Yater Abalone Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Pictured here is a beautiful Reynolds Yater single fin that features some eye-catching abalone and mother-of-pearl accents. The board is currently listed for sale on Craigslist, and you can see the listing here.

According to the seller, the Yater surfboard is a single fin and it measures in at 6’10”. You can also see the gorgeous resin pin line work on the deck that complements the insane inlays.

Regardless of whether or not it’s your particular cup of tea, there’s no denying the long hours and skilled craftsmanship that went into producing this stick.

The seller claims the surfboard is a collaboration between Kevin Ancell and Reynolds Yater. However, I have my doubts.

First of all, I’d like to be clear: to me, this is about researching the history behind a beautiful surfboard, nothing more, nothing less. It’s also worth mentioning that while I don’t think the Craigslist board was created alongside Kevin Ancell, I could very well be wrong. And even in the case that my guess turns out to be correct, the last thing I want is for this post to be interpreted as a critique of the seller.

First, Yater appears to have made many surfboards with abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays. (Confession: I’m not 100% sure which one is which in the Craigslist board; I’m pretty sure the inner deck patch is mother-of-pearl, and the area closer to the rails is abalone.) For example, see below for a photo I snapped a few years ago when I visited Bob Haakenson’s glassing room. Haak does the glassing for Renny Yater, and he has made more than a few Yater boards featuring some abalone details.

Separately, Renny Yater and artist Kevin Ancell collaborated on a few different projects. Many, if not all, of the collaborations between the two involved surfboards that had elaborate abalone, mother-of-pearl, and scallop shell inlays. The pair debuted a collection called “Water Columns” at the now-defunct Klapper Gallery in Los Angeles. Someone was kind enough to reprint the press announcement from Yater and Ancell’s show on a Swaylocks thread.

One Yater / Ancell collaboration consisted of a few different boards with various surf spot names written on them. You can see the “Rincon” example below (only fitting, given Renny’s Santa Barbara roots). The board below was featured on the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center website a few years back as part of a larger Yater exhibit.

More recently, see here for a Yater / Ancell pintail gun that was sold at the 2018 California Gold Surf Auction. According to the auction listing, only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever made, and Yater owns two of them. I tend to put a lot of faith in the California Gold descriptions, given the high quality of the boards that are sourced for the show.

One thing I have noticed about the Yater and Ancell boards is that they seem to be signed by both the shaper and the artist. See below for a closeup of the logo from a Yater / Ancell board, which was originally posted to Surf-n-Wear Beach House’s Yelp page. Surf-n-Wear, of course, is the legendary Santa Barbara shop that probably sells more Yaters than anybody else.

I also found another example of a Yater / Ancell board, this time via Surf-n-Wear’s Instagram account. I have embedded the post below. You can see that the board below also has the dual signatures.

This brings me back to the original Craigslist Yater. The seller has provided a close up photo of the logo, and there doesn’t appear to be an Ancell signature anywhere.

For all I know, it’s possible that Renny and Ancell collaborated on boards that weren’t signed by both men. But considering that every other example I’ve seen has dual signatures, I think it’s likely that if the Craigslist board were a collaboration board, it would have Ancell’s name somewhere on it. I also keep returning to the fact the California Gold listing claims only six Yater / Ancell pintail guns were ever created, and two still belong to Yater. Based off these points, I can’t help but think that the board that’s listed for sale on Craigslist was likely created without Ancell’s involvement.

You can check out the Yater abalone board on Craigslist here. As always, if you have any ideas about the origins of the board, please do drop me a line, as I always love learning more about surfboards and the people who make them.

Logo at the top of the page via California Gold

Social Media Roundup: June Gloom

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here are some primo vintage surfboard pickins from your favorite social media outlets.

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Twin fin Stussday.

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Pop quiz, hotshot: what has six fins, incredible artwork, and more color than a bag of Skittles? Well, that would be the three Shawn Stussy shaped twin fins you see pictured above. These are some truly top notch examples of Stussy’s infamous Eighties shapes. You can check out another Eighties Stussy twinny I wrote up here. I believe the one in the middle is an earlier board, judging by its logo. What I wouldn’t do for one of these bad boys!

Is there such a thing as too much Shawn Stussy? I don’t know, and I’m not the right person to ask. Bird of Bird’s Surf Shed (glad to see they got their Instagram back!) recently posted this absolutely gorgeous Stussy / Russell Surfboards gun. It’s not the only Stussy / Russell shape in Bird’s ridiculous quiver, either! If you see me with tears running down my cheeks and a far off look in my eyes, it probably means that I remembered the profound beauty of the matching leash loop and glass on fin and was overcome with emotion. Excuse me in advance.

I love how this shot elegantly illustrates surfboard progression over the years. The board on the far left is actually an early John Bradbury Creative Freedom shape from the late Sixties. It’s very cool to see the S decks on the Transition Era boards gradually flatten into more recognizable rockers. It’s also interesting to see the rare and coveted Yater Hawaii laminate on a thruster. I had always assumed that those appeared only on older boards, but the fin setup means it had to have been shaped in the Eighties at the earliest. I’m partial to the racy looking yellow board that’s second from right.

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6’11” single diamond for @danedamus

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In theory Shred Sledz is a vintage surfboard blog, but we also reserve the right to feature any shapes, modern or otherwise. Tyler Warren shaped this heat seeking missile for Dane Gudauskas, and I’m dying to see where it gets surfed. Massive Cloudbreak, I hope? This board reminds me a bit of the neat HaydenShapes single fin that Craig Anderson recently took through its paces. The Gudauskas brothers are do gooders in and out of the water, the latter via their Positive Warriors Foundation.

Photo at the top via Natterjacks; photographer unknown (let me know if you have any clues!)

Weekend Grab Bag: Yater Spoon & More

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to think the blog has been off to a nice start this year, with content like this absolute weapon of a Channel Islands single fin sporting an epic Jack Meyer airbrush, or scans of an old Eaton Surfboards brochure sent to me by a reader. Ultimately, though, that’s for all of you to decide. If you’re still reading this, first I would like to say thank you, and second, let’s get right to the next installment of the Weekend Grab Bag, where I highlight some of my favorite boards currently listed for sale on the internet. Scroll down for a selection of sick vintage sticks that are currently up for grabs.

9’10” Andreini Spoon (Craigslist Santa Cruz)

Marc Andreini is one of my all-time favorite shapers. The board above is a take on Renny Yater’s famous Spoon design, which, fifty plus years after its invention, remains one of the greatest noserider surfboards ever crafted. Andreini, who spent formative years shaping and surfing in Santa Barbara, considers Yater one of his chief influences. (Check out “The Gift” for more info on Andreini and California surfboard history.) The Andreini spoon pictured above isn’t quite vintage — the seller estimates it was shaped in 1996 or so — but it’s old enough to qualify as interesting (to me, anyway). As best I could tell, Andreini’s current noserider model does not have the step deck you see on both the Yater Spoon and the board above. No matter what, this Andreini spoon is a cool board from one of California’s great living shapers, and at $575, I think it’s more than reasonably priced. See below for a video of Joe Davies riding an Andreini Owl Noserider, which is via Andreini’s own website. (And if you’re into unique Andreini boards, here’s a Bonzer that’s currently for sale.)

9’8″ Yater Spoon from 2000 (Craigslist San Diego)

9'8_ Yater Spoon 2000.jpg

And now that we’ve seen a take on the Yater Spoon, how about one from the OG himself? I think the price might be a bit steep on the Yater Spoon pictured above. The seller is asking $1399. He claims the board has only been surfed once, and it certainly looks to be in extra clean condition. Even so, you can easily find a brand new Yater Spoon on Mollusk’s website listed at $1199 before tax. To each his own, but I think we can all agree that you simply can’t go wrong with a Yater Spoon.

9’6″ Greg Liddle L Spoon (Craigslist Ventura)

Greg Liddle’s L Spoon design is also influenced by Renny Yater. See the Liddle Surfboards website for more info. Honestly, I’m a little surprised this board is still listed for sale. It has been up for over two weeks, which is longer than most Greg Liddle hand shapes last on Craigslist. I’m wondering if the board hasn’t already been sold, and the seller never bothered to take down the listing. The Liddle L Spoon listed above is priced at $1500. No matter what, I’m a sucker for that old school Crash Test Dummies inspired Liddle Surfboards logo, too.

Vintage Yater Surfboard: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is just a quick one, featuring a vintage Yater surfboard that came and went in the blink of an eye on Craigslist. Before I get into the post, though, I thought I would offer some quick thoughts on why I post so many boards that are listed for sale. First, I’m interested in surfboard prices. Much of the blog came about simply because I was so frustrated at how difficult it was to do research about vintage surfboards online. This is particularly true with pricing, which seems to be a sensitive topic in general. Second, and more importantly, I found that Craigslist and eBay were incredibly rich sources when it came to pictures of awesome surfboards. The only problem is that these boards get taken down — sometimes very quickly — meaning that unless you’re a full-blown Craigslist addict like myself, there’s a limited window in which one can see boards being posted for sale.

Which brings me to the beautiful vintage Yater surfboard you see pictured above. This bad boy measures in at 7’0″ and it was listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Barbara for about 48 hours before someone leapt on it. And while I wish I could post so-called original content all the time, I do think it’s important to preserve photos and records of these beautiful boards that pop up and then disappear as soon as some eagle eyed buyers catch wind of them.

Chances are if you’re reading this blog I don’t need to sell you on why it’s worth running photos of Renny Yater‘s creations. But in case there are any doubts, hopefully the photos above give you all the convincing you need. This vintage Yater surfboard was likely shaped sometime during the Seventies. A knowledgeable friend also guesses it might have been as late as the Eighties, based on the logo. I’ve seen a few variants on the Yater logo, and I recommend checking out Stanley’s excellent page for a more comprehensive rundown. As you can see, this particular one has “Santa Barbara Surf Shop” in the almond shape at the top, with “Surfboards by Yater” beneath. (For what it’s worth, this is the logo that is used on the newly redesigned Yater Surfboards website.) On the stringer you can also clearly see the “Y” and then a serial number beneath, denoting that this was likely hand-shaped by Renny himself.

Finally, the board was listed at $550. I think this is a nice price for a vintage Yater surfboard shaped by Renny himself, and the board also seemed to move quickly after being listed.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboards!

Seventies Yater Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another quick hit for you: a Seventies Yater single fin that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist. The listing is no longer up, so I can only assume someone snapped up this sweet stick. According to the seller the board was shaped in 1977 and it measures in at a shapely 7’9″.

Of course, Renny Yater’s pedigree needs no further justification, least of all from someone of my extremely modest surfing abilities. But there are a few little things going on with this board that I really dig. When I think of Yater’s boards, I think of clean lines and an understated aesthetic. I wouldn’t say this Seventies Yater single fin is loud, per se, but the lime green airbrush is a bit brighter than your average Yater. I love the contrast between the color of the airbrush and then the classic Santa Barbara Surf Shop logo, too. Call me crazy but it reminded me of the colors of Andre Agassi’s Nike Air Tech Challenge I.

Seventies Yater Single Fin Signature 1.jpg

As you can see above, the board appears to be a Renny hand shape, as indicated by the simple “Y” on the stringer, alongside a four digit serial number. A knowledgeable friend tells me that the serial numbers on these Seventies Yater boards are not sequential in any way. Instead, they were just the random numbers from a series of numbered order books that Renny used to keep track of his stock.

The listed price on Craigslist for the Seventies Yater single fin was $525. The board has obviously seen some use — there are some visible pressure dings on the deck, and the tail looks like it might have taken on some water — but overall, I think this is a pretty good price. Congrats to whoever snagged this thing!

Social Media Roundup: End of Summer Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! You know the drill: here are some of the coolest boards I’ve seen on Instagram lately. Keep scrolling for more…

Renny Yater. Jock Sutherland. Pipeline. And yes, a red high density foam stringer to top it all off. This thing is clean and mean!

Technically I believe only one of these boards is vintage (that would be the Brewer on the bottom). This is far from a “classic” Brewer in the sense it’s an Eighties thruster, but hey, it’s got Dick Brewer’s name on it, and the airbrush is awesome.

I recently wrote up an early Energy Surfboards / Simon Anderson / Frank Latta thruster, but featured above are three of Simon’s personal riders. Super cool stuff.

Meanwhile, Simon Anderson also shaped for Shane Surfboards early on. Here’s a very interesting wing pin setup.

Here’s Al Merrick posing with a Channel Islands Surfboards thruster that was likely shaped in the Eighties. From the OP sticker I’m guessing this has to be one of the boards that Tom Curren rode en route to a US Open victory. You don’t hear much about Al these days, as his son Britt has taken the reins at CI, but it’s great to see an update!

Social Media Roundup (May 22 2018)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a random selection of cool Instagram posts that I have come across. Without any further ado:

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‘67 – ‘71 was a transitional period. Thicker (or thinner), shorter, knife-ier rails; performance and surfing styles were evolving constantly. The pintail, along with the #McTavish V-Bottom, were the performance traits of the day. This particular Yater shape was specifically designed for speeding down the fast waves of Rincon, just on the cusp of the shortboard. Interesting Fact: Renny’s wedge stringer (seen here) was created to minimize the weak point of the fin in the stringer by splitting the stringer around the fin.  It is unique to his shapes. . . . 1968 “No Name” • Foam, Glass • Shaper: R. Yater . . . Check out our upcoming documentary on Santa Barbara surf heritage 🗿 “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story,” directed by Wyatt Daily with @PaintShopLA (link in bio). Board courtesy of Roger Nance of @surfnwearbeachhouse. 📷 @Wyatt_Daily . . . #SpoonsFilm #Yater #1968 #rennyyater #pintail #Longboard #singlefin #vbottom #SantaBarbara #SBSurf #BeachHouse #SurfHistory #History #Handcrafted #handshaped#Foam #Surfboard #ClassicSurfboard #Classics #YaterFilm #RinconFilm #PaintShopLA

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Here at Shred Sledz we are firm believers that Renny Yater can do no wrong. While Yater’s noseriders and his single fins are among his most classic shapes, I also love his more unusual boards, like the hull pictured above. Check out this write up of a Yater single fin that sold recently.

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8'6" #eatonsurfboards #bonzer #ace 1992

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I am fascinated by the Bonzer and all its various iterations, but the holy trinity has to be the Campbell Brothers, who created the shape; the Bing Bonzer; and Mike Eaton’s take on the multi-finned design. The concave on this Mike Eaton bonzer is a trip — it almost looks like there’s a small hump near the center fin. Gotta love the airbrush on the rails (forget who the name of the artist is, but you’ll often see similar designs on Eaton’s boards).

Echo Beach era Wave Tools boards are all pretty outrageous, but this one just might take the cake. The warped checkerboard on one side and then the red and pink stripes on the other is completely excessive…and perfect. You know I’m a sucker for branded fins and oversized Clark Foam lams. This Wave Tools Lance Collins twin fin ticks every checkbox on the list.

Leave it to Luis Real to come through with an amazing Mike Diffenderfer shaped Lightning Bolt single fin! The board has been “semi-restored”, and while I prefer the character of all-original boards, there’s no denying the pedigree or radness of this stick.

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i poached this from @casurfmuseum . if you aren’t following or supporting them some how, you are blowing it!!!! below is the text to support this post , swipe -> to check all of the 3+ minutes. shit is MENTAL!!!!!! ……………………………. ・・・ ⚡️J O H N S E V E R S O N ⚡️ presents ⚡️B A N Z A I P I P E L I N E ⚡️ This film is from 1962 and could be ordered out of the back of @surfer_magazine for $5. This film is extremely rare and hasn’t been seen in over 50 years. The music by Link Wray was added recently. The surfers in the film aren’t named but we have a pretty good idea who these legends are, we’d love to hear your guesses too. Make sure you bring the whole family in to tour our newest exhibit “Salute to Pipeline” sponsored by @billabong @josecuervotequila @wsl @visitoceanside . . If you #repost please tag us. Thanks. . . #northshore #oahu #hawaii #pipeline #johnseverson #surf #surfing #film #8mm #digital #photography

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The post above is not a surfboard, per se, but it’s safe to say that surf culture as we know it would not exist without John Severson’s influence. The late, great Severson is best known as the creator of Surfer Magazine, but he was also an artist and a filmmaker. I’ve really been digging the graphic design on various Severson creations — things like posters and lobby cards for his early films — and I love that someone unearthed a clean copy of an old Super 8 movie he made. The packaging is amazing!

Price Checks Featuring Yater Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features a bit of a head-scratcher: a Reynolds Yater Seventies single fin that ended up selling for a bargain price on eBay. I’m still a bit shocked that the board didn’t command more on the open market, especially considering it was an auction.

The photos in this post were taken from the eBay auction, which you can find here. It’s unclear what year the board was shaped, but it was almost certainly sometime during the Seventies. The measurements are 7’4″ x 21″ x 3″, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s in great shape.

Yater Seventies Single Fin Logo .jpg
Close up of the logo and signature on the Yater Seventies Single Fin. If you look closely towards the top of the screen you’ll see the textured deck. You can just make out the “Y” right above the serial number (#2152).

The picture above demonstrates two cool aspects of the Yater board in question: first, you can make out the textured deck (look at the top of the picture); and second, Yater’s “Y” signature along with a serial number.

Nowadays Yater signs his boards on the stringer closer towards the tail, as you can see here. The Yater Seventies single fin, however, has a single “Y” signature on the deck located closer towards the nose, and right beneath the logo. I’m not sure when Renny shifted to signing “R. Yater” in script towards the tail, but the single “Y” is commonplace among a lot of his boards made during the Seventies. For example, I wrote up one of Renny’s personal riders that was sold during the 2017 California Gold Surf Auction.

As a quick aside about the date of the eBay board, I would say pre-1974. I’m strictly basing this off a comparison of the serial numbers. The eBay Yater Seventies single fin has the serial number 2152, whereas the 2017 California Gold auction board is dated to 1974, and has the serial number 4294.

The Yater Seventies single fin on eBay sold for a much lower price than I would have guessed, closing out at a paltry $320. If you had told me the board had sold for double or even triple that amount I wouldn’t have blinked an eyelash.

There are two recent comparisons I have, although both of these are Renny’s personal boards, and they were also sold at auction. First, there’s the 2017 California Gold Yater personal rider, which cleared a cool $3,700. At the 2018 California Gold auction another Yater personal rider — a Nineties thruster — sold for $2,000. I would say off-hand that Yater Seventies single fins are among the most collectible of all his shapes. As a result, I’m blown away that a super clean example sold for $320 on eBay, of all places, as opposed to being some random one-off Craigslist bargain. There was no shipping on the board, but I don’t think that’s the only reason this thing sold for at least a few hundred below what I was expecting. Then again, pricing vintage surfboards is equal parts art and science.

Vintage Yater Ad from Surfer Magazine: Sagas of Shred

Vintage Yater Surfboards ad from a 1960s issue of Surfer Magazine

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time for another “Sagas of Shred” entry. Today’s post features a name that has appeared many times on this blog: Reynolds “Renny” Yater. Yater has been shaping fine surf craft for upwards of fifty years (!) from his home base in Santa Barbara. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at a vintage Yater ad or two as a way of examining Renny’s long and distinguished career as one of California’s pre-eminent board builders.

As a relative newcomer to the cult of Yater Surfboards, I have embraced the heritage of the brand with the zeal of a recent convert. To me, Yater Surfboards and its namesake always had a classy quality that could not have been further from the Orange County surf industrial complex (which, by the way, I enjoy as well). Yater Surfboards embodies the best of old school cool, whether it’s the clean lines of its boards, the spare logos, or the wonderfully minimalist website.

Vintage Yater Ad
Yater ad from Surfer Magazine Dec. – Jan. 1963/1964 (Vol. 4 No. 6). I love how straightforward the copy is. It makes me wanna call up Yater and order a board right now!

I came across the vintage Yater ad pictured above and I was immediately struck by the earnestness — dare I say seriousness? — of the copy. I have never met Renny, but the ad fits in neatly with the mental image I have of the man: a consummate craftsman who is committed to shaping high quality surfboards.

I think the ad would be just as effective today (though it might need an area code for the phone number!), especially considering Yater’s reputation has only grown in the five plus decades since the ad ran in Surfer Magazine. The tone is understated and humble, but confident in its convictions. The Yater ad, much like Yater’s boards, speaks to the undeniable fact that quality is timeless.

Vintage Yater Ad 1
Another vintage Yater ad from an issue of Surfer Magazine in the 1960s. Notice the old school font on the Yater script. This ad first appeared in Surfer Magazine June-July 1963 (Vol. 4 No. 3).

The second Yater ad, pictured above, is a nice glimpse into surfboard advertisements of the 1960s. I love seeing the older terms — note how the ad refers to the stringers as “center strips!” I love how the Santa Barbara Surf Shop “almond” logo is repurposed to show a close-up of the board’s construction. A lot of ads from this era were either black and white or printed with a single color, and the yellow makes it stand out from the pack.

Thank you for taking the time to read this entry in Sagas of Shred, and I hope you tune in next week!

Photo at top of the page: Renny Yater at the Hollister Ranch, taken by John Severson. Photo via Surfer Magazine

 

Vintage Yater Longboard

Greetings, Shredderz! This late night special is brought to you by some insomnia-fueled Craigslist trawling. The focus of today’s post is a vintage Yater longboard that is currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. I have included pictures of the board below:

This vintage Yater is interesting for a few reasons. In the first picture you can see the logo says “Reynolds Yater Signature Surfboards.” According to Stoked-n-Board, this logo was produced starting in 1989. However, I believe that is incorrect, due to the fin box. I believe the fin box is an example of a W.A.V.E. Set fin box, which would mean the board was produced in either the late 1960s or early 1970s. The board also comes with what looks like its original fin, which is a nice touch. Stoked-n-Board claims that Yater produced boards with W.A.V.E. Set fin boxes in the early 1970s. As you can see in the last picture, it appears some additional work was done on the fin box. I’m wondering if it wasn’t replaced altogether (see this thread for an excellent step-by-step overview of replacing a leaky W.A.V.E. Set box). Finally, the triple stringer on the Yater board above is an unusual touch. The stringer of choice for a vintage Yater longboard is a wedge stringer.

Finally, I was able to find pictures of another vintage Yater longboard with the same Signature logo. I believe this is another piece of data that indicates the Signature logo was produced sometime during the late 1960s or early 1970s, versus S-n-B’s date of 1989. (Let me be clear: S-n-B is one of the best online resources for info on vintage surfboards, but like anything else, it’s not perfect.)

I was also able to pick up on one small detail regarding the Yater Signature surfboard logo. More recent boards bearing this variant of the logo have a tilde following the Signature. See below for an example from a more recent board. I’m not exactly sure on the date, but it’s a thruster, meaning that it must be post 1981 at a minimum:

Recent Yater Signature Surfboard Logo.png
Example of a modern version of the Yater Signature surfboard logo. Note the tilde that appears after the signature, which does not appear on either of the other two boards in this post. This board was produced sometime after 1981.

You can check out the triple stringer longboard on Craigslist here.