Greetings, Shredderz! As we ease into the weekend I thought I’d share some videos I’ve been enjoying lately.
Well, you can’t watch the video above embedded in this blog, but it’s worth checking out on Vimeo. The Encyclopedia of Surfing has published the entirety of “Waterborn”, a 1987 surf movie from Gotcha, on their Vimeo page. Gotcha’s surf team was the stuff of legends — Pottz, Gerlach, Cheyne Horan, Brock Little, Derek Ho, I can keep going — and this is a cool video. It has some great footage of Pottz surfing some of his classic signature boards, including his Glenn Minami twin fin as well as some colorful T&C sticks, like the one pictured above.
More importantly, “Waterborn” was directed by Bill Delaney, who sadly passed away recently. Delaney directed the seminal Seventies surf movie “Free Ride”, and he will surely be missed.
Tristan Mausse AKA Fantastic Acid is one of my favorite follows on Instagram. Monsieur Mausse has also published a couple of cool books on surfboards, “Glass Shops” and “Surfboard Dynamics”, which you can find on his site. In this video Mausse and fellow shaper Jean Penninck of Naje Surfboards test some hand-shaped hulls in some fun and relaxed European winter surf.
Apropos of nothing, I have been enjoying South African Mikey February’s surfing lately. Most of the surfing in the clip is done on standard thrusters, but he’s just got great style.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry — in which I scan an old surf magazine ad and write a bit about it — builds upon yesterday’s Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model post. As you can see in the photo above, it’s an advertisement for Pottz’s line of signature models shaped under the Blue Hawaii brand, but with a couple of very interesting twists. First, I wrote a separate Sagas of Shred post a few months back that featured the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model, which you can find here.
The ad above — which originally ran in May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27, No 5) — features a quad fin variant of the Pottz board. Gone is the flame spray along the rails, replaced by a twinzer fin setup, what I guess you would call a bat tail, and then some interesting concave out of the back. Glenn Minami shaped many boards for Martin Potter, starting at Town & Country during its early days, and then going on to found Blue Hawaii. The ad above, however, clearly features Wil Jobson, the shaper credited with inventing the twinzer fin setup.
Swellnet wrote up a post on Wil Jobson and the twinzer, and they also included this awesome close up of the business end of one of the Blue Hawaii / Pottz twinzer boards. The Swellnet board, however, was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy, and not Jobson. When you compare the Swellnet board above with the one featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, you’ll notice some key differences. First, the Blue Hawaii board has a different shape in the tail, and what looks like only two channels, versus the four in the Swellnet board above. However, both boards have the smaller twinzer stabilizing fins, which, according to Swellnet, are called canards.
And because here at Shred Sledz we celebrate Shawn Stussy’s entire catalog, of course we had to mention the board featured above. That board you see in the photo is a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider that was apparently inspired by Jobson himself. The Stussy twinzer was sold at last year’s California Gold Surfboard Auction. Now, I know that Stussy shaped boards for Michael Tomson, who was CEO of Gotcha. Gotcha, in turn, was Pottz’s longtime clothing sponsor. Is it possible that somewhere in this mix Stussy got the idea to shape the twinzer pictured above? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly would be cool if that turned out to be the case.
Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in next Thursday evening, California time, for more vintage surf ads.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re featuring a board that I believe I wrote up over two years ago: a Pottz Blue Hawaii surfboard. Technically speaking, I guess the name is the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model. That’s a mouthful, though, and I think we’re all on the same page that this is the infamous flame graphic signature surfboard of Martin “Pottz” Potter, South African world champ and one of the most radical surfers of the late Eighties and early Nineties.
The board above is listed for sale on Craigslist in Florida. Pics in this post are via the listing, which you can find here. The last time I wrote this up I balked at the then-$1K price; looks like this has gone up to $1,500 since. The board is in good condition, although there’s some clear discoloration on both the deck and the bottom, if you want to nitpick. There’s no indication on who the shaper is, but Glenn Minami was Pottz’s shaper, and I believe this goes back to Potter’s days on the Town & Country Surf Designs team.
It’s pretty hard to find good action shots of the Pottz Blue Hawaii board, but the one above, courtesy of Pottz’s Facebook Page, is pretty great.
Check out the Pottz Blue Hawaii board for sale on Craigslist here.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, by now you probably know that the one-man Shred Sledz staff has a soft spot for the surfboards of the 80s. And in a decade filled to the brim with colorful characters and even more eye-catching boards, Martin Potter stands out. Pottz’s “Saint” Town & Country twin fin is his most famous board. In fact, its signature green and yellow spray job is still emulated today. The Blue Hawaii Pottz Model might not be as famous, but it’s a stick that has many fans, especially for examples bearing the signature blue flame airbrush around the rails.
The photo featured above is an old Blue Hawaii ad that appeared in Surfer Magazine in 1988. Blue Hawaii was a surfboard brand that is sadly no more. I believe Blue Hawaii was founded by shaper Glenn Minami, who was the original shaper behind Pottz’s famous “Saint” twin fin. Stoked-n-Board claims Blue Hawaii was founded in 1984. I’m guessing Minami must have left Town & Country around the same time, and brought Pottz with him shortly afterwards.
The other thing that’s interesting about the ad is the customizable “bullseye” spray job that could be applied to boards. I have scoured the internet for examples of a Blue Hawaii Pottz Model with a bullseye design, but I was only able to find one. Even so, I think the example below is a custom spray job for an actual Martin Potter personal rider, versus a mass-produced version that is offered in the advertisement. I’m wondering if the board on the far right was actually the inspiration for the bullseye design in the ad.
I also can’t get enough of the shipping rates. Granted, the advertisement ran 30 years ago, but $25 to get a board shipped from Hawaii to the mainland? That is absolute madness. I’d almost take those rates over the board!
If you have any leads on some pictures of a Blue Hawaii Pottz Model with a bullseye airbrush on it, I’d love to learn more. Otherwise, thanks for reading and stop by next week for even more Sagas of Shred.
A post shared by Matt Biolos (@mayhemsurfboards_mattbiolos) on
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
More than three decades later, as companies like Firewire continue to incorporate alternate materials into their designs, Bradbury’s approach looks downright prescient.
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)
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.
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:
And here’s a side shot, which gives you a clear idea of the S-Deck and the rocker.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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:
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!