Mind Blowin’: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s getting late, so I’m not going to mince words with this post. Pictured here is a Hawaiian Island Creations ad from the September 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 29 No. 9). What initially drew me in was the classic Eighties look that seems to check all the boxes: bright colors, edgy copy, and yes, checkerboard.

Upon closer inspection, though, I’m almost certain that the featured surfer is none other than the late, great Brock Little. Sadly, Little passed away about two years ago after a fight with cancer, but left behind a legacy as one of the greatest big wave surfers ever. He also infamously served as Patrick Swayze’s stunt double during the final Fifty Year Storm scene in “Point Break.” It looks just like Brock, and Gotcha was one of his long time sponsors as well.

As always, check back in next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Thank you for reading!

Andy Irons Personal Rider by Eric Arakawa

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post might be pushing the envelope of just what is considered vintage. For those who argue that a board shaped in the 2000s does not qualify, I would like to invoke the special Legends Clause, which stipulates that anything related to the late, great Andy Axel Irons is automatically considered fair game. Pictured below is a personal rider that belonged to Andy Irons, shaped by Hawaiian shaper Eric Arakawa.

The board above is currently for sale on Craigslist in Hawaii. You can find a link to the board here. The board measures in at 6’9″ x 18-1/2″ x 2-5/16″. Once upon a time this would have been a pretty standard step up for a top level pro like Andy, but in today’s day and age, you’ll see people like John Florence and Kelly Slater ride Pipeline on boards squarely in the 6′ range. (Surfer Magazine has a cool little breakdown of John Florence’s Jon Pyzel-shaped Hawaii quiver for the 2015/16 winter you can find here. It’s interesting to note that JFF’s go-to Pipe board is now around 6’2″ or so, and his 6’10” is for even bigger waves.)

I would guess the Arakawa board pictured above is from the early- to mid-2000s. For some context, Surfboard Hoard has another Irons / Arakawa board that is dated to 2005, and Surfboard Line has yet another example from 2003. At some point Arakawa struck out on his own, and there are pictures of Irons surfing boards that only bear Arakawa’s name (without the familiar HIC logo). Von Weirdos has a great example of an Andy Irons Eric Arakawa surfboard with no HIC logo, which it dates to 2008 / 2009. Finally, I wrote up another Andy Irons surfboard that was sold at auction, which you can read about here.

The seller is asking $3,200 for the board. It is exceedingly difficult to put a price on a collectors’ item like the Andy Irons Eric Arakawa board above. It’s worth noting the board is nowhere close to mint condition, thanks to the sun damage and an open ding. Then again, you’re not reading this post for a summary of the board’s nicks — you’re presumably here because it’s a rare example from the quiver of one of the most beloved pros in recent history.

You can check out the Andy Irons Eric Arakawa board here.

Entry Level 80s Neon: Hawaiian Island Creations

If the Spicoli avatar, terrible URL, and overall vibe haven’t yet given it away, then I’d like to make one thing clear: here at ShredSledz.net we love the 80s, and we especially love the colorful surfboards that the decade brought us. This is not an attempt at irony or hipster disdain. Neon surfboards are bitchin’, and that’s that.

Of course, this isn’t some revolutionary and contrarian stance. Surfboards from the eighties are becoming more collectible by the day, and one needn’t look any further than the prices some vintage T&C sticks command on the open market. Or the fact the Christian Fletcher board I wrote up a little while back sold for an eye-popping $2,225 on eBay.

Some of the more collectible boards from the decade are the aforementioned T&C, and I would also put Schroff and Stussy in that upper echelon as well.

Sadly, these boards simply aren’t affordable for your average surfboard collector, not to mention the fact that they don’t go on sale all that often.

So if you’re a surfboard aficionado with champagne tastes and Kool Aid money, fret not! Shred Sledz is here to put you on to some sticks that will provide a little more bang for your buck.

I think Hawaiian Island Creations, or HIC, is an under-appreciated brand, providing quality, rad-looking boards at palatable prices. First, let’s acknowledge the fact that Shred Sledz is as guilty as anybody else when it comes to judging books by their covers. If it’s neon, I’m generally interested. But let’s set aside aesthetic matters for a moment and focus on the functionality. HIC boasts a long history and a stacked stable of well-regarded Hawaiian shapers. Many of HIC’s shapers went on to illustrious careers after leaving the label (e.g., John Carper and Eric Arakawa).

I’ve included two board for sale with this post. The first board (blue / green gradient spray with orange rails and a pink logo) is listed on Craigslist in San Diego for a reasonable $350. The board looks all original, it’s in excellent shape, and it was clearly shaped by well-known Hawaiian shaper Chuck Andrus, who continues to provide boards for some of the best surfers on the North Shore (e.g., Makua Rothman). I love the “Speed Lines Hawaii” logo on the bottom, and the “rolling waves” HIC script logo spray on the deck. This board gives you that same warm nostalgia for the time when Belinda Carlisle ruled the airwaves and nothing made a beach bunny’s butt look better than a pair of stonewashed jeans, but at the fraction of a price for a T&C in comparable condition. The shaping pedigree is every bit as good, as well.

The second board (red / yellow), is up for grabs on eBay. There’s currently one bid for $250, and it’s also located in San Diego. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that this board is from later on in the 80s, or maybe even the early 90s. It’s shaped by Cino Magallanes. I wrote up another HIC / Cino board, and I’ll mention it again that Cino is not listed as ever having shaped for HIC, according to Stoked-n-Board’s otherwise comprehensive records. I love the elaborate patterns on the rails. You can see some fading where some Astrodeck traction was clearly pulled off the board, but otherwise it looks to be in excellent condition.

If you love the 80s as much as I do, and you’re hard up for cash, or heck, you can’t contain your zeal for cool sticks, then check out these boards here and here.

Chuck Andrus in Disguise

Chalk this one up to mysterious bloodlines.

When I stumbled across this HIC board on Craigslist, I thought it must have been a Martin Potter pro model, as evidenced by the giant logo on the bottom of the board (see left).

However, the more research I do, I can’t find any evidence of Pottz having ever been a team rider for Hawaiian Island Creations. Pottz’s most famous boards were for Town & Country Surfboards and Blue Hawaii Surf, which you can see pictured below:

Photo below credit thevintagesurfboard.com

If you look closely, you can see the “Pottz Pro Model” logo on the HIC board is a perfect replica of the Blue Hawaii board above. This makes me think that it simply might be a decal or something else.

The HIC board has “Team” written on the stringer, which strikes me as something of an odd touch as well. Finally, there is a clear signature from Chuck Andrus, whom Stoked-N-Board lists as having been an HIC shaper.

Check out the board here and drop me a note if you have any ideas as to the origins of this board!

Hawaiian Island Creations Channel Bottom Board

Here’s an example of an old school Hawaiian Islands Creations board on Craigslist. Measurements are 5′10″ x 20″ (approximately). I think the $450 price is, uh, optimistic, especially considering the deck looks like crumpled up aluminum foil in places, but I dig the hideous 80s paint job, and the channels and quad fin setup are pretty neat, too.

Cino Single fin for HIC

This thing is gorgeous. Originally listed on Surfboard Hoard, this is an early Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC) board from 1981, and shaped by well-known Hawaiian shaper Cino Magallanes. The board is in beautiful condition, as you can see from the pictures, and I dig the old-school logo. The triple redwood stringers are a nice touch, as is the mahogany fin. And man, look at those channels! The channels are reminiscent of an Al Byrne or even a Dave Parmenter design. This board seems like it would be an incredible step up for some bigger waves. I’m guessing it would just go perfectly for some decent-sized Hawaiian surf with some real power behind it.

One interesting thing to note is that Stoked N Board’s HIC page doesn’t have Cino listed as ever having shaped for HIC. Looking at that entry you can see that HIC was a real murderer’s row of Hawaiian shapers – Brian Bulkley, Eric Arakawa and John Carper, just to name a few.

Buy it on Surfboard Hoard here.