Ole Surfboards Transition Era Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! This transmission is being sent from the midst of a severe wave drought in Northern California. Please send swell ASAP. There hasn’t been much in the way of waves recently, but luckily there have been a few good finds popping up on Craigslist and eBay. Case in point: featured here is a Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, shaped by Bob Olson.

I can’t in good conscience claim this is the prettiest board I have ever seen, but as a big fan of the interesting shapes that emerged from the late 1960s, I thought it was worth a closer look. The Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $400 for the board, which I find a bit on the pricey side, given the condition. That said, it’s an unusual board with some awesome pedigree. The vast majority of Ole Surfboards I have seen are traditional longboards, like the one pictured below.

Anyway, back to the Ole hull in question: the seller claims the board measures in at 7’11”. He also says that it has a serial number of #70 somewhere on the board, although this isn’t shown in the pics. Given that Olson began his shaping career in the late 1950s, and the hull was likely shaped a decade number, I doubt this is a sequential serial number.

The Ole Surfboards hull also comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which you can see in the photos below. (Click to enlarge).

The photos also give you a good sense of the vee bottom on the board. Again, all of these details point to the board being shaped in the late 1960s, per the description on Craigslist.

As an aside, I am a little stunned to see that Olson doesn’t have an entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Stoked-n-Board is temporarily out of order due to the SHACC website redesign, which means that there isn’t a ton of info readily available on Olson online. Either way, it seems like there should be much more information about Bob Olson given his long and storied career as a shaper. (Olson was also the shop teacher for a young Shawn Stussy, believe it or not, before moving to Maui in 1971). Amazingly, Olson continues to shape Ole Surfboards to this day from his home base of Maui. You can find a listing for his surf shop on Facebook here.

Photo at the top of the page via the Board Room Movie.

Vintage Liddle Surfboard

Greg Liddle is a California shaper who has built a rabid following on his famous hull designs. Liddle is compadres with the likes of Kirk Putnam and Marc Andreini, and you can find Liddle’s boards in fine surf shops like Mollusk. Even Hollywood luminaries love Liddle’s surfboards. I understand that Liddle is no longer hand shaping boards himself, and that boards produced under the Liddle Designs label are based off his old templates. That said, given that Shred Sledz is a blog focusing primarily on vintage surfboards, it’s only natural that there is a special soft spot for vintage Liddle surfboards.

Pictured above is one such vintage Greg Liddle design. The board was featured for sale on Craigslist in Orange County recently, although the listing is no longer available. The board is not mine and pics are via the old Craigslist post.

I would say the board above is not a hull shape, but without seeing the board in person, it’s hard for me to make any definitive judgments. Either way, you’ll note that the vintage Liddle surfboard pictured above has some marked differences from classic Liddle boards.

Liddle Hulls.jpeg
A trio of modern Liddle hulls. Pic via Greg Liddle Designs

The photo above was taken from Liddle’s website, and you can clearly see the classic hull designs in the shapes above: relatively low nose rocker, rounded noses, and the famed “belly” up front.

Vintage Liddle Gun 6

The vintage Liddle board also has a very different fin that is a departure from the Greenough-inspired flex fins that you’ll see on hulls. In the picture above you can see the red fin has a much wider base when compared to the modern hulls. The vintage Liddle measures in at 7’3″, and given the size of the board, I would hazard a guess that this is more of a gun shape than anything else. As always, though, I am open to suggestions, and I’d like to repeat that my interest in surfboards often outpaces my knowledge. I’d also estimate the vintage Liddle was shaped sometime in the 1970s, but I can’t be certain.

Vintage Liddle Signature.jpg
Close up shot of the signature on the vintage Liddle

Another thing I dig about Liddle’s boards are his often elaborate signatures. I’ve seen some examples that come with tons of different measurements — usually bracketed by dots, like in the example above — but the vintage Liddle featured here keeps it pretty simple. I can only assume the 7’3″ on the bottom refers to the board’s length, but I have no clue what the “X-142” might refer to.

The vintage Liddle pictured above was listed at $600. I don’t think this is an insane price, but it’s not exactly cheap, either. I think that it’s likely the price would have been much higher had the board been more of a traditional hull design. Examples of vintage Liddle hulls tend to command higher prices than his other shapes, from what I have seen on Craigslist and eBay. Liddle seemed to experiment a bit more on his earlier boards, as I have seen some examples of fish and even pretty standard looking thrusters pop up here and there.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any rad vintage Liddle hulls that are just begging to be shared with a larger audience, you know where to find me!

 

John Milius with a Greg Liddle Hull: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s entry in the venerable Sagas of Shred series comes one day later than its usual Thursday time slot. Hopefully the content is good enough for you to look past that. Pictured above is John Milius, the Hollywood director and screenwriter behind movies like “Big Wednesday” and “Apocalypse Now.” The photo was taken by Patrick James, and it originally appeared in an issue of Surfer Magazine from the 1980s. The pairing of a rocket launcher with a Liddle hull is a curious one for sure. I’m not qualified to speak about the weaponry in the picture, but Milius does have great taste in surfboards.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 12): Yater Hull and More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a collection of some of the coolest boards I’ve seen floating around online as of late, including an awesome Yater hull.

@Yater

A post shared by Vintage-life (@robertstassi) on

How cool is this thing?! Yater was the subject of my most recent post, but I might like the board above even more. I can’t be for sure, but it looks to have a bit of a vee bottom. The outline of this Yater hull is very reminiscent of some Liddle and Andreini hulls (specifically, Andreini’s Vaquero model.) The fin — both its rake and its placement — reminds me of Liddle’s boards.

Hull aficionado Kirk Putnam has an excellent pic on his blog that traces the lineage of Andreini and Liddle’s shapes back to George Greenough. I’ve added the picture below. Liddle’s board is at top, and the next two are Andreini Vaqueros. The fourth board from the top is a Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom shaped by John Price, and the board at the bottom is a Midget Farrelly stringerless vee bottom with a Greenough logo. I had been aware of Greenough’s influence on Andreini and Liddle, but had no idea that Yater had tried out some of these shapes as well. Andreini has made no secret of his admiration of Yater, and it’s cool to see a shape that combines the Greenough school of displacement hulls, and Yater’s more traditional side of California board building. If you have pictures of another Yater hull, please drop me a line!

Kirk Putnam Hulls: Yater Hull
A partial shot of Kirk Putnam’s quiver. Pic via kp’s round up

For more on the subject, I urge you to check out Putnam’s blog. If you’re prone to quiver jealousy, though, his Instagram feed might push you over the edge!

 

Lopez’s boards for Lightning Bolt are by far the most collectible, but it seems like there’s a growing interest in some of his more obscure shapes. Pictured above is an extra clean example of Lopez’s signature model that he produced for Hansen in the late 1960s. What’s interesting about that board is that it actually featured two different logos. There’s an example of a different Hansen / Lopez board that was recently sold on eBay. It has the alternate logo, which I have reproduced below.

Hansen Gerry Lopez Logo Shred Sledz
Note the different logos in the two Hansen / Lopez boards. The first one says “By Gerry Lopez”, and the second has “Designed By Gerry Lopez.” In addition, you’ll notice the Hansen logos themselves are very different. Pic via eBay

 

Bird Huffman is a San Diego fixture. He runs Bird’s Surf Shed, where he oversees an ungodly stash of vintage boards. Here Bird has come across two awesome early examples of boards from two separate San Diego craftsmen: Skip Frye and Steve Lis. Make sure you click through all the pictures in the gallery above. The Frye is very similar to the Select Surf Shop single fin I posted about recently, down to the glassed on wooden fin. I love the Frye wings logo towards the tail — never seen that placement before.

Skip Frye 1970s Select Surf Shop Single Fin 6'10"12.jpg
Skip Frye Single Fin with Select Surf Shop laminate. Look at the sharp wings in the tail. Pic via Craigslist

The Lis board is a funky shape, given that it’s a wing pin single fin, and Lis is best known for his fish designs. Make sure you follow Bird on Instagram, as he has been posting updates on the Lis board as he gets them!

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (May 29)

Konichiwa, Shredderz! This post is being written from lovely Japan, where I am enjoying an extended trip with Ms. Sledz. Hope all of my American friends are enjoying Memorial Day weekend. Enough about me, though, and onto the goods…

A post shared by Jeff Robertson (@jjrober22) on

This is a KILLER shot of a lineup of some Zephyr Surfboards, posted by Instagram user @jjrober22. A couple of these boards boast what look like CR Stecyk spray jobs. I’m surprised by the length of some of these shapes, as I didn’t realize Jeff Ho shaped longer boards. I’m not sure if all of these are recent — at least a couple of the boards seem to have modern-looking fin boxes — but nonetheless it’s a colorful look at one of Los Angeles’ most revered surf brands.

 

My initial reaction was to apologize for posting not one but two flamboyant 80s boards in a row. Then I thought to myself, wait a second: what is Shred Sledz if not a safe space to celebrate the loud colors of 80s surf culture?! The Schroff board posted above is pretty subdued by Echo Beach standards. This thing is so cool — I love the teal paint job and the diagonal lines on the deck, especially when paired with the Rainbow Fin! Make sure you click through for all the pics, as the post is an Instagram slideshow.

 

The Donald Takayama Model @bingcopeland

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Here is an old Bing Surfboards ad for the Bing Donald Takayama Model. Wish this showed the entire ad, but it’s awesome nonetheless. Note that David Nuuhiwa is pictured in the ad as well.

 

Greg Liddle is probably the most famous shaper of hulls, and Kirk Putnam‘s enthusiasm for Liddle’s shapes has been well-documented. This post comes courtesy of Displacementia, a great blog specializing in hulls. For all the excitement around Liddle, it’s hard to find good pictures of his earlier boards. I’ve only seen the BMW-style logo on a few of his boards, making this post a cool peek at some vintage Liddle Surfboards.

Vintage Liddle: Pre Hulls

I’ve been waiting for a chance to post a Liddle board, but even my compulsive Craigslist trawling hasn’t yielded much in the way of results. I was surprised to stumble across this board – mis-labeled and mis-priced, although the lofty price seems to be entirely by accident, given that the poster probably doesn’t have any clue who Liddle is – on Craigslist in North Carolina.

Greg Liddle has been shaping for decades now, and he is famous for his displacement hulls. Displacement hulls are known for their ability to generate massive amounts of down-the-line speed, and they prefer clean, long pointbreaks (then again, don’t we all?). Here’s a cool little Surfers’ Journal feature on hulls and Liddle, and Liddle also has written a great history of how his designs came to be on his own website.

There are other hull practitioners, too, notably Shred Sledz favorite Marc Andreini, and Mandala’s Manny Caro. Andreini’s boards are known to be a little more forgiving than Liddle’s, which can be tough to surf for those who are not accustomed to them.

The board pictured here looks like an early Liddle model. The outline is very different than anything available in Liddle’s current lineup, which you can find here on his website. For starters, this board has much more of a pulled in nose, and the pintail seems quite dramatic and less rounded-off than Liddle’s current designs. The board pictured here looks almost like a straight up gun, especially given that it’s 9′ in length. I’d be curious to see more pictures of the bottom to see if it has any of the “belly” (convex shape towards the front of the board) that is one of the staples of a displacement hull design. The hole in the fin for a leash attachment suggests to me that it was made sometime in the 1970s, but I can’t be certain.

It’s extremely expensive at $700. Like I said, I get the impression the poster doesn’t know what he has and he’s just making up prices as he goes along. Either way, it’s a cool example of an older board from an extremely well-regarded shaper, and an unusual shape to boot.

You can check it out here.