Vintage Yater Single Fin

Kon-nichiwa, Shredderz! There isn’t much in the way of waves here in Japan, but luckily I can still trawl Craigslist from the safety of my hotel room. Today’s post features a single fin shaped by none other than Reynolds Yater.

The board pictured above is currently for sale on Craigslist in Los Osos, just a little bit north of Santa Barbara. Pictures are via the Craigslist post.

The board measures in at 6’4″, and it looks to be in pretty good shape. I have left out a picture showing an obvious repair on one of the rails, which looks like it could be re-done without too much fuss.

The seller for the board above claims it was shaped in 1982. There are other examples of similar Yater boards that raise interesting questions about when this board might have been made.

First is another Yater single fin that was up for sale on Craigslist a few months back, which I featured in an earlier post. You can find my original post here. I’ve included some of the pics below:

I originally theorized the green board was shaped in the 1970s. This was based on a few factors: the outline is pretty typical for a 70s board; the Rainbow fin; and finally, the logo, which Stoked-n-Board dates to the 1970s.

Note the logo above has the almond eye outline in yellow. Compare this to the board at the top of the page, which is identical, except for the lack of the almond eye outline.

The green board and the blue logo board at the top of the page both have very similar outlines. The green board is just a tad longer, measuring in at 6’9″, but both boards have similar winged pintail outlines.

There’s another Yater board that got featured on Shred Sledz recently. This board is a board Renny shaped for himself, and it was recently sold at the California Gold Surf Auction. You can find a link to the auction listing here. According to the auction description, the Yater personal rider was shaped in 1976. I think this date is the most reliable of any of the three boards, given the credibility of the folks behind the California Gold auction. Pics below were originally posted with the auction link.

First, you’ll notice the logo for the auction board is also missing the almond eye outline. More importantly, though, the board doesn’t seem to have the distinctive winged pintail found on both the green board and the blue logo board.

I wish I had a clear conclusion regarding the dates of the green board and the blue logo board, but unfortunately, I do not. I tend to think they must be from similar timeframes, given the similarity in their outlines. But I’m not sure if they pre-date the Yater personal rider sold at auction or not. There are other possibilities, too: perhaps Yater produced wing pin single fins over a long period of time, meaning that both dates (early 1970s for the green board, and early 1980s for the blue logo board) could be correct.

If you have any info, I’d love to hear it! Until then, Happy Shredding!

All That Glitters: California Gold Vintage Surf Auction

This is it, folks…the big Kahuna.

The 2017 California Gold Surf Auction is underway. Lots begin closing later this week, on May 7, and as the auction enters the home stretch, I figure now is a good time to take a closer look at some of the boards being offered.

First, a little context: the California Gold Surf Auction is put on by Scott Bass, who runs the excellent Boardroom Show surfboard expo, and can be heard on both his Down the Line podcast, as well as the Surf Splendor podcast (both of which I recommend).

More importantly, the auction benefits the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center. If you’re at all interested in surf history — and if you’re not, I’d love to know how you ended up here, of all places — the SHCC is worthy of your support. Personally, I love the SHCC’s Stoked-n-Board resource, which is an online directory of just about every surfboard brand ever. Bottom line: not only are you buying some rad sticks, you’re also supporting an organization that does some great work in preserving history and spreading stoke.

Alright, I’m going to step off my soapbox and play the hits. Here are some of the rad boards on offer.

Renny Yater Personal Rider: 7’4″ Single Fin (Link Here)

I’ll let the auction organizers say it: “in our eyes the coolest board in the auction.” Who am I to disagree? Yater shaped, glassed, and finished this board…and then probably ripped perfect Rincon with it, too. One cool detail for fellow board nerds: you’ll see a number on the stringer with a small Y above it. Apparently this is how Yater signed some of his personal boards (versus the more common “R. Yater” signature and numbering you see on his later designs). The board was shaped in 1976. I’m not sure if this is considered a proper Pocket Rocket or not. There is no reserve and right now the highest bid is $800. That is an unbelievably low price, though I suspect bidding will probably heat up towards the end of the auction. You can see more pics on the auction site, which you can find here.

Hit “Continue Reading” below to see more selections from the auction…

Continue reading “All That Glitters: California Gold Vintage Surf Auction”

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (3/30)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, see below for my hand picked selections of some high quality social media.

I’ve been writing about Morey Pope a bit lately, and here’s an incredible find from Buggs, who has one of the dopest surfboard collections known to mankind, and runs SurfboardLine in his free time. This is a balsa Morey Pope board from what looks to be 1966 — see the comments for some more knowledgeable people chiming in with info on this beaut.

My hero renny

A post shared by Joel_tudor (@joeljitsu) on

Joel Tudor has been posting a lot of quality vintage content on his Instagram lately. This is a picture of Renny Yater. I’d guess late 1950s or early 1960s, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, it is one classic picture of one classic dude (and posted by another!)

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (3/30)”

Shred Sledz Presents: 3/26 Weekend Grab Bag (Morey-Pope, Chuck Dent, Yater)

Greetings, Shredderz! I hope your weekend was chock full of uncrowded lineups and good times. As always, here is a smattering of a few boards that caught my attention over the past week.

Various Morey Pope Boards on Craigslist

First up is an orange Morey Pope mini-gun. It’s in the 7′ range and it’s on sale for $650 on Craigslist in Carlsbad, right near San Diego. Check out the logo on that thing, too — I couldn’t find a similar one on either Stoked-n-Board or Stanley’s.  The outline is very reminiscent of a Yater Pocket Rocket. I found a Swaylocks thread detailing a 1969 (estimated) Morey Pope “Power Dude” model, which also looks extremely similar to the orange board. At the risk of sounding financially irresponsible, I don’t think $650 is that crazy. Then again, Mrs. Shred Sledz likely has a very different conclusion, so take that with a grain of salt…

The other Morey Pope board for sale is the white board pictured in the gallery above. It can be found on Craigslist in Santa Barbara, where the seller is asking a cool $1K. The poster claims it is likely an early predecessor to the Camel model. Check out the very clear numbering, too.

If you’re still not satisfied with the amount of Transition Era weirdness served up by these two boards, here are yet two more Morey Pope sticks for sale: first is a hollow W.A.V.E board, going for $500; and then a Morey Pope McTavish tracker, also $500, which I wrote about previously. They’re being sold by the same collector so this could be an attractive package deal.

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Presents: 3/26 Weekend Grab Bag (Morey-Pope, Chuck Dent, Yater)”

Yater Twin Fin

Right now there’s a Yater twin fin for sale on Craigslist in LA for a reasonable $375 (pending, of course, a closer examination of the board for any soft spots, delam, etc.)

The board looks like it’s in pretty good condition. It has also had some work done. You can see the repairs on the bottom (see the second picture above).

What’s curious to me, though, is that I’ve never seen an example of a twin fin design from Yater. With the swallow tail it almost looks to be a standard fish design. If I had to guess, I would say this may have been made sometime in the 1980s, but I can’t be certain. There’s no mention of a twin fin on the history section of Yater’s website, either. I’d love to learn more if anyone has any info!

Apocalypse Wow: Yater Single Fin

Good morning, Shredderz! Today’s post will cover the one and only Reynolds “Renny” Yater, a Santa Barbara fixture and one of the better known shapers in California history.

If you’re a film buff with a great eye for detail, first of all I’d like to say I have no idea how you ended up here, but I’m glad you haven’t left yet. Secondly, I’d add that you might recognize Yater from his cameo in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, the surf-obsessed madman played by Robert Duvall, wields a Yater board in the movie’s iconic surfing scene. The board sports a pretty bitchin’ custom paint job, too:

image

When Kilgore isn’t shouting “Charlie don’t surf” and clearing lineups in the Mekong Delta, he can be seen sporting a Yater t-shirt:

image

Reynolds Yater, for the uninitiated, is a legendary California surfboard shaper who got his start in the 1950s. Yater might be in his eighties now, but he continues to shape boards under the Yater Surfboards brand today. If you haven’t already, you ought to read his Encyclopedia of Surfing entry, which contains this awesome pic of Yater at the Hollister Ranch:

image

Photo via Encyclopedia of Surfing; photo by John Severson

Yater is best known for his longboard shapes. He invented the Yater Spoon in 1965, which was an incredibly modern noseriding shape for its time. Yater is probably best known for his longboards, but as you can see at the top of the post, you can currently find one of his shortboards for sale on Craigslist, in Petaluma. The board pictured at the top of this post was shaped sometime during the seventies. There are two pieces of evidence that point to this fact. First is the logo, which is a more stripped down design than the classic “Santa Barbara Surf Shop” Yater logo, which I’ve reproduced below. Stoked-n-Board’s comprehensive entry for Yater Surfboards matches the logo in the first pic to boards shaped in the 1970s.

image

Photo via Stanley’s Surfboard Logos

The second giveaway is the rainbow fin, which looks to be in excellent condition. The same can be said for the entire board, which looks pretty great considering it was originally shaped almost 50 years ago. I can’t spot any obvious telltale signs of the board having been restored, but take that with a grain of salt.

Yater’s best known shortboard shape is the Pocket Rocket model, which was designed during the transitional era of the late sixties and early seventies. According to the Yater Surfboards website, “From 1969-72, [Yater] produced the Pocket Rocket, a surfboard designed with Hawaiian surfing in mind, riding the crest of the short board era.” I’m not sure whether or not the board at the top of this post would be considered a proper Pocket Rocket, but my early guess is no. Here are some pics of a recent Pocket Rocket reproduction (shaped by Yater), and you can see the outline is far more pulled in and narrow. In addition, it’s missing the wings you can find in the tail of the board at the top of this post.

image
image

In addition, here’s an example of a 1969 Pocket Rocket that recently went up for auction. You’ll see in the second pic that the auction board has a glassed-on fin, versus the fin box in the board at the top of this post.

image

Photos via California Surf Auction

Finally, here’s a third example of a vintage Pocket Rocket, which was sold in 2001 at Randy Rarick’s Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. I can’t find any information on the closing price, but as you can see in the pictures below, the board has the same narrow outline as the other examples.

Photos via Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction

Regarding the board at the top of this post, even if it’s not a traditional Pocket Rocket design, it’s still a fantastic example of an early Yater shortboard. It looks like it’s in fantastic condition, too. There is no price listed on Craigslist, but the seller says he is accepting offers. You can find the board for sale here.

As a bonus, the good folks at Pilgrim Surf + Supply published a great interview with Yater where he reminisces on his career and his influences. Check it out here if you’re interested.