Foiled: Mystery Bing Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very interesting example from one of the all-time great American surfboard brands: Bing Surfboards. Pictured below is a vintage Bing single fin that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below are via the listing.

A few things about the board stand out. First, the board looks fantastic. The seller claims the Bing single fin pictured above was shaped in 1981. If so — and I have no reason to dispute the date — the board is in great condition for its age. It’s also hard to miss the detailed airbrush on the bottom. If you look closely at the left-most picture, you’ll notice the airbrush extends to the rails, too. In fact, the airbrush on the rails looks like a more subtle version of the signature look of Mike Eaton Bonzers.

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Classic example of a Mike Eaton Bonzer. Check out the detailed airbrush on the rails, which is very similar to the design on the Bing single fin above. Pic via eBay

Eaton, of course, famously shaped under the Bing label for many years. Stoked-n-Board claims Eaton was shaping for Bing between 1965 and 2001, and given the airbrush design, I think it’s very possible the board pictured above was made by Eaton. That said, the listing does not mention an Eaton signature anywhere, nor is one visible in any of the pictures.

The other interesting thing about the Bing single fin pictured above is the phoenix logo on the bottom of the board.

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Close up shot of the phoenix logo found on the bottom of the vintage Bing single fin. And how about that paint job?! Pic via Craigslist

The Bing single fin above is interesting because it is the only time I have ever seen the Bing phoenix logo appear on a board that was not a Bing Australian Foil or a Maui Foil model. When I initially saw the board for sale, I figured it was an Australian Foil that I had simply never seen before. However, every other Australian Foil and Maui Foil I have seen has also had a script laminate with the model name. I do not believe the Bing single fin at the top of the page is an Australian or Maui Foil model.

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Clean example of a Bing Australian Foil logo. You’ll notice the phoenix design is the same

Furthermore, the “eye” Bing Surfboards logo is off-set on the Foil Models to make room for the script laminates. On the Bing single fin at the top of the page, though, the Bing Surfboards “eye” logo is centered beneath the phoenix laminate.

Does the presence of the phoenix logo on a non-Foil Bing single fin mean anything special? Honestly, I doubt it. But I always love examples of unusual vintage surfboards, and the Bing single fin above certainly seems to fit the bill. It’s being offered for sale on Craigslist and the price is $550. If you’re interested, you can check out the board 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)

David Nuuhiwa Surfboards Bing DN Noserider 1966 3.jpg

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!

Clark Foam Ad from the 1960s: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to yet another installment of Sagas of Shred. Every Thursday we feature a different slice of surf history, and today’s entry sheds a light on one of the most accomplished businessmen the surf industry has ever seen: Gordon “Grubby” Clark, the founder and CEO of Clark Foam.

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Gordon “Grubby” Clark in an early Clark Foam promotional photo. Pic via Charlie Bunger’s Long Island Surfing Museum

Before its abrupt closing in 2005, Clark Foam was one of the most fearsome forces in the surfboard industry. There are endless stories about Clark’s ruthlessness. The Surfboard Project has an anecdote, via Joel Tudor, about how Donald Takayama’s first label went under after Clark Foam denied him blanks. Surfer Magazine recently ran a retrospective on the Clark Foam closing, which includes similar tales of strong-arm tactics.

In the early 1960s, though, Clark had yet to establish its dominance, and this ad, at least, makes an earnest appeal to quality and performance instead. I love the fact that just about every single big name surfboard brand at the time has their logos present: Yater, Bing, Ole, Hobie, Wardy, Hansen, and Con. Of that list, only Wardy no longer continues to produce boards (although Con is a completely different company, and Bing Copeland has ceded control to well-regarded shaper Matt Calvani.)

For a great article on the early years of Clark Foam, and how Grubby and Hobie Alter helped lay the groundwork for the modern surfboard industry, I recommend the “727 Laguna Canyon Road” feature in The Surfer’s Journal.

Hope you enjoyed this entry in Sagas of Shred, and tune in next Thursday for what comes next!

Vintage Bing Bonzer Duo

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:

Vintage Bing Bonzer #1: 7’1″ with Diamond Tail (For Sale on Craigslist Ventura)

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.

Vintage Bing Bonzer #2: Dimensions Unknown (For Sale on Craigslist Orange County)

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.

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Close-up shot of the tail. Pic via Craigslist.

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.

Vintage Bing Bonzer Logo
Here is a version of the Bing Bonzer logo that was reportedly used starting in 1972. Note that both boards featured above have the standard Bing logo with no reference to the Bonzer.

Check out Board #1 here, and Board #2 can be found here.

Bing Bonzer by Mike Eaton

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.

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Example of another Eaton Bonzer tail. Look at the scooped out double concaves. Pic via The Board Source
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Mike Eaton’s handwritten explanation on the hydrodynamics of the Bonzer design. All I know is if it’s good enough for Taylor Knox, it’s good enough for me! Pic via Eaton Surfboards

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!

Rick Surfboards: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive (Part I)

Rick Surfboards is a surfboard label that should be more famous than it is. I admit, part of this stance is informed by my own extensive biases, starting with the fact I have a soft spot for Rick’s clean and classy logos. Setting aside these preconceptions, though, Rick Surfboards boasts a rich history intertwined with some of California surf culture’s most notable figures. Sadly, Stoner’s premature passing in 1977 brought an early end to a label whose influence can still be felt today. Today’s post is an exploration of the early history of Rick Surfboards, and the shapes it produced during the mid-1960s. This is the first part in a series. As always, if you have additional information on Rick Surfboards, please drop me a line!

Part I: History — Bing & Rick

Rick Surfboards is the eponymous label of Rick Stoner. Stoner was a native of the South Bay of Los Angeles, hailing from Hermosa Beach. In 1955 Stoner decamped to Hawaii alongside friend Bing Copeland. Even in the 1950s the North Shore of Oahu was a proving grounds for the emerging surf scene. Bing and Rick surfed until their funds ran out, then joined the Coast Guard reserves, where they were lucky enough to be stationed on a ship in Hawaii.

Rick & Bing Makaha
I believe Rick Stoner is pictured at the far left, and Bing Copeland is in the white boardshorts at the right. Makaha, 1950s. I’m not sure who the other two surfers are, although there’s a very similar version of this picture in the Easy Reader News.
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Bing Copeland (left) and Rick Stoner, paying a visit to the Piha Surf Club in New Zealand in 1958. I believe Piha was a lifesaving club, hence the outfits on Bing and Rick. During this visit, Bing and Rick introduced New Zealand to modern lightweight foam surfboards. Pic via Piha

The two would later become business partners: in late 1959, following a trip to New Zealand, they opened Bing and Rick Surfboards in Hermosa Beach.

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Bing & Rick’s cheeky original logo. Pic via Bing Surfboards

According to Copeland, shortly after opening up their shop, Rick decided to focus on being a full-time lifeguard, selling his shares of the business to Bing in the process. The newly renamed Bing Surfboards went on to become one of the most recognizable and influential surf brands in the world.

At some point, Stoner must have had second thoughts about the surfboard business. As best I can tell (mostly from the Stoked-n-Board entry for the brand), Stoner established Rick Surfboards in 1963.

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Rick Surfboards ad from 1964. Pic via Harbour Surfboards

Part II: Rick Surfboards from the Longboard Era (Mid 1960s)

Before the dawn of the Transition Era and shortboards, Rick Surfboards, like every other surfboard manufacturer at the time, initially focused on producing beautiful old-school longboards. Examples of 1960s Rick Surfboards longboards are highly coveted and demand high prices at auctions. Here is a rundown of some of the best-known early Rick Surfboards models.

 

Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Longboard

The Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model is one of its most famous designs. Produced in conjunction with the legendary Hawaiian surfer, The Barry Kanaiaupuni Model first hit shelves in 1966. For the first few years, the BK signature model was a traditional noserider. This changed when the Transition Era hit (more on that later). There’s a great example of a Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni model that was listed on eBay. The auction was pulled, so there is no final price associated with the board, but the initial asking bid of $2,500 is telling (as is the fact the seller, Brett7873, has sold a number of collectible boards before.) See below for pictures:

According to the seller, the Barry Kanaiaupuni model above was produced in 1966. The dimensions are 9’6″ x 21-1/2″ x 3″. The board has been restored by none other than Hawaiian surfboard whisperer Randy Rarick, which is the next-best thing to being completely original. One last important note about the board: even though Kanaiaupuni went on to famously shape boards at Lightning Bolt, it’s unclear whether or not he shaped these Rick boards, or merely leant his name to them.

 

Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model

Rick Surfboards also released the Dru Harrison Improvisor model in 1966. Dru Harrison was a well-regarded pro in the 1960s. Like Stoner, Harrison hailed from Hermosa Beach.

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Dru Harrison in a Rick Surfboards promo shot. Photographer unknown. Pic via the Encyclopedia of Surfing

Here are some pictures of a recent Improvisor model that was listed for sale on Craigslist (board has since been purchased). The dimensions of the Dru Harrison Improvisor example are 9’0″ x 20-1/2″ x 2-7/8″. I believe this board is all original, other than some repairs that were made.

The seller claims the Dru Harrison Improvisor above was produced in 1967. Production of the Improvisor ended in 1970, according to Stoked-n-Board. During this time, Rick Surfboards released a number of different logos for the Improvisor. However, I have yet to see any examples of genuine vintage boards bearing the alternate Improvisor logos. Here’s an example of an alternate Dru Harrison Improvisor logo, but I believe this board was part of Matt Calvani’s recent run of Rick reproductions.

As for the collectibility of the Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model, it is difficult to say. I haven’t seen any Improvisors sold at auction recently. The one data point I have is an eBay sale that took place almost six years ago. You can find the link here. The board sold for just under $3K, and apparently it had a very low serial number (#67). Sadly, there are no pics on the listing any longer.

 

Rick Surfboards UFO Model

Rick Surfboards also produced the UFO Model longboard between 1966 and 1968, according to S-n-B. The UFO Model had a bunch of advanced features at the time of its release, including an interesting scooped out tail, a step deck, and a teardrop concave design on the nose. These features were incorporated to improve the UFO Model’s noseriding capabilities. Adam Davenport of Davenport Surfboards has a nice writeup of the UFO Model’s functionality, which you can find on his personal website here.

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Close up of the Rick Surfboards UFO Model tail. Notice the pronounced concave in the deck at the tail, which creates a corresponding rounded bottom. Pic via Davenport Surfboards

Here’s another example of a Rick Surfboards UFO Model. Pics below are from an old Craigslist posting (board is no longer for sale). The multiple stringer configuration is a common characteristic of the Rick UFO. On an aesthetic note, I love the logos, particularly the ones framing the stringer.

The UFO Model can be seen on the far left in the gallery above; it is the board with the blue / green fin and the quadruple stringers (two center stringers, and then one on either edge). The seller listed the board at 10’0″ and claims it was made in 1967. The asking price was $1300, but seeing as the board sold on Craigslist (if at all), I have no insight into the final closing price.

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Rick Surfboards UFO Model 10′. Pic via Mollusk Surfboards.
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Alternate version of the Rick Surfboards UFO Model logo. I suspect this logo is from a later run (late-1960s versus mid-1960s). I say this because the font was later used on many Rick Surfboards models produced during the 1970s. Pic via TJ Carr on Pinterest

 

Rick Surfboards Assorted Noseriders

There are other longboard models that Rick Surfboards produced during the mid 1960s, but I have yet to see any examples for many of them. It’s difficult to comment on the rarity and collectibility of these boards. For example, I have only seen one D&B Pintail Model, and that was submitted to The Surfboard Project. Here’s a smattering of some random Rick pre-Transition Era noseriders::

Pictured above is a beautiful 9’9″ Rick Surfboards noserider with the classic old-school logo. I love the double laminates on the deck. It has serial number #1252, and the seller claims the board dates to 1965. This board has been listed on and off Craigslist for a while now. The seller has been holding firm at $1200, which I think is reasonable for an all-original 1960s Rick, but apparently I’m in the minority, judging from the fact the board has yet to sell. You can find a link here.

Rick Longboard 10'6 1Rick Longboard 10'6

Pictured above is another Rick Surfboards longboard. Check out the beefy stringer. It’s also interesting to note the tail block and the glassed-on fin. The Rick Surfboards logo appears to be a few shades of blue lighter than the double-logo version above. This board is listed at 10’6″; pics via an old Craigslist posting.

Here’s a Rick Surfboards model with a rare “Tripper” laminate. Check out the Rick logo on the fin, too! I have never seen this model before, and I haven’t been able to find any other information about it online. Stoked-n-Board has no mention of a Tripper model. Pics via an old Craigslist listing. According to the poster, this may be an experimental board that never saw the light of day. The wedge stringer is taken from the Improvisor Model, and you’ll notice the similarities between the Tripper fin and the one on the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model.

Finally, see above for an example of a Rick Surfboards Noserider with a corresponding logo. Pics via Island Trader Surf Shop, who date the board to 1966. This is a pretty unusual logo, that I have only seen on a few boards. The board measures 10’1″.

 

As always, my sincere thanks for making it this far through the post. As mentioned earlier, this is the first post in a series that will cover the history of Rick Surfboards. Subsequent posts will cover Rick Surfboards’ Transition Era models — including the famous Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail — as well as Rick’s transition to the 1970s and single fins produced under the stewardship of Phil Becker. Stay tuned and Happy Shredding!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (May 29)

Konichiwa, Shredderz! This post is being written from lovely Japan, where I am enjoying an extended trip with Ms. Sledz. Hope all of my American friends are enjoying Memorial Day weekend. Enough about me, though, and onto the goods…

A post shared by Jeff Robertson (@jjrober22) on

This is a KILLER shot of a lineup of some Zephyr Surfboards, posted by Instagram user @jjrober22. A couple of these boards boast what look like CR Stecyk spray jobs. I’m surprised by the length of some of these shapes, as I didn’t realize Jeff Ho shaped longer boards. I’m not sure if all of these are recent — at least a couple of the boards seem to have modern-looking fin boxes — but nonetheless it’s a colorful look at one of Los Angeles’ most revered surf brands.

 

My initial reaction was to apologize for posting not one but two flamboyant 80s boards in a row. Then I thought to myself, wait a second: what is Shred Sledz if not a safe space to celebrate the loud colors of 80s surf culture?! The Schroff board posted above is pretty subdued by Echo Beach standards. This thing is so cool — I love the teal paint job and the diagonal lines on the deck, especially when paired with the Rainbow Fin! Make sure you click through for all the pics, as the post is an Instagram slideshow.

 

The Donald Takayama Model @bingcopeland

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Here is an old Bing Surfboards ad for the Bing Donald Takayama Model. Wish this showed the entire ad, but it’s awesome nonetheless. Note that David Nuuhiwa is pictured in the ad as well.

 

Blades of distinction. This photo is from an exhibit in 2009 featuring select hulls in @kirkputnam 's private collection.

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Greg Liddle is probably the most famous shaper of hulls, and Kirk Putnam‘s enthusiasm for Liddle’s shapes has been well-documented. This post comes courtesy of Displacementia, a great blog specializing in hulls. For all the excitement around Liddle, it’s hard to find good pictures of his earlier boards. I’ve only seen the BMW-style logo on a few of his boards, making this post a cool peek at some vintage Liddle Surfboards.