Mickey Munoz for Ole Surfboards: Sagas of Shred

Once a week I’ll share a vintage surfboard ad as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Usually it is posted late Thursday night California time, but thanks to the Fourth of July, we’re running behind schedule this week. Better late than never, they say! In any event, pictured here is an Ole Surfboards ad from the 1960s. What’s interesting is the fact the ad features Mickey Munoz, not just as a team rider of sorts, but as the manager for the brand’s Seal Beach shop. It’s cool to think that you could have stopped by the Ole Surfboards shop to get some advice from Munoz on what kind of board to ride.

As always, thanks for reading and stop by next week for more Sagas of Shred.

Vintage Ole Surfboards Stubby

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is gonna be quick and dirty, but sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Featured here is an odd little Ole Surfboards stubby that was for sale on Craigslist about a week ago. The board is no longer listed for sale, but I think it’s still worth a shoutout.

First and foremost, Bob Olson is an old school shaper whose resume is beyond reproach. And as I have mentioned before, Ole was actually Shawn Stussy’s shop teacher!

Anyway, back to the board in question. As you can see, it’s dramatically shorter than the beautiful longboards for which Ole is probably most famous. I also recently featured an Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, which bears some resemblance to the board pictured above.

I’ve dubbed the red Craigslist board a stubby, thanks to its outline and its 6’3″ length. I’m not entirely sure this is correct, though. I think it’s possible the stubby could have some hull elements to it, but without clear pictures of the entry rocker or any evidence of a belly on the board’s bottom, I can’t make any definitive statements.

If I had to guess I would say this board was shaped sometime during the early Seventies. The fin box looks a little more modern than the removable fins during the Transition Era of the late Sixties, for example. It also looks like the fin is pushed pretty far back towards the tail of the board.

The seller was asking $400 for the Ole Surfboards stubby, and I think it’s reasonable to say that it sold for near this price. Likewise, the Transition Era Ole Surfboards Hull I wrote up was also listed at $400, but was in worse condition than the stubby.

Vintage Ole boards aren’t particularly expensive, but I think that’s an oversight. And it seems like Ole’s more experimental vintage shapes can be had at reasonable prices, which can only be a good thing. Best of all? Ole is still shaping to this day, I understand, so hit the man up if you’re in the market for a board from a true surfboard shaping OG!

Ole Surfboards Transition Era Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! This transmission is being sent from the midst of a severe wave drought in Northern California. Please send swell ASAP. There hasn’t been much in the way of waves recently, but luckily there have been a few good finds popping up on Craigslist and eBay. Case in point: featured here is a Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, shaped by Bob Olson.

I can’t in good conscience claim this is the prettiest board I have ever seen, but as a big fan of the interesting shapes that emerged from the late 1960s, I thought it was worth a closer look. The Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $400 for the board, which I find a bit on the pricey side, given the condition. That said, it’s an unusual board with some awesome pedigree. The vast majority of Ole Surfboards I have seen are traditional longboards, like the one pictured below.

Anyway, back to the Ole hull in question: the seller claims the board measures in at 7’11”. He also says that it has a serial number of #70 somewhere on the board, although this isn’t shown in the pics. Given that Olson began his shaping career in the late 1950s, and the hull was likely shaped a decade number, I doubt this is a sequential serial number.

The Ole Surfboards hull also comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which you can see in the photos below. (Click to enlarge).

The photos also give you a good sense of the vee bottom on the board. Again, all of these details point to the board being shaped in the late 1960s, per the description on Craigslist.

As an aside, I am a little stunned to see that Olson doesn’t have an entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Stoked-n-Board is temporarily out of order due to the SHACC website redesign, which means that there isn’t a ton of info readily available on Olson online. Either way, it seems like there should be much more information about Bob Olson given his long and storied career as a shaper. (Olson was also the shop teacher for a young Shawn Stussy, believe it or not, before moving to Maui in 1971). Amazingly, Olson continues to shape Ole Surfboards to this day from his home base of Maui. You can find a listing for his surf shop on Facebook here.

Photo at the top of the page via the Board Room Movie.

Clark Foam Ad from the 1960s: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to yet another installment of Sagas of Shred. Every Thursday we feature a different slice of surf history, and today’s entry sheds a light on one of the most accomplished businessmen the surf industry has ever seen: Gordon “Grubby” Clark, the founder and CEO of Clark Foam.

Clark Foam Promotional Photo Gordon "Grubby" Clark.jpg
Gordon “Grubby” Clark in an early Clark Foam promotional photo. Pic via Charlie Bunger’s Long Island Surfing Museum

Before its abrupt closing in 2005, Clark Foam was one of the most fearsome forces in the surfboard industry. There are endless stories about Clark’s ruthlessness. The Surfboard Project has an anecdote, via Joel Tudor, about how Donald Takayama’s first label went under after Clark Foam denied him blanks. Surfer Magazine recently ran a retrospective on the Clark Foam closing, which includes similar tales of strong-arm tactics.

In the early 1960s, though, Clark had yet to establish its dominance, and this ad, at least, makes an earnest appeal to quality and performance instead. I love the fact that just about every single big name surfboard brand at the time has their logos present: Yater, Bing, Ole, Hobie, Wardy, Hansen, and Con. Of that list, only Wardy no longer continues to produce boards (although Con is a completely different company, and Bing Copeland has ceded control to well-regarded shaper Matt Calvani.)

For a great article on the early years of Clark Foam, and how Grubby and Hobie Alter helped lay the groundwork for the modern surfboard industry, I recommend the “727 Laguna Canyon Road” feature in The Surfer’s Journal.

Hope you enjoyed this entry in Sagas of Shred, and tune in next Thursday for what comes next!

Shred Sledz Presents: Weekend Grab Bag (March 5)

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your weekend has been chock full of shapely waves and light offshore winds. Here are some finds I came across recently.

Ole Noserider on Craigslist (Orange County)

I haven’t written much about Ole Surfboards before, which was the brainchild of Bob Olson. This one sports a nice D fin and I would guess it dates to sometime in the 1960s. It might be all original, too. Priced at $975.

Mint Condition all-original 1966 Hansen Master on eBay

This one is going for $12K out the gates, which might be a little ambitious. But it’s worth clicking through for the pictures. This thing is in incredible condition – I’m talking time capsule status.

Dyno David Nuuhiwa 70s Single Fin on eBay

The airbrush on this board is pure 1970s. Nuuhiwa was the subject of an earlier Sledz post, which I naturally recommend you read if you’re interested in learning more. Otherwise, bask in the sheer outrageousness of this paint job, which toes the line between painstaking craftsmanship and looking like a Lisa Frank parody. The board is incredible condition, but it’s no longer for sale (closed at a healthy $1,258!)