Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick hit for your viewing pleasure: a Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson single fin that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist. The board you see here was originally posted early last month, but the listing has since been taking down. All the photos you see in this blog post are via the original Craigslist listing and the board does not belong to me.

As you can see, the main draw of the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board is the combination of the label, the shaper, and of course, the psychedelic airbrush spray on the bottom. Click the photos above to enlarge them.

Closeup of the airbrush on the Rainbow Mike Hynson board; artwork done by Peter St Pierre.

According to the original listing, the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board you see above sports an early airbrush from Peter St Pierre. St Pierre still sprays boards today, out of the Moonlight / Christenson factory in San Diego. You can find St Pierre on Instagram here.

I thought the board was particularly interesting in light of the recent sale of a somewhat similar board at the California Gold Surf Auction. (See here for my writeup of some boards I liked best at the show.) A different Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board was auctioned at the show, and it ended up closing for a tidy $26,000. You can find the auction board here. Granted, the auction board is in impeccable condition. Likewise, the auction board sports a Peter St Pierre airbrush. See below for a closeup of the airbrush on the Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson board that was sold at the auction. [EDIT: See below for additional info on the airbrush for both boards.]

Close up of the airbrush on the auction board, also done by Peter St Pierre

As you can see, there are some clear similarities between the two boards. The Craigslist board is in far worse condition, but it was listed for a way more modest $1,000 originally. There’s no saying what the final sale price was, but in general, auction boards tend to attract higher price tags, given that they’re usually carefully selected for condition and rarity.

Anyway, here are two rad examples of Rainbow Surfboards Mike Hynson sticks, and I hope you enjoy those insane airbrushes as much as I do!

[EDIT: At a minimum, the Craigslist board’s airbrush was done by Starman, and not Peter St. Pierre. I posted the Craigslist board on Instagram and in the comments Mike Hynson Jr confirmed that the Craigslist board had been signed by Starman. Personally, I don’t know what the signature looks like or how to identify it, but I’ll take his word on it! It seems to me that the Craigslist board and the auction board were likely airbrushed by the same person, but I can’t confirm. Thanks to Joel Tudor for bringing the post to Mike’s attention!]

Social Media Roundup: Tom Curren Skip Frye Fish and More

Greetings, Shredderz! If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, I humbly ask you to check out my IG page, where I post a vintage surfboard daily. More to the point, here are some of my favorite Instagram posts from recent history:

Here’s a great post that shows some detailed pics of the famous Skip Frye fish that was surfed by both Tom Curren and Derek Hynd. Curiously enough, I can’t find a ton of definitive info on the board, which you would think would be pretty easy, considering it had two well-known owners and was featured in Andrew Kidman’s “Litmus.” The Frye fish is also not to be confused with the Tommy Peterson “Fireball Fish” that Curren famously rode in maxing Indo in the mid-Nineties. (There’s a long thread on the Surfer Forum that contains some additional context.) Finally, Kidman’s site has a pic that indicates there were two Skip Frye fish shaped for Curren and/or Hynd. Long story short, I might not have the entire story straight yet, but you can’t go wrong with a pic of Tom Curren holding a Skip Frye fish! Photo at the top of the page by Ted Grambeau and originally featured in Surfer Magazine.

Sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that Tom Morey, despite his status as one of surfing’s all-time innovators, is still underrated. That board looks insane even from a cursory glance, and when you realize it was made in 1969 that’s when the alarm bells start going off. It’s a gorgeous photgraph, too.

And while we’re on the subject of fishes, here’s a stunning board posted by Orange County surfer, artist and shaper Tyler Warren. I love the Yater-style logo, and the red color is just too clean and classy. If you dig into the comments there’s a bit of lively debate about the board’s origins, and it seems like the board could have been shaped by Rich Pavel, not Steve Lis. Regardless of the back story, I’d love to have that sled in my quiver.

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And then there were two. Lucky enough to score another Rainbow Hynson this week. The one with the opaque deck shaped in 1970, spray by Ogden and pin line by @tapedoff . Board #100 The other is also a 1970 Rainbow Hynson airbrush John Bredin board #126. Reached out to John Bredin and this is what he said about the board: Ahh, thanks Luke, yes that’s definitely one that Hynson and (Steve Moray possibly) shaped, I sprayed and Peter Pinline did the ink work on for Rainbow. The 7 chakras leading to expanded consciousness. Looks like it had the nose weight slot? Take a shot of it straight on for me if you can. Looks pretty faded which is unusual, they seemed to hold up pretty well. Have you shown it to John Frazier? He’s got several of the old ones too. Currently owns Rainbow label. I love getting the credits from Sam Cody and Peter St. Pierre when people ask about the old days. It all started in the Surfboards Hawaii factory. Takayama is still using the logo I did for Donald back in that factory. There were some really nice Casters done after the Rainbow era. I did some for Chris O’Rourk. There were some private ones that Hynson shaped and I sprayed for locals we knew that we ran through the Bahne shop that had no logos on them. A couple for a guy named Hopper with the infamous “black dot” crew’s logo. One of those found its way through Steve Clark to the surfboard history museum in Oceanside. Steve had to explain to them that the black dot WAS the logo. I tried to get into selling my work to the photoprint process but didn’t have much luck at it. I’ll attach one I did for that. Also check my site for more recent commercial work and fine art painting. I collected a few images of Rainbows I did when I came out there for the California Gold Surf Auction and they auctioned off one of Johnny Gail’s personal boards that had that sort of pinlining on it. #vintagesurfboard

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Finally, we have a pair of Mike Hynson Rainbow Surfboards sticks with some truly next level airbrushes. As far as psychedelic artwork goes, I’d have to say that Rainbow Surfboards probably takes the cake. The caption contains some nice history on the Rainbow label, too.

“The Endless Summer” Mike Hynson Surfboard

As many of you already know, Bruce Brown, the filmmaker behind “The Endless Summer”, recently passed away. “The Endless Summer” is one of the rare surf movies to have achieved mainstream success. And while “The Endless Summer” is best known as a movie that captures the inherent grace and simplicity of the surfing lifestyle, it also happens to feature some pretty rad surfboards as well. And what better way to celebrate Brown’s life, and his signature film, than to spotlight a reproduction of the Hobie surfboard that star Mike Hynson sports throughout “The Endless Summer.”

Endless Summer Mike Hynson Surfboard Hobie.jpg
Still from “The Endless Summer.” Hynson is on the right.

I’m not quite sure what happened to the original board from the movie, but in the years since the film’s release, Hobie and Hynson have released some reproductions of the board. In fact, there is one that is currently for sale on Craigslist in Tampa Bay, Florida. You can find a link to the board here.

As you can see, the board is a beautiful reproduction of the striped Hobie surfcraft that Mike Hynson can be seen riding throughout the film. There are a ton of gorgeous details, too, like a lovely glass-on fin, the dual logos — including a pretty enormous Hobie laminate — and a signature from Hynson himself.

The Hobie / Endless Summer Mike Hynson board pictured here also comes with a certificate of authenticity. Unlike the certificates offered by folks like Terry Fitzgerald, it’s more of a letter written by Hobie Surfboards, dating the board to 2012 and providing some basic background on the shape. Even though the board is signed by Mike Hynson, the letter cryptically mentions that the board was “hand finished” by Hobie shaper Gary Larson. I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but I tend to think it’s unlikely that Hynson did a ton of the shaping himself. The mention of hand finishing makes me wonder if these replicas weren’t machine shaped off an original Mike Hynson template before some finishing touches they were put on. To be clear, this is a very common practice in modern surfboard production, but I don’t think these modern Hobie / Endless Summer Mike Hynson boards are hand shaped from start to finish.

Then again, the entire point of the Hobie Endless Summer replica is to celebrate the film in all its glory. There are very few movies that can claim to have forever changed the trajectory of an entire culture, and “The Endless Summer” belongs in that small, elite club. The surfing world will forever be indebted to Bruce Brown for the loving way in which he documented surfing and shared it with the rest of the world.

You can check out the listing for the board here.

Mike Hynson for Bahne Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a lovely surfboard that involves a few of the best-known figures in San Diego surf history, including none other than Mike Hynson. Over his long and illustrious career, Hynson has been associated with many well-known labels from his own label, Hynson Surfboards, to other recognizable brands like Rainbow Surfboards, Gordon & Smith, and Bahne. Hynson’s history is a colorful one, often quite literally. He first burst onto the scene as one of the stars of “The Endless Summer”, and then became a figurehead of sorts for the psychedelic 70s, thanks to the equally trippy and elaborate airbrushes on his boards. For an excellent rundown on Hynson’s involvement with drugs and the notorious Brotherhood of Eternal Love, I recommend this long-form Surfline feature on the subject.

Mike Hynson Surfboards Downrailer Gun Airbrush Jeremiah Klein
Close up shot of the Hynson downrailer featured in the picture at the top of the page. Photo by Jeremiah Klein; pic via Surfline

Hynson Surfboards is still in business today, and the man himself continues to churn out hand shaped designs. Today’s post concerns an older board that, upon first look, doesn’t have any overt ties to Hynson.

First, a little background: Hynson is widely credited with creating the down rail, which helped usher in a new era of high-performance surfing during the 1970s. None other than all-around guru Gerry Lopez claims the down rail was one of the critical elements in turning shortboards into fully functional surf craft. One little-known fact about the down rail is that one of Hynson’s first test pilots for the design was none other than Herbie Fletcher!

It’s difficult to put together an exact timeline of when Hynson shaped for the various surfboard labels with which he is associated. Gordon & Smith was an early stop, and Hynson’s signature red fin model is still coveted by collectors today. Hynson worked at Hobie and also founded Rainbow Surfboards in 1970, according to the Encyclopedia of Surfing.

The board pictured above is a rare example of a Hynson shaped downrailer that was created for Bahne during Hynson’s brief tenure at the brand, which took place between 1969 and 1970. It is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, and you can find a link to the board here. The Bahne Hynson downrailer measures 6’8″ and it has been restored by Sam Cody, who works on glassing boards at Bing Surfboards today.

Hynson Surfboards Bahne Downrailer 6.jpg
You can clearly see the down rail design in the picture above. This may look pretty unremarkable by modern standards, but that’s the point: compared to Transition Era boards in the late 1960s, Hynson’s down rail designs represented huge performance gains

According to the seller, Bahne produced these downrailers in production quantities during 1969 and 1970, and the boards were shaped by Hynson himself. (Stoked-n-Board claims Hynson shaped for Bahne only during 1970; however, both Surfy Surfy and the board’s seller claim 1969 was the year Hynson started, so I’m going with 1969.) There is no signature on the board. Nonetheless, I believe the seller’s account, given that he is a current surfboard industry executive and a knowledgeable collector. The seller also took the board to both Bill Bahne and Mike Hynson, who confirmed that the board was shaped during 1969 / 1970 in the old Bahne factory, which was located on top of the hill on Westlake in Encinitas.

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Appropriately mystical spray job by Gary Brummett

But wait! There’s even more back story. The seller believes the airbrush was done by Gary Brummett, an artist who also did some pinline and resin work with Surfboards Hawaii. The seller initially showed the board to Peter St. Pierre, founder of Moonlight Glassing and father of the owner of Leucadia shop Surfy Surfy. It was St. Pierre who identified the airbrush as being the work of Gary Brummett.

While the Bahne Hynson downrailer above doesn’t bear a Hynson signature, there are a few other Bahne boards that do.

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Bahne Mike Hynson surfboard, as originally seen on Surfy Surfy. Click through to their blog for more pics of the board, which is another example of a 1969 downrailer.

To no one’s surprise, Surfy Surfy has a great example of a different Bahne / Hynson board. See the photo above. It’s interesting to see the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” laminate right beneath the Bahne logo.

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Another example of a Bahne / Hynson collaboration. Even though Hynson definitely shaped for Bahne, I tend to think the “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” logo is a laminate. Pic via Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Facebook)

There’s another example of a Bahne Hynson shape on Facebook. You can find the link to the board here. The board is also dated to the late 1960s, according to the poster. I highly recommend clicking through, as the board has a beautiful acid splash paint job and it is in beautiful condition.

Hynson Surfboards and its creator have a long and illustrious history that is well-deserving of another, more in-depth post. In the meantime, however, enjoy the evidence of Hynson’s time at legendary Bahne Surfboards. Finally, you can find a link to the Bahne / Hynson downrailer being offered for sale here.

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup: #Fryeday Edition (September 1)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here to take you into the weekend is a celebration of one of California’s finest board builders, one Harry “Skip” Frye. Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal for a comprehensive look at Skip’s personal quiver. In the meantime, here are some social media selections showing off Skip’s shapes…

I wrote about this Skip Frye single fin when it was posted on Craigslist…and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it! This is the only Frye I have seen with a Select Surf Shop laminate, and it’s got a sick little wing pin outline to boot. I’m glad that it found a good home with Buggs, who runs Surfboard Line. The board has been fixed up and looks better than ever. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures!

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A palm reflection off two Skip Frye's

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Taylor Knox owes his long career to his powerful rail surfing. It’s difficult to imagine him laying these gliders into his patented spray-chucking carves, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Taylor Knox! I’m just stoked to see this unexpected but rad union between two opposite ends of the famously varied spectrum that is San Diego surfing. Don’t hold your breath for Joel Tudor to bust out a high performance thruster, though…

I don’t know a word of Japanese, but I do know how to recognize an incredible quiver when I see one…

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Holy Grail. Art and shape by Skip Frye.

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This board is a bit of a mystery, but don’t skip over it because of the abstract picture! Skip Frye shaped this board for use at Jeffrey’s Bay, and it ended up being ridden by Derek Hynd (and I believe Tom Curren, too). You can read more about the board and the session in Andrew Kidman’s forthcoming Beyond Litmus book.

A young Skip Frye holding an early Gordon & Smith board. Interesting to note Skip’s board doesn’t have any Frye logos on it — it must pre-date his signature models for the brand.

Mike Hynson: Hand Shaped vs Regular

Here’s a great example of the maddeningly subtle differences between a hand shaped board and a “close but no cigar” example.

Hynson Surfboards, the namesake of “Endless Summer” star Mike Hynson, is currently selling two boards on Craigslist with small but meaningful differences.

The first board can be found here. It’s the Coke bottle tinted board above with the red fin and the triple stringer. If you look closely at the signature on the board, it says “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson.” This is the real deal – a board completely hand made by a famous California shaper.

The second board you can see here. It’s also a longboard with a triple stringer and boasts the red fin design that has become something of a hallmark of Hynson’s boards. However, note that the stringer only has a Mike Hynson signature and an ohm signal. This board is not a handshape. It was machine cut, and while the outline is designed by Hynson, it wasn’t crafted start to finish by the man himself.

This is made clear in the pricing of the boards, too. The handshape is going for $2500, and the other board is a lot cheaper at $1500.

While it’s clear that a board signed “Designed and Hand Shaped by Mike Hynson” is the real deal, some questions remain about boards that simply have Mike’s signature and then an ohm insignia. In an earlier post I wrote about a Hynson, I also linked to an older Hynson single fin being sold at Surfy Surfy. The single fin at Surfy Surfy doesn’t have the “Designed and Hand Shaped” signature, but who knows, it still could be a genuine shape. More than anything else, I think this is a good example of pointing out how hard it can be to divine the exact origins of a surfboard, even with seemingly clear evidence.

Recent Mike Hynson Single Fin

Surfer or not, you have likely heard of “The Endless Summer”, filmmaker Bruce Brown’s timeless ode to surfing, and one of the few surf movies to receive equally rapturous responses from surfing insiders as well as the mainstream (alongside “In God’s Hands”, of course.)

Mike Hynson, one of the stars of “The Endless Summer”, went on to a distinguished career as a surfboard shaper. Hyson’s life is a compelling story of its own, sadly filled with more drama and lows than the movie that made him famous, recounted in an autobiography released in 2011.

What we have here, via Craigslist in San Diego, is a 9′2″ Hynson hand shaped board with a clear signature on the stringer. The signature includes the “Om” symbol, a favorite of Hynson’s. You can see another example of an excellent and clear Hynson signature here, via a board that was once on sale at peerless San Diego shop Surfy Surfy.

The best part about this listing? The board is going for a mere $525. I think this is a steal. There’s a 9′0″ on sale directly from Hynson’s website currently going for $1500.  Hynson is 74 and while he’s still shaping today, I think it’s likely that his most prolific days are behind him. Surfers and shapers don’t get any more legendary than one of the guys who starred in “The Endless Summer”. And most importantly, of course, Hynson’s pedigree as a shaper cannot be overstated.

Check the listing here.