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.

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

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (4/8)

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your weekend has started off in style. As always, see below for some selections from the wonderful world of social media.

Shaped by Alan Byrne by hand for Sam to ride Pipe. 10'4".

A post shared by Andrew Kidman The Windy Hills (@andrewkidman) on

Allan Byrne, the force behind Byrning Spears, tragically passed away a few years ago as the result of a motorcycle accident in Bali. His legacy as the world’s pre-eminent shaper of channel bottom boards remains, though, as shown in this Instagram post by Andrew Kidman. The board in the post is an absolute beast, measuring at 10’4″ and designed to tame Pipeline. The surfer is underground Aussie charger Sam Yoon, who was written up in a nice Surfer profile that can be found here.

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (4/8)”

Mike Eaton for Bing Surfboards

This might be my very first post about Bing Surfboards. Considering Bing’s place in surf history, that means this post is very much overdue!

I know I use the word “classic” a lot, but hey, I just so happen to write about some pretty sick surfboards. Bing is a quintessential California surf label, co-founded by two men who have earned their right in surfing’s history books: namesake Bing Copeland, and Rick Stoner, who later founded his own eponymous label.

I stumbled across a fantastic little Bing transitional shape that is still available on Craigslist in the San Diego area, which you can find here. The poster claims the board was shaped by Mike Eaton, who was one of the early advocates of the bonzer shape. You can clearly see Eaton’s name (though it is stamped, not signed) on the stringer in the last picture.

I can’t quite figure out what model this board might be. According to Stoked-n-Board, Eaton shaped for the label between 1965 and 2001. You can see a stamp on the stringer that indicates this board was shaped on August 15 1977, which places it towards the very end of the transitional era. The 360 logo on the board is also a giveaway for this time period. Curiously, the 360 logo isn’t listed on S-n-B’s page for Bing Surfboards, which seems like a big oversight given that you often see it on Bing boards from this time period.

The board is 9′ and 23.5″ wide. It also features a step deck. There’s another inscription on the stringer that says “Pinski”, which I am having trouble placing. It doesn’t seem to correspond to a specific Bing model, so I’m wondering if maybe this was a custom shape for someone with that name.

And if you’re into classic Bing shapes, there is an entire website dedicated to the topic: Classic Bing Surfboards. One page features a whole bunch of pics of Bing boards from the 1960s, and there’s a separate page featuring some cool transitional shapes.

They’re asking $500 for the board – reasonable, but not a steal – and you can find it on Craigslist here.

Zinger Bonzer by Mike Eaton

Mike Eaton, alongside the Campbell Brothers, is one of the shapers best known for his contributions to the Bonzer.

This board, via Craigslist in Orange County, is pretty funky. It looks to be an Eaton Zinger shape, which is basically considered a twin-fin Bonzer, even though it’s technically a quad fin setup. Look at the deep channels in the board, too – that’s one of the signatures of Eaton’s Bonzer shapes.

Eaton also has a .pdf of an in-depth Surfers Journal article up on his site, which can be found here. It mainly focuses on the Campbell Brothers and their tireless efforts to get the respect for the Bonzer it deserved, but it’s very much worth a read if you’re at all interested.

The board looks to be in great shape and it’s on sale for $395. The poster claims it was shaped in 1994, which isn’t quite vintage yet, but it’s still rad in my eyes. Sadly, Eaton looks to have suffered a stroke in January 2015, and it’s unclear if he is shaping boards again. Our best wishes to Mike – you can see the blog on his website for updates on his condition.

You can find the board here.