Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an awesome example of one of the greatest Transition Era boards of all time: the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom Model.

I’m not sure exactly when G&S produced Skip’s signature models, but they were somewhere in the 1968 – 1969 range. (Sadly, Stoked-n-Board continues to go missing from the SHACC website, though I have been told that there are plans to revive the site).

Pictured below is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in the Santa Cruz area. You can find a link to the listing here. Longtime readers might actually recognize this board from when it sold on Craigslist a little over a year ago and I wrote up a brief post on the board. The asking price for the G&S Skip Frye V Bottom last year was $850, and now the seller is asking a cool $3,500. (More on that later).

There are no two ways about it: this is a bitchin’ board with a lot of neat bells and whistles. Check out the W.A.V.E. Set fin, and the colorful G&S logo on the bottom of the board is an insane trip back to surfing’s psychedelic roots.

As you can see, the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is in very good condition, and there’s even a serial number on the deck (#3153).

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom 11.jpg

Now, as for the price, well, I think $3,500 is a bit ambitious. Now, don’t get me wrong: any example of a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is going to fetch a nice price. And I can’t begrudge the guy for pouncing on the board at $850 a year back, when it was clearly worth a LOT more.

The California Gold Vintage Surf Auction just closed up a few weeks back, during which  another nice G&S Skip Frye V Bottom board went on the block. You can find a link to the auction board here. I’ve also embedded a photo below.

late 60’s skipper V bottom. Super foiled with mild V. I’m tripping #skipfrye

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The auction Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom ended up selling for $2,000, a good deal cheaper than the $3,500 that’s being asked for the Craigslist board. (Note that there are fees with the auction board, but it still ends up being cheaper.) The auction board looks to be in slightly better condition, too — note the visible discolored repairs on the bottom of the Craigslist Skip Frye V Bottom.

That said, I personally don’t have a problem with people buying boards on Craigslist and then re-listing them for more. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I don’t think a Skip Frye board should be cheap! Boards like the one posted here are genuine pieces of surf history. Now, do I think it’s worth $3,500? Probably not. But either way it’s a rad board, the Craigslist posting has some great photos, and if money’s no object, you can even take the board him with you. Check out the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom board for sale on Craigslist here.

Social Media Roundup (April 20 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! We have another Social Media Roundup on deck, just in time to take you into the weekend. Without any further ado, here come some hand picked selections from the various transmissions across the world wide web…

It is Frye-day, after all, and as a policy, Shred Sledz celebrates neon in all its shapes and forms. Check out that sweet Gordon & Smith Skip Frye fish on the left!

RIP Willy Morris, who sadly passed away this week. He leaves behind a legacy of leadfooted power surfing. During his heyday in the 1980s, Morris surfed a variety of colorful Al Merrick-shaped Channel Islands thrusters, one of which you can see above.

Kim, Renny, and Roger pose with a 1968 8'8" Yater mini-gun in perfect condition.

A post shared by Marc Andreini (@marcandreini) on

Marc Andreini counts Renny Yater as a major influence and the photo above makes it easy to see why. Much is made of Yater’s timeless longboards, and I personally love his 70s single fins, but the mini-gun posted above is one of the coolest (and cleanest) Yaters I have seen in some time.

I’ve posted about the Campbell Brothers here many times, but they are a must-follow on Instagram. You can always count on Malcolm and Duncan to post amazing pictures from the early days of the Bonzer’s development.

I don’t think the old school Hawaiian Island Creations logo gets enough love. I posted a similar board on Instagram a few weeks ago, and I think the one above is an even better example. Also, this board has some serious history — it was actually shaped by Ellis Ericson’s father back in the day, and the board’s current owner has generously agreed to return it back to the family. Make sure you swipe to see the Surf Line Hawaii laminate on the bottom, too.

It has been a busier than usual week here at Shred Sledz HQ. If you’ve made it this far, I’d just like to thank you for reading. Hope your weekend is chock full of vintage sticks and tasty waves, and don’t forget to hit me up if you have any rad boards you’d like to share.

Happy Frye-day: 1984 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Pintail

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! I have an incredible board for you today that comes courtesy of a reader who goes by Frenchie Fred. Monsieur Fred was kind enough to share pictures of his early 2000s Donald Takayama Larry Bertlemann twin fin a few weeks ago. As it turns out, Fred has even more heat in his collection! Pictured above is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye surfboard. Update 11/3: I originally referred to this board as a glider, but after consulting some far more knowledgeable folks, it turns out that this is simply a pintail, with a more pulled-in shape than a Skip Frye Eagle. The Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board pictured above measures in at 9’6″, and it was shaped in 1984.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 4
Most of the time you’ll see this logo in black. I think the cobalt blue is a nice touch, however.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 3
A nice look at the rocker on the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye pintail pictured above.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 2
The bottom of the board has Skip’s signature hand-drawn wings, versus a laminate. As you can see, it is a single fin setup, and the board is absolutely spotless.

Many thanks to Frenchie Fred for the beautiful pictures of an exquisite board. Here at Shred Sledz HQ we are very serious about conferring any surfcraft with the coveted Cherry Status. But as you can see from the pictures above, it’s clear that Frenchie Fred’s Skip Sled meets the criteria!

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 10Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 9

Believe it or not, this bad boy gets even better! Skip Frye wrote a very detailed inscription on the stringer that sheds more light on the board’s origins. You can see partial pictures of the inscription above. Here is the entire text:

“Shaped for master shaper and craftsman and brother of the sea –Heinrich– by old school advocate Skip Frye on the 101st anniversary of the birthday of the first surfer of the modern age –George Freeth– November 8, 1984”

Frenchie Fred tells me that the board was shaped for a Brazilian shaper named Marcos Heinrich, who is apparently a friend of Skip’s. This was the first I had ever heard of Heinrich. The only info I could find on Heinrich was on a website written in Portuguese, which you can see here. I’m not sure how this lovely Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board found its way from San Diego to possibly Brazil to its current home in France, but I’m stoked to be able to document it.

George Freeth via Orange County Register.jpg
George Freeth. Pic via Orange County Register

Finally, you’ll notice the precise date of November 8th, which signifies George Freeth’s birthday. George Freeth is often credited with bringing the sport of surfing to California from its birthplace in Hawaii, along with Duke Kahanamoku. I recommend reading the Encyclopedia of Surfing’s entry on Freeth, and if you don’t already subscribe to EoS, it’s one of the best deals on the internet (seriously). Just as Skip’s math suggests, Freeth was born on November 8th, 1883, meaning the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye seen above was shaped exactly 101 years afterwards. Frenchie Fred says the stringer inscription sends chills down his spine, and I’m inclined to agree!

Merci beaucoup, Frenchie Fred, for sharing the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board from your collection. I hope all you Shredderz enjoyed this special Frye-day post, and I wish you all weekends full of tasty waves and smiles!

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup: #Fryeday Edition (September 1)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here to take you into the weekend is a celebration of one of California’s finest board builders, one Harry “Skip” Frye. Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal for a comprehensive look at Skip’s personal quiver. In the meantime, here are some social media selections showing off Skip’s shapes…

I wrote about this Skip Frye single fin when it was posted on Craigslist…and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it! This is the only Frye I have seen with a Select Surf Shop laminate, and it’s got a sick little wing pin outline to boot. I’m glad that it found a good home with Buggs, who runs Surfboard Line. The board has been fixed up and looks better than ever. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures!

A palm reflection off two Skip Frye's

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Taylor Knox owes his long career to his powerful rail surfing. It’s difficult to imagine him laying these gliders into his patented spray-chucking carves, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Taylor Knox! I’m just stoked to see this unexpected but rad union between two opposite ends of the famously varied spectrum that is San Diego surfing. Don’t hold your breath for Joel Tudor to bust out a high performance thruster, though…

I don’t know a word of Japanese, but I do know how to recognize an incredible quiver when I see one…

Holy Grail. Art and shape by Skip Frye.

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This board is a bit of a mystery, but don’t skip over it because of the abstract picture! Skip Frye shaped this board for use at Jeffrey’s Bay, and it ended up being ridden by Derek Hynd (and I believe Tom Curren, too). You can read more about the board and the session in Andrew Kidman’s forthcoming Beyond Litmus book.

A post shared by James Llewelyn (@lyttlestreet) on

A young Skip Frye holding an early Gordon & Smith board. Interesting to note Skip’s board doesn’t have any Frye logos on it — it must pre-date his signature models for the brand.

Skip Frye Quiver in The Surfer’s Journal

Think of this less as a blog post and more of a public service announcement: there is an absolute must-read feature in the current issue of The Surfer’s Journal featuring Skip Frye’s personal quiver, and a detailed overview of his various shapes. The article covers just about every kind of board Frye has ever produced, from his days with Gordon & Smith to more recent designs. If you at all have a passing interest in surfboards, or you ever think to yourself “Why, yes, I would be interested in seeing the sickest quiver in the Western Hemisphere,” then go out and purchase an issue today.

Picture above via The Surfer’s Journal; photograph by Shawn Parkin (Shawn’s Instagram Account)

Skip Frye Gordon & Smith: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Apologies for the slowdown in posting frequency. Shred Sledz is back with a vengeance, though, featuring a Skip Frye Gordon & Smith single fin for sale in central California, available on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics of the board can be found below (photos taken via the Craigslist post).

Check out the listing for some details on the origins of the board. The seller contacted Bird Huffman, surfboard aficionado extraordinaire and owner of San Diego’s Bird’s Surf Shed, and got some more info. Bird estimates the single fin pictured above likely dates to sometime between 1973 and 1973, and it was possibly shaped for team rider Steve McCullum. Bird also mentions the diamond tail as being unusual for a Frye design, and speculates that it could have been made at the request of Gary Keating or Tim Lynch. It should also be noted the board is a project, and it would require some more work to get it ship shape, hence the relatively modest $450 price tag.

I also find it interesting that the Gordon & Smith laminate on the board above is the classic red and black version of G&S’ famed bowtie logo. All the Frye / G&S boards from the 1960s I have seen feature monochrome black & white Gordon & Smith bowtie logos, like this one below:

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Model 1967 9'81
1967 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Model. Board was sold via US Vintage Surf Auction (pic from USVSA listing).

Here’s another example of a Skip Frye / Gordon & Smith logo, which does not have the bowtie at all.

Skip Frye Model for Gordon & Smith Logo
Non-bowtie Skip Frye / Gordon & Smith logo. Pic via Holy Smoke

Anyway, I don’t know if the red bowtie version is a rare logo; but it is one I have never personally seen before. As always, if you have more info, please chime in below!

Finally, here’s a bonus shot of Skip Frye from 1966 toting an interesting-looking Gordon & Smith shape. To the left is none other than Mike Hynson. Pic courtesy excellent New York surf shop Pilgrim Surf + Supply.

Shred Sledz Presents: 4/2 Weekend Grab Bag (Skip Frye, Harbour, Morey, O’Neill)

Yeah, yeah…it’s not the weekend. But we live in the age of alternative facts, so I’m not going to let something as trivial as accuracy get in the way of giving you a little taste of the coolest vintage surfboards that are currently for sale online. Without further ado, here goes…

Skip Frye G&S Vee Bottom on Craigslist

No link because the board already came and went. This board was sold on Craigslist in Santa Cruz and it vanished after a short time. The seller was asking $850, which is below market price if you ask me. Looks like it’s in decent condition, though there are some obvious repairs that have been done. Check out a similar Skip Frye vee bottom that went for auction recently, with the price estimate between $700 and $2K. Skip modeled his v bottom designs on the models pioneered by the Aussies — you can read a bit of history on  his website. This is such a sick board and I hope whoever owns it now is putting it to good use.

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