Weekend Grab Bag: Bill Stewart Airbrush & More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s another installment of our Weekend Grab Bag series, which features cool boards I have seen listed for sale online recently. Keep reading for the rundown, including a rad OP surfboard with a sweet Bill Stewart airbrush, and more…

Surf Line Hawaii Fish (Craigslist Hawaii)

Surf Line Hawaii Fish.jpg

The board above is an unusual twin fin fish with a classic Seventies Surf Line Hawaii laminate on it. I wrote a Deep Dive on Surf Line Hawaii a while back, and it remains one of my favorite blog posts, even if it doesn’t seem to be all that popular. I’m not sure who shaped the board, and I suspect it might have been originally made as a twin fin, but just about every other Surf Line Hawaii surfboard I have seen is a Seventies single fin.

Dewey Weber Ski Model (Craigslist Hawaii)

Click the photos above to enlarge. This is a gorgeous Transition Era surfboard that comes complete with a WAVE Set fin. The board has been restored by Randy Rarick. I have a weakness for hulls of all shapes and sizes, and this one definitely fits the bill.

OP Thruster with Bill Stewart Airbrush (Craigslist Norfolk)

OP Bill Stewart Airbrush 1.jpg

Bill Stewart’s airbrushes were the subject of the most recent installment of the excellent Surfboards and Coffee series. This OP Surfboard has a pretty bitchin’ Bill Stewart airbrush, which you can also see in the image at the very top of the page. The board is priced at $475. It also happens to come with what looks like an original Rainbow Fin, so if you’re local, this could be worth it with the Bill Stewart airbrush and the collectible fin.

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Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

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Hobie Corky Carroll Stringerless Model (Craigslist Monterey)

Anecdotally, I see a lot of Hobie Corky Carroll models floating around for sale on Craigslist, eBay, etc. I’m guessing they were produced in pretty high numbers during the Sixties. The Hobie Corky Carroll model featured above is a stringerless variant, which I don’t believe I have ever seen before. Looks like the glass leash loop was probably added after the fact, but it’s still a very cool board complete with the original bolt through fin.

Tom Curren, Ocean Pacific, and Channel Islands Surfboards: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s vintage surf ad — part of the Sagas of Shred series — features the Eighties surf scene’s version of peanut butter and jelly: Tom Curren and Channel Islands Surfboards. Never mind that the ad is technically an OP ad. I still look back fondly on Ocean Pacific’s run as one of the surfwear heavyweights, but I think we can all agree that the real magic is the union between Tom Curren and CI mastermind Al Merrick.

Now, the real question is this: is the board Curren is holding none other than the legendary Red Beauty? Red Beauty was the name of the Al Merrick-shaped thruster Curren surfed to victory in the 1984 OP Pro. The Red Beauty model is still available via Channel Islands’ website today.

To be honest, I’m not sure. I doubt the board in the ad is the Red Beauty. First of all, the ran ad in the February 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 2), which means the photo was likely taken sometime in late 1985. This would date the ad to a good year plus after the 1984 OP Pro.

I also found the below picture online. You can clearly see the board Curren surfing below is very different from the one he was in the ad (the below picture doesn’t have the Tom Curren logo, for example), yet it has the same red rails. Either way, I think the red rails were a very common design for many of Curren’s boards over the years.

Tom Curren Channel Islands.jpg
Curren about to launch into another beautiful bottom turn.

The other thing I love about the ad is the fact Curren is referred to as Tommy Curren. It seems like the Tommy name was favored by a number of Santa Barbara locals who grew up with Curren, and you’ll still see it pop up from time to time.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post, and we’ll have another vintage surf ad for you next Thursday night as the Sagas of Shred train continues to chug along!

 

Eighties Ocean Pacific Ad featuring Tom Curren: Sagas of Shred

Before we start, I’d like to make one thing clear: this might be a free country, but Shred Sledz is a blog that will not tolerate any slander of Tom Curren whatsoever. This is non-negotiable.

That said…I’d like to know who at OP in the Eighties thought it would be a good idea to cast Curren as a would-be heartthrob for these advertisements. Again, in case the previous paragraph wasn’t clear, the blame is being laid squarely at the feet of the once-ubiquitous surf brand, and not with the most stylish regular foot of all time.

But this is marketing malpractice! Why is the picture of Curren gazing off into the distance approximately eight times the size of him ripping on a signature Channel Islands Al Merrick stick?

And while I’d like to be outraged by the Ocean Pacific ad featured above…at the end of the day, I can’t bring myself to truly dislike it, no matter how ridiculous the photoshoot might be. In fact, if anyone knows where I could find a version of the shirt Curren is rocking in the ad, I’d definitely be interested (though I don’t think I’m capable of actually pulling it off).

As a palate cleanser, please enjoy Tom Curren’s first-ever wave he rode at Jeffreys Bay. Curren famously refused to visit South Africa for years, due to his objections to Apartheid. This footage was shot by the legendary Sonny Miller. Fast forward to the 1:43 mark to see some truly virtuoso level surfing:

As always, thank you for reading, and check back next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred.