If the surf industry were a high school cafeteria, then Saturdays NYC would definitely be sitting at the cool kids’ table. I imagine the Saturdays founders are hanging out with European models in SoHo right now while I sit here in my apartment, surrounded by empty Kind Bar wrappers and piles of unfolded laundry. But I digress. Saturdays used to publish a killer print magazine filled with beautiful photography and great features. I highly recommend picking up a back issue or two. Nowadays, Saturdays Magazine can be found online, where it continues to publish great content. The most recent blog post details the Owl Chapman quivers of two North Shore fixtures, Andy St. Onge and Rick Williams. Owl Chapman remains one of the pre-eminent builders of big wave boards, and the Saturdays Magazine post is a great opportunity to get a closer look at his shapes. Check out the blog post here, and if you know the Saturdays guys, put in a good word for me so I can come to one of their parties the next time I’m in New York.
Greetings, Shredderz! Here is the latest in vintage surfboard news from the far reaches of the interwebs, collected all in one place.
Luis Real is the owner of North Shore Surf Shop on Oahu. He is also the owner an extensive collection of vintage surfboards that has been known to bring grown men to tears. He posts a lot of incredible stuff on Instagram and on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook. This post above is a rad picture of a rare Dick Brewer logo that features Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman as well. Note that in the top portion of the pic, Sam Hawk is on the left, Owl Chapman is in the middle, and Brewer himself is to the right.
Today’s post features some tasty Bonzer content for all you alternative surf craft fans. Check out this Shane Bonzer shaped by none other than Simon Anderson! This is a cool look at one of Anderson’s earlier experiments with a tri-fun setup before he invented the proper thruster and revolutionized surfboard designs forever. Note that the owner of the account above is none other than Duncan Campbell, brother of Malcolm and one of the co-founders of Campbell Bros.
Your last Bonzer related post of the day comes from none other than Joel Tudor. Check out the comments in the thread where Tudor and Malcolm Campbell are discussing how Joel is going to take that thing down from the rafters and have the outlined copied so he can make a repro. Check out the fin placement on the board on the right — just like the Campbell Bros recommend. Love the little “Bonzer Vehicles” logos you can see next to the side bites, not to mention the funky double concave and the super thinned out tails.
The LIS FISH shaped in 1974 by legend Steve Lis. 5'2" x 20-3/4" x 2-1/2" Stringerless foam and fiberglass with marine ply duel foil Keel fins. "I liked to ride pintails but my swim-fins hung over the side and created drag. So I designed a split-tailed board with the width to support my fins, but at the same time preserve the characteristics of the pintail." -Steve Lis. #LisFish #fish
Look at this beautiful example of a Steve Lis fish! And check out those dimensions: at 5’2″ x 20 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ it’s not hard to see the kneeboarding influence. You can barely see a little logo on the bottom of the board towards the top.
Surfboards and Coffee (looks like their website isn’t quite ready for primetime yet) is a group of surfboard collectors in LA that host regular meetups to compare boards and ingest some caffeine. If I lived in that lovely City of Angels I’d like to think I’d be a regular, but alas Shred Sledz HQ isn’t moving from the Bay Area any time soon. Anyway, check them out on Instagram (and how about the spray job on that Stussy!)
Last but not least, Marc Andreini took to Facebook to explain some of the backstory behind his famous Vaquero design. The board on the right is an early predecessor of the Vaquero — then called the “365”, because Andreini and co found they could surf the board nearly every day of the year — from 1974.
If you’re into underground Hawaiian shapers, there’s a gem of a board waiting for you on eBay. Pictured here is an Owl Chapman wing pin single fin made under the Surfboards Honolulu brand.
Chapman (whom I’ve written about previously) has his own Encyclopedia of Surfing entry, but there is little reliable information about his shaping history. It looks like he still runs Brewer Chapman Surfboards, which of course was founded in conjunction with fellow Hawaiian legend Dick Brewer.
Stoked-n-Board is the go-to source for surfboard and shaper information, but shockingly, it had very little information about Chapman’s various stops. S-n-B doesn’t have a listing for Brewer Chapman, just Brewer’s own eponymous label. S-n-B’s entry for Owl Chapman only lists him as having shaped for three brands: Buttons, Natural Progression, and Wave Weapons.
First, we know that Chapman shaped – and continues to do so – for Brewer Chapman. In addition, Chapman has also shaped under the Owl Chapman Underground label, which has one of the coolest old school logos you’ll ever lay eyes on:
Pic courtesy Surfboards.com
The board pictured here is under the Surfboards Honolulu brand, which I had never heard of before. There is no entry on Stoked-n-Board, and googling the brand is fruitless. I contacted the seller for the board pictured here, and he was able to provide a picture of the signature on the stringer, which clearly reads “Owl Chapman Underground.” I’m wondering if this board and the Surfboards Honolulu brand pre-date the Owl Chapman Underground label (and its ridiculously groovy logo).
If you’re interested in this board you can find it on eBay here. It’s being sold alongside a few other vintage gems. The seller looks like the person behind the excellent Surfboardline.com, which is another great resource if you’re into vintage boards.
Found on Craigslist in San Diego, this board is a 7′ single fin shaped by Chapman (see his signature on the stringer in the 3rd picture) intended as a tribute to Buttons.
Buttons is one of the most iconic figures to come out of the North Shore of Oahu, which is saying something, considering the island’s place in surfing history. He has been immortalized in a number of pictures from the era, including many of Jeff Divine’s photos.
Photo by Jeff Divine
Owl Chapman still lives and shapes on the North Shore, and he continues to supply boards to some of the best surfers in the area. It was interesting to come across this one, which has Buttons’ distinct logo, and bears Chapman’s signature on the stringer. If I had to guess the board is probably a recent shape, judging from the condition as well as the FCS fin boxes for the side bites.
For $1200 it isn’t cheap, but it’s in immaculate condition, and has a ton of cool Hawaiian surf history involved. You can check it out here.
Dick Brewer is one of the most famous surfboard shapers ever. His claim to fame is crafting big wave guns that perform in the demanding conditions of a Hawaiian winter.
One of the more fascinating – or maddening, depending on how you look at it – aspects of Brewer’s long career is the wide variety of brands and labels he shaped under. There are too many to name – Hobie, Surfboards Hawaii, and his eponymous label, just to name a few – but there are a dizzying number of brand names one needs to keep straight in order to unearth a genuine Dick Brewer hand shaped board. For example, here’s a board that bears the Dick Brewer Surfboards label, but was apparently shaped by Owl Chapman. Why that wouldn’t be a Brewer Chapman board is beyond me, but I’m not the one who makes the decisions here.
The good news is there are occasional gems that pop up here and there that bear promising signs of being a genuine Brewer hand shape. I don’t want to make any definitive declarations, because I’m not an expert. But this board, located on Craigslist in Honolulu, certainly fits the part.
It’s listed at 7′2″ and the poster claims the board is a custom shape from 1978. The tail is pretty interesting, somewhere between a rounded pin and a diamond tail, which seems right for the era. The wings are a cool touch as well.
Stoked-n-Board’s page for Dick Brewer doesn’t have an entry for this label, which simply reads “Brewer Surfboards” (versus the more standard Dick Brewer Surfboards). It does have the famous plumeria wreath, though. More importantly, there does appear to be a genuine signature on the stringer (reach out directly to Rob, who posted this board, for a pic).
The price is steep – $1300 – but as always, ogling on Shred Sledz is free of charge. Check it out here.