Social Media Roundup: End of Summer Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! You know the drill: here are some of the coolest boards I’ve seen on Instagram lately. Keep scrolling for more…

Renny Yater. Jock Sutherland. Pipeline. And yes, a red high density foam stringer to top it all off. This thing is clean and mean!

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.

I recently wrote up an early Energy Surfboards / Simon Anderson / Frank Latta thruster, but featured above are three of Simon’s personal riders. Super cool stuff.

Meanwhile, Simon Anderson also shaped for Shane Surfboards early on. Here’s a very interesting wing pin setup.

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!

Energy Surfboards Thruster by Frank Latta

Greetings, Shredderz! While I generally don’t write too much about thrusters, there’s no denying that Simon Anderson’s signature invention belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the most influential surfboard designs ever. Even now, a good thirty plus years after Anderson first popularized the tri-fin shortboard, the thruster remains the standard setup for high performance shortboards. While there is no disputing the incredible work being done by modern shapers like Matt Biolos and others, given Shred Sledz’s primary focus on vintage surfboards, it’s only right that we examine some thrusters from the Eighties. The very first thrusters were shaped under the Energy Surfboards label. Simon Anderson also partnered with San Diego label Nectar Surfboards to bring the thruster design to the United States. As much as I love the Nectar collaboration boards, the Aussie thrusters made under the Energy Surfboards marque will always be my favorites.

As countless other shapers have done over the years, Anderson enlisted help keep up with demand once his design hit the big time. He turned to well-regarded Sydney shaper Frank Latta. Latta was a standout competitive surfer during the dawn of contest surfing during the Sixties who drew praise from the likes of Midget Farrelly. Sadly, Latta passed away while surfing eight years ago, at the relatively early age of sixty three.

Frank Latta via Cronulla Surf Museum
Frank Latta ad via the Cronulla Surf Museum

There is currently an Energy Surfboards thruster from the Eighties, shaped by Frank Latta, that is listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. I believe the board is being sold by well-known surfboard collector Buggs Arico, who runs Surfboardline.com. I have re-posted pics from the eBay listing below:

You can click on the photos above to enlarge. The board is in super clean condition, and it has a bunch of really rad touches. First, I believe it is from a later run of Energy Surfboards thruster boards, as it has a different Energy logo. Compare this to another Energy Surfboards thruster on Retro Surf Co, which is advertised as first generation. Note the triangle logo on the Retro Surf Co board, which doesn’t appear on the eBay / Frank Latta board featured above.

There are some great touches throughout. I love the simple but effective color on the bottom of the board (particularly with the white glass on fins, too). You can see the distinct Eighties outline in the board — the squash tail looks pretty severely squared off in the picture at the above left.

And this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz post if I didn’t geek out on the logos. “The Original 3 Fin Thruster Concept and Design” laminate is all-time, even if, on closer inspection, it looks pretty crudely hand drawn and cut out. The black and white Frank Latta laminate underneath the Energy logo on the left is also very cool. I also like that it features Latta prominently, whereas a lot of other so-called ghost shapers often go unmentioned.

Right now the board is under $180, but this is sure to rise as there are still five days left in the auction. It’s not every day you see a clean example of an Energy Surfboards thruster, especially not in the States, where the Nectar / Anderson thrusters are far more commonplace. If you’re interested in bidding on the board check it out on eBay here.

Simon Anderson for Energy Surfboards

Check out this vintage Simon Anderson single fin on eBay Australia! Simon Anderson’s claim to shaping fame is the fact he invented the thruster, the first tri-fin surfboard design that stands as one of the most influential shapes in surfboard history. 35 years ago the thruster ushered in the modern shortboard era, and it remains the de facto fin setup for performance surfing.

This board, from Anderson’s now-defunct Energy label, likely predates Anderson’s wonderful invention. It’s a great example of an early-era Anderson board. Energy thrusters in good condition are more coveted (and command higher prices), but what we have here is still the product of one of the most important shapers ever, and it’s water-tight, to boot!

According to the listing the board has been looked over by well-known Aussie surfboard restorer Levi Jones (who is very active on Vintage Surfboard Collectors). It measures in at 6′5″, and it’s ready for a surf right now. Good luck on the bidding here.