Greetings, Shredderz! I hope a weekend chock full of tasty waves is on the forecast. In the meantime, see below for a selection of some wonderful boards that have recently caught the eyes of the Shred Sledz editorial staff.
There’s actually a Harbour Trestle Special for sale on eBay right now. You can find the eBay board here. Unfortunately, the example that’s being sold isn’t in great condition, which is more or less expected, given the age of the board. The example above is super clean and it also has a great close-up shot of the fin. We’re big fans of Rich Harbour here at Shreddies, and we’re always on the lookout for a particularly cherry example of a Harbour Trestle Special!
I didn’t realize the iconic Larry Bertlemann twin fin board with the Pepsi spray job was also produced in Australia until I saw both posts above. LB’s legendary board is begging for a more in-depth feature. Stay tuned…
Hilarious Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad from back in the 1980s. According to the caption, the ad originally appeared in Australian Surfing Life magazine. I had always thought Nectar Surfboards had only distributed Anderson’s thrusters in the US, but I guess I was mistaken!
Greetings, Shredderz! As promised, we have another episode of Sagas of Shred, which features various bits of surf history from over the years. We have written about old Astrodeck ads before, but hey, you gotta keep drawing from the well until it’s dry! Today’s installment is an Astrodeck ad from the 1980s that features another murderer’s row of surfers. Pictured left to right: Willy Morris, Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Wes Laine, Gary Elkerton, and Chappy Jennings. The second picture has Hawaiian fixtures Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Rory Russell…because the All Star team assembled in the first one simply wasn’t enough! A lot has changed in surfing over the years, but Herbie Fletcher’s unparalleled ability to gather big name pros has not. Hope you enjoyed this post and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment of Sagas of Shred, where I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of surf culture from years past. Pictured above is an Astrodeck ad that appeared in the August 1985 issue of Surfer Magazine (Volume 26, No. 8). The ad features none other than the following surfers: Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Greg Day, Gary Elkerton, Herbie Fletcher, Marvin Foster, Hans Hedemann, Michael Ho, Marty Hoffman, Jim Hogan, Vince Klyn, Buzzy Kerbox, Wes Laine, Buddy Lomas, Gerry Lopez, Barton Lynch, Tony Moniz, Willy Morris, Paul Peterson, Martin Potter, Joe Roper, and Rory Russell (whew!). That kind of list is only fitting for a product considered to be the “ultimate in competitive traction.” Bonus points if you can match the names to all the faces!
Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a sampling of some of the finest surfboard pictures recently found on the world wide web…
As I’ve written before, Lightning Bolt’s notoriety in the 1970s was a double-edged sword. The label’s popularity meant the signature bolt design was slapped on boards that had nothing to do with its Hawaiian bloodlines. Pictured above is a nice selection of genuine articles, via the Australian National Surfing Museum.
Yup, another classic piece of Hawaiian surf history, this time presented by the Lost & Found Collection. L&FC came about when its founder discovered boxes of pristine surf photography slides from the 1970s at a flea market. It has since blossomed into a wonderful project that supports surf photographers and the history of surfing. I highly recommend checking out the site and following them on Instagram, too. Pictured above is Larry Bertlemann alongside one of his signature Pepsi surfboards. Dying to know who the shaper might be…if anyone has more info, drop me a line!
If you object to the above post on the grounds that it’s not vintage enough, then I’d like to politely refer you to Andy Irons’ gesture in the photo. Happy belated birthday to The Champ, the only surfer to take on Slater during his prime and win.
Finally, I figured we’d throw our Aussie friends a little bone. Pictured above is Wayne Lynch with the first ever surfboard he shaped! It’s great to see a close up photo of this board, and one in color. For more on Lynch’s early boards, check out this earlier post, which is still one of the pieces of which I am proudest.
First, the good news: there is an Aipa sting for sale on eBay, whose pictures I have included here. The board is in decent shape, and right now the current bid is a tidy $82.01.
Before I go get to the bad news, I’d like to give some background on Ben Aipa, who has made more than a few appearances on Shred Sledz. This is the first Shred Sledz post featuring a board that Aipa made under his own name.
The sting is Aipa’s claim to fame. The board pictured above is a classic example. You’ll see the wings extremely high up the board – well above the fin box – with a single fin setup in the back. Aipa’s stings frequently boast swallowtails, as well.
Aipa’s sting design (sometimes referred to as the stinger) is most associated with iconic Hawaiian surfers Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Larry Bertlemann. Here’s a picture of Aipa (on the left) with Buttons, in front of a spread of Aipa-shaped stings that would be worth a pretty penny today.
And as a bonus, here’s another Aipa board, this time under the careful stewardship of legendary Aussie surfer / shaper Mark Richards, likely also taken sometime in the 1970s. Look at how far back MR has the fin!
So, back to what we were saying: there’s an Aipa for sale on eBay, it’s only $80 bucks or so, and it’s Aipa’s signature design. What’s not to like, right?
Well, fellow Shredderz, listen closely, because this is a lesson that I originally learned through a bit of bitter experience myself. If you look at the board for sale on eBay, you’ll notice that there is a small “Surfing’s New Image” script beneath the Aipa logo. I’ve included a close up here:
The sad fact is, the “Surfing’s New Image” boards were NOT shaped by Aipa. Rather, Aipa licensed his name to the “Surfing’s New Image” brand, and these boards were all shaped in California (not Hawaii, where Aipa is based) by a variety of different shapers, including Mike Slingerland, Rick Hamon, and apparently even Donald Takayama. This information was confirmed to me via an email with none other than Randy Rarick, the Don Dada of Hawaiian surfboard design.
I happened to make this rookie mistake, and I now am the proud owner of two VERY weathered SNI / Aipa stings that serve as a cautionary tale. (The caution is two-fold: make sure what you’re buying is legit, and NEVER tell your fiancee how much you spent on the boards.) See below for two examples: the first is unsigned (likely shaped by Slingerland, but who knows), and the second has a clear Hamon signature and serial number.
Photos courtesy of the Shred Sledz Signature Collection ™
You’ll see a lot of stings online with the SNI branding. I won’t tell you to steer clear of these boards completely, as they are still genuine, rad 70s shapes. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these are on par with real handmade Aipa boards.
Aipa has signed many of his boards, and you can see below for an example of a clearly identifiable Aipa signature, taken from a late 90s thruster he shaped.
However, it’s also worth noting that Aipa seems to have shaped some boards, at least back in the 70s, that didn’t have his signatures. Here’s an example of Larry Bertlemann with an Aipa (note the “Wave Crest Hawaii” branding beneath Aipa’s name) that doesn’t appear to have a visible signature anywhere on the deck. (It also has a pintail instead of the standard swallowtail design, which is an interesting touch.)
Mr. Bertlemann, the Hawaiian pro surfer dubbed “Rubberman” for the physics-defying body torqued that defined his surfing, was one of the best known surfers of the 70s.
Bertlemann was one of the few men who could truly lay claim to having a signature style, whether it was his radical surfing, his awesome hair, or, of course, his surfboards. Bertlemann was sponsored by Pepsi during the height of his career. He embraced his role as an ambassador (some might say billboard), going as far as to decorate his boards with the Pepsi logo.
The Pepsi boards have not only become synonymous with Bertelmann’s legacy, they are one of the more enduring symbols of 70s Hawaiian surf culture itself.
One of Bertelmann’s infamous Pepsi boards is currently up for grabs on eBay. It is a classic twin-fin swallowtail shape (not sure if it qualifies as a fish or not…anyone got thoughts here?). Even better, it bears a Donald Takayama signature, and one of Takayama’s clear bird logos (I believe it’s an ewa / frigate bird, but also cannot confirm). There’s a bit of damage around one of the glassed on fins, but hey — that’s a small price to pay for an iconic piece of Hawaiian surfing history.