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!

Rhythm Division: Sagas of Shred

Before “More Core”, Gotcha was apparently focused on keeping the beat. Sagas of Shred has featured some Gotcha ads before, including this classic, and for good reason. I still think Gotcha’s contributions to surf culture are criminally overlooked. (On a related note, here’s an incredible Stussy thruster that belonged to Gotcha founder Michael Tomson.) Sadly, the brand didn’t stick around much further past the Nineties, although even in its waning days it still counted Rob Machado and Andy Irons (through the More Core Division label) among its flag bearers. A lot about this Gotcha ad feels thirty years old — unless I’m mistaken and abstract neon bikinis are back in style — but the distinctive energy and creativity is palpable. I don’t mean to kick the surf industry when it’s down, but you compare this Gotcha ad to the recent and rather lifeless offerings from Billabong, Quiksilver et al, and the difference is stunning.

Gotcha also had the benefit of counting Martin “Pottz” Potter as its marquee rider. This ad was published in the May 1990 issue of Surfer Magazine, shortly after Potter captured the world championship. Pottz’s brand of raw aggression was a perfect match for Gotcha’s rebellious aesthetic, and I think it’s one of the great athlete / sponsor pairings in the recent history of the sport, joining partnerships like Slater and Quiksilver, Occy and Billabong, etc.

What can I say? This ad is so awesome. The photos, the clothes, the typeface…everything is perfect. Oh, and lest I forget, shout out to Dino Andino, father of Kolohe, who was also a staple throughout some of the better Gotcha marketing during the Eighties and early Nineties.

At some point Gotcha’s website had a vault featuring its old ad campaigns, but sadly it doesn’t look to be functional right now. This is a shame and I hope it gets restored, as there are a ton of gems in there.

Thanks for reading and visit next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads, courtesy of Sagas of Shred!

Clipz: Bill Delaney and Euro Hulls

Greetings, Shredderz! As we ease into the weekend I thought I’d share some videos I’ve been enjoying lately.

Well, you can’t watch the video above embedded in this blog, but it’s worth checking out on Vimeo. The Encyclopedia of Surfing has published the entirety of “Waterborn”, a 1987 surf movie from Gotcha, on their Vimeo page. Gotcha’s surf team was the stuff of legends — Pottz, Gerlach, Cheyne Horan, Brock Little, Derek Ho, I can keep going — and this is a cool video. It has some great footage of Pottz surfing some of his classic signature boards, including his Glenn Minami twin fin as well as some colorful T&C sticks, like the one pictured above.

More importantly, “Waterborn” was directed by Bill Delaney, who sadly passed away recently. Delaney directed the seminal Seventies surf movie “Free Ride”, and he will surely be missed.

Tristan Mausse AKA Fantastic Acid is one of my favorite follows on Instagram. Monsieur Mausse has also published a couple of cool books on surfboards, “Glass Shops” and “Surfboard Dynamics”, which you can find on his site. In this video Mausse and fellow shaper Jean Penninck of Naje Surfboards test some hand-shaped hulls in some fun and relaxed European winter surf.

Apropos of nothing, I have been enjoying South African Mikey February’s surfing lately. Most of the surfing in the clip is done on standard thrusters, but he’s just got great style.

Blood, Sweat and Foam: Blue Hawaii Pottz Twinzer by Wil Jobson

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry — in which I scan an old surf magazine ad and write a bit about it — builds upon yesterday’s Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model post. As you can see in the photo above, it’s an advertisement for Pottz’s line of signature models shaped under the Blue Hawaii brand, but with a couple of very interesting twists. First, I wrote a separate Sagas of Shred post a few months back that featured the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model, which you can find here.

The ad above — which originally ran in May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27, No 5) — features a quad fin variant of the Pottz board. Gone is the flame spray along the rails, replaced by a twinzer fin setup, what I guess you would call a bat tail, and then some interesting concave out of the back. Glenn Minami shaped many boards for Martin Potter, starting at Town & Country during its early days, and then going on to found Blue Hawaii. The ad above, however, clearly features Wil Jobson, the shaper credited with inventing the twinzer fin setup.

Pottz Blue Hawaii Twinzer via Swellnet.jpg
Close up of a Blue Hawaii Pottz twinzer. This board was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy. Pic via Swellnet.

Swellnet wrote up a post on Wil Jobson and the twinzer, and they also included this awesome close up of the business end of one of the Blue Hawaii / Pottz twinzer boards. The Swellnet board, however, was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy, and not Jobson. When you compare the Swellnet board above with the one featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, you’ll notice some key differences. First, the Blue Hawaii board has a different shape in the tail, and what looks like only two channels, versus the four in the Swellnet board above. However, both boards have the smaller twinzer stabilizing fins, which, according to Swellnet, are called canards.

Shawn Stussy Personal Twinzer
Business end of a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider. This board looks very similar to the board featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, down to the channels and the bat tail. And you know I love the logos on the glass-on fins!

And because here at Shred Sledz we celebrate Shawn Stussy’s entire catalog, of course we had to mention the board featured above. That board you see in the photo is a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider that was apparently inspired by Jobson himself. The Stussy twinzer was sold at last year’s California Gold Surfboard Auction. Now, I know that Stussy shaped boards for Michael Tomson, who was CEO of Gotcha. Gotcha, in turn, was Pottz’s longtime clothing sponsor. Is it possible that somewhere in this mix Stussy got the idea to shape the twinzer pictured above? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly would be cool if that turned out to be the case.

Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in next Thursday evening, California time, for more vintage surf ads.

Pottz Blue Hawaii Model

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re featuring a board that I believe I wrote up over two years ago: a Pottz Blue Hawaii surfboard. Technically speaking, I guess the name is the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model. That’s a mouthful, though, and I think we’re all on the same page that this is the infamous flame graphic signature surfboard of Martin “Pottz” Potter, South African world champ and one of the most radical surfers of the late Eighties and early Nineties.

The board above is listed for sale on Craigslist in Florida. Pics in this post are via the listing, which you can find here. The last time I wrote this up I balked at the then-$1K price; looks like this has gone up to $1,500 since. The board is in good condition, although there’s some clear discoloration on both the deck and the bottom, if you want to nitpick. There’s no indication on who the shaper is, but Glenn Minami was Pottz’s shaper, and I believe this goes back to Potter’s days on the Town & Country Surf Designs team.

It’s pretty hard to find good action shots of the Pottz Blue Hawaii board, but the one above, courtesy of Pottz’s Facebook Page, is pretty great.

Check out the Pottz Blue Hawaii board for sale on Craigslist here.

Blue Hawaii Pottz Model Ad: Sagas of Shred

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, by now you probably know that the one-man Shred Sledz staff has a soft spot for the surfboards of the 80s. And in a decade filled to the brim with colorful characters and even more eye-catching boards, Martin Potter stands out. Pottz’s “Saint” Town & Country twin fin is his most famous board. In fact, its signature green and yellow spray job is still emulated today. The Blue Hawaii Pottz Model might not be as famous, but it’s a stick that has many fans, especially for examples bearing the signature blue flame airbrush around the rails.

The photo featured above is an old Blue Hawaii ad that appeared in Surfer Magazine in 1988. Blue Hawaii was a surfboard brand that is sadly no more. I believe Blue Hawaii was founded by shaper Glenn Minami, who was the original shaper behind Pottz’s famous “Saint” twin fin. Stoked-n-Board claims Blue Hawaii was founded in 1984. I’m guessing Minami must have left Town & Country around the same time, and brought Pottz with him shortly afterwards.

The other thing that’s interesting about the ad is the customizable “bullseye” spray job that could be applied to boards. I have scoured the internet for examples of a Blue Hawaii Pottz Model with a bullseye design, but I was only able to find one. Even so, I think the example below is a custom spray job for an actual Martin Potter personal rider, versus a mass-produced version that is offered in the advertisement. I’m wondering if the board on the far right was actually the inspiration for the bullseye design in the ad.

I also can’t get enough of the shipping rates. Granted, the advertisement ran 30 years ago, but $25 to get a board shipped from Hawaii to the mainland? That is absolute madness. I’d almost take those rates over the board!

If you have any leads on some pictures of a Blue Hawaii Pottz Model with a bullseye airbrush on it, I’d love to learn more. Otherwise, thanks for reading and stop by next week for even more Sagas of Shred.

Questionable Moments in Surf Advertising History: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re currently wondering whether or not this humble little vintage surfboard blog took a sudden left turn, let me assure you that is not the case. Shred Sledz remains as dedicated as ever to our mission of shedding light on the great surfboards and craftsmen of yesteryear. But let’s face it: this 1980s Gotcha ad is simply too funny not to post.

Throw in a pair of acid wash jeans and the ad hits every single cliche about bad fashion in the 1980s. More importantly…what on earth is going on? Is the painting on the left supposed to be coming to life? Why is the other guy just staring off in the distance? Sadly, seeing as how this is a family friendly blog, I think there are many questions that will have to go unanswered. And if you haven’t noticed, that’s Pottz who’s getting his tank top stretched out. Not sure how they coerced him into doing this photo shoot. I imagine the ad was originally intended to be edgy and provocative, but with three decades worth of perspective behind us, the entire thing is silly. I say that affectionately, though: no matter what, I will always have a soft spot for the weird and colorful creations that the surf industry produced during the eighties.

Fun fact: the Gotcha logo that appears in the ad was actually designed by Shawn Stussy.

As always, tune in next Thursday for the next installment of Sagas of Shred!

Town & Country Pottz Model

Greetings, Shredderz! While some surfboard aficionados don’t enjoy talking prices, here at Shred Sledz we’re not only fans of capitalism, but also transparency. One of the most iconic boards from modern pro surfing is Martin Potter’s T&C twin fin emblazoned with the iconic green and yellow airbrush. A Town & Country Pottz airbrush board recently sold on eBay, providing a little insight into the market for the former champ’s boards. I have included some pictures of the board below (pics via the original eBay listing).

The final price for the board ended up being $1,300. As you can see in the pictures above, the board is in pretty good condition (I omitted a picture of a decent ding along one of the board’s rails).

First, if you’re inclined, I think there are some questions around whether or not the example above should be considered a proper Pottz board. Of course, Potter rode for T&C, and the airbrush is unmistakable, but as far as I can tell, T&C never released a mass market Pottz model until recently, the way Channel Islands put Tom Curren’s Black Beauty design in surf shops everywhere.

Then again, that’s not the point: the board above is a genuine Town & Country board from the 1980s in good condition, complete with an iconic design. Is it nitpicking to mention that the airbrush on the board above is a lesser-known variant on the classic Pottz spray job, and not the original one?

I won’t attempt to answer the metaphysical questions around how one defines a Pottz board. Instead, I’ll just state the obvious: cool surfboards from the 1980s often command a pretty penny on the open market.

Chuck Andrus in Disguise

Chalk this one up to mysterious bloodlines.

When I stumbled across this HIC board on Craigslist, I thought it must have been a Martin Potter pro model, as evidenced by the giant logo on the bottom of the board (see left).

However, the more research I do, I can’t find any evidence of Pottz having ever been a team rider for Hawaiian Island Creations. Pottz’s most famous boards were for Town & Country Surfboards and Blue Hawaii Surf, which you can see pictured below:

Photo below credit thevintagesurfboard.com

If you look closely, you can see the “Pottz Pro Model” logo on the HIC board is a perfect replica of the Blue Hawaii board above. This makes me think that it simply might be a decal or something else.

The HIC board has “Team” written on the stringer, which strikes me as something of an odd touch as well. Finally, there is a clear signature from Chuck Andrus, whom Stoked-N-Board lists as having been an HIC shaper.

Check out the board here and drop me a note if you have any ideas as to the origins of this board!

Last of the Wildmen: Martin “Pottz” Potter

Whoever posted this little number must be dreaming about the price – $1,000 is a lot for a surfboard, no matter what! – but it’s still worth looking at the pictures. Located on Craigslist in Daytona Beach, Florida is a cool little Blue Hawaii ‘Pottz’ board, named after legendary former tour surfer Martin Potter and shaped by well-regarded Hawaiian shaper Greg Minami. This is different from the board most surf fans associate with Pottz – the T&C with the jagged green outline and yellow deck – but nonetheless still a fantastic memento from the surf industry of yesteryear. Check it out here.