Greetings, Shredderz! Regular readers know the rules: keep scrolling for some of my favorite vintage surfboard-related social media posts from the past month or so.
For all my ignorance of Australian surf culture and history, I remain a huge, unabashed fan. And as an American, I’m particularly interested in how Australian and American surfers often exchanged ideas in Hawaii, the birthplace of the sport that is conveniently located between the two continents. When Mark Richards wasn’t riding his own designs to world titles — still an incredible, and perhaps underrated, feat — he was a devotee of Ben Aipa’s iconic sting. There’s a Dick Brewer shape tucked away in that group, and the Al Dove airbrushes are classic, too. I’ve been meaning to do a longer post on MR’s love affair with the sting, so hopefully I get around to it sooner than later.
Luis Real is a fixture in the Social Media Roundup, and that’s because he keeps buying rad boards and posting about them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think I prefer the Seventies T&C single fins to their more famous (and colorful) Eighties thruster counterparts. This one was shaped by Dennis Pang and it has a very similar color scheme to a Glenn Minami-shaped T&C Dane Kealoha model I wrote up a little while back.
The Rick Rasmussen picture above is in honor of the absolutely epic run of swell that New York has seen this past October. RIP to the original Slick Rick the Ruler.
Skip Frye ordered a board from Marc Andreini?! How awesome is that! I don’t know Mr Frye, but everything I’ve heard about him echoes my experiences with Andreini, who has been gracious, patient, and unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge in our limited interactions. Oh, and yeah, they both shape awesome boards, of course.
Is there anything more classic than a pristine Gerry Lopez single fin? I can’t stop staring at the outline on this thing. Give Liquid Salt / Glenn a follow; he posts beautiful pictures with consistently informative captions.
I love Aipa and his signature sting, but one of his less-heralded models is the Transition Era single fin he made for Greg Noll’s Surfcenter shop in Hawaii. You don’t see these every day, and I love the sideways logo as well as the subtle blue resin pin lines on the deck. The photo at the top of the page was taken from a recent USVSA auction for a similar board, which you can see here.
Dick Brewer needs no introduction. I really dig this super rare board, one of the few surviving samples of his early Lahaina Surf Designs label (yes, the acronym is intentional). Make sure you scroll through the pics for a close up of the trippy logo.
Nothing too crazy here: just a super clean and lovely example of a classic Sixties longboard, the Rick SurfboardsDru Harrison Improvisor Model. I love the bright blue high density foam stringer and the matching glass on fin. They don’t make ’em like they used to!
Last but not least, here’s a gorgeous T&C Surf Designs sting from the Seventies. Not sure who shaped this bad boy, but it’s stunning. I think there’s a chance it may have been restored, judging from the impeccable condition, but either way you can’t go wrong with this one. I’ve said it before, but even though the Eighties T&C thrusters with the neon sprays are the most collectible vintage boards from the label, I just might like the Seventies single fins even more. In particular, I’m a sucker for that huge, clean old school yin yang logo.
As always, thanks for checking out the blog, and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboard goodness!
Greetings, Shredderz! Yes, I’m aware that it is no longer the weekend. I’m not going to let something as trivial as reality get in the way of delivering another dose of some vintage surfboard goodness, however. Keep reading for a selection of boards that are currently listed for sale, including a neat Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby model. More sledz below…
Long time readers of the blog may know that I really, really love Rick Surfboards. See here for a Deep Dive I wrote on the label; and here’s another article on the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model. The Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby model pictured above needs work, but I still want to highlight what is a pretty unusual Transition Era shape from the label. It comes with what looks to be an original fin, and I dig the matching red high density foam wedge stringer.
I was really stoked to find a Gordon & Smith Waterskate for sale. First, the board was designed by Tom Morey, who is one of the greatest inventors in the history of surfing. I actually learned about the origins of the G&S Waterskate a few weeks ago, when I visited Marc Andreini in his shaping room and showed him an old board of his. The vintage Andreini you see below was actually inspired by the Gordon & Smith Waterskate, particularly with its concave deck. The pics of the Waterskate from the Craigslist post don’t show off the deck very well, but it was cool to run into an example of this board so soon after learning about its origins.
The board you see above isn’t really vintage, per se, but it still represents a cool collaboration between a few well regarded shapers. Rich Pavel is known for his fish designs, and one of his most recognizable models is the Quan or the Speed Dialer, which is a quad fin fish. Terry Martin was an early mentor to Pavel, and according to the Craigslist ad, after seeing the Speed Dialer, Martin decided to whip up one of his own. The board is priced at an exceedingly reasonable $375.
I absolutely love Dick Brewer Seventies Single Fin surfboards, and this one is no exception. One caveat: the board has been fully restored, hence the flawless exterior. What I love about this board, other than the classic outline, is the unusual Brewer Boards logo. I can’t say whether or not it was shaped by Brewer himself, but there’s no denying that it looks stunning.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a board that I wrote about earlier on Instagram, but I figured was worth a closer look. There are few shapers who can claim to have influenced modern surfboard design as much as Dick Brewer. During the Seventies, Dick Brewer had a number of proteges and collaborators, including Owl Chapman and Sam Hawk. (This post has a cool example of a Brewer / Hawk / Chapman board that was shaped under the Australian Hot Buttered label.) Sam Hawk initially shaped surfboards under the Dick Brewer label, but eventually began to branch out on his own. Somewhere between Dick Brewer and Hawk’s eponymous label, Sam Hawk crafted boards under the Brewer Hawk Surfboards name. During this stint he adopted Brewer’s famous plumeria flower wreath logo. It’s interesting to contrast Brewer Hawk Surfboards with Brewer Chapman Surfboards (the latter representing, of course, Owl Chapman’s foray into shaping for himself), which are practically mirror images of one another.
Anyway, this is all a very roundabout way of saying you don’t see too many Brewer Hawk Surfboards around. Owl continues to shape under the Brewer Chapman Surfboards brand, however. The board you see below is a Sam Hawk Seventies single fin that recently popped up for sale on Craigslist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I’m not sure when the board was shaped, but I’m guessing somewhere in the 1973 to 1976 range. I could be completely off, however. The Brewer Hawk Surfboards example here is a classic Seventies single fin in a lot of ways, from the glassed on fin to the wings in the tail. The Sam Hawk surfboard is approximately 7’3″ x 19 1/2″. All the photos of the board are via Craigslist; the listing has since been taken down.
The Brewer Hawk Surfboards sled pictured above is simply gorgeous. I love all the different colors going on, from the simple red deck to the contrasting cream bottom, and the multiple colors on the fin. If you look closely you’ll notice some nice detailed pin line work as well: there is a double pin line on the deck (contrasting white and blue), and then a red pin line on the bottom. While there’s a bit of an ugly ding on the back, a more knowledgeable friend speculated that the color matching for the repair wouldn’t be so tough, given the neutral color on the bottom.
Either way it’s a beautiful board, and part of me is very much wishing I had tried to snag the Brewer Hawk Surfboards stick. Now all I can say is I hope it has gone to a happy home. Finally, for a bonus, see below for a different Sam Hawk single fin.
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of the Grab Bag, where I’ll spotlight some of the cooler boards I saw for sale recently. Keep reading for more, including a Takayama Surfing’s New Image single fin, a vintage Dick Brewer single fin, and a few other rad sledz…
Donald Takayama Surfing’s New Image Single Fin (eBay)
I think this Surfing’s New Image Donald Takayama single fin is super duper rad. First of all, you don’t always see a ton of Takayama / SNI boards floating around. Second, the board looks to be in decent, though not perfect, condition. This looks like it would be a fun board to ride, and of course, it also has Takayama’s name going for it. The cost is $575, plus shipping. I can’t say this is cheap, but I also don’t think it’s crazy. On a related note, below for my all-time favorite Surfing’s New Image Donald Takayama board:
Vintage Dick Brewer Single Fin (Craigslist — San Clemente)
Truth be told, I’m not entirely this vintage Dick Brewer single fin was shaped by Brewer himself. Don’t get me wrong — it’s still a sweet board. I’m intrigued by the shape, which is stubbier and has a wider tail than I would have expected, given its a Seventies single fin. But what really throws me off is the “RB Design” signature on the stringer. I have never seen this on a Brewer board before. Maybe I’m reading too much into the fact that it says “design”, but to me, this word could easily signal the fact that the board could have been shaped by someone else. It’s also far different than any other Dick Brewer signature I have seen. Either way, it’s a neat board, though I think at $600 maybe a bit too rich for me.
Two Seventies Natural Progression Single Fins (Craigslist — Santa Barbara; Craigslist — Los Angeles)
I think Natural Progression is one of the great unsung California surfing labels of all time. The brand had some great shapers — Phil Becker, Robbie Dick et al — and a phenomenal logo. And what more could you need? The board featured above is a real doozy, and it has an appropriate price tag to match. I dig the triple stringer setup, the wing swallow tail setup, and it has a killer original Rainbow Fin, too. $600 for a vintage surfboard is hardly ever cheap, but I understand the logic here.
I actually featured the second Naturally Progression board on my Instagram a few months back, and it is up for sale once more. It is shaped by Robbie Dick and it has a “ghost” Natural Progression label consisting of just the famous outline. The seller is asking $375 for this board, which I think is a decent price.
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?
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 greatposts 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.