What more is there to say about Allen Sarlo in this Body Glove ad?
We’ve featured Wave Killer a few times here on the blog. In fact, Sarlo was kind enough to send the photos that were featured in the second post. The ad you see here originally appeared in the Dec 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 21, No 12). You probably guessed this already, but the Con with the Wave Killer laminate is epic enough, and we haven’t even gotten to the matching wetsuit yet! This might be one of my favorite Sagas of Shred posts yet.
Oh, and here’s a friendly reminder to mind your etiquette while surfing Malibu, courtesy of Wave Killer himself:
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with more vintage surf ads!
Greeting, Shredderz! Today I’ve got a vintage surfboard that is equal parts cool and mysterious. I would love nothing more than to enlist all of your help in figuring out more information about the origins of the Con Surfboards longboard featured here.
This thing is an absolute unit. The Con Surfboards longboard measures in at an eye popping 10’9″ x 22″ x 3 1/2″ (the owner suspects it may even be thicker). The photos you see here come courtesy of a mystery collector who has a thing for Con Surfboards. In fact, two of his Con boards were previously featuredon the blog. Many thanks for sharing photos of this unique board!
The Con Surfboards longboard is in impeccable condition. According to the board’s owner it is completely original. Beyond the fact the board has been remarkably well preserved, there are a bunch of details that have me losing my mind.
I’ve gone on before about how much I love the Con Surfboards logo, and it is one of my single favorite pieces of graphic design from surf history. I love the way it’s presented here, with just a set of clean logos on the deck and the bottom. I love the contrast between the board’s minimalist aesthetic and its more out there details, such as the impossibly beefy stringer, the fin, and the rails.
I have no idea what to make of the tail, other than the fact it looks incredibly cool. First, I should caveat this all by saying that I am far from an expert on Sixties longboards. But upon first look, the pintail on the Con Surfboards longboard looks to be much fuller than other pintail boards from the same ear, such as the Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight Pintail, for example. Maybe this is just due to the angle at which the photos were taken. I can’t say for sure, as I have yet to see the board in person.
Similarly, the rails have me constantly wondering if there’s something wrong with my computer monitor. I’ve never seen a Sixties longboard with these dramatic down rails, which I’m far more used to seeing on Seventies single fins.
Honestly, I feel like the more angles from which I view this board, the more questions I have! The owner wonders if the board might have been a paddle board, but I can’t say for sure. The only things I can say with any certainty is that it’s awesome, and I’d love to own one like it.
If you have any information about the board, I would love to hear it! Please drop me a line if you do, as I am very curious about this beautiful Con Surfboards longboard. Thanks again to the board’s owner for sharing the photos of this ridiculously awesome stick!
Greetings, Shredderz! I’m afraid that our technical difficulties are ongoing, and so today I don’t have another freshly scanned vintage surf ad for you. Instead, this wonderful Con Surfboards ad was originally spotted on eBay, and I’m sharing it with you here. I’m unfamiliar with Larry Sheflo and Mike Marsh, the two team riders featured in the ad. Generally speaking, I’m a bit hazy on Con Surfboards’ history during the Seventies. I trend to think of Con Surfboards and their Sixties longboards, and even some of the Transition Era models they produced, but the label still manufactured boards in the Seventies. Con Surfboards also seems to have been around during the dawn of the Dogtown and Z Boys era, although I haven’t read anything truly informative on the subject. There’s an old photo I can’t find of I believe Tony Alva and Jay Adams skating with some Con Surfboards single fins under their arms. Saturdays has an excellent feature on Susea McGearheart, who captured some incredible photographs of the surf scene around Pacific Ocean Pier during the Seventies. The Saturdays feature has a pic of the Con Surfboards shop, which I’m assuming was another hangout for surfers in the Santa Monica / Venice area of Los Angeles.
As always, if you have more info on the topic of Con Surfboards in the Seventies, hit me up! I would love to hear more.
Greetings, Shredderz! Sorry for the relatively parse posting schedule last week. I don’t want to tip my hand, but I think we’ve got some gems coming up that should make up for it. In the meantime, here are some boards for sale that I think you might dig, including a Liddle Reef Smoothie. Keep scrolling for more:
Frankly, I’m surprised this Liddle Reef Smoothie model is still listed for sale. (See more about this model on the Liddle Surfboards site.) The seller is asking $1,200. As always, pricing surfboards is more art than science, but collectors have been welling to shell out top dollar for vintage Liddles as of late. For comparison, Kirk Putnam sold a Marty Peach Liddle for $1,200, which you can see on his Instagram here. This board has the classic Liddle crash test dummy logo, which is always a nice touch.
This stick is pretty bitchin’. I really love these old school HIC boards, and while it’s a well known brand, it doesn’t have nearly the cachet of something like Town & Country. This one is super sick — I love the triple icon logo, the channel bottom, and as a nice bonus it comes with an original Rainbow fin. The seller is asking $450, which I think is right there in the ballpark.
This bad boy is 10’2″ of classic longboard beauty. I love colors on this board, and in particular, the contrast between the yellow bottom and the blue high density foam stringer. Seller is asking $950. The fin is apparently a Greenough Stage III Wonderbolt fin — gotta love it any time someone puts a lot of detail into a Craigslist post. For more on the Con Surfboards CC Rider model, check out this Deep Dive I wrote a while back.
I actually wrote up this board a few months back, and it’s back on Craigslist at $400, or half the price at which it was offered before. This thing has a bunch of pressure dings on the deck, but I love the colors and the resin pinlines, and that fin is gorgeous, too.
Greetings, Shredderz! As we close in on a classic holiday here in the States I thought it would be a good time for another Grab Bag entry to shed some light on some noteworthy vintage sledz up for sale. Keep reading for more, including a lovely Rick Surfboards UFO Model…
I actually featured this Hansen Master hull on my Instagram earlier this week, and it’s still up for sale. I think the $1,100 price tag may be a shade on the ambitious side, but hey, pricing surfboards is hard no matter the circumstances. I continue to have a soft spot for all kinds of Transition Era boards, and this Hansen Master displacement hull definitely fits the bill.
I love the Surfboards Hawaii label. Sadly, there simply isn’t a ton of information about the brand that’s readily available online. Someday I’ll write a Shred Sledz Deep Dive on Surfboards Hawaii, but until then, I’ll continue to feature any of the interesting boards I come across. The seller claims this is an all-original board from the Sixties. Love the beautiful stringer and volan patch on this thing. I’m not sure if all Surfboards Hawaii boards with Encinitas in the logo were shaped in California — if you have any more info, I’d love to hear it.
Con Surfboards is another Sixties surf label that I love. Their circular logo with the classic red coloring is still one of my favorite designs ever. I have actually never seen the Con Surfboards Steve Bigler Model before I came across this one. This particular example isn’t in perfect condition but it’s in more than sufficient shape to showcase the cool design elements that went into the board. I wish the seller had posted a close up of the logo on the deck, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.
We’ve got a bunch of classic Sixties longboards today, and the Rick Surfboards UFO Model is no exception. Seller claims the board is from either 1967 or 1968 and it measures in at 9’4″. Make sure you click the link for the posting, which also has a very cool closeup of the tail. The seller is asking $750 for the Rick Surfboards UFO Model.
Rick Surfboards Single Fin (Craigslist Orange County) — Love the colors on this one. Very different from the Rick Surfboards UFO Model above, but I love the contrast of the navy blue Rick logo against the rest of the board.
Hansen The Master Longboard (Craigslist Providence) — This thing is very clean, an the seller provided some great photos of the original fin that comes with the board.
Seventies Freeline Single Fin (Craigslist Merced) — If you saw an ultra stoked kook out at Steamer Lane last Friday, well, that could have been me! And in honor of Santa Cruz here’s a very cool Freeline single fin. I don’t see a signature but it’s likely a John Mel shape, and it has a neat glass on mahogany fin to boot.
Greetings, Shredderz! Consider this post a simple heads up for a cool and unusual surfboard that’s currently listed for sale. The board pictured in this post is a stringerless Con Super Minigun. You can find the board on Craigslist here. I am almost certain this is being sold by the owner of Chubbysurf.com.
You can click on the photos above to enlarge. My guess is the board was shaped during the late Sixties, during the Transition Era. It looks like it has a hull-like bottom, but I can’t say for sure without seeing the board in person. The board also has some rare logos for a Con Surfboards stick. I have personally never seen many of the logos or model names on this board. For starters, I have never seen that Con logo on the bottom of the board. This is also the first and only Super Minigun I have seen. Con made a Minipin during the Transition Era, and the Super Ugly is one of its most famous models, but the Super Minigun is a first. The stringerless blank is also unusual.
Anyway, if you’re interested, you can check out the Craigslist posting for the board here.
Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to another installment of the Grab Bag! The Grab Bag is a series where I feature an assortment of various boards that are listed for sale. As of the time this article was written, all the boards below were still available. Without any further do, see below for some sick sleds:
Oh baby, this thing is clean! The seller claims the board is completely original and unrestored. I don’t know what to make of the price. It’s listed for $3,600, and I simply don’t have enough context on these older Hobies to make any sort of assessment. I want to say it’s expensive relative to other vintage Hobies, but again, not my area of expertise.
This board isn’t nearly as tidy as the example above, but it has more than enough character to make up for it. You gotta respect any board with a checkerboard design on the deck. There’s also a certain degree of swagger that goes into that enormous Wave Tools logo on the bottom. I dig it all! The board isn’t cheap — it’s listed for $875, and I’m curious if it will get that price, given that it needs some repairs still — but it’s bitchin’ nonetheless.
1967 Hobie Gary Propper Model w/Triple Stringer on Craigslist (Link)
Never seen a Hobie Gary Propper Model with this kind of stringer setup before. This board also sports the infamous Hobie bolt through fin, and even comes with the original one, too. It looks like most of the board, outside of the nose, has extra layers of Volan glass, but I’m not 100% certain.
1963 Con Surfboards Noserider on Craigslist (Link)
I’m a sucker for Con Surfboards, especially their older logs. The board above looks like it’s in pretty stellar condition. Once again, the catch is the price. The seller is asking $2,500, which I think is a bit on the high end. That said, the seller claims it’s all original and has never been restored, and it’s not every day you encounter a fifty five year old surfboard in such great condition.
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the best part of your Thursday: another blast from the past, courtesy of Shred Sledz’s “Sagas of Shred” series. Today we’re featuring a vintage Con Surfboards ad that originally ran in the Dec / January 1963 issue of Surfer Magazine (Volume 4, Number 6). Con Surfboards, of course, is a Shred Sledz favorite, thanks to the timeless design of the logo and the brand’s Southern California pedigree.
The interesting thing about this vintage Con Surfboards ad is the team lineup. To be honest, I didn’t recognize a lot of these names at first glance. I can’t find any information on Jim Joto. Tak Kawahara helped pioneer surfing in his ancestral Japan, for which he earned the title as the “Father of Japanese Surfing.” Later on Kawahara founded CHP and helped distribute Town & Country Surfboards on the West Coast, according to this Swaylocks thread. Ernie Tanaka became a well-known shaper in his own right, and later helped put out some Paul Strauch signature models. Bill Cleary sadly passed away in 2002; but before then he made a career as a well-known surf journalist. I could only find references to Gary and Roy Seaman in random discussion threads online. From what I understand, the Seaman brothers were early Con Surfboards shapers. Finally, Corny Cole became a well-known animator, even winning an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film!
There also happens to be a vintage Con Surfboards Competition Model that is currently on sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. You can find a link to the board here. It hurts me to post this one. In an ideal world, the board would be the newest member of the Shred Sledz Signature Collection. Sadly, blogging about vintage sticks — yes, even Con Competition surfboards — isn’t quite as lucrative as I had been led to believe!
The poster claims the board is all original, and it is in lovely condition. There are a few tiny dings here and there, and the seller hopefully provided close-up pictures of the areas that do need a little attention. The board measures in at 9’4″ x 22″ x ~3″ and the asking price is $1500. The price seems quite fair, and I have seen similar vintage Con Surfboards models go for similar prices before.
There are a few different variants of Con Competition surfboards, including the Wing Nose, about which I wrote an earlier post here. Unfortunately, I can’t speak to the design elements that differentiate the standard Competition Model from the Wing Nose. (Also note that the Con Surfboards Competition Wing Nose was produced in East Coast and West Coast versions.) However, all of the Competition Wing Nose models I have seen also have a small Wing Nose laminate on the bottom of the board. This is true of the earlier post I wrote, not to mention another Con Competition Wing Nose Model that appeared on a Swaylocks thread.
The other interesting detail is the fin on the board. Once again I refer you to the Swaylocks thread I mentioned earlier. The fin exists somewhere between being a glass-on fin and a swappable fin box design. Some (and perhaps all, I’m not sure) Con Competition surfboards made during the 1960s featured fins that were fitted into routed boxes on the stringer, and then glassed over without completely covering the fin.
You can check out the Con Surfboards Competition Model for sale on Craigslist here.
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.
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!
According to the Craigslist posting, this board was made in 1972. It’s a beautiful example of a 70s David Nuuhiwa (pictured above on the left) surfboard, and it even comes complete with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin. The seller claims the board is all original, with the exception of a few small repairs. The asking price is $800.
The board above is a trip. It looks to me like a late 1960s Transition Era board, but there is very little information provided with the listing. I haven’t seen many The Greek boards that have sold, but the price (starting bid of $2,700) strikes me as extremely ambitious. There are some very cool details, though: check out the huge logo on the deck, and click through the link for shots of a very trippy fin. I hesitate to call this authentic or make any definitive statements about the board, but I recommend taking a peek at the listing.
Personally, I prefer boards that are as original as possible, even if that means putting up with some discoloration or spots. The board above is a Mike Diffenderfer thruster likely shaped sometime in the 1980s, and restored since then. It measures 6’8″ and the seller is asking $800 for the board. I would say Diff’s most collectible boards were made during the 1970s, but overall his shapes are difficult to find.
For more background on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, please check out the earlier Shred Sledz Deep Dive on the subject. There’s another vintage CC Rider for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. What’s interesting about the board above is that it looks like the dual high-density stringers are not tapered, unlike the other examples I have seen. It’s worth noting the board was also re-glassed at some point, so it is not all-original. The CC Rider above measures in at 9’4″ and the seller is asking $1175.