Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus

The Transition Era of surfboard design was a time period marked by widespread experimentation. Oftentimes, these unorthodox approaches could extend beyond just the design of a surfboard. Pictured below is a Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus Model. The board is listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, currently going for $600. Pics are via the Craigslist post, and you can find a link to the board here.

I can’t say the Micro Platypus has the elegance of, say, a Yater nose rider from the same era, but it has an irresistible, freewheeling charm to it. I love the name and the logo, for starters. The board also appears to be in great condition, especially when considering its age. According to Stoked-n-Board, the Micro Platypus was only produced in 1969.

However, the poster lists the Micro Platypus as measuring in at 7’6″, and Stoked-n-Board only has record of Micro Platypus models at either 7’2″ or sub 7′. This is the first and only Micro Platypus I have ever seen, so it’s difficult to say. As always, please drop me a line if you have more info about the board!

There are a bunch of neat design details here as well. Check out everything that’s going on in the nose:

Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus 1969 7'6 2
Look at those rails! Appears as if there is something of a hull-esque belly in the front, too. Pic via Craigslist

The board comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which is always a nice touch.

Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus 1969 7'6 6
W.A.V.E. Set fin, as designed by Tom Morey. Pic via Craigslist

Island Trader Surf Shop has an example of an original Challenger Platypus on their website. You can find a link to that board here. Based on both sets of pics, it’s difficult to compare the outlines of Island Trader’s Challenger Platypus with the Micro Platypus pictured above. However, here’s a shot of the original Platypus logo. Note that there’s no “Micro” above the Platypus logo, and the addition of the “by Challenger Surfboards” script below.

Challenger Surfboards Platypus
Original Challenger Surfboards Platypus logo. Pic via Island Trader Surf Shop

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say who may have shaped the Micro Platypus pictured at the top of the page. Island Trader’s original Platypus was shaped by Bobby Thomas, and there’s a Swaylocks thread that indicates Thomas shaped a bunch of these boards. Apparently, Billy Caster — who later founded Caster Surfboards — also churned out some boards for Challenger at this time as well.

The Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus is going for $600, and you can find the Craigslist posting for the board here.

Acid Splash: Challenger Formula Micro Vee Redux

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your weekend is upon you, or not too far off.

Today brings us another piece of transitional era surfboard design funkiness. It’s a board I have written about before: the Challenger Formula Micro Vee.

There are actually two versions of this board that are currently for sale online.

Acid Splash Board: 8′ x 23″ (Pics via Craigslist)

The first example is listed on Craigslist in Costa Mesa, in the heart of Orange County, California.  Asking price is $300. You can find a link to the board here. This thing sports a beautiful two-tone acid splash paint job, with red on the deck and a nice deep green on the bottom. However, there is one significant catch with the board: apparently it has a visible twist, which will take some work to undo (assuming surgery goes correctly). Luckily, the honest seller here called out this fact ahead of time, but now is as good a time as ever to remind everyone that you never know a board’s condition just by looking at pictures.

Continue reading “Acid Splash: Challenger Formula Micro Vee Redux”

Challenger Micro Formula Vee

Welcome, loyal Shredderz, to the last post of 2016.

First and foremost, I would like to thank all three of my loyal readers, or even anyone who has stumbled across the site and waited for at least three seconds before closing the tab. If you have read any one of these posts and enjoyed them, then I can’t thank you enough. It is my pleasure to find cool and interesting surfboards and share them with people, no matter how minuscule (some would even say non-existent) my audience might be.

The last board of the year is a doozy! It’s a Challenger Surfboards Micro model, currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego for a not at all outrageous $350.

Challenger surfboards was the brainchild of Bobby “Challenger” Thomas, a San Diego-based shaper who sadly passed away in 2012. At its height, Challenger Surfboards was one of the better-known San Diego surfboard labels, and it had some other talented shapers in its table, including Bill Bahne.

This is a classic transitional board from the late 1960s. You can just barely see in the logo that this is a specific Micro Formula Vee model (look for the small “Formula Vee” directly above the “Micro” logo, and hidden by the wax). The Surfboard Project has a great example of another Micro Formula Vee, and I’ve included their picture here:

Picture courtesy of The Surfboard Project

According to Stoked-n-Board, the Micro Formula Vee was a specific variant with down rails and a pintail that was shaped between 1968 and 1969. You can clearly see the pintail in the second picture, along with what looks to be an original fin in place, too. The Micro Formula Vee, as the name indicates, is also a vee bottom board. It’s hard to see in the original pictures, but I’ve included a few shots of another Micro Formula Vee that give a better look at the shape of the vee bottom:

Challenger Micro Formula Vee on the right; Photos courtesy Flickr

The original board looks like it’s in decent shape, especially considering it’s closing in on 50 years old! Looks like there are some dings in the tail that were repaired, and there’s another suspicious looking spot near the fin. In any case, feel free to check out the board here.

Finally, I wish you all a Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you more stoke than you could possibly imagine!