Vintage Surfboard Trivia with Mayhem and Kolohe Andino

Attention vintage surfboard trivia buffs: Matt “Mayhem” Biolos and …Lost Surfboards team rider Kolohe Andino are giving away a free surfboard to the person who can name all of the surfers who inspired the various paint jobs in the Instagram post above. Edit: Kolohe also included close ups of all the boards on his Instagram account, which I have included below:

nostalgia is scary. since, the last two weeks of (barely get to your feet) flatness around town. i have dipped back into some surf movies i frothed on when growing up and tried to widen my range with some "history of surfing" type shiz. every single person who used one of these (dirty garage non artist replica) designs absolutely captivated me when there story/ part turned on. mostly because the style of surfing they were doing at the time of the flick was much beyonds its years. so, i challenge all surf nerds/ historians/ parking lot carps/ the 80's were better dudes to name every single design of these boards. first person to do it will win one of my boards. oh, and two things, sorry OCCY all your boards were white, and i couldn't find the Michael Ho broken arm deisgn at pipe. #europequiver

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Some hints are rapidly filling up in the comments. Even with the added help, I’m only certain of three of them, and I have an educated guess for another.

The board at the top left is modeled after a board Kelly Slater surfed at Trestles in “Kelly Slater in Black & White.” I only know this from the comments, but I was able to find a YouTube video with the incriminating evidence.

Kelly Slater Trestles 1990.png
Kelly Slater on a Channel Islands / Al Merrick potato chip at Trestles, 1990. Frame grab from Kelly Slater in Black & White via YouTube.

The red / blue board on the top row, second from right, is clearly Tom Carroll’s board from his famous under the lip snap at macking Pipeline. I’m not sure who the shaper might be, though.

Tom Carroll Pipeline.jpg
Tom Carroll, committed at Pipeline. Photographer unknown.

On the bottom row, the board second from right is clearly Martin Potter’s “The Saint” board, which is one of the most recognizable airbrushes ever.

martin-potter-fistral-84 (from Rorden Surfboards).jpg
Martin “Pottz” Potter sporting one of his signature T&C Glenn Pang boards. Note that there were actually many of these boards produced, which is the subject for an upcoming post. Photographer unknown, pic via Rorden Surfboards

I believe the board that is second from left on the top row is a Mark Richards Lightning Bolt, but I’m not 100% sure.

Mark Richards by Steve Wilkings.jpg
MR AKA “The Wounded Gull” going off the lip in Hawaii. Photo by Steve Wilkings

I suspect many of the boards aren’t what some would consider vintage. For example, there are a lot of guesses in the comments that suggest the top left board was one ridden by Kelly Slater in one of his earlier videos.

I’ll be running an updated post once all the answers are in, as I’m dying to know myself. In the meantime, check out the post here.

Questionable Moments in Surf Advertising History: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re currently wondering whether or not this humble little vintage surfboard blog took a sudden left turn, let me assure you that is not the case. Shred Sledz remains as dedicated as ever to our mission of shedding light on the great surfboards and craftsmen of yesteryear. But let’s face it: this 1980s Gotcha ad is simply too funny not to post.

Throw in a pair of acid wash jeans and the ad hits every single cliche about bad fashion in the 1980s. More importantly…what on earth is going on? Is the painting on the left supposed to be coming to life? Why is the other guy just staring off in the distance? Sadly, seeing as how this is a family friendly blog, I think there are many questions that will have to go unanswered. And if you haven’t noticed, that’s Pottz who’s getting his tank top stretched out. Not sure how they coerced him into doing this photo shoot. I imagine the ad was originally intended to be edgy and provocative, but with three decades worth of perspective behind us, the entire thing is silly. I say that affectionately, though: no matter what, I will always have a soft spot for the weird and colorful creations that the surf industry produced during the eighties.

Fun fact: the Gotcha logo that appears in the ad was actually designed by Shawn Stussy.

As always, tune in next Thursday for the next installment of Sagas of Shred!

Town & Country Pottz Model

Greetings, Shredderz! While some surfboard aficionados don’t enjoy talking prices, here at Shred Sledz we’re not only fans of capitalism, but also transparency. One of the most iconic boards from modern pro surfing is Martin Potter’s T&C twin fin emblazoned with the iconic green and yellow airbrush. A Town & Country Pottz airbrush board recently sold on eBay, providing a little insight into the market for the former champ’s boards. I have included some pictures of the board below (pics via the original eBay listing).

The final price for the board ended up being $1,300. As you can see in the pictures above, the board is in pretty good condition (I omitted a picture of a decent ding along one of the board’s rails).

First, if you’re inclined, I think there are some questions around whether or not the example above should be considered a proper Pottz board. Of course, Potter rode for T&C, and the airbrush is unmistakable, but as far as I can tell, T&C never released a mass market Pottz model until recently, the way Channel Islands put Tom Curren’s Black Beauty design in surf shops everywhere.

Then again, that’s not the point: the board above is a genuine Town & Country board from the 1980s in good condition, complete with an iconic design. Is it nitpicking to mention that the airbrush on the board above is a lesser-known variant on the classic Pottz spray job, and not the original one?

I won’t attempt to answer the metaphysical questions around how one defines a Pottz board. Instead, I’ll just state the obvious: cool surfboards from the 1980s often command a pretty penny on the open market.

1980s Astrodeck Ad: 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!

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.

Shaun Tomson Martin Potter Stubbies Contest.jpg
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.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Nautical Logo 1.jpg
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:

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Natutical Logo Board 1.jpg

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:

Reunited with my 1969 Creative Freedom , John Bradbury shaped 7'6" Pocket Rocket.

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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.

Creative Freedom John Bradbury Two Surfers Logo.jpg
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:

Creative Freedom John Bradbury 1980s Thruster 7'6.jpg
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.

Marc Andreini John Bradbury Tribute for Icons of Foam.jpg
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.

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!

Last of the Wildmen: Martin “Pottz” Potter

Whoever posted this little number must be dreaming about the price – $1,000 is a lot for a surfboard, no matter what! – but it’s still worth looking at the pictures. Located on Craigslist in Daytona Beach, Florida is a cool little Blue Hawaii ‘Pottz’ board, named after legendary former tour surfer Martin Potter and shaped by well-regarded Hawaiian shaper Greg Minami. This is different from the board most surf fans associate with Pottz – the T&C with the jagged green outline and yellow deck – but nonetheless still a fantastic memento from the surf industry of yesteryear. Check it out here.