Greetings, Shredderz! For today’s Sagas of Shred entry we have not one but two ads featuring Seventies LA fixture Nathan Pratt. Both ads also feature legendary South Bay labels of yesteryear.
First up we have a Body Glove advert from the June 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 20, No 6). Look, I know this is ostensibly a vintage surfboard blog, but I gotta say what we’re all thinking: who knew Nathan Pratt had such a spectacular head of hair? That’s not even counting the mustache, by the way. I say this about all of the old vintagewetsuit ads I write up, but I love the wetsuit itself. That original logo with the old font on the white background would look great on a t-shirt today. The side panels on the suit are another unmistakable Seventies touch.
The second ad, scanned from the same issue of Surfer, finds Nathan Pratt in a more familiar pose: about to deliver another slash to an unsuspecting Malibu wall. From what I can gather, Horizons West was a Santa Monica surf shop that was part of the extended Zephyr universe. Pratt was a Zephyr Surfboards team rider. At some point Pratt went on to shape and ride for Horizons West, but I’m not sure when.
One final bonus: if you look closely at the Horizons West ad, you’ll notice the photo was taken by none other than CR Stecyk III. It’s not every day that you see a small surf shop ad featuring the work of a famous American artist, but this would be the exception.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back in a week with more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! Your Shreditor in Chief is still on the road — not on a surf trip, alas — which means that I’ll be relying on my advanced Google skills to bring you more vintage surf ads. Today’s Sagas of Shred entry features an awesome Seventies Body Glove ad, which you can see pictured above. I found the ad on the Urban Outfitters website, of all places. It seems that UO has done a few surf-themed re-issues lately, including a separate mini-revival of the beloved Gotcha brand.
The notable thing about the Body Glove ad is that it prominently features a few Zephyr Surfboards team riders. Zephyr is the legendary Venice Beach, Los Angeles brand from which modern skateboarding emerged, along with figures like Stacy Peralta, Jay Adams, CR Stecyk, Tony Alva, and more.
The ad features a young Jay Adams (RIP); Nathan Pratt, who would later go on to found the LA-based Horizons West surfboard label; and a fully swagged out Allen Sarlo. (I featured a different Allen Sarlo / Body Glove ad a few weeks back, too.) I can’t tell what kind of board Pratt is holding, but you’ll notice it’s a sting with an unusual dual wing. Adams is toting a swallow tail Zephyr Team single fin, complete with signature Jeff Ho fin; and Sarlo has an absolutely classic Zephyr with what could very well be a CR Stecyk airbrush.
If you’re ever bored just look up a list of all the incredible shapers based out of the South Bay, starting with folks like Bing Copeland and Greg Noll, to Seventies fixtures like Jeff Ho, to current craftsmen like Tyler Hatzikian. California has no shortage of places with a rich history in surfing, but even by that standard, Los Angeles stands out. To me, the story of Zephyr and its incredible influence on skateboarding, surfing, and what we now take for granted as “California culture” is still underrated.
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with another vintage surf ad for Sagas of Shred!