Quivers of Distinction: Mike from Maui

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another edition of Quivers of Distinction. This series features some rad quivers from individual collectors who were kind enough to share pics and info with yours truly. Today quiver belongs to Mike Essner from Maui, who has built up a sweet selection of Bing surfboards over the years. Check out the photos below and click to enlarge. Thanks to Mike for sharing all the photos you see here.

As you can see in the photos above, Mike has a couple of noseriders, and then no less than four Bonzers. Three of the Bonzers are Bing Bonzers, and the fourth is an Eaton Bonzer.

The Bing Bonzer you see above is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a classic example of the initial run of Bing Bonzer surfboards, with the super deep concave in the tail and the branded side bite fins. It looks to have an original Rainbow fin on it, too.

In contrast, the board above, while also a Bing Bonzer, looks like a later edition. I can’t tell who shaped the first Bing Bonzer — the orange board with the red and black Rainbow fin — but the one immediately above this paragraph looks to be a later model, and I’m almost certain it’s a Mike Eaton creation. Check out the small center fin, and the pintail outline is very reminiscent of other Eaton Bonzers I have seen, including this example of an Eaton Bonzer sporting an incredible airbrush.

Thank you to Mike for sharing! If you own a quiver packed to the gills with some heat, shoot me an email because I’d love to see it!

Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer with Seventies Airbrush

Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you here in the good ol’ US of A, I hope you’re having a wonderful Memorial Day. And what better way to close out the three day weekend than with a feature on a cool surfboard? Pictured here is a straight up ridiculous Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer shaped in 1978. The board’s owner, a gentleman named Mike who lives in Leucadia, was kind enough to send over pics of this top notch sled. Thank you Mike for sharing!

There’s a lot to dig about the Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer featured in this post. The Bonzer is not just a subject of fascination for this humble little blog; it’s also one of the most enduring designs in surfboard history. I’m particularly interested in the Bing Bonzer, given that it’s the only variant of the Campbell Brothers’ shape that was produced in collaboration with another label (I don’t count the more recent Channel Islands version). Finally, as someone who admires the arc of Mike Eaton’s career, I find myself gravitating towards the surfboards he shaped for the Bing label before striking out on his own.

But hey, why bore you all with this history talk when there’s a sick sled to be ogled? Even if you don’t care to learn more about Eaton’s contributions to shaping, this board has an unbelievable airbrush that anyone can — and should! — appreciate. Click the photos below to enlarge.

The board sports a classic Seventies airbrush depicting a dreamy lineup in soft pastels. Part of me wants to point out that yes, it’s a little cheesy…but really, it’s a gorgeous painting. I also love the hourglass shape of the airbrush. I wonder if some of the lines of the painting match the curves of the board itself.

I can’t quite make out the artist’s signature. If anyone knows more, please let me know! I’d love to credit whoever was responsible for this bitchin’ artwork. Scroll below for photos of both signatures on the board.

Last but not least, the board’s owner was able to provide a great shot of the tail. Most, if not all, of the Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer surfboards I have seen sport pretty dramatic double concaves in the tail. It’s hard to see from the angle below, but it appears as if there’s some deep concave here as well. As always, I love the branded side bite fins. The center fin is an interesting design, too.

I have seen many Mike Eaton Bonzers with stubby, almost hatchet like fins on them. The fin on the board above is much shorter than those found on the original run of Bing Bonzers, but it doesn’t have the bulbous hatchet outline I have seen on other Eaton boards. See below for two other examples of Eaton Bonzer fins. You’ll notice fin on the airbrushed board is similar to the one below and on the left; an example of what I have been referring to as the hatchet-esque fin is below and to the right. Click the photos below to enlarge.

I hope you all enjoyed the photos of Mike’s vintage 1978 Mike Eaton Bing Bonzer. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: how killer is that airbrush? And if you know who the artist might be please do drop me a line. Thanks again Mike for sharing your photos of this beautiful surfboard!

Weekend Grab Bag: Airbrush Aficionado Edition, featuring 80s Stussy Surfboard and More

Well, Shredderz, if I’m going to waste a good chunk of my waking hours trawling Craigslist and eBay, I figure someone should benefit from all the time I’ve spent combing through listings. For today’s installment of the Weekend Grab Bag I’ve highlighted a few boards that all feature some pretty futuristic graphics, courtesy of some talented artists and craftsmen. As always, the Weekend Grab Bag features boards that are still for sale as of the time the blog post goes live. Anyway, keep scrolling to see a selection of special sleds that are currently for sale…

Stussy 80s Surfboard (Craigslist San Diego)

If there’s a cool 80s Stussy surfboard for sale, well, you know that I’m probably gonna write about it. Sadly this board has seen some better days, but the awesome airbrush is still largely intact. I think this board has an incredible paint job, even by the high standards of Stussy’s boundary pushing artwork in the Eighties. As an added little bonus, this 80s Stussy surfboard has a small planer logo, which is one of my favorite Stussy mini laminates. See below for an example of the planer logo that the S Double honcho shared on his Instagram:

M.T.B. Channel Twin Fin (eBay)

MTB Surfboard Airbrush.jpg

We’ve got some more airbrush heat coming straight at you, this time courtesy of M.T.B. Surfboards. M.T.B. stands for Mulhern, Takayama and Brumett. Most of the M.T.B. Surfboards I see are located in Florida, which is where I think Mulhern was based. I personally haven’t seen very many Donald Takayama-shaped M.T.B. Surfboards, but I don’t know why that’s the case. Much like the 80s Stussy surfboard above, the bottom of the M.T.B. board doesn’t look great. As of the time of this post, the bidding was still under $200.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Single Fin (Craigslist SF Bay Area)

First of all, I love Mike Eaton’s surfboards, from his Bonzers to just about everything else he’s done. Second, Eaton’s surfboards commonly feature airbrushes by a particular artist, or at least very much influenced by that person’s style. I have never found any information online about who airbrushes Eaton’s boards, but I really dig them. See below for an example of a Bing board with a very similar airbrush, which I imagine was likely shaped by Eaton as well. I think the Mike Eaton surfboard is a little pricey at $800, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

Weekend Grab Bag: Happy New Year

Shredderz, it might be a brand New Year, but it’s the same old program as far as Shred Sledz is concerned: nothing but vintage sticks and tasty waves. As always, here’s a rundown of some of the cooler boards I’ve seen posted for sale this weekend, including some nice Mike Eaton gems, in honor of the most recent Sagas of Shred post that featured an old Eaton Surfboards brochure. Anyway, enough talk, and onto the boards!

Mike Eaton / Joe Bauguess Zinger (Craigslist San Diego)

Here’s an interesting example of an Eaton Zinger, complete with a great shot of the tail that shows the insanely deep concave and the unusual quad fin Zinger setup. The seller says the board is an Eaton UEO outline. This particular board is a collaboration with San Diego shaper Joe Bauguess, who claims to have invented the Mini Simmons. Judging from Bauguess’ Instagram account, he has continued to experiment with super deep concaves and the Zinger setup. The seller is asking $775. This might be a tad on the steep side, but for what it’s worth, I have never seen an Eaton / Bauguess board before.

Eaton Twin Fin (Craigslist San Diego)

Yes, another example of a Mike Eaton surfboard! This here is a more standard looking twin fin, and I don’t see any of Eaton’s trademark ultra deep concave, nor is there a bonzer fin setup. The seller is asking $399.

ET Surfboards Pat Ryan Single Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

ET Surfboards Pat Ryan Single Fin 1.jpg

This is the same board featured at the top of the page. I’m a sucker for any Seventies single fin with a beautiful coke bottle blue glass job, and this one fits the bill. I love the subtle red resin pinline on the deck, too. Ryan is a long time shaper from the South Bay of Los Angeles. I don’t know if Pat is still shaping, but it looks like his website is still up and running. This board costs $325. I think that’s about fair, but I haven’t seen it in person.

Eighties Stussy Thruster (eBay)

Here’s a pretty clean Stussy thruster that has been for sale on eBay for a few weeks now. I’m a little surprised no one has pounced on this board at what I would call a reasonable $750. I guess it’s a different story if you’re paying for shipping, and the board is located all the way down in Florida, but still! I’m wondering if the relatively plain paint job is keeping the price down.

Thanks for reading and tune in next week for some more vintage surfboard goodness!

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.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! If you missed yesterday’s post about a special Creative Freedom John Bradbury board, please do check it out. I was thrilled to get these pics from a reader, and equally excited to share it with the rest of you. Today’s post also would not be possible if it weren’t for a thoughtful and generous reader. A big thanks goes out to Danny, who sent me an awesome Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure that was likely published sometime during the mid Eighties. You can follow Danny on Instagram here. Usually, Sagas of Shred highlights vintage surf ads, but given how awesome the Eaton Surfboards brochure was, I figured it was worth the change.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure 1
This is the outside of the brochure. When it’s folded up in booklet form, the Eaton logo in the far right flap serves as the cover for the brochure, and the middle panel is the back cover. I love the t-shirt designs and the signature from the middle panel.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Brochure 2
This is the interior of the brochure, showing the different Mike Eaton Surfboards models. Check out the signature airbrush designs on the rails.

The Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure is a folded up booklet, but as you can see from the photos above, I unfolded it and scanned each side of the document. Apologies if the formatting is a little strange, but I figured this was the best way to show off the content.

I love everything about this brochure. It is immediately recognizable as a document from a much older time. Danny, who sent the document to me, guesses it was likely from the mid Eighties or so. On one hand, I wouldn’t write this blog if I didn’t love vintage surfboards and anything related to them, but contrasting the brochure above with, say, Hayden Shapes’ Instagram profile makes me acutely aware of how differently surfboards are sold today. (For what it’s worth, I dig Hayden Shapes and their branding.)

I have actually never seen the different Eaton Surfboards models explained in this kind of detail. The only time I got any info around Eaton model names was when Steve, another awesome reader, sent me photos of this Eaton Bonzer UEO model, which you can see below. Judging from the brochure, the Eaton UEO was offered strictly as a Bonzer setup.

It’s interesting to note that SDKT and Semi models are offered in either single fin or Bonzer setups. I have heard that SDKT stands for “Step Deck Kick Tail”, and I’m guessing that Semi refers to what looks to be a semi gun outline. There isn’t a twinzer to be found in this lineup, either. I wish I had more info on the model names — if anyone does, please do let me know.

Finally, I noticed that the SDKT and UEO models have very specific lengths assigned to them. If I’m interpreting things correctly, the SDKT comes in 8’0″, 8’6″, 9’0″ and 9’6″; and the UEO comes in 7’3″, 7’6″, and 7’9″.

Thanks again to Danny for sending me this thing through the mail. Honestly, I’m so stoked just to be able to scan it and share it online where it can be seen by others. If you have any similar kinds of materials definitely let me know! I am always interested in seeing this stuff and writing posts about it, so don’t be shy and drop me a line.

We’ll be back next Thursday and resume our regularly scheduled Sagas of Shred, with some vintage surf ads for your viewing pleasure.

Note: Post edited on Jan 6 2019 to update details on the SDKT model

Social Media Roundup (May 22 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a random selection of cool Instagram posts that I have come across. Without any further ado:

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‘67 – ‘71 was a transitional period. Thicker (or thinner), shorter, knife-ier rails; performance and surfing styles were evolving constantly. The pintail, along with the #McTavish V-Bottom, were the performance traits of the day. This particular Yater shape was specifically designed for speeding down the fast waves of Rincon, just on the cusp of the shortboard. Interesting Fact: Renny’s wedge stringer (seen here) was created to minimize the weak point of the fin in the stringer by splitting the stringer around the fin.  It is unique to his shapes. . . . 1968 “No Name” • Foam, Glass • Shaper: R. Yater . . . Check out our upcoming documentary on Santa Barbara surf heritage 🗿 “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story,” directed by Wyatt Daily with @PaintShopLA (link in bio). Board courtesy of Roger Nance of @surfnwearbeachhouse. 📷 @Wyatt_Daily . . . #SpoonsFilm #Yater #1968 #rennyyater #pintail #Longboard #singlefin #vbottom #SantaBarbara #SBSurf #BeachHouse #SurfHistory #History #Handcrafted #handshaped#Foam #Surfboard #ClassicSurfboard #Classics #YaterFilm #RinconFilm #PaintShopLA

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Here at Shred Sledz we are firm believers that Renny Yater can do no wrong. While Yater’s noseriders and his single fins are among his most classic shapes, I also love his more unusual boards, like the hull pictured above. Check out this write up of a Yater single fin that sold recently.

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8'6" #eatonsurfboards #bonzer #ace 1992

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I am fascinated by the Bonzer and all its various iterations, but the holy trinity has to be the Campbell Brothers, who created the shape; the Bing Bonzer; and Mike Eaton’s take on the multi-finned design. The concave on this Mike Eaton bonzer is a trip — it almost looks like there’s a small hump near the center fin. Gotta love the airbrush on the rails (forget who the name of the artist is, but you’ll often see similar designs on Eaton’s boards).

Echo Beach era Wave Tools boards are all pretty outrageous, but this one just might take the cake. The warped checkerboard on one side and then the red and pink stripes on the other is completely excessive…and perfect. You know I’m a sucker for branded fins and oversized Clark Foam lams. This Wave Tools Lance Collins twin fin ticks every checkbox on the list.

Leave it to Luis Real to come through with an amazing Mike Diffenderfer shaped Lightning Bolt single fin! The board has been “semi-restored”, and while I prefer the character of all-original boards, there’s no denying the pedigree or radness of this stick.

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i poached this from @casurfmuseum . if you aren’t following or supporting them some how, you are blowing it!!!! below is the text to support this post , swipe -> to check all of the 3+ minutes. shit is MENTAL!!!!!! ……………………………. ・・・ ⚡️J O H N S E V E R S O N ⚡️ presents ⚡️B A N Z A I P I P E L I N E ⚡️ This film is from 1962 and could be ordered out of the back of @surfer_magazine for $5. This film is extremely rare and hasn’t been seen in over 50 years. The music by Link Wray was added recently. The surfers in the film aren’t named but we have a pretty good idea who these legends are, we’d love to hear your guesses too. Make sure you bring the whole family in to tour our newest exhibit “Salute to Pipeline” sponsored by @billabong @josecuervotequila @wsl @visitoceanside . . If you #repost please tag us. Thanks. . . #northshore #oahu #hawaii #pipeline #johnseverson #surf #surfing #film #8mm #digital #photography

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The post above is not a surfboard, per se, but it’s safe to say that surf culture as we know it would not exist without John Severson’s influence. The late, great Severson is best known as the creator of Surfer Magazine, but he was also an artist and a filmmaker. I’ve really been digging the graphic design on various Severson creations — things like posters and lobby cards for his early films — and I love that someone unearthed a clean copy of an old Super 8 movie he made. The packaging is amazing!

Foiled: Mystery Bing Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a very interesting example from one of the all-time great American surfboard brands: Bing Surfboards. Pictured below is a vintage Bing single fin that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below are via the listing.

A few things about the board stand out. First, the board looks fantastic. The seller claims the Bing single fin pictured above was shaped in 1981. If so — and I have no reason to dispute the date — the board is in great condition for its age. It’s also hard to miss the detailed airbrush on the bottom. If you look closely at the left-most picture, you’ll notice the airbrush extends to the rails, too. In fact, the airbrush on the rails looks like a more subtle version of the signature look of Mike Eaton Bonzers.

Eaton Bonzer 6'7" 1.jpg
Classic example of a Mike Eaton Bonzer. Check out the detailed airbrush on the rails, which is very similar to the design on the Bing single fin above. Pic via eBay

Eaton, of course, famously shaped under the Bing label for many years. Stoked-n-Board claims Eaton was shaping for Bing between 1965 and 2001, and given the airbrush design, I think it’s very possible the board pictured above was made by Eaton. That said, the listing does not mention an Eaton signature anywhere, nor is one visible in any of the pictures.

The other interesting thing about the Bing single fin pictured above is the phoenix logo on the bottom of the board.

Vintage Bing Single Fin Surfboard 10.jpg
Close up shot of the phoenix logo found on the bottom of the vintage Bing single fin. And how about that paint job?! Pic via Craigslist

The Bing single fin above is interesting because it is the only time I have ever seen the Bing phoenix logo appear on a board that was not a Bing Australian Foil or a Maui Foil model. When I initially saw the board for sale, I figured it was an Australian Foil that I had simply never seen before. However, every other Australian Foil and Maui Foil I have seen has also had a script laminate with the model name. I do not believe the Bing single fin at the top of the page is an Australian or Maui Foil model.

Bing Australian Foil Logo.jpg
Clean example of a Bing Australian Foil logo. You’ll notice the phoenix design is the same

Furthermore, the “eye” Bing Surfboards logo is off-set on the Foil Models to make room for the script laminates. On the Bing single fin at the top of the page, though, the Bing Surfboards “eye” logo is centered beneath the phoenix laminate.

Does the presence of the phoenix logo on a non-Foil Bing single fin mean anything special? Honestly, I doubt it. But I always love examples of unusual vintage surfboards, and the Bing single fin above certainly seems to fit the bill. It’s being offered for sale on Craigslist and the price is $550. If you’re interested, you can check out the board here.

Vintage Bing Bonzer Duo

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post brings you a pair of vintage Bing Bonzer boards that are currently for sale on Craigslist. I wrote up another Bing Bonzer earlier this month — check out that post here. Without any further ado, here are the boards:

Vintage Bing Bonzer #1: 7’1″ with Diamond Tail (For Sale on Craigslist Ventura)

Pics above are via the Craigslist posting. The yellow vintage Bing Bonzer pictured above is in pretty good condition considering it’s 40+ years old. Still, you can see some obvious spots on the deck where repairs were made. The deck has some sun damage, but now we’re just nitpicking. The glass-on side bite fins are remarkably well preserved, and I just love the Bonzer logo! The last shot gives a great close-up of the concave in the tail. The seller is asking $800 for this board.

Vintage Bing Bonzer #2: Dimensions Unknown (For Sale on Craigslist Orange County)

Pics above via the Craigslist posting. Sadly, no dimensions are provided, but the board is very similar to the first vintage Bing Bonzer featured in this post. It’s nice to see a slightly different color combination, too: Board #2 has a green Bonzer logo on the side bite fins, and then a red Bing logo on the deck.

Vintage Bing Bonzer 4.jpg
Close-up shot of the tail. Pic via Craigslist.

One thing that stands out about Board #2 is the different fin. Board #1’s fin looks like it is plastic, whereas Board #2 could be fiberglass. It’s difficult for me to say without looking at each board in person. If anyone has info on the original fins that came with vintage Bing Bonzer surfboards, let me know! This board is listed at $500, which seems like a great price for a Bing Bonzer in great condition.

It’s unclear to me who shaped each of these boards. The vintage Bing Bonzer I wrote up earlier bore Mike Eaton signatures (which were not pictured in the post). Both of the Bonzers above do not have any markings that I could discern.

Finally, you can see that both boards have standard Bing logos on the decks. At some point, however, Bing produced a combination Bing Bonzer logo. I have included one below. Stoked-n-Board offers up some clues for dating the boards above, via the logo designs. According to S-n-B’s excellent Bing entry, the non-Bonzer variant of the logo was produced starting in 1970. S-n-B claims the Bing Bonzer logo,  pictured directly below, was used beginning in 1972. By that math, both vintage Bing Bonzers above were likely produced between 1970 and 1972. This is by no means definitive, but that’s the best I could come up with.

Vintage Bing Bonzer Logo
Here is a version of the Bing Bonzer logo that was reportedly used starting in 1972. Note that both boards featured above have the standard Bing logo with no reference to the Bonzer.

Check out Board #1 here, and Board #2 can be found here.

Bing Bonzer by Mike Eaton

Pictured below is a Bing Bonzer shaped by Mike Eaton that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the board here. The Bonzer was invented by the Campbell Brothers in the late 1960s / early 1970s in Ventura, California. Their website has an excellent overview of the history of the design. The design, which predated the thruster by almost a decade, endures today. The board above, however, harkens back to the original days of the Bonzer, when it was first released in collaboration with Bing Surfboards.

Mike Eaton was one of the head shapers at Bing during the early 1970s, and he continued to shape Bonzers even after leaving the label. The Bing Bonzer pictured above measures in at 6’9″, and it looks like it’s in great condition. Check out the last shot for the close up of the branded Bonzer side bites. I can’t decide if the 70s themed color scheme is ridiculous in a good way, or, as the New York Times put it, harkens to “the decade that taste seemed to forget.”

The real star of the show is the tail of the board. Check out the Bonzer branding on the side bite fins. It looks like the board has its original fin, which isn’t always a guarantee when dealing with boards from the 1970s. Note the bolt located behind the fin, which has a loop around it holding the string that is attached. This indicates that the board was likely shaped before the leash became popularized. Take a look at the two pictures above for a nice close-up of the dramatic double concave in the tail. Later on, when Eaton shaped Bonzers under his own name, he continued to produce boards with extremely deep concaves.

Eaton Bonzer Bottom The Board Source.jpg
Example of another Eaton Bonzer tail. Look at the scooped out double concaves. Pic via The Board Source

Mike Eaton Bonzer Explanation.JPG
Mike Eaton’s handwritten explanation on the hydrodynamics of the Bonzer design. All I know is if it’s good enough for Taylor Knox, it’s good enough for me! Pic via Eaton Surfboards

The seller is asking $700 for the board. You can find a link to the board here. I am a bit torn on the price. First, it’s not every day you find a genuine Bing Bonzer in good condition. That said, a first generation 6’10” Bing Bonzer failed to sell at the 2013 California Vintage Surf Auction. Estimates for that board ranged from $300 – $600, which seems low to me.

Sadly, as I mentioned in a previous post, it appears that Mike Eaton suffered a serious stroke in 2015. See this page for updates on his condition, but it has not been changed since December 2015. Mike, if you are reading this, thank you for your contributions to surfboard history, and we wish you nothing but the best!