Con Super Minigun Stringerless

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.

Summer Grab Bag: Odds and Ends

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:

1964 Hobie Surfboards Noserider on eBay (Link)

1964 Hobie Noserider.jpg

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.

Eighties Wave Tools Single Fin on eBay (Link)

Wave Tools Single Fin Eighties.jpg

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)

1967 Hobie Gary Propper Model Triple Stringer.jpg

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)

1963 Con Surfboards Noserider.jpg

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.

Vintage Con Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

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!

Con Competition Surfboards
Close up of the logo on the Con Surfboards Competition Model. Pic via Craigslist

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.

Vintage Con Surfboards Competition Model Fin.jpg
Con Competition surfboards boast some interesting original fins. See below for a more in-depth description. Pic via Craigslist

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.

 

Clark Foam Ad from the 1960s: Sagas of Shred

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.

Clark Foam Promotional Photo Gordon "Grubby" Clark.jpg
Gordon “Grubby” Clark in an early Clark Foam promotional photo. Pic via Charlie Bunger’s Long Island Surfing Museum

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!

Shred Sledz Presents: August 21 Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest installment in the Grab Bag series! Start scrolling for a selection of some of the cooler vintage boards that caught my eye over the past few weeks…

David Nuuhiwa 1970s Single Fin (Craigslist)

David Nuuhiwa Surfboard.jpg

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 Greek Transitional Shape (eBay)

The Greek Surfboard.jpg

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.

Mike Diffenderfer 1980s Thruster (Craigslist)

Diffenderfer Surfboard.jpg

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.

Con Surfboards CC Rider (Craigslist)

Con Surfboards CC Rider.jpg

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.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (July 26)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a sampling of some of the finest surfboard pictures recently found on the world wide web…

As I’ve written before, Lightning Bolt’s notoriety in the 1970s was a double-edged sword. The label’s popularity meant the signature bolt design was slapped on boards that had nothing to do with its Hawaiian bloodlines. Pictured above is a nice selection of genuine articles, via the Australian National Surfing Museum.

 

Yup, another classic piece of Hawaiian surf history, this time presented by the Lost & Found Collection. L&FC came about when its founder discovered boxes of pristine surf photography slides from the 1970s at a flea market. It has since blossomed into a wonderful project that supports surf photographers and the history of surfing. I highly recommend checking out the site and following them on Instagram, too. Pictured above is Larry Bertlemann alongside one of his signature Pepsi surfboards. Dying to know who the shaper might be…if anyone has more info, drop me a line!

 

If you object to the above post on the grounds that it’s not vintage enough, then I’d like to politely refer you to Andy Irons’ gesture in the photo. Happy belated birthday to The Champ, the only surfer to take on Slater during his prime and win.

 

Finally, I figured we’d throw our Aussie friends a little bone. Pictured above is Wayne Lynch with the first ever surfboard he shaped! It’s great to see a close up photo of this board, and one in color. For more on Lynch’s early boards, check out this earlier post, which is still one of the pieces of which I am proudest.

 

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Early 1960's #consurfboards #🐖 #singlefinlog

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Just a beautiful 1960s Con Surfboards log in lovely condition. Check out that D Fin! Love the color of the stringer…I love everything about this board, really.

Con Surfboards CC Rider: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Deep Dive focuses on perhaps my favorite old-school surfboard brand ever: Con Surfboards. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the Con Surfboards logo is a gorgeous piece of graphic design. It’s classy and timeless, with just the right amount of color to make it pop. Today’s post examines a model that is near and dear to my own East Coast roots: the Con Surfboards CC Rider. The CC Rider is named after famed East Coast surfer Claude Codgen. Before one Robert Kelly Slater came along, Codgen was Cocoa Beach’s most famous surfing export who became a well-known pro in the 1960s. In 1966, Codgen had the honor of representing the East Coast at the World Surfing Championship held in San Diego. That same year, Codgen joined forces with Con Surfboards, which released his signature CC Rider model.

Claude Codgen & Greg Noll.jpg
A young Claude Codgen on left, Greg “Da Bull” Noll on the right. Looks like Codgen is holding a Con Surfboards CC Rider model, but Da Bull’s hand is in the way! Pic taken by Roger Scruggs, via East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame

Despite Con Surfboards’ status as a cult classic brand, and Codgen’s legacy as one of the first true East Coast pros, there isn’t a whole lot of information online about the Con Surfboards CC Rider model. This post is an attempt to explore the history of the CC Rider, and present pictures of the various iterations of Claude Codgen’s signature model. This post is by no means definitive, as I have done my best to cobble together the various bits of information available online. As always, if anyone has any better info on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider

The CC Rider was produced starting in 1966. I believe it was only produced for a handful of years, as Stoked-n-Board indicates that Sunshine Surfboards, Codgen’s own brand, was founded in 1970. Sunshine continues to produce the CC Rider model, and Codgen is still shaping today.

Sunshine Surfboards CC Rider Claude Codgen Logo.jpg
This is an example of the later Sunshine Surfboards CC Rider (here referred to as the “Claude Codgen Model.”)

According to a thread on Swaylocks, Bill Shrosbree was one of the early shapers responsible for making many of the early Con Surfboards CC Rider boards. I’m not sure whether or not this is true. Even though Codgen now shapes boards under the Sunshine label, I am under the impression that he was not responsible for shaping the various CC Rider models.

See below for an example of what I believe to be the most basic version of the Con Surfboards CC Rider. These pictures are via a Craigslist listing for a board from a few months ago.

Note the telltale black label on the board’s deck. Here’s another picture of a similar board, via the Long Island Surfing Museum, featuring Charlie Bunger’s personal collection of 1960s Con Surfboards. The board on the far right looks almost identical to the one posted above: same black label on the deck, and then the tapered yellow high-density foam stringer.

Con Longboards at Long Island Surfing Museum.jpg
The CC Rider model can be seen at the far right. Note the “CC Rider” lam at the top right and the black laminate towards the tail. I believe the boards that are second from left and fourth from left are CC Rider pintail models. Pic via Long Island Surfing Museum.

 

At some point it appears Con Surfboards expanded its CC Rider portfolio, and released a bunch of variants. Here is an old Con Surfboards ad detailing the different CC Rider variants.

Con Surfboards CC Rider Ad.png
Old Con Surfboards ad showing variants on the CC Rider: CC Lightweight, V-Wedge Bottom, and CC Pintail

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Lightweight

The main distinction between the standard CC Rider and the Lightweight variant is unclear, other than the different text that appears on the laminates. In other words, I believe the CC Rider Lightweight model has a “Lightweight Model” added to the logo, which you can see in the first picture. I imagine the construction of the board was likely changed as well, but I can’t say for sure. Otherwise, the high-density foam stringer looks the same as the standard CC Rider, and the board appears to have the same volan patch as seen in the example in the ad above. Pics via an old Craigslist posting.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom

Vee bottom boards were very popular in the late 1960s, and to my surprise, I learned that Con Surfboards produced one as well. I love the branding of this board, including the hand flashing the peace sign in the ad above. The only example I have found of a CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom comes via ChubbySurf.com and their Pinterest account. This is a pretty rare variant, and I have yet to see one up for sale. Check out the neat rainbow CC Rider logo on the bottom. No dimensions were listed.

Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge2
Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom. You don’t see these too often! Pic via ChubbySurf

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight

I have been able to find two versions of what I believe are CC Pintails, but there are a few details worth noting. First, neither of these boards bears a straight up “CC Pintail” laminate. The laminates on both boards read “CC Rider Lightweight.” I consider both of these boards CC Pintails, however, because their silhouettes are identical to the “CC Pintail” pictured in the ad above.

First is an CC Pintail Lightweight that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. This board is a trip, starting with the two-tone high-density tapered stringer. The board was listed at 9’10”, and according to the seller, it’s circa 1968.

 

Island Trader Surf Shop is a rad Florida-based shop that features a great collection of vintage boards. They have an example of another Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight, and you can find it here. I have reproduced some of the pics below. It also has the same two-tone high-density stringer, black pinline design, and logo placement. In addition to boasting an elaborate fabric inlay, the Island Trader board is considerably shorter than the orange board, measuring in at only 8’6″.

 

Con Surfboards CC Rider Minipin Lightweight

Finally, Con Surfboards also produced as CC Rider Minipin. This variant does not appear in the ad above, alongside the Lightweight, the V-Wedge Bottom, and the Pintail. I am guessing it is a later board — late 1960s? –but I’m not certain. There are three examples I have seen, the first being a 7’6″ CC Minipin Lightweight with a blue (probably re-done) bottom. This board was posted for sale on eBay a little while ago. According to the original listing, the board was produced in 1969, supporting the theory that this is a later-era CC Rider model. It certainly has the funky outline of a Transition Era board from the late 1960s, with the wide point pushed pretty far back towards the tail.

 

There’s another CC Minipin Lightweight that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. This one measures in at 8’6″, a full foot longer than the blue bottom example above. There’s also a small difference in laminates: this board has one logo reading “CC Minipin Lightweight”, whereas the blue bottom board has its CC Minipin and Lightweight laminates located on separate parts of the board. The example below also has a bitchin’ Con Surfboards logo on the bottom near the nose (see last photo). Pics below via the eBay listing.

 

Finally, there is another Swaylocks thread with an extremely clean example of a CC Minipin, complete with its original fin. I have reproduced the pictures below. In the thread, well-regarded shaper Bill Thrailkill weighs in on the board. He identifies the fin as being a rare first generation Fins Unlimited fin, and based on this, he estimates the CC Minipin below was likely shaped in late 1967 or 1968.

 

Those are all the examples of Con Surfboards CC Rider models that I have been able to find. Drop Claude Codgen a line at the Sunshine Surfboards Facebook Page; it seems like he is still stoked on surfing and shaping a good half century after his signature model was released!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (April 23)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here are some interesting vintage surf posts I’ve stumbled across in my recent internet travels.

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#toughchoice

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Island Trader Surf Shop is a great shop in Stuart, Florida that happens to sell some pretty rad vintage boards. They don’t update their blog frequently, but when they do, there are some great gems. (I’m partial to this Harbour Rapier and this transitional Hobie board with a tiger stripe spray.) Back to the shot above: this looks like an old Weber Surfboads ad. I love the floral print inlays on the decks, and the “WEBER TEAM 67 PERFORMER” is a sweet looking board that must have been made for team riders back in the day.

Hit the link below for some more selections…

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (April 23)”

Pristine Con Longboard

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve got a soft spot for Con Surfboards. The logo is so clean and simple. And while it clearly harkens back to an earlier time, it looks modern and appealing today. It’s just a great — and under-appreciated — bit of graphic design. Pictured above is a flawless looking Con longboard that you can currently find for sale on eBay (link here). According to the buyer, the board dates to 1963 and 1964. Apparently the board has been stored inside for most of its life, hence the spectacular, all-original condition. There are no bro discounts to be had here: the seller is asking $1200 to start. There are no bids as of now, with a little over nine days left in the auction.

I wish I had some better information to share regarding the date of the board, but alas, there isn’t much to be found. Various features of the board point to this hailing from the 1960s, starting with the dramatic rake of the fin and its placement towards the back of the board.

Check out the board here.

Con Surfboards Sting: Mint Con-dition 1970s Single Fin

I’ve written before about my love for Con Surfboards. I’ve had some time to think about it…and I stand by everything I’ve said. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t get enough of vintage Con boards. That logo is just so killer! There’s something about the simplicity of the design that encapsulates everything I associate with the early days of California surf culture.

Photo via Ron Regalado

Enough with the pretentious prose, though: let’s get to the good stuff! In the pictures above you can see a groovy Con Surfboards sting single fin that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. The board appears to be a variant on a traditional sting design.

There are a lot of interesting things about this board, but man, check out that insane arc tail! (Honestly, I didn’t even know what to call it, until I found this helpful breakdown of different surfboard tail designs by Rusty Preisendorfer.)

The wings on the Con board are not very pronounced, and they look to be pushed quite far back compared to other sting silhouettes. For example, take a look at this Aipa sting (Aipa, of course, invented the sting). The wings on the Aipa below are wider and located further up, closer to the wide point of the board:

Photo via Surfboardline.com

The Con board also sports a step bottom, which you can find on a decent number of stings. Here’s an example of a G&S sting (although I believe this is a board made in Australia, and not G&S’ native California), via the Cronulla Surf Museum, that features a clearly visible step bottom:

Picture via Cronulla Surf Museum

With that said, I can’t find any evidence of Con ever having made a sting. I’m not sure whether this was a specific model of board, or, more likely, a one-off. As for the date, Stoked-n-Board has a great entry on Con Surfboards, which has some good clues for when the board might have been made.

First, the board featured in the post has a clearly identifiable logo. It is the combination of Con’s script logo from the 70s, along with its classic red circle design. According to Stoked-n-Board, this logo was only produced between 1969 and 1974.

Those dates line up well with the other details for the board. First, you have a gorgeous rainbow fin in a fin box (not sure what kind of fin system), which points towards very late 60s and the 70s. Second, the sting was a design that came to prominence in the 70s, mostly thanks to Ben Aipa and the top Hawaiian pros of the time. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, the sting was invented in 1974. (See here for an earlier post on Aipa stings).

More than anything, I’m stunned that the board appears to be in such great condition. It’s almost to the point where I began to wonder if it was a retro board shaped more recently. However, I have my doubts that a retro board would have a rainbow fin, not to mention the funky details (the step bottom and the wings). My guess? The board at the top of the page is just in fantastic condition.

The board is going for $750. As far as I know, there’s no special historical significance to this thing. $750 is never cheap, but if I’m correct in saying the board is all original and in such fantastic condition, I’d argue that’s actually a reasonable price.

You can check out the board here.