Ken Bradshaw 80s Thruster Redux

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Beautiful example of a 1980s Ken Bradshaw shape. Pic via eBay

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is going to revisit a shaper / surfer I covered recently: native Texan turned Hawaiian big wave charger Ken Bradshaw. You can see my original post here. This time, my post will be focused on the market for Bradshaw’s boards, and the prices that are being fetched.

The board pictured above is a Ken Bradshaw thruster, shaped sometime in the 1980s, that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. As of the time of this post, the bidding was a little over $200, with less than six days until the auction ends.

The original Ken Bradshaw post on this site featured a very similar board that went for sale a few months ago. I have posted a picture below.

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I first wrote about this board a few weeks back. Link to the original post here. Pic via eBay

Both of these boards were originally sold by the same seller (eBay username cashjack). The blue board above was sold less than two months ago, and the final sale price was $725. You can find a link to the blue board’s original eBay auction here.

 

The blue board has actually been re-listed on eBay. The board has a Buy it Now price of $1500 — almost double its original closing price. I suspect the original buyer is now trying to flip the blue board for a quick profit. In fact, the new listing (link here) contains the exact same description as the original one! The new seller, unlike cashjack, looks more like a professional eBay seller than a surfboard collector. I don’t know that the blue Bradshaw will command $1500, but it will be interesting to watch.

Likewise, it will be interesting to see what the red board sells for. I personally prefer the look of the red board, with the distinctly 80s wave design on the deck.

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This is not the most subtle spray job I have seen on a surfboard…and I like it! Pic via eBay

One thing to note about the red board is that it does not have a Bradshaw signature on it. I don’t know enough to say whether or not this means the board was shaped by someone other than Bradshaw. Contrast this with the blue board, which has a clear Bradshaw signature on the stringer:

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Ken Bradshaw signature. Pic via eBay

Finally, there’s a third Bradshaw board up for sale on eBay. You can find the link to the board here. This one isn’t in nearly the same condition as either of the two boards posted above, and as a result, I expect it to command a much cheaper price. Buy it Now price is $175. As much as I like this board — I love the rainbow gradient logos on the deck — it’s simply not in the same class as either of the other boards. There are also some dings that need repairs.

Ken Bradshaw Thruster
Yet another Ken Bradshaw thruster. This one is only 5’9″, and you can see it has some yellowing that is expected given its likely age. Pic via eBay

I’m curious to see where final prices will end up for all three of these boards. As always, boards with distinctive 80s spray jobs seem to command a premium. Check out the listings on eBay and, as always, Happy Shredding!

Ken Bradshaw: Big Wave Charger & Surfboard Shaper

The subject of today’s post is noted big wave surfer Ken Bradshaw. Bradshaw had been a respected presence in some of the heaviest lineups on Oahu’s North Shore throughout the late 1970s and 1980s. His fame, however, reached another level in 1998, during the height of the tow-in craze, when Bradshaw allegedly surfed the biggest wave ever during the infamous Condition Black swell that winter. There’s an excellent Surfline feature on the session which you can find here.

Amazingly, there are no photos of Bradshaw’s infamous ride that day, although eyewitnesses seem to agree that it was absolutely insane. You know it’s serious when the wave pictured below, taken from the same session, was NOT the biggest one surfed that day.

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Ken Bradshaw at Outer Log Cabins, Winter 1998. Photo by Brian “Hank” Stephens, via Surfline.com

Bradshaw had been shaping surfboards for a good twenty years before the infamous Condition Black session in 1998. Despite hailing from Texas, Bradshaw quickly became a fixture in Hawaii, and started shaping for Lightning Bolt before striking out on his own in 1978. If you want to read more about Bradshaw, the Encyclopedia of Surfing has a typically excellent entry, which you can find here.

It seems like Bradshaw doesn’t shape as much as he used to — something that I haven’t been able to confirm — but every once in a while you will see some of his older boards for sale. Two of Bradshaw’s boards are currently up for sale.

The first board, pictured above, is currently up for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. This thing is in absolutely immaculate condition, and you can see in the last picture that there is a clear signature on the stringer as well. Few things warm my heart quite like the glow of a neon airbrush, and this gem checks all the boxes. I love the design of the “B” logo, and the flames are too good! I don’t think I could keep a straight face if I were to order a flame airbrush on my next board.

As of the time this post was written, there are still three days left in the auction, and the price is $405. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this thing sell for a lot more by the time bidding closes.

Check out the board on eBay here.

Hit the jump for another classic Bradshaw shape…

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