La Jolla Surf Systems: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday again, which means we’re serving up some red hot scans of old surf ads as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Today we’ve got an unlikely all star cast in an ad for La Jolla Surf Systems. The ad originally appeared in the February 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 2). I assume La Jolla Surf Systems was an old San Diego surf shop, but that’s about all I know. What’s really interesting is the collection of shapers featured in the ad (and one notable craftsman who apparently didn’t make it to the shoot on time). The ad features the late Bill Caster, whose boards are still coveted among a selection of San Diego locals; Gary McNabb, of Nectar Surfboards fame; Tim Bessell, who is still shaping today; Eric “Bird” Huffman, founder of Bird’s Surf Shed; and of course, a young Shawn Stussy. If you look closely at the bottom right of the ad you’ll see a gorgeous-looking Stussy twin fin with purple rails and some wings in the tail. I’m a little intrigued by Stussy’s inclusion, as I believe he is the only non-San Diego local in the names listd above. While the ad mentions that La Jolla Surf Systems has Skip Frye boards in stock, if you look below Bird’s photo you’ll see “Skip Frye — gone fishing.” To me this suggests Skip was originally supposed to take part in the shoot, but that’s just a guess. Thirty six plus years after the ad was shot, I can’t even imagine the sheer luxury of walking into a surf shop and seeing a bunch of Skips on the racks, to say nothing of the Stussy boards! If you read this blog you know that my bread and butter is poking fun at the ridiculousness of Eighties art direction, but I’m still too starstruck by all the shapers in the ad to come up with anything halfway decent.

Mahalo for reading and don’t be afraid to come back next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Caster Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d love nothing more than to put you on to another 70s single fin, brought to you by a California shaper.

Pictured here is a 7′2″ Caster single, apparently shaped in the late 1970s, that is up for grabs on Craigslist in San Diego. It looks to be in pretty good shape beneath the wax job, and the poster claims the board hasn’t even seen the water in about 30 years or so. I’ve also included a picture of the fin, which is stunning. It looks like there’s a wood inlay on the fin, which is a beautiful touch.

According to Stoked-n-Board, Caster boards were produced in sunny San Diego from 1965 to 1981. Sadly, Billy himself passed away in 1985. Caster is a longtime favorite of wonderful San Diego-based Surfy Surfy. JP St Pierre, the owner of Surfy Surfy, notes how his father was best friends with Caster back in the day. Surfy Surfy’s blog features these beautiful boards whenever he comes across them, and I highly recommend checking out their archives.

As a side note, Caster’s brother in law was none other than Hank Warner, a well-regarded shaper who spent a long time making boards for Gordon & Smith.

Anyway, if you’re interested in this board, you can check it out here. It’s currently being offered for $450 – not cheap, but hey, it’s always free to look at the pics.