Larry Bertlemann for Rip Curl: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! I’m hoping maybe some of you caught my Sagas of Shred retrospective on Instagram today. And if you didn’t, don’t worry, because you’re here for the main event. Every week I post a scan of a vintage surf ad, plucked from my stash of vintage Surfer Magazines. Rip Curl has been a fixture of the Sagas of Shred series, thanks more to its roster of team riders over the years, than say the creative brilliance of Gotcha’s ad campaigns. Case in point: last week I wrote up a Rip Curl ad featuring Derek Hynd.

This time around there’s another ad from the venerable Victoria wetsuit brand, but featuring Larry “The Rubberman” Bertlemann. Before I flipped open a magazine just a few minutes ago, I didn’t even know that Bertlemann had ever ridden for Rip Curl. And a very quick and incomplete Google Image search didn’t turn up with any other good photos of Bertlemann rocking any Rip Curl gear, either.

But hey, the Rubberman can be seen not-so-subtly pointing to the Rip Curl logo in the ad you see above, so that should settle it. This ad ran in the May 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 21, No 6).

And given that this is a blog about vintage surfboards, you know I’m going to have to geek out on the surfboard. If you look closely, you can see some Byrne logos towards the tail of Larry’s stick. Byrne Surfboards was founded in the Seventies by Australian brothers Phil and Chris. According to the Byrne website, during the Seventies the Byrne brothers were frequent visitors to Hawaii. During this time they struck up working relationships with both Shaun Tomson and Larry Bertlemann. Later on, Phil Byrne would gain even more attention for his collaborations with Tom Carroll.

This Rip Curl ad features the only example I have seen of a Byrne surfboard shaped for Larry Bertlemann. I can only guess that these are quite rare.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in a week with more Sagas of Shred!