigslist (Rhode Island), which you can find here. Note the Lightweight Pintail has been refinished. Neither board is cheap, either: the second DN Noseriding Model is listed at $3,500; and the seller for the Bing DN Lightweight Pintail is asking $2,600.

And if you’re into unofficial David Nuuhiwa surfboards, here’s Tudor Surfboards’ take on the classic DN Noseriding Model design.

1970s Dyno David Nuuhiwa Single Fin (Craigslist)

By all appearances, David Nuuhiwa’s visual style during the early 1960s was as clean cut and proper as that of his contemporaries. Who can forget the “Endless Summer” crew showing up to the airport in jackets and ties? As time passed, Nuuhiwa’s style started shifting to the psychedelic. The change in aesthetic was also reflected in his boards. Many David Nuuhiwa surfboards produced after his run with Bing sport some pretty epic paint jobs that may or may not have benefitted from some, uh, chemical assistance. The board pictured above is a Dyno David Nuuhiwa single fin made sometime during the 1970s, which can be found on Craigslist in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I wish the lighting were better in the pictures, but you can still see the incredible detail. The board looks like it is in very good condition, other than a few minor scrapes here and there on the rails. The seller is asking $1,200.

There’s another David Nuuhiwa single fin for sale on Craigslist, this time in southern New Jersey. You can find the second single fin here. The second single fin is simply branded as a David Nuuhiwa surfboard, in contrast to the board immediately pictured above, which is a Dyno surfboard, and has the recognizable Dyno bird laminate. There isn’t much info about Dyno online, and I’m still unclear on why some boards were produced in conjunction with Dyno, and others under the David Nuuhiwa Surfboards label. If anyone has info, let me know!

1980s David Nuuhiwa Pro Design Twin Fin (eBay)

I won’t even post a picture of the board, as it’s not nearly as cool looking as either of the examples above (though, granted, it’s up against some pretty stiff competition). More than anything else, this board is an example of the later stages of David Nuuhiwa surfboards. I assume this board was made sometime during the 1980s, given the checkerboard airbrush on the bottom and the colors in the logos. From what I can tell, collectors don’t seem to care much about the later-era David Nuuhiwa surfboards. I’ll withhold judgment until I see one in good condition.

Photo Credit

Photo at the top of the page taken by Steve Wilkings. The photo of Nuuhiwa was taken in 1967 at Nuuhiwa’s surf shop in Huntington Beach, California. I originally found this photo in a Surfer’s Journal retrospective on Wilkings’ photos, which you can find here. If you don’t already subscribe to The Surfer’s Journal, it is worth every penny and then some!