Social Media Roundup: October 2019

Greetings, Shredderz! Regular readers know the rules: keep scrolling for some of my favorite vintage surfboard-related social media posts from the past month or so.

For all my ignorance of Australian surf culture and history, I remain a huge, unabashed fan. And as an American, I’m particularly interested in how Australian and American surfers often exchanged ideas in Hawaii, the birthplace of the sport that is conveniently located between the two continents. When Mark Richards wasn’t riding his own designs to world titles — still an incredible, and perhaps underrated, feat — he was a devotee of Ben Aipa’s iconic sting. There’s a Dick Brewer shape tucked away in that group, and the Al Dove airbrushes are classic, too. I’ve been meaning to do a longer post on MR’s love affair with the sting, so hopefully I get around to it sooner than later.

Luis Real is a fixture in the Social Media Roundup, and that’s because he keeps buying rad boards and posting about them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think I prefer the Seventies T&C single fins to their more famous (and colorful) Eighties thruster counterparts. This one was shaped by Dennis Pang and it has a very similar color scheme to a Glenn Minami-shaped T&C Dane Kealoha model I wrote up a little while back.

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#inspiration #rickrasmussen ✊️

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The Rick Rasmussen picture above is in honor of the absolutely epic run of swell that New York has seen this past October. RIP to the original Slick Rick the Ruler.

Skip Frye ordered a board from Marc Andreini?! How awesome is that! I don’t know Mr Frye, but everything I’ve heard about him echoes my experiences with Andreini, who has been gracious, patient, and unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge in our limited interactions. Oh, and yeah, they both shape awesome boards, of course.

Is there anything more classic than a pristine Gerry Lopez single fin? I can’t stop staring at the outline on this thing. Give Liquid Salt / Glenn a follow; he posts beautiful pictures with consistently informative captions.

Social Media Roundup: Autumn Advancing

Greetings, Shredderz! By now you may know the drill: keep scrolling for some of my favorite surf and vintage surfboard-related Instagram posts in recent memory.

Can you believe the venerable Channel Islands brand has been around for fifty years?! It’s a bit hard to digest. Hint hint, there might be some cool Al Merrick boards coming up on the blog soon, so stay tuned for that.

How cool is David Nuuhiwa?! Definitely way cooler than me, and probably cooler than you, too (no offense). I’ve seen lots of pics of Nuuhiwa in some truly out there get ups, and I really dig this relatively conservative look in contrast. I wish I knew more about all of Nuuhiwa’s work with different surfboard labels, which the caption briefly covers.

Bob Hurley shaped for Lightning Bolt…who knew?! This thing is gorgeous, though. 1979 single fin with an incredible color combo and Bolt logo on the deck.

Donald Takayama was a member of the storied Jacobs Surfboards surf team before he made a name for himself as a shaper. I’m mostly used to seeing pictures of Takayama from when he was older, but it’s a blast to see some photos of him from his younger days.

Dave Rastovich with an Andreini edge board! Marc Andreini is one of my favorite shapers (in fact, I have a 9′ Serena sitting next to me as I type this entry), and Rasta likely needs no introduction. There’s a great Surfer’s Journal article on some George Greenough edge boards that Rastovich surfed at Cloudbreak. Stoked to see Andreini and Rastovich continuing to explore Greenough’s designs together.

Photo at the top of the page is David Nuuhiwa. Photographer unknown; source is David Nuuhiwa Surfboards page on Facebook.

Weekend Grab Bag: Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby & More

Greetings, Shredderz! Yes, I’m aware that it is no longer the weekend. I’m not going to let something as trivial as reality get in the way of delivering another dose of some vintage surfboard goodness, however. Keep reading for a selection of boards that are currently listed for sale, including a neat Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby model. More sledz below…

Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby (eBay)

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Long time readers of the blog may know that I really, really love Rick Surfboards. See here for a Deep Dive I wrote on the label; and here’s another article on the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model. The Rick Surfboards UFO Stubby model pictured above needs work, but I still want to highlight what is a pretty unusual Transition Era shape from the label. It comes with what looks to be an original fin, and I dig the matching red high density foam wedge stringer.

Seventies Gordon & Smith Waterskate (Craigslist Los Angeles)

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I was really stoked to find a Gordon & Smith Waterskate for sale. First, the board was designed by Tom Morey, who is one of the greatest inventors in the history of surfing. I actually learned about the origins of the G&S Waterskate a few weeks ago, when I visited Marc Andreini in his shaping room and showed him an old board of his. The vintage Andreini you see below was actually inspired by the Gordon & Smith Waterskate, particularly with its concave deck. The pics of the Waterskate from the Craigslist post don’t show off the deck very well, but it was cool to run into an example of this board so soon after learning about its origins.

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Here’s a photo of Marc Andreini with a single fin he shaped in either 1970 or 1971. The board has an unusual concave deck along with some pretty boxy down rails. According to Marc, this is actually a take on a Tom Morey design, which was also produced as the Gordon & Smith Waterskate. I forget the exact mechanics but apparently the design principles create a similar effect to Marc’s current Greenough-inspired edge boards. Marc tells me he shaped similar boards for Santa Barbara surfers who were exploring El Salvador’s right hand point breaks during that era. If you look closely at the board you’ll notice it has the original Andreini Surfboards logo, which I think is such a cool touch. And if you look even closer, you’ll notice a Clark Foam blank in the background, too 🤫🤭😶. Anyway it was great to show Marc the board and get the history behind the shape. For all the time I spend looking at boards on Craigslist, nothing beats the experience of talking to and learning from a knowledgeable shaper in person! #marcandreini #andreinisurfboards

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Hobie Terry Martin Speed Dialer (Craigslist Orange County)

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The board you see above isn’t really vintage, per se, but it still represents a cool collaboration between a few well regarded shapers. Rich Pavel is known for his fish designs, and one of his most recognizable models is the Quan or the Speed Dialer, which is a quad fin fish. Terry Martin was an early mentor to Pavel, and according to the Craigslist ad, after seeing the Speed Dialer, Martin decided to whip up one of his own. The board is priced at an exceedingly reasonable $375.

Fully Restored Dick Brewer Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist Orange County)

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I absolutely love Dick Brewer Seventies Single Fin surfboards, and this one is no exception. One caveat: the board has been fully restored, hence the flawless exterior. What I love about this board, other than the classic outline, is the unusual Brewer Boards logo. I can’t say whether or not it was shaped by Brewer himself, but there’s no denying that it looks stunning.

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.

Greenough Edge Board Dave Rastovich Cloudbreak Liquid Salt Nick Liotta
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.

Bob Duncan Wilderness Edge Board Gun.jpg
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:

Bob Duncan Wilderness Edge Board.JPG
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.

Weekend Grab Bag: Yater Spoon & More

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to think the blog has been off to a nice start this year, with content like this absolute weapon of a Channel Islands single fin sporting an epic Jack Meyer airbrush, or scans of an old Eaton Surfboards brochure sent to me by a reader. Ultimately, though, that’s for all of you to decide. If you’re still reading this, first I would like to say thank you, and second, let’s get right to the next installment of the Weekend Grab Bag, where I highlight some of my favorite boards currently listed for sale on the internet. Scroll down for a selection of sick vintage sticks that are currently up for grabs.

9’10” Andreini Spoon (Craigslist Santa Cruz)

Marc Andreini is one of my all-time favorite shapers. The board above is a take on Renny Yater’s famous Spoon design, which, fifty plus years after its invention, remains one of the greatest noserider surfboards ever crafted. Andreini, who spent formative years shaping and surfing in Santa Barbara, considers Yater one of his chief influences. (Check out “The Gift” for more info on Andreini and California surfboard history.) The Andreini spoon pictured above isn’t quite vintage — the seller estimates it was shaped in 1996 or so — but it’s old enough to qualify as interesting (to me, anyway). As best I could tell, Andreini’s current noserider model does not have the step deck you see on both the Yater Spoon and the board above. No matter what, this Andreini spoon is a cool board from one of California’s great living shapers, and at $575, I think it’s more than reasonably priced. See below for a video of Joe Davies riding an Andreini Owl Noserider, which is via Andreini’s own website. (And if you’re into unique Andreini boards, here’s a Bonzer that’s currently for sale.)

9’8″ Yater Spoon from 2000 (Craigslist San Diego)

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And now that we’ve seen a take on the Yater Spoon, how about one from the OG himself? I think the price might be a bit steep on the Yater Spoon pictured above. The seller is asking $1399. He claims the board has only been surfed once, and it certainly looks to be in extra clean condition. Even so, you can easily find a brand new Yater Spoon on Mollusk’s website listed at $1199 before tax. To each his own, but I think we can all agree that you simply can’t go wrong with a Yater Spoon.

9’6″ Greg Liddle L Spoon (Craigslist Ventura)

Greg Liddle’s L Spoon design is also influenced by Renny Yater. See the Liddle Surfboards website for more info. Honestly, I’m a little surprised this board is still listed for sale. It has been up for over two weeks, which is longer than most Greg Liddle hand shapes last on Craigslist. I’m wondering if the board hasn’t already been sold, and the seller never bothered to take down the listing. The Liddle L Spoon listed above is priced at $1500. No matter what, I’m a sucker for that old school Crash Test Dummies inspired Liddle Surfboards logo, too.

Clipz: January 2019

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s a rainy day here in Northern California, so I figured what better way to spend some time than with some quality surfboard related videos. See below for a selection.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: Bird’s Surf Shed is the Mecca! If you ever find yourself in San Diego, make sure you pay a visit to witness one of the most epic stashes of vintage surfboards you will ever see in your life. In this latest installment of Surfer’s excellent Shed Sessions series, Bird pulls down some real gems off the shelves, including a rad little Steve Lis twin fin fish. I actually snapped a pic of the same Lis fish when I visited the shed; you can see the pic (alongside a Skip Frye fish) at the top of the page.

Newport Beach’s Daydream Surf Shop has begun to produce a video series and podcast entitled “Case Study”, and their very first episode features none other than the esteemed Marc Andreini. Check out the video above and you can find the podcast here.

I recently wrote a Sagas of Shred post featuring an old Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure featuring his various models. See above for the first part of three of a series of interviews done with Eaton.

Not vintage, just fun: witness Mason Ho putting a series of impossibly small Matt Biolos / …Lost Surfboards Round Nose Fish models through their paces in pumping Hawaiian surf. For all my love of awesome airbrushes and cool laminates, at the end of the day, surfboards are all about function, and this video is a great reminder of that fact.

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:

Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series

Greetings, Shredderz! This humble vintage surfboard blog might have a soft spot for the loud stylings of the Eighties, but that doesn’t mean we’re total Philistines. In many ways, Phil Edwards can be seen as the exact opposite of the brash Echo Beach aesthetic. By all accounts, Mr. Edwards is a low-key figure, despite his outsize influence on surf history. I can’t confirm that for myself, as I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Edwards. What I can say is that Edwards’ boards — whether it’s the Hobie Phil Edwards Model or the Phil Edwards Honolulu series — are beautiful and understated, which seems only fitting given the man’s sterling reputation.

The board featured here is a Phil Edwards Honolulu model that was recently posted for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The listing has since been taken down, but an earlier Phil Edwards Honolulu board I wrote up is still for sale here. Edwards made very few Honolulu models. The Honolulu models are rare and coveted, but they also give a fascinating look at the evolution of surfboard design as they were shaped during the late 1960s, in the heart of the Transition Era.

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The Phil Edwards Honolulu model pictured above is from the C series with a serial number of 82. (Stay tuned for a later post explaining the differences between the various Honolulu models). It measures in at a sleek 8’10”. The seller estimated that the board was likely shaped in 1968. The board looks to be a hull shape, with a signature convex belly towards the nose. This makes sense, given the popularity of hulls during the late Sixties. As you can see, despite being nearly 9′, the board is definitely not a traditional nose rider.

The first thing I thought when I saw the board above was how similar it was to my Andreini Serena (which is my all-time favorite board). After doing some digging on Instagram, it looks like I’m not the only one who has noticed the similarity between the two boards. See the posts below for some side-by-side comparisons between the Honolulu model and some Andreini hulls:

I really dig the clean lines of the Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series. The glass on fin is a nice touch, and I love the blue high density foam stringer, too. I envision this thing really delivering on some clean, lined up point break waves.

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Close up of the tail and fin on the Phil Edwards Honolulu C Series. Pic via Craigslist.

Finally, I’m not sure what the final price ended up being, but the Phil Edwards Honolulu was originally listed at $1250. Even though the board isn’t in perfect condition, I think this is a fair price. I don’t have enough data points to back this up, but I will point to a fully restored A series model that sold at the 2018 California Gold Auction, which fetched $4,000.

If you own a Phil Edwards Honolulu board and you wouldn’t mind sharing pics, please drop me a line! As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a future post on Phil Edwards’ classic Hawaiian shapes.

Vintage Chuck Vinson Surfboards Single Fin

Vintage Chuck Vinson Surfboards 1970s single fin

Greetings, Shredderz! As the holiday weekend fades into the rearview, here’s a hit of vintage surfboard goodness to help ease the transition back into the real world. The focus of today’s post is a bit of Santa Cruz surf history: a vintage Chuck Vinson Surfboards single fin, reportedly shaped in 1973. One of the things that makes writing this blog enjoyable — besides the fame and the money, of course — is the opportunity to shine a light on underground shapers; board builders whose influence outstrips their visibility. Chuck Vinson certainly fits the bill. A Google search for Vinson’s boards doesn’t yield much, save for a testimonial from Shred Sledz favorite Marc Andreini, via the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center. In the post, Andreini gives some great context on the time Vinson spent shaping for Lightning Bolt during the brand’s heyday in the 1970s. The SHACC link also has a great picture of a Vinson-shaped Bolt.

The board pictured here is a 7’3″ Chuck Vinson Surfboards single fin, and it is for sale on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, California. You can find the board here. Don’t be fooled by the typo in the listing — this is most certainly a Vinson-shaped board. The Vinson board was also listed for sale a little while back on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook group. Pics below are via the Craigslist posting.

The listing claims that the pin lines on the board were done by Laura Noe. I can only assume this is the wife of Rick Noe, another old-school Santa Cruz legend. Rick’s son Buck continues to shape boards for the Noe Surfboards brand today. On an earlier Instagram post, Buck mentioned how his Mom had designed the initial Steamer Lane Surfboards logo.

Sadly, Chuck Vinson passed away earlier this year. Just this past weekend Chuck was honored with a paddle out in Santa Cruz. RIP Mr Vinson, and thank you for your wonderful surfboards.

Creative Freedom & John Bradbury: A Shred Sledz Deep Dive

An overview and history of Creative Freedom and John Bradbury’s surfboards

Shred Sledz may have a silly name, but we’d like to think we’re (somewhat) serious about making an effort to help preserve surf culture. Then again, the blog’s name does have an ironic ‘z’ in it, so who can be sure? One thing is certain, though: Shred Sledz has a keen interest in examining lesser-known chapters of California’s rich surfing history, and in particular, the craftsmen who have helped make it all possible. One such underground shaper is Creative Freedom’s John Bradbury. Bradbury might not be a household name, partly due to his untimely passing in 1999. Nonetheless, Bradbury is still respected by some of the most famous board builders in the world. Among others, shapers like Al Merrick, Renny Yater, Marc Andreini, Wayne Rich and Bruce Fowler have all expressed admiration for Bradbury and his designs.

Bradbury was an early proponent of EPS / epoxy surfboards. In 1985 Pottz won a World Tour contest on a Bradbury design. The success of this collaboration led to Bradbury supplying boards to other top pros Cheyne Horan and Brad Gerlach.

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No Bradbury board here; just Martin Potter (center) celebrating a win at the 1983 Stubbies Surf Classic. You can see Shaun Tomson on his left. Pottz would surf a Bradbury epoxy design in a contest two years later and win, helping cement Bradbury’s status as a forward thinking shaper. Pic via Area561

More than three decades later, as companies like Firewire continue to incorporate alternate materials into their designs, Bradbury’s approach looks downright prescient.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Epoxy EPS Board
Here’s an example of an early Bradbury epoxy board, made for Reef founder and surfboard collector extraordinaire Fernando Aguerre. Note the lack of a stringer. In addition, you can see there is no “Creative Freedom” branding anywhere — by the mid-1980s it appears Bradbury was shaping boards under his own name. Pic via 365 Surfboards

While Bradbury is rightfully known for his early forays into epoxy surfboards, this post will focus on the boards he made during the earlier parts of his career. The pictures of the boards in the post below came from a Shred Sledz reader who has been quietly collecting Bradbury’s designs over the years. (Side note: If you have any interesting boards or stories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to reach out!)

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #1: “Double Logo” 7’10” x 19-1/8″ x 3″ Single Fin (Date Unknown)

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Double Logo Single Fin
Twice as nice: an early Creative Freedom John Bradbury logo. Stoked-n-Board lists this logo as having been produced during the 1960s; I’m not certain that’s the case. More on this below.

It’s unclear when this board was shaped. My guess is sometime during the 70s. The fin box looks like a Bahne Fins Unlimited box, which I believe were not popularized until the late 1960s. In addition, the outline looks similar to many of the single fin guns and mini-guns being made during this era. This logo was created by Michael Drury, who also did the updated version (see below).

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #2: “Compass Logo” 7’6″ x 20-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ Single Fin (Approx. 1969)

Stoked-n-Board continues to be one of the finest online resources on vintage surfboards. Predictably, S-n-B’s entry on Creative Freedom / John Bradbury is worth a read. However, after discussing the boards in this post with their owner, I’m not sure that the dates corresponding to the logos in S-n-B’s entry are correct. See below for an example of a Creative Freedom surfboard with a “compass logo”. Despite what is listed on Stoked-n-Board, the compass logo was actually the first logo ever designed for Creative Freedom. The board below is also numbered #199, which pegs it as a pretty early shape.

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Example of the “nautical logo.” The owner of this board believes this may have been the first-ever Creative Freedom logo. This board is also numbered #199, which would make it an earlier shape.

See below for more pictures of the board in question. Note the prominent S-Deck with the domed tail.

The tail in particular is pretty funky looking, as you can see in the pictures:

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And here’s a side shot, which gives you a clear idea of the S-Deck and the rocker.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Natutical Logo Board 2
Look at the dramatic S-Deck and the low rocker in the nose.

Fountain of Youth Surfboards shaper Bruce Fowler graciously took some time to read this blog post and offer some additional information on the board above. There is no tail rocker present in the Compass Logo board, which was likely shaped in 1969. According to Fowler, the more modern designs of shapers like Dick Brewer, Mike Diffenderfer, and Mike Hynson forced the Santa Barbara crew to adapt. Brewer, Diff, and Hynson’s boards featured beak noses, full down rails, and natural rocker in the tail. These advancements were later incorporated into Bradbury, Yater, et al’s designs.

There’s one other data point that supports the 1969 date for the compass logo board, and it comes from Kirk Putnam. Putnam posted a picture of a very similar looking compass logo Creative Freedom board, which Putnam dates to 1969 as well:

 

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Board #3: 1970s Single Fin 6’8″ x 19-1/8″ x 3-1/4″

At some point Bradbury tweaked his logo to include two surfers on the wave (maybe as a more accurate depiction of the crowds at Rincon?) The same collector owns a single fin sporting the two surfers logo.

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There’s now another surfer on the wave. Note the signature that has been added to the bottom as well.

I believe the logo with the two surfers is more recent than both the single surfer logo, as well as the nautical logo. The board bears many of the hallmarks of a traditional 1970s single fin. It has a beaked nose, a removable fin box, and beefy rails (3-1/4″!).

The 70s single fin also has a Bradbury signature on the board, addressed to Lewis. You can barely make out the “J. Bradbury” below.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury 1970s Single Fin Signature1
Example of a Creative Freedom surfboard with a John Bradbury signature on the stringer.

At some point, Bradbury appears to have ditched the Creative Freedom brand altogether. Stoked-n-Board estimates the switch happened in the 1980s, and Bradbury continued to use the new logo until his passing in 1999. Here is an example of the modern Bradbury logo, taken from a board that was listed for sale on Craigslist a few months ago:

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Clean and colorful example of the modern logo that John Bradbury used from the 1980s until his passing.

Bradbury was also recognized by the Boardroom Show’s “Icons of Foam” series back in 2009. Marc Andreini turned in the winning tribute board. I believe Andreini’s tribute board is a thruster, but I’m not certain. I took this photo myself at the Boardroom Show in Santa Cruz last fall.

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Marc Andreini’s winning Icons of Foam tribute for John Bradbury. Pic from the author

Creative Freedom John Bradbury shapes continue to have a cult following, particularly in and around Bradbury’s hometown of Santa Barbara. While Bradbury’s career as a shaper might have been cut short by his untimely passing, there is no doubt about the extent of his contributions to the sport of surfing.

 

Many thanks to Jesse McNamara for much of the information in this post!

Photo at the top of the page taken by Matt George; via The Surfer’s Journal

Update 7/24: Post updated to include date on the compass logo board, and additional information regarding its shape. Michael Drury also credited with designing the surfer logo.