Nat’s Nat and That’s That: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! I have returned from a long and relaxing trip back to the East Coast. I may have timed the trip perfectly to miss out on the swell that’s beginning to fill in, but hey, at least I have access to my back issues of Surfer Magazine and a scanner. Today we’ve got a Quiksilver ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Mag featuring none other than all-around legend Nat Young. Young has been making the news lately for the upcoming release of his new book, “Church of the Open Sky.”

Funnily enough, one of Young’s earlier books was titled “Nat’s Nat and That’s That”, echoing the copy you see in the Quiksilver ad posted at the top of the page.

I’m eagerly awaiting “Church of the Open Sky.” Not only does Young boast a championship resume, he has shown himself to be a thoughtful historian of all things surf related.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday with more Sagas of Shred!

Cruisin’: Nat Young for Rip Curl

Greetings, Shredderz! Apologies for the relatively sparse posting schedule this week. That said, they say it’s all about quality, and not quantity, and I can’t think of many things better than this 1981 Rip Curl ad featuring the great Nat Young. I absolutely love the surfboard Nat’s got tucked under his arm. If you look closely you can see the clean and simple “Nat Young Surf Design” text in black.

Nat Young Surfboards
An enviable lineup of Nat Young Surfboards 70s single fins. Photo is via the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook

I don’t really see a ton of Nat Young Surf Design boards. I imagine that’s due to the fact I live in California. The photo above is courtesy of the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook, which I would say leans towards Aussie shapers and labels.

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, it shouldn’t surprise you that the great surfresearch.com.au has extensive information on the Nat Young Surf Design label. Check out the entry on Nat Young here, which also has links at the bottom for a variety of different Nat Young shapes. I’ve written before about the fascinating intersection of Australian and Hawaiian surfboard design influences, such as this Terry Fitzgerald Lightning Bolt shape, and it remains one of my favorite topics in surf history. According to Surf Research’s wonderful site, Nat Young drew inspiration from Hawaiians like Harold “Iggy” Ige and Joey Cabell for his equipment, especially during the Transition Era. I wish the Rip Curl ad at the top of the page showed more of the board itself, but alas, we only get a glimpse of the outline.

The Nat Young Rip Curl ad you see here originally ran in in the July 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 22, No 7). I’m guessing the photo was likely taken sometime in 1980. Surf Research details a couple of 1981 Nat Young Surf Design sticks with early thruster setups. Given all these timelines, I wonder if the Nat Young Surf Design board in the Rip Curl ad was shaped towards the end of Young’s single fin phase, right as the rest of the surf world began to embrace Simon Anderson’s thruster invention.

Thanks for checking out the blog and check in next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads, as part of Sagas of Shred!