Vintage Dick Brewer Seventies Single Fin

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.

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Clear Dick Brewer signature on the stringer

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?

Terry Fitzgerald for Lightning Bolt

Hawaii is, and will always be, the center of the surfing world. Even as globalization pushes surfing into new and interesting corners, like retro longboarding’s unlikely resurgence in Indonesia, Hawaii is not only the birthplace of surfing, but the very place where much of its history continues to be made.

The 1970s were a particularly fertile and fascinating time in surfing’s development. It was during this decade that Australians descended upon the North Shore of Oahu, raising eyebrows with their brash surfing and matching attitudes. While the “Bustin’ Down the Door” episode has rightfully earned its spot in surfing history, the arrival of top Australian pros on Hawaiian shores had another side effect: many fruitful collaborations between Aussies and their Hawaiian counterparts.

I wrote an earlier post about a board Terry Fitzgerald shaped for Dick Brewer, which you can find here. Mark Richards is another example of an Australian surfer / designer who found inspiration in the Hawaiian boards of the 1970s. MR still counts Ben Aipa and Dick Brewer among his influences. MR has written some great posts on the subject, and he continues to produce his version of an Aipa sting today! And if you prefer the reverse commute, Von Weirdos has a Hot Buttered surfboard shaped by Owl Chapman.

Today’s post, however, covers another Terry Fitzgerald board: a rare example of a Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt collaboration. The story behind the board comes courtesy of Gavin Scott, an Australian collector with a special interest in what he calls the “Aussie / Hawaiian cross-pollination.” During the early 1970s, Lightning Bolt founders Gerry Lopez and Jack Shipley invited Fitzgerald to do some shaping for the brand while he was spending the winter on the North Shore. Fitzgerald already had Hot Buttered up and running, but the way Fitz tells it, he took on the gig shaping for Lightning Bolt for some money on the side and to refine his designs. The board below is one of but four boards Fitzgerald shaped for his initial run at the Lightning Bolt shop.

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Terry Fitzgerald posing with one of the few surfboards he shaped for Lightning Bolt. Note the fluted wings in the tail, which TF attributes to Reno Abellira’s influence. Pic via Gavin Scott

The Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt board is filled with all kinds of beautiful details. I’m particularly drawn to the precise double-winged pintail and the striking white pin line on the bottom of the board:

Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt Surfboard 2
Close up of the fin. Check out the white pin line! Pic via Gavin Scott

The Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt board also has some interesting laminates. On the deck you can see the famous Bolt laminate. The bottom, though, has a Lightning Bolt logo that I have personally never seen before. The board’s owner tells me that the text Lightning Bolt logo along the stringer is something that Roy Stamm did with many of the boards he glassed.

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Unusual Lightning Bolt logo along the stringer on the bottom of the board. Apparently this was a common technique for Roy Stamm, who glassed the board. Pic via Gavin Scott

After purchasing the board, Gavin was able to get a certificate of authenticity from Terry Fitzgerald that details the board’s history. I have included a photo below:

Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt Surfboard 1
Certificate of Authenticity by Terry Fitzgerald for the board pictured above. TF goes all out on these certificates! Not only does Fitzgerald get deep into the design elements, he also provides great context on the state of surfing during the time the board was made. Pic via Gavin Scott

As you can see in the certificate of authenticity, the board was shaped in Hawaii in 1973. I love how TF goes through the various influences that informed the board’s final design, including a nod to Barry Kanaiaupuni’s radical stylings at Sunset Beach. The board truly is a product of Hawaiian and Australian influences, spanning Fitzgerald’s experiences from Narrabeen to Sunset. I love how comprehensive the certificate is, going as far as to credit Roy Stamm with the lovely glass job.

Randy Rarick also played a part in this board making its way back to Australia. Rarick was kind enough to share some back story on the board. Apparently Rarick found the Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt on the West Side of Oahu and then turned it over to a friend. Eventually the board made its way to Gavin Scott, its current owner. Scott was responsible for getting the certificate of authenticity and the back story from Terry Fitzgerald. Many thanks to Gavin for making this post possible! You can also check out Gavin’s activity on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Group on Facebook, where he is kind enough to share more of his incredible collection.

Photo at the top of the page taken by Jeff Divine.

Dick Brewer Gun for Rabbit Bartholomew / Darrick Doerner

Vintage Surfboards Hawaii surfboard by Dick Brewer shaped for Rabbit Bartholomew

Greetings, Shredderz! Those of you who follow me on Instagram may recognize the photo above from my Instagram account, where I posted it a few days ago. (You can check out the official Shred Sledz Instagram account here.) The photo was taken by Tom Servais on the North Shore of Oahu, and it features none other than Aussie legend Rabbit Bartholomew posing with some beautiful big-wave guns. As soon as I posted the photo, the current owner of the yellow board — a Surfboards Hawaii gun shaped by Dick Brewer — reached out and was kind enough to send over some more pictures. Thank you to Luke Carter for supplying the pics. If you’re interested in vintage surfboards and fast cars, give Luke a follow on Instagram!

As you can see, the board is still in great condition, even after all these years.

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Close up of the Dick Brewer signature on the stringer. Pic via Luke Carter

You can see a clear example of a Dick Brewer signature on the stringer, alongside some measurements. At 9’5″ x 20″ x 3-1/4″, the gun was clearly shaped for waves of consequence.

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Close up of the glass-on fin on the Dick Brewer Rabbit Bartholomew gun. Pic via Luke Carter

Luke was also kind enough to point me to a photo that gives some indication of when Brewer may have shaped this board. The photo above was supposedly taken at the opening ceremony for the Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay held in the winter of 1989 / 1990.

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Occy (left) and Rabbit, showing off some sweet Dick Brewer guns. It’s interesting to note that Occy’s board has the 1980s Brewer laminate, while Rabbit’s board has the Surfboards Hawaii logo. Photo by Peter “Joli” Wilson / Joliphotos.com

I actually found a copy of the program for the 1989 / 1990 Eddie Aikau contest on eBay, and neither Occy nor Rabbit Bartholomew were invitees. Nonetheless, given Occy and Rabbit’s ages in the Joli photo above, I believe the photo was taken sometime during that decade. I suppose it’s also possible that Occy and Rabbit could have showed up to the Eddie’s opening ceremony with their boards in tow, but that would have been unusual given that is usually reserved for competitors.

Per the title of the blog post, Luke also tells me that apparently the board was originally shaped for Hawaiian big-wave charger Darrick Doerner. This theory makes a ton of sense. For starters, Bartholomew’s brash attitude initially made him a target in Hawaii, as documented in “Bustin’ Down the Door” and even a sketch on “Drunk History.” Moreover, Doerner was something of a Waimea Bay specialist — for which the Brewer board would have been an ideal fit — and also boasted a long association with Brewer. How the board would have made its way from Doerner to Rabbit is a mystery to me, but I’m glad it did, given the rad pictures that resulted!

I’d also love to know what happened to the other board in the picture at the top of the page. I love the splash of color on the Surfboards Hawaii logo. I’m assuming the board Rabbit’s sitting on must be another Dick Brewer, but without a picture of the stringer, there’s no way to be sure.

Thanks again to Luke Carter for the pictures. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Shred Sledz Presents: September 15 Grab Bag (Hawaii Edition)

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.

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Twin Fin (eBay)

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.

Surfboards Hawaii Owl Chapman Gun (Craigslist)

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.

Dick Brewer Gun and 1970s Single Fin (Craigslist & eBay)

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!

Dick Brewer Trio (With Rich Pavel Cameo!)

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.

Dick Brewer Surfboard #2: 8′ Gun (Craigslist)

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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!

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Dick Brewer signature on the stringer. Above that you can see a logo for Choice Surfboards, which is one of the labels for which Rich Pavel shapes.

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.

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This is a picture taken from a board that was listed on Craigslist a few months ago (and not one of the boards pictured above). This the only example I have seen of a board signed by both Dick Brewer and Rich Pavel.

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.

Dick Brewer Vintage Seventies Sting

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.

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:

 

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Classic example of a Dick Brewer vintage seventies single fin. Pic via UsedSurf.co.jp

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.

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Dick Brewer in the Seventies, sitting with some of his creations. Pic via Surfer’s Village / California Surfing Museum

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!

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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.

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An absolutely gorgeous Dick Brewer Sting. Pic via Von Weirdos

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.

Vintage Dick Brewer Sting Design
Another beautiful looking Dick Brewer vintage sting. Note the fluted wings on the board. Pic via Daniel’s Longboards

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.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 25): Schroff Single Fin and More

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 up on 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.

Surfing Heritage and Culture Center Rich Harbour Retrospective Poster
Poster for the Harbour Surfboards Retrospective at SHACC. Photo via Harbour Surfboards

 

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.

The Sultan in Hawaii: Terry Fitzgerald for Dick Brewer

How to describe the North Shore of Oahu, the famed strip of surf breaks that, at the start of every winter, becomes the beating heart of the entire surf world? Volcom dubbed the most famous piece of real estate in surfing “The Proving Grounds”, and while surfwear marketing is rarely inspired, this is a fitting name. Surfers have long made pilgrimages to the North Shore, and Aussie Terry Fitzgerald, AKA The Sultan of Speed, is no exception.

Terry Fitzgerald North Shore of Oahu by Jeff Divine
Sam Hawk (left) and Terry Fitzgerald, preparing to paddle out at Rocky Point in 1976. Hawk was a Brewer team rider and respected shaper in his own right. Photo by Jeff Divine

Fitzgerald’s first exposure to Hawaiian influence came during the world contest in 1970, held at Bells Beach. The Australians — Fitzgerald included — were riding equipment that was inferior to those of their Hawaiian counterparts. According to Fitzgerald, at the time of the contest he wasn’t particularly well-liked by his Australian peers. As a result, Fitzgerald ended up rooming in a hotel with Hawaiian surfers Ben Aipa and Paul Strauch. The experience left a lasting impression. “I got a whole new perspective out of that contest, and I connected with the network that was to become the foundation of my surfing life. …I was put in with Aipa and Strauch, and my mind was opened to the whole Hawaiian deal.”

The quote above can be found in “Accelerator”, an excellent Fitzgerald profile written by Phil Jarratt and published in The Surfer’s Journal. I cannot recommend the article enough; you can find a link to it here (article is free for TSJ subscribers, or $3.99 to download.)

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TF surfing Sunset Beach on Oahu’s famed North Shore, winter of 1975. Pic by Art Brewer; via Surfer’s Journal.

Fitzgerald made his first trip to Hawaii in the spring of 1971. In Hawaii Fitzgerald met none other than Dick Brewer, one of the statesmen of Hawaiian surfing. “Accelerator” has a number of excellent details on how the two shapers’ partnership began to emerge. Brewer witnessed Fitzgerald surfing Rocky Rights and dubbed the young Australian the best surfer in the world. In the summer of that same year, Fitzgerald followed Brewer back to Kauai, where the two began to exchange ideas on surfboard design. Fitzgerald credits Brewer’s influence, but disputes the notion that he left Hawaii intent on aping Brewer.

“The boards I took to Hawaii in 1971 were very much Terry Fitzgerald creations. They were the boards that created my reputation, and they were made before I met Brewer. Basically, I’d taken the twin fin that Greg Hodges and I made, put a single fin on it and refined it along the lines of the boards that Russell Hughes and Dana Nicely were doing at Byron Bay. Dick’s genius was that he could look at what a TF or a Sam Hawk was doing and subtly integrate that into his own designs. He could pull together influences from a whole range of people in a way that worked. …By the end of 1971, I was in California making a real statement in foam, and I know I couldn’t have done that without the Brewer experience.”

Shortly after returning to his native Australia, Fitzgerald opened up his own shop and began selling his shapes under the Hot Buttered label. Even the name Hot Buttered has its origins in Fitzgerald’s Hawaii experiences: during the winter of 1971, Fitzgerald and Hawaiian surfer Owl Chapman had been listening to Isaac Hayes’ album “Hot Buttered Soul”, and the name stuck.

A few years later, Fitzgerald’s Hawaiian experience would come full circle.

Hot Buttered Terry Fitzgerald for Dick Brewer 1975:1976 6'56
6’5″ Single Fin shaped by Terry Fitzgerald for Dick Brewer as a gift. Board was shaped in 1975 / 1976. Photo via the board’s owner, Mark Loh.

The board pictured above is an incredible piece of surfing history that serves as a document for the cultural exchange between TF and Dick Brewer. It is a Hot Buttered single fin, shaped in either 1975 or 1976, that Terry Fitzgerald made for Dick Brewer. The board belongs to Mark Loh of Beach Beat, who kindly contributed the photos to this post.

The winged pintail setup is a hallmark of Fitzgerald’s designs from the Seventies. The board above measures in at 6’5″, and it is a single fin. According to Loh, the board has had some small repairs, but otherwise completely original. The board is in excellent shape considering its age, not to mention that swallowtails and wings are notoriously prone to damage.

You can see Fitzgerald’s signature on the board. It clearly reads “T.F. Hawaii for Dick 6’5”. However, the board’s owner went one step further, and contacted Fitzgerald directly. Fitzgerald was able to issue a certificate of authenticity and provide some more details on the board itself.

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Official Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Terry Fitzgerald. Photo via Mark Loh

Fitzgerald provides great insight on the various elements that went into the board’s design. It’s amazing to hear that despite the time spent together, Fitzgerald had never actually ridden one of Brewer’s boards! Finally, Fitzgerald notes the board was glassed by Jack Reeves and sanded by Tom Hawk (brother of the aforementioned Chris).

Jack Reeves Logo
Jack Reeves logo taken from a different Owl Chapman surfboard. I love the simplicity and clean lines of this logo. Pic via The Surfboard Project

This is an amazing board, and Fitzgerald’s certificate is a wonderful source for some first-hand information. Finally, check out the original post featuring the board on Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Facebook). As you can see, I’m not the only person who was stoked about this find!

Thanks to Mark Loh for sharing the pictures and the story.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (3/22)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here is the latest in vintage surfboard news from the far reaches of the interwebs, collected all in one place.

Luis Real is the owner of North Shore Surf Shop on Oahu. He is also the owner an extensive collection of vintage surfboards that has been known to bring grown men to tears. He posts a lot of incredible stuff on Instagram and on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook. This post above is a rad picture of a rare Dick Brewer logo that features Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman as well. Note that in the top portion of the pic, Sam Hawk is on the left, Owl Chapman is in the middle, and Brewer himself is to the right.

Today’s post features some tasty Bonzer content for all you alternative surf craft fans. Check out this Shane Bonzer shaped by none other than Simon Anderson! This is a cool look at one of Anderson’s earlier experiments with a tri-fun setup before he invented the proper thruster and revolutionized surfboard designs forever. Note that the owner of the account above is none other than Duncan Campbell, brother of Malcolm and one of the co-founders of Campbell Bros.

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I'll take the brown one

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Your last Bonzer related post of the day comes from none other than Joel Tudor. Check out the comments in the thread where Tudor and Malcolm Campbell are discussing how Joel is going to take that thing down from the rafters and have the outlined copied so he can make a repro. Check out the fin placement on the board on the right — just like the Campbell Bros recommend. Love the little “Bonzer Vehicles” logos you can see next to the side bites, not to mention the funky double concave and the super thinned out tails.

Look at this beautiful example of a Steve Lis fish! And check out those dimensions: at 5’2″ x 20 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ it’s not hard to see the kneeboarding influence. You can barely see a little logo on the bottom of the board towards the top.

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Presents Expression Session 1

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Surfboards and Coffee (looks like their website isn’t quite ready for primetime yet) is a group of surfboard collectors in LA that host regular meetups to compare boards and ingest some caffeine. If I lived in that lovely City of Angels I’d like to think I’d be a regular, but alas Shred Sledz HQ isn’t moving from the Bay Area any time soon. Anyway, check them out on Instagram (and how about the spray job on that Stussy!)

Last but not least, Marc Andreini took to Facebook to explain some of the backstory behind his famous Vaquero design. The board on the right is an early predecessor of the Vaquero — then called the “365”, because Andreini and co found they could surf the board nearly every day of the year — from 1974.

Dick Brewer Winged Single Fin

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.