O’Neill Ad from 1988: Sagas of Shred

If neon isn’t your thing, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and close this tab immediately. Likewise, if you’re not into seeing a handful of all-time surf greats all in one photo, this one might not be up your alley. But if those two things are your kind of deal, then you just might enjoy this O’Neill ad from 1988 as much as I do.

This ad is just beyond classic. It’s taken from a full page spread in the May 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 5). The O’Neill roster at the time is chock full of talent: Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons (I’m rather partial to Snips’ first Sagas of Shred appearance, courtesy of Uggs), Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter all rode for the Santa Cruz-based wetsuit label at the time. To be honest, I’m not sure who either Anderson or Farnsworth are — my apologies, but this ad is a little before my time.

For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, Carroll seems to dominate this ad. He looks completely relaxed, confident, and in his element. Then again, Carroll had won two world titles by the time this photo had been taken, and this was about three years before his famous under the lip snap at Pipe. If you look at the top right photo, you’ll notice Carroll riding one of his Byrne boards with the signature swooping airbrush. Or maybe it’s just his Oakley blades.

Pottz, on the other hand, is almost subdued in the main spread. Granted, at this many words in, I am definitely guilty of reading way too far into a random wetsuit ad from the late Eighties. Still, it’s odd to think that this ad ran shortly before Pottz won his world title on the back of his progressive surfing.

Anyway, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred. We’ll have another fresh scan of a vintage surf ad next Thursday evening, California time. Mahalo for reading!

Weekend Grab Bag: February Funk

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I understand some of you might have gone to the Malibu Board Riders surfboard swap on Saturday. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend, but in the meantime, here are some cool vintage surfboards that you can currently find on sale online. Keep reading for more.

O’Neill Dagger Surfboard (eBay Florida)

This is a very cool Transition Era board that is in pretty amazing condition. It looks like it comes with an all original WAVE Set fin as well. I really dig the clean blue pinlines on the deck, and it looks as if there’s a hull-like belly on the bottom, too. The board isn’t cheap — the seller is asking $1,450, with local pickup — but it’s unusual to see fifty year old surfboards in this kind of condition.

Clearlight Surfboards / Jim Overlin Single Fin (eBay Florida)

This is a unique surfboard with a lot of stuff going on. For starters, it’s a pretty tidy 6’8″. I’m guessing this was shaped sometime during the Transition Era, maybe 1969, considering the board’s short length. I always have a hard time IDing these old fins, but it looks to be all original. I’ve always been drawn to Jim and Tom Overlin’s shapes, partly because of their bi Coastal reputation, and this is a neat example. The seller is asking $500.

Eighties Nectar Surfboards Twin Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

I’ve got a soft spot for vintage twin fins, and this example of a Nectar Surfboards stick checks a lot of the boxes. I really dig the colors, whether it’s the blue gradient spray or the bright yellow logo, as well as the touches on the glass on fins. Sadly there are some dings on the upper rails, and the gradient might make color matching any repairs a bit of a pain (caveat: I am not an expert in ding repair), but for $250, I think this is a reasonable deal.

George Greenough for O’Neill: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Sorry that the blog has been a little less frequent these days. But today I’ve got a treat: an ad from a 1980 issue of Surfer Magazine featuring none other than George Greenough, the surfcraft guru whose influence still looms large over the sport. It’s funny to see Greenough featured in an ad, given his famous aversion to any kind of publicity. It’s also cool to see that the ad likely features one of Greenough’s custom camera rigs, which allowed him to capture then-revolutionary footage of himself deep inside the tube. The shot still looks modern today. It’s no wonder that Greenough is still revered by surfers across many generations.

As always, thanks for reading, and tune in next Thursday night for more Sagas of Shred!

O’Neill Big Wave Gun by Tom Overlin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features an interesting bit of California history. The board pictured above is an O’Neill gun shaped by Tom Overlin that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics above are via the Craigslist posting.

First and foremost, the Tom Overlin surfboard above is a beautiful example of a serious big-wave gun. It’s almost certainly an older shape given the outline, the glassed-on fin, and the old-school O’Neill logo. The seller dates the board to 1975. I am not sure where the date comes from, given there are no markings on the stringer or elsewhere on the board. The measurements are 9’5″ x 19″ x 3.5″. And if you still have any doubts about how much foam has been packed into the board’s dimensions, check out the picture above featuring the beaked nose.

I imagine the board must have been crafted for macking days at Steamer Lane’s Middle Peak. The board’s Santa Cruz heritage is clear. First is the old-school logo, which can be found on Stoked-n-Board’s O’Neill entry, albeit without any dates. More importantly, the second picture indicates the board was designed by Pat O’Neill and shaped by Tom Overlin. Jack O’Neill, the founder of wetsuit brand of the same name, has a son named Pat — this cannot be a coincidence.

The board was shaped by Tom Overlin, who has many roots in Santa Cruz. Overlin used to occupy the space behind Doug Haut’s shop on Swift Street in Santa Cruz. Haut Surfboards still occupies its original location, and it remains an important part of the Santa Cruz surf community (Marc Andreini will pass along lightly used personal riders to the Haut shop). Overlin was a well-known surfer and shaper in Santa Cruz during the 1970s, before leaving in 1977 to Oregon. There’s a great thread on Swaylocks with some colorful stories about Overlin’s time in Santa Cruz. Water Brothers’ legendary Sid Abruzzi is a fan of Overlin’s shapes, and there’s a nice video on Vimeo where Abruzzi goes over his mini-quiver of Overlins. Sadly, Overlin passed away around a decade ago.

Finally, a note about prices. The board is listed on Craigslist for $3,000. Despite all the nice things I have to say about the board, I can’t justify the price. It’s also being sold at Surfing Cowboys / 1stDibs.com, and the price is $250 cheaper there. You can find some additional pictures on the 1stDibs link in the previous sentence.

Shred Sledz Presents: 4/2 Weekend Grab Bag (Skip Frye, Harbour, Morey, O’Neill)

Yeah, yeah…it’s not the weekend. But we live in the age of alternative facts, so I’m not going to let something as trivial as accuracy get in the way of giving you a little taste of the coolest vintage surfboards that are currently for sale online. Without further ado, here goes…

Skip Frye G&S Vee Bottom on Craigslist

No link because the board already came and went. This board was sold on Craigslist in Santa Cruz and it vanished after a short time. The seller was asking $850, which is below market price if you ask me. Looks like it’s in decent condition, though there are some obvious repairs that have been done. Check out a similar Skip Frye vee bottom that went for auction recently, with the price estimate between $700 and $2K. Skip modeled his v bottom designs on the models pioneered by the Aussies — you can read a bit of history on  his website. This is such a sick board and I hope whoever owns it now is putting it to good use.

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