T&C Surf, Dane Kealoha, Larry Bertlemann Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening here in California, and by now readers will hopefully know that means a heaping helping of vintage surf advertising goodness is about to be served up, courtesy of Sagas of Shred. If I do say so myself, the blog has been on a bit of a tear lately with regard to quality cuts of the Hawaiian variety. Here’s an absolutely killer Dane Kealoha T&C single fin shaped by Glenn Minami, and I also wrote up a tidy quiver of Hawaiian single fins, which included a different but no less bitchin’ T&C Minami stick.

For today’s Sagas of Shred entry we turn the clock back to 1982. Check out the classic T&C Surf ad you can see at the top of the page. The ad ran in the December 1982 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 23, No 12). It features some stalwarts of the storied Town & Country Surf Designs brand. In the larger picture, from left to right, are Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha and Randall Kim. Inset is a picture of Craig Sugihara, T&C’s founder, and Kealoha again. The photos in the ad were taken by Warren Bolster. Bertlemann and Kealoha need no introduction as two of the most famous Hawaiian pros from the Seventies. Rounding out the roster is Randall Kim, a standout big wave surfer from Hawaii who was later killed in a tragic shooting.

Since this is a vintage surfboard blog, we’re going to have to take a second to geek out on the photo props. Dane is posing alongside an incredible stick in the main picture. I can’t tell what the fin setup is, but the airbrush on the deck is insane. You can detect some wings towards the tail, but that’s about it.

The smaller photo in the ad was part of a larger photoshoot for the T&C brand. Here’s another photo from the same shoot, which I featured in an earlier Sagas of Shred post.

I’m calling it: the polo shirt tucked into short boardshorts is overdue for a comeback. All royalties can be paid to Shred Sledz Inc, thanks in advance.

In both ads Dane Kealoha can be seen posing with an awesome T&C twin fin. I can’t say who shaped it, sadly. But I can say that the airbrush is just as an incredible as the other board. It’s also cool to see Sugihara front and center, as he isn’t present in the brand’s marketing during its Eighties heyday.

Finally, I think these ads depict the T&C brand during an interesting point in its history. I would say T&C hit its peak popularity later on during the Eighties, and in the ads here you can see early signs of the aesthetic that would become world famous in just a few years. And for anyone with a passing interest in surf history, you simply can’t go wrong with the combination of the Rubberman, Kealoha, and one of Hawaii’s iconic surf brands.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!

Dane Kealoha Surfboard by Glenn Minami

Old surf ads are fun and all, but let’s face it: if you’re reading this blog, you came here for one thing, and that’s the straight dope on vintage surfboards with some heavy hitter pedigree. I think you’ll all agree that today’s stick fits that description. And, if for some reason, a Dane Kealoha personal rider shaped by Glenn Minami still doesn’t have you convinced, drop me a line and we’ll set you straight ASAP. Yes, pictured below is a Dane Kealoha surfboard shaped by Minami under the storied T&C Surf Designs label. The board comes courtesy of a private, anonymous collector. Thanks to the owner for sharing the photos you see in this post!

You can click the pictures above to enlarge. The Dane Kealoha surfboard you see was shaped in 1979 and it measures in at 6’3″ x 19 1/2″ x 2 3/4″. The owner contacted Glenn Minami to get more info on the board. Minami believes the board was shaped for Kealoha as a personal rider, based on the “D” in the signature, which you can see below.

Close up of the signature on the Dane Kealoha surfboard featured here. You can see Glenn’s “GM” on the far left. The first two digits of “791603” indicate it was shaped in 1979; and the “D” at the end means it was a board shaped for Dane.

The owner was unable to find any pics of Kealoha surfing this board, and I couldn’t either. That said, you’ll notice it has a similar color scheme to the red and yellow Dane Kealoha surfboard seen at the top of the page. (Not sure who took the photo of Dane riding the red and yellow board; let me know if you have more clues.) Moreover, according to Minami, the fact the board was 6’3″ indicates it was likely a step up. Apparently Dane liked to surf shorter boards in powerful surf.

It looks like this board is unusual in the sense it was shaped for Dane as a personal rider. From what I can tell, T&C produced a Dane Kealoha Model for everyday consumers. There appears to be an example of a Kealoha model available on eBay right now. The eBay board doesn’t have a shaper signature anywhere on the board, and according to the listing, it was shaped somewhere in Australia, likely under license. I think Dane Kealoha Model boards are likely to command high prices on the open market, but as cool as those boards are, I love the fact the single fin featured on this post was made for Dane to ride himself. It’s also worth noting that the eBay board is a twin fin.

There are some interesting subtleties found on the laminates on this Dane Kealoha board.

Click the photos above to enlarge. The logo found on the deck of the board is on the left; the pic on the right is the logo found on the bottom. You’ll notice the Dane Kealoha surfboard has two slightly different laminates. The deck laminate reads “Dane Kealoha Hawiian Designs” and the bottom says “Dane Kealoha Designs Hawaii.”

Close up of the fin. The fin alone is gorgeous and the fact the sticker matches the rest of the board is such a rad little touch.

 Last but not least, the Dane Kealoha surfboard comes with an absolutely bitchin’ fin, which I believe is original. And yes, I really dig the fact the T&C Surf sticker on the fin matches the color scheme of the board.

Thanks again to the individual who shared pics of this incredible surfboard, and I hope you enjoyed learning more about this awesome stick!

T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening in California, which can only mean one thing: more vintage surf ads coming your way, via Sagas of Shred. Today’s entry is another classic from the Eighties, AKA the decade that popularized neon, mullets, stonewashed jeans and countless other instances of poor taste. You know what has aged well, though? Dane Kealoha’s inimitable brand of Hawaiian power surfing. Here’s a T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha ad from an issue of Surfing Magazine published sometime during the Eighties. I am not going to make any comments about the outfits Dane can be seen rocking on the right side of the ad. No, not even those oversized baby blue shorts, because Dane is a better surfer than I could ever dream of being, and he’s definitely tougher than me, too. So I’ll keep the fashion commentary to a minimum and focus instead on the fact T&C Surf Designs and Dane Kealoha is an absolutely perfect pairing.

Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

T&C Surf Designs with Dane Kealoha: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s late on Thursday night, which can only mean one thing: that’s right, it’s time for Sagas of Shred, where we feature a different vintage surf ad every week. Honestly, this ad speaks for itself, so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum. It originally ran in the January 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 1). I love how this T&C Surf Designs ad combines the cheerful neon aesthetic that dominated the Eighties, along with Kealoha’s brand of aggressive, powerful surfing. Kealoha’s boards look so sweet in this ad, too — I would love to see better pictures of both of them, along with some info around who shaped these sticks.

Thanks for reading and come back next week for another heaping helping of Sagas of Shred!

 

Hawaiian Power: Aipa and Dan Kealoha

Do you like neon?

How about surfcraft shaped by an undisputed master of the form?

What are you feelings on ridiculous 80s paint jobs? (Related to question #1 above).

Do old surfboards in impeccable shape titillate you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above – especially the one about neon – then you need to check out this board on Craigslist, which can be found in Santa Cruz, California.

It is a vintage Ben Aipa-shaped board for legendary Hawaiian surfboard brand Town & Country. The airbrush has a distinct 80s / 90s feel to it. The signature on the signature is clear as day, and it looks like the board was even shaped for equally well-known Hawaiian pro surfer Dane Kealoha!

If it sounds like I’m frothing…well, I am! I love finding vintage surfboard gems, but the fact this one was made for one of the most influential Hawaiian pros ever is just the cherry on top of an already scrumptious surfboard sundae. In fact, I’m so stoked I don’t even care that the photography includes huge glare spots and there isn’t any mention of the dimensions or the fin setup. In any case, check it out for yourself here.