Canyon Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It is Thursday evening, so as is customary around these parts, we’re serving up a fresh scan of a vintage surf ad. This time around we have an advertisement that originally appeared in the April 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 4). But we also have an example of a rad Canyon Surfboards stick — shaped by Rusty, natch — which we’ll get to in a bit.

I love learning about the early labels of various shapers’ careers, whether it’s Shawn Stussy cutting his teeth at Russell Surfboards, Gerry Lopez’s stint at Surf Line Hawaii, or countless others that I haven’t covered yet. Rusty Preisendorfer had established himself as a top shaper well before he established the eponymous brand that would make him something of a surf mogul. By the early Eighties, Rusty had already shaped boards for world champs Peter Townend and Shaun Tomson.

There’s a comprehensive San Diego Reader article that has a nice profile of Rusty and his early shaping career. According to the article, Canyon Surfboards was a collaboration between Rusty and his longtime glasser, John Durward. Durward owned Canyon Glass, which glassed most of Rusty’s shapes, and at some point the two men went into business together. Later on Canyon Surfboards would become the official licensee for Shaun Tomson’s personal line of shapes.

You’ll notice the ad features Peter Townend, Tomson and Dave Parmenter, among others. The sheer number of surfers Rusty has shaped for during his long career is mind-blowing, not to mention his role informally tutoring folks like Parmenter, who has gone on to become one of the foremost authorities in building surf craft.

There also happens to be a nice and clean Canyon Surfboards twin fin listed for sale on Craigslist in the Bay Area. You can find the listing here. I really the Canyon Surfboards label, which Rusty designed himself, having majored in visual arts at UCSD.

The board was shaped by Rusty, as clearly indicated on the signature, and it has a neat pair of Star System fins, complete with an Eighties-appropriate checkerboard print.

Even after all the accolades and the decades spent in the surfboard industry, I suspect Rusty might still be underrated. At the very least, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t more attention around Rusty’s earlier boards, whether they were shaped under the Canyon Surfboards and/or the Music! labels. That said, I think Rusty is easily considered one of the greatest living shapers in California, and at some point I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a renewed interest in the shapes he produced towards the beginning of his career.

Social Media Roundup: August Already

Greetings, Shredderz! Keep scrolling for a not-so curated collection of vintage surfboards I’ve recently spotted in the wilds of the World Wide Web.

Sadly, I think Dave Parmenter has deactivated his Instagram account. (The photo at the top of the page is also of Parmenter). This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given Parmenter’s general preference for keeping a low profile. It’s too bad, because I really enjoyed seeing his boards and hearing what he had to say about surfing and the craft of building surfboards. That said, Rusty Preisendorfer is alive and well on Instagram, much to my delight. Rusty’s contributions to surfboard shaping need no introduction, and he has been sharing many cool photos and stories, such as the picture of Dave Parmenter brandishing a very early Widowmaker.

Mark Richards and Dick Brewer. The sheer amount of surfing and surfboard wisdom contained in this picture practically violates every natural law known to mankind.

Here are Pat Rawson and Duncan Campbell showing off some very cool looking Bonzers. Dare I say Rawson’s design is a bit more twinzer-esque? I don’t know enough about it to say for sure but you can see the difference in the fin templates between the two boards.

My fascination with the curves of the Campbell Brothers’ Bonzer design is never ending. I could look at this photo for hours.

As always, Mahalo for reading!

Photo of Dave Parmenter at top of the page via Ice-Cream Headaches; taken by Julien Roubinet

Dave Parmenter on Surf Splendor Podcast

Greetings, Shredderz: how would you like to feel a lot dumber today? Now, I realize this is an unusual proposition, but trust me, in this case, it’s worth the hit to your ego. Because after you listen to Dave Parmenter on David Lee Scales’ Surf Splendor Podcast, you will likely come to the sudden and sickening realization that you actually know very little about how surfboards are built. Well, that was my reaction, at least. The flip side is this podcast is an excellent way to learn about surfboard manufacturing and history from one of the most fascinating shapers on the entire planet. This is actually just the first part of a four part series, and I’m eager to dig into the rest. Parmenter is brilliant and captivating, and even if none of the technical details stick, you’ll probably leave with a strong urge to order one of this beautiful Aleutian Juice shapes. You can listen to the podcast below, but also give some thought to supporting Surf Splendor via a donation, as it is an all-around excellent podcast.

Finally, just for kicks, here’s a photo of some candy coated Aleutian Juice sleds being prepped for some very lucky customers:

Aleutian Juice

Earlier today I was perusing some pictures of boards with channels, and I started thinking about how Shred Sledz has yet to feature anything from legendary Central Coast (CA) shaper Dave Parmenter. Parmenter is a former tour competitor and So Cal competitive surf rat who has gracefully transitioned into a career as one of the wisest (and most opinionated) men in surfing. Parmenter is famously prickly, but he makes beautiful – and functional! – surfboards (I’ve never met the man, but I imagine he would much prefer if I reversed the order of those adjectives).

What we have here (via Craigslist) is a 7′6″ version of Parmenter’s Stubb Vector shape, which is intended to deliver high performance in the guise of a hybrid / funboard. The best part? The poster claims this stick has never even seen wax, and it comes in at an extremely reasonable $350. Check it out here.