The Weekend Grab Bag Returns

Greetings, Shredderz! It has been a few months since we last ran a Weekend Grab Bag feature. Here’s quick refresh for those of you who have better things to do than to spend your time keeping track of the various categories that appear on a low budget vintage surfboard blog (hopefully, this means most of you). The Weekend Grab Bag features a selection of vintage sticks for your perusing pleasure, all of which are listed for sale online as of the time the blog post was published. Anyway, enough from me, and onto some sweet sticks below:

Byrne Tom Carroll Model Channel Bottom Thruster (Craigslist Hawaii)

I didn’t even know that Byrne Surfboards had produced a Tom Carroll model, and yet here we are. It’s a distinctly Eighties board between the airbrush, the channel bottom, the 2+1 fin setup, and the wings / squash tail combo. No dimensions or price were listed on the ad. Carroll was a longtime Byrne team rider, but often times his Hawaiian boards were shaped by Pat Rawson. This thing is absolutely killer and I wish I knew more about the history of the board.

6’10” G&S Water Skate, Designed by Tom Morey (Craigslist LA)

The G&S Water Skate was actually designed by Tom Morey, which automatically makes it a surfboard worth mentioning. Morey is the mad scientist of surfing and his inventions are always thought provoking. Not sure if this was shaped by Morey — I tend to think it was likely crafted by one of G&S’ stable of in-house shapers, but that’s a guess. There’s no price on the Craigslist listing but I believe an earlier version had a very reasonable one attached. There’s also a square tail version of the Water Skate, too.

10’10” (!!!) Mike Diffenderfer Gun (Craigslist Hawaii)

Diff’s career is fascinating to me. The list of legends that count Diffenderfer as an influence is long, spanning folks from Marc Andreini to Rusty Preisendorfer. And while there’s certainly a market for Diff’s boards, they don’t seem to be as collectible as, say, vintage Liddle hulls or any of Skip Frye’s boards (although few boards are). This here is one heck of an elephant chaser, clocking in at a healthy 10’10”.

Vinson & Gleason Vee Bottom (Craigslist Ventura)

I am all but certain this is an early Chuck Vinson surfboard. I’ve written up a few of Chuck Vinson’s shapes, but I have never seen a board with the Vinson & Gleason logo before. Given the dramatic vee bottom I have to assume this was a Transition Era shape from the late Sixties. Unfortunately I have more questions about this board than answers, starting with who Gleason is. If you know more definitely drop me a line.

Photo at the top of the page by Brian Bielmann; via Bielmann’s website

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!