George Greenough Design Edge Board Shaped by Bob Duncan

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a real doozy for you. Featured here is an absolutely insane George Greenough Design edge board shaped by Bob Duncan of Wilderness Surfboards. All of the photos come courtesy of a fellow Shredder in New Jersey who would like to remain anonymous. He stumbled across this board while on an adventure in California, and was kind enough to share the photos you see here.

The George Greenough Design edge board featured here is actually a sail board. In the photo of the deck you can see a slot for a sail, as well as where the foot straps would have been placed. The George Greenough Design edge board was shaped by Bob Duncan in either the late Eighties or early Nineties. It was apparently made for large swells at Razor Blades, a spot within the famed Hollister Ranch.

The edge board comes from the fertile mind of George Greenough, the legendary and reclusive design genius who helped usher in the shortboard revolution, and is still influencing surfboard design today. Recently Greenough’s edge board has undergone a revival of sorts thanks to a lineup of well-regarded shapers, including folks like Marc Andreini, Kirk Putnam, Scott Anderson and Manny Caro. Andrew Kidman and Ellis Ericson recently released a film / book project called “On the Edge of a Dream”. Kidman and Ericson’s project documents their explorations of Greenough’s edge board design, which were produced in collaboration with Greenough himself.

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Ellis Ericson puts his own spin on George Greenough’s edge board design and makes it look good. Photo via Surfing World; photo by Woody Gooch

What makes the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design sail board interesting is the fact it was shaped well before the current edge board craze. The best summary of the history of Greenough’s edge board can be found in Marc Andreini’s excellent book “The Gift.” The relevant chapter on the Greenough edge board was excerpted in Liquid Salt. Greenough invented the edge board in the Sixties, and by the Seventies, surfboard shapers had shifted their attention elsewhere. Greenough began windsurfing in the early Eighties, and during this process he rediscovered the benefits of the edge board design. One of Greenough’s famous sail boards was a 7’3″ shape he dubbed “The Backyard Special”, which was profiled in The Surfer’s Journal. The Backyard Special was an edge board that helped prove the benefits Greenough had initially envisioned about the design.

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George Greenough’s magic board, AKA The Backyard Special. This is a sail board that incorporates a number of Greenough design elements, from the spoon-like deck to an edge board on the bottom. It also includes a power blade fin, which is not pictured here. Photo via The Surfer’s Journal

The way Greenough tells it, the Backyard Special was a magic board. In 2014, when Greenough decided to shape some surfboards for Dave Rastovich following a multi-decade hiatus, he drew on the edge board concepts from the Backyard Special. The end result were two edge boards, one of which Rasta surfed at decent sized Cloudbreak.

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Dave Rastovich putting a 6’3″ George Greenough edge board through its paces at Cloudbreak. Greenough shaped two boards for Rasta’s trip to Fiji: the 6’3″ pictured here, and an 8’8″ that Rasta did not get to surf after injuring his knee. These two boards represented the first stand up surfboards Greenough had shaped in years. Photo via The Surfer’s Journal / Liquid Salt; photograph by Nick Liotta

Rasta’s Fiji trip was also chronicled in the Surfer’s Journal. You can find the original article here, which was originally published in 2014 (and if you don’t already subscribe, you really should.) Rastovich, in turn, mentioned the Greenough edge boards to Ellis Ericson during a trip to the Maldives. Ericson and Kidman then collaborated with Greenough to produce updated versions of some of his famous designs, and documented the entire process for “On the Edge of a Dream.”

Back in California, it appears that Bob Duncan had been shaping interpretations of the George Greenough Design edge board concept since the late eighties and early nineties, right when Greenough was pushing the limits on his Backyard Special. Perhaps Duncan was in touch with Greenough at this time, or word of Greenough’s edge board designs had gotten back to Duncan somehow. It’s not clear to me how Duncan initially picked up the edge board concept. That said, Wilderness Surfboards, the label under which Bob Duncan shapes, was actually founded by George Greenough and Michael Cundith. However, it appears Greenough hasn’t been involved with the label (either its Santa Barbara or New South Wales variants) for a while now.

In addition to the George Greenough Design sail board featured here, you can find plentiful evidence of other edge boards shaped by Bob Duncan. See below for a photo of an edge board gun with a thruster setup that was shaped in 1993.

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Photo of a Bob Duncan-shaped Wilderness Surfboards gun that incorporates Greenough’s edge board concept. I can’t be sure but the edge looks different than the more dramatic version on the board Rasta is surfing at Cloudbreak further up in the post. Photo via Swaylocks

Kirk Putnam also published a photo of a Bob Duncan edge board on his blog back in 2011, a few years before Greenough shaped his boards for Dave Rastovich. You can see the photo below:

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On the left is an old Wilderness Surfboards hull shaped by Richie West. On the right is a Bob Duncan / Wilderness Greenough edge board. You can also see what looks like a variant of Greenough’s power blade fin. Photo via KP’s Round Up

Finally, I couldn’t help but notice the logo on the Bob Duncan edge board. The deck has the classic George Greenough Design airplane logo. What’s interesting is the logo on the bottom of the board, which appears to be a variant of the airplane logo. I’m not sure the story behind this version of the George Greenough Design airplane logo, so if you have info, let me know.

Thanks again to the mystery Shredder in New Jersey who shared these photos of the Bob Duncan / George Greenough Design edge board. It’s a fascinating window into a design that has roots both in California and Australia, spanning across decades of surfing history, involving a number of talented surfers and craftsmen.

George Greenough for O’Neill: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Sorry that the blog has been a little less frequent these days. But today I’ve got a treat: an ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine featuring none other than George Greenough, the surfcraft guru whose influence still looms large over the sport. It’s funny to see Greenough featured in an ad, given his famous aversion to any kind of publicity. It’s also cool to see that the ad likely features one of Greenough’s custom camera rigs, which allowed him to capture then-revolutionary footage of himself deep inside the tube. The shot still looks modern today. It’s no wonder that Greenough is still revered by surfers across many generations.

As always, thanks for reading, and tune in next Thursday night for more Sagas of Shred!

On the Edge of a Dream

Today we’d like to alert you fine folks to a very cool project that is under way: a film and book combination called “On the Edge of a Dream.” “On the Edge” is a collaboration between Andrew Kidman and Ellis Ericson, alongside the legendary George Greenough. The project is made up of a short film and an accompanying book, both of which are available exclusively through the website. “On the Edge” is an exploration of George Greenough’s edge board design, which has seen a resurgence recently due to shapers like Marc Andreini and Scott Anderson, as well as a crew of alternative surf craft enthusiasts such as Kirk Putnam and Dave Rastovich. Oh, and in case not enough bold faced names have been thrown at you, Barry McGee designed the artwork.

The Surfer’s Journal ran a great piece a few years ago that featured Dave Rastovich taking two other Greenough edge boards through their paces at Cloudbreak. The two boards featured in the Rastovich / TSJ article look extremely similar to the one Ericson can be seen surfing in the trailer for “On the Edge of a Dream.”

If you’d like to see the film in person, “On the Edge of a Dream” will be doing a series of premiers up and down the California coast. See the Instagram post below (and give the official account a follow) for more info on this rad undertaking:

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.

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@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!

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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.

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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.

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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 (3/12)

I’ve written about Christian Fletcher before, and I will never, ever get sick of his old logo, which manages to be both an act of visual rebellion as well as a time capsule for the day glo SoCal surf scene of the 1980s and 1990s. This is an interesting example of a Fletcher board, as apparently it was shaped by pioneering Aussie shaper Nev Hyman, who founded what would later become Firewire Surfboards. The other Fletcher boards I’ve seen have been signed by California shapers like Randy Sleigh and Chris McElroy. This board was posted to the excellent Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook; click through the link for the rest.

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See below for link to the original post)

Via Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Note: it’s a closed group, so you’ll have to request access).

Finally, here’s a bonus shot of Fletcher — pre-tattoos! — and a McElroy shape.

Ryan Lovelace is a talented shaper based in Santa Barbara. He posted this picture below recently, which shows an early George Greenough sailboard with an edge board design. Edge boards have come into vogue lately, thanks to shapers like Marc Andreini (Andreini), Manny Caro (Mandala), and Scott Anderson (Anderson).

Speaking of neon boards from the 80s and 90s, I’ll never, ever get sick of old Channel Islands boards. This guy on Instagram posts a bunch of sweet boards, and he has a collection of vintage Merricks that makes me sick with envy. Check out his feed for more.

Longtime Donald Takayama team rider and collaborator Joel Tudor posted this old Takayama ad.