Technically I believe only one of these boards is vintage (that would be the Brewer on the bottom). This is far from a “classic” Brewer in the sense it’s an Eighties thruster, but hey, it’s got Dick Brewer’s name on it, and the airbrush is awesome.
Here’s Al Merrick posing with a Channel Islands Surfboards thruster that was likely shaped in the Eighties. From the OP sticker I’m guessing this has to be one of the boards that Tom Curren rode en route to a US Open victory. You don’t hear much about Al these days, as his son Britt has taken the reins at CI, but it’s great to see an update!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features a very cool and unusual board on eBay: an Owl Chapman Underground surfboard from the Seventies. The board is a single fin and it measures in at a relatively tidy 6’4″. You can find a link to the eBay listing here. All photos in this post are via the eBay listing.
Owl still shapes today under the Brewer Chapman Surfboards label — Brewer, of course, being the peerless Dick Brewer. Of all the Owl Chapman shapes I have seen, the vast majority are under the Brewer Chapman label, which bears an almost identical logo to Dick Brewer’s famous plumeria wreath design. See below for a side-by-side comparison of the Brewer Chapman Surfboards and Dick Brewer Surfboards logos:
It’s far more unusual, however, to come across Owl Chapman Underground surfboards, like the one that’s currently for sale on eBay. I really dig the groovy vibes of the Owl Chapman Underground logo.
The Owl Chapman Underground boards seem to be pretty collectible, too. Most recently, an Owl Chapman Underground 8’0″ single fin pintail was sold at The Vintage Surf Auction for a cool $2,000. The auction board was restored by Randy Rarick, whereas the eBay board looks all original.
If you’re interested in checking out the board, the eBay listing can be found here.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a beautiful surfboard from one of the true masters of the form: Dick Brewer. Normally I’m a guy who is open to differing points of view. Yet everyone has their limits, and here are mine: if you don’t think Dick Brewer belongs on the Mount Rushmore of surfboard shapers, then I’m afraid there isn’t much for us to discuss. Pictured below is a sweet Dick Brewer Seventies single fin that is miraculously still listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. More about the board below…
The Dick Brewer Seventies single fin pictured above measures in at a relatively tidy 6’3″. No other dimensions are listed in the ad.
The listing claims the board was shaped during the late Sixties or early Seventies. To me it looks like a classic Seventies single fin, and it’s definitely not a Transition Era board. A good hint comes from the excellent Encyclopedia of Surfing, which tells us that Brewer’s surfboard production tailed off towards the mid-Seventies, during a particularly trying period in his life. This makes me think the board was likely shaped during the early Seventies, maybe mid-Seventies at the latest. As you can see in the photos above, the board has very slight wings before ending in a graceful pintail. Either way, the Dick Brewer board has a beautiful and timeless outline.
It’s difficult to figure out the provenance of Brewer boards given that he didn’t always own the rights to the brand bearing his name. In addition, shapers such as Larry Blair and Sam Hawk were also known to shape surfboards under the Dick Brewer Surfboards label. But the Dick Brewer Seventies single fin featured here has a clear signature, which you can see above. The signature above is consistent with other Brewer signatures I have seen.
Trying to figure out pricing on vintage Dick Brewer surfboards can be maddening. At the super high end you have boards like the Bing Pipeliner, which can command thousands of dollars at auction. On the other hand, I’ve seen other Dick Brewer surfboards pop up for sale that don’t seem to be particularly exciting for most buyers — for example, a relatively recent (I would guess 2000s) thruster was listed for $400 on Craigslist in San Diego a few months back.
The vintage Dick Brewer Seventies single fin featured here is also listed on Craigslist for $400 (once again you can find the listing here.) Personally, I think this is an awesome deal. The board looks to be in pretty clean condition, it is almost certainly shaped during the Seventies, and it has a clear signature on it. And when you consider Brewer’s status as one of the legends of surfboard shaping, what more convincing do you need?
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest edition of the Grab Bag, where I’ll be featuring some of the more notable boards I have seen listed for sale over the past few weeks. Today’s entry has a distinct Hawaiian flavor , as all of the boards covered below are from famous labels that hail from the birthplace of surfing.
This thing is KILLER! First, it’s in excellent condition. Actually, let me back up: first and foremost, the board just looks awesome. Even if you didn’t know the first thing about Lightning Bolt or Rory Russell, this board makes you stop and look. Maybe that makes me shallow…or maybe I just have impeccable taste when it comes to vintage surf craft. I’m always a sucker for intricate details, and I love the Clark Foam and Rory Russell Model laminates on the tail. The board is 5’4″. Is this considered a fish? I never see the Rory Russell twin fins referred to as such, but they seem pretty fish-like to me. Bidding is already hovering near $700 with four more days to go. Pics above via the eBay listing.
I love the old school Surfboards Hawaii logo, which is one of my favorite surfboard labels ever. Apparently this board was shaped by none other than Owl Chapman, uncle to current North Shore pro Kalani Chapman, and all-round Oahu fixture. I asked the seller if there’s a signature anywhere on the board, but I haven’t heard back. I’m not sure when this board was made, but I am guessing very early 1970s, based on the shape of the pintail, what looks like an after-market leash plug, and the glass-on fin. I have never seen a straight up Surfboards Hawaii Owl Chapman surfboard before. The pairing makes sense, given Chapman’s association with Dick Brewer, and the fact Brewer founded Surfboards Hawaii in 1961. The board is 9′, the board is located in Los Angeles, California, and the seller is asking $900.
There are currently two great Dick Brewer boards for sale. The first, pictured above, is a 8′ x 19-1/2″ x 3″ gun with glass-on fins in a thruster setup that should be ideal for the upcoming winter. It is being sold in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $600. I think that price is extremely reasonable, given that the board looks to be in excellent condition.
You want a Dick Brewer signature? Great, then how about another one? It’s a little odd that Brewer signed the board twice, but either way, I feel confident in saying the board was shaped by Brewer himself.
There’s a 1970s Dick Brewer single fin available on eBay that also bears two Dick Brewer signatures. Pic above is via the listing, which you can find here. The seller is asking $1500 for the board. The 1970s single fin has a wonderful old school outline and glassed on fin. Unfortunately, the pics provided with the eBay listing are pretty poor, so I have omitted them from the post. Still, I encourage you to click through and check them out for yourself.
As for the price difference, the best I can offer is that Brewer prices can be all over the place. I think one should expect genuine 1970s Dick Brewer single fins to command higher prices than newer boards. The gun on Craigslist is clearly newer (I would guess mid-1990s or later) and in better condition, but I imagoine 1970s single fins have more cachet.
Lightning Bolt 1970s Single Fin by Darrell Beckmeier (Craigslist)
Darrell Beckmeier was a fixture at Lightning Bolt during the 1970s. There’s a beautiful example of one of his boards that currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. Pics above are via the listing. The board is 6’6″ x 19-1/2″ (no dimension listed for thickness). The seller is asking $750. I’m honestly not sure what to make of this price, and how Beckmeier’s boards compare in value to other Bolt shapers. Still, it doesn’t get any more classic than single-fin Bolts!
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post brings you a fearsome threesome from one of the most illustrious Hawaiian shapers ever: Kauai’s own Dick Brewer. There are two Brewer guns for sale on Craigslist in San Francisco. Pictures below are via the respective Craigslist listings: board #1, board #2, and board #3.
Dick Brewer Surfboard #1: 7’6″ Thruster (Craigslist)
Two things stand out to me about this Dick Brewer gun: first, it’s in great condition. Second, the seller is asking only $275! If you look at the first picture, you can see a Dick Brewer signature in pencil on the stringer. There’s no closeup of the signature, but from what I can see, it looks identical to verified Brewer signatures on other hand shapes I have seen. Here’s an example of a Brewer signature from post-2007 on a board that was sold at auction. I’m not sure when the board above was shaped. My guess is sometime after 2000.
The gun is being offered by the same seller as the 7’6″ thruster above. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the fin setup, so it’s unclear if this is a thruster. This board is also cheap — the seller is asking $300. There’s an interesting detail on this board, which is the Choice logo located just above the tail. Choice Surfboards is one of the labels run by Rich Pavel (the others being Greenroom Surfboards and Pavel Surfboards). More on the Choice Surfboards tie-in below! The board also bears a Dick Brewer signature that looks like it was done in pencil. Finally, I think the 8′ gun and the 7’6″ board were likely shaped around the same time period.
Dick Brewer Surfboard #3: 8′ Thruster (Craigslist)
Finally, we have another 8′ gun on Craigslist. It is listed at $700. The board in the pictures above is also in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it is being offered by a different seller. My guess is the above board was shaped sometime in the 1990s. Either way, it looks like it is an earlier example than the other two boards written up on this post. In addition, the 8′ thruster above solves the mystery of the Choice Surfboards logo!
As you can see in the picture above, the Choice logo reads “Shaped at Choice Shaping Studios: San Diego California.” At some point, Brewer must have shaped alongside Rich Pavel at Pavel’s shaping room in San Diego.
Here’s an example taken from a totally different board. In the picture below you’ll notice that Dick Brewer and Rich Pavel both signed a board.
I’m not sure the extent of Pavel and Brewer’s collaboration, but it’s the only example I have seen of a board signed by both men. If you have any info on Brewer’s time shaping alongside Pavel, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know!
Miscellaneous Dick Brewer Boards for Sale
There are a few other Dick Brewer boards currently being listed for sale, and I thought it would be interesting to compare prices. First, there’s a nice 7’1″ wing pin single fin for sale in San Diego. The price is $575 and you can find the link here. The 7’1″ wing pin, however, is shaped by Gary Linden, who is an accomplished big wave surfer and shaper in his own right. For those who aren’t scared off by the prospect of putting in work, there’s another Dick Brewer single fin for sale in San Clemente. You can find the link here. It’s only $40, but the tail in particular looks pretty busted up. There’s a 6’10” Brewer gun on eBay and the seller is asking $849. You can find a link to the 6’10” gun here. Brewer prices can be all over the map. I realize the miscellaneous boards I have linked to aren’t representative of the entire market, but I think it’s sufficient evidence to conclude the first two boards on this page (the 7’6″ for $275 and the 8′ for $300) are being offered at extremely attractive prices.
Now here’s something you don’t see every day: a Dick Brewer vintage sting surfboard. The board is currently for sale on Craigslist in New York (pics via the Craigslist posting), and you can find the listing here.
Dick Brewer sting shape. Look at that outline!
Bottom of the board
As you can see, this Brewer Sting has a dramatic outline. There are no dimensions listed on the board, but it looks pretty long — I would guess 7′ plus, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. The wings on the side of the board are placed fairly high up as well. I would describe this as a thumb tail, which is slightly unusual for Stings. You tend to see more swallowtails and pintails on Sting shapes. The triple stringer is another unusual touch.
The Craigslist poster claims the board was shaped in 1975, which sounds right to me. The first giveaway is the Sting design itself, which is an iconic seventies shape. Other details point to a similar date, such as the glass-on fin.
Dick Brewer vintage surfboards from this era usually have far more traditional outlines that you would expect from seventies single fins. See below for a classic example of a seventies Dick Brewer vintage board:
The Sting, of course, was invented by Ben Aipa, and is still one of the more recognizable designs from the seventies. I had never seen an example of a Sting shaped by Brewer, but a bit of online research reveals that Dick Brewer dabbled with Sting designs during this time. See below for a picture showing Brewer sitting next to a Sting that bears his plumeria logo.
The second board from the right has a clear — and pretty dramatic — Sting shape. Contrast it with the other boards in the picture, which sport the winged designs that Brewer was experimenting with in the seventies.
Here’s an even better shot of Brewer holding a Sting design. I couldn’t find any info on when the photo was taken and by whom; if you have any details to share please let me know!
Aussie vintage surfboard purveyors Von Weirdos recently sold a Dick Brewer vintage Sting in excellent condition. The board is no longer for sale, but luckily there are still pictures up on the Von Weirdos site, along with a description of the board. You can find the link here and I have also included some of the pictures below.
The Von Weirdos Brewer Sting is listed at 6’3″ x 20″ x 2 1/2″. The Von Weirdos Sting looks considerably shorter than the Craigslist Sting at the top of the page. In addition, you’ll notice the wings are located much further towards the tail. The wing placement is particularly noticeable in other shots of the board.
Finally, I was able to find another example of a Dick Brewer sting, this time via French surfboard site Daniel’s Longboards. I have included the picture below. You can find the link to the original board posted on Daniel’s Longboards here.
Note the fluted wings, and how this creates miniature channels on the bottom. You can see the dimensions watermarked in the picture: 6’6″ x 21″ x 3 1/8″. The Daniel’s Longboard Sting and the Von Weirdos Sting seem to be very similar boards in a lot of ways, given the wing placement, the swallow tails, and the overall length and outline. Both boards look shorter and fatter than the Craigslist Sting.
The Dick Brewer vintage Sting for sale on Craigslist is going for $900. That’s pretty steep when considering the condition of the board. There’s also the small matter that there doesn’t appear to be a Brewer signature anywhere on the board. This doesn’t mean it’s not a Brewer hand shape, but it’s something to consider. On the other hand, Dick Brewer will always be considered one of the most influential shapers in history, and I believe his vintage boards will only become more collectible over the years. I have a personal soft spot for the Sting, and this is one of a handful of vintage Dick Brewer Stings I have seen, much less for sale. Even though this board is beaten up and on the expensive side, I’m hoping someone will buy it and get Randy Rarick to return it to its former glory.
Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your respective weekends are all going exactly as planned. See below for your irregularly scheduled dose of social media from the wonderful world of vintage surfboards, including a cool seventies Schroff single fin.
Now THIS is cool! This is a trippy Wave Tools Sting shape combined with some truly out there Jet elements meant to route the water flow. To top it all off, the gradient paint job on the board is beautiful, too. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures in the gallery above — this is a must-see. Congrats to @thevintagesurfboard for scoring such a rare and interesting gem.
Hope you’re not sick of me mentioning Bird and his eponymous Surf Shed yet, because I’m not stopping any time soon! Anyway, Bird has a few more recent Dick Brewer boards for sale. They’re not cheap, but quality never is. These boards aren’t technically vintage, considering they were built in 2001-2002, but they are beautiful nonetheless. I love the Surfboards Hawaii logos towards the tail, too. The Brewer boards are also a nice modern complement to this week’s earlier post about Terry Fitzgerald and Dick Brewer. Note that all three boards above were all glassed by Jack Reeves, too.
I’m not sure who Hemisphere Cargo is, but if he doesn’t work for Schroff, at the very least he has a fine appreciation for Pimp’s shapes! Everyone goes crazy over the Echo Beach Schroff thrusters with the checkerboard logos, and rightfully so, but I’m really digging this Schroff single fin. Relatively speaking, it looks a little restrained when compared to Schroff’s more out there looks, and I’m into it!
If you’re not familiar with Rich Harbour and his legacy, I have one small request for you: close this window immediately, read upon the man, and then beg the surf gods for forgiveness over the fact you were reading Shred Sledz instead of learning some history.
Actually, you can do one better, as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, located in San Clemente, CA, is currently exhibiting a retrospective on Harbour’s career. The exhibit opened yesterday and it will be going on for three months. Harbour is a legendary California shaper, and it’s rad to see him get some shine courtesy of the awesome SHACC.
Luis Real has a truly staggering collection of vintage surfboards, and he frequently posts about them on Instagram. Pictured here is a rare bit of Dick Brewer trivia — one of the few boards Brewer shaped under the Greek label.
Dick Brewer is one of the most famous surfboard shapers ever. His claim to fame is crafting big wave guns that perform in the demanding conditions of a Hawaiian winter.
One of the more fascinating – or maddening, depending on how you look at it – aspects of Brewer’s long career is the wide variety of brands and labels he shaped under. There are too many to name – Hobie, Surfboards Hawaii, and his eponymous label, just to name a few – but there are a dizzying number of brand names one needs to keep straight in order to unearth a genuine Dick Brewer hand shaped board. For example, here’s a board that bears the Dick Brewer Surfboards label, but was apparently shaped by Owl Chapman. Why that wouldn’t be a Brewer Chapman board is beyond me, but I’m not the one who makes the decisions here.
The good news is there are occasional gems that pop up here and there that bear promising signs of being a genuine Brewer hand shape. I don’t want to make any definitive declarations, because I’m not an expert. But this board, located on Craigslist in Honolulu, certainly fits the part.
It’s listed at 7′2″ and the poster claims the board is a custom shape from 1978. The tail is pretty interesting, somewhere between a rounded pin and a diamond tail, which seems right for the era. The wings are a cool touch as well.
Stoked-n-Board’s page for Dick Brewer doesn’t have an entry for this label, which simply reads “Brewer Surfboards” (versus the more standard Dick Brewer Surfboards). It does have the famous plumeria wreath, though. More importantly, there does appear to be a genuine signature on the stringer (reach out directly to Rob, who posted this board, for a pic).
The price is steep – $1300 – but as always, ogling on Shred Sledz is free of charge. Check it out here.