Luis Real strikes again! Pictured above is a super unusual Lightning Bolt / Gerry Lopez sting. For all of Bolt’s fame in the 70s, and the popularity of the sting during the same decade, you would think you would see more Bolts with sting outlines. The Lightning Bolt sting also has a cool Al Dove airbrush.
Here’s a beautiful Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt that he hand shaped for Rell Sun, giving the board some truly regal Hawaiian pedigree. The board’s owner, Kim McKenzie, was recently written up in a cool feature on Pilgrim Surf + Supply’s super neat blog. The board has a quasi-sting outline, and the upturned wings are very reminiscent of some Mark Richards stings I have seen.
While we’re on the topic of Lightning Bolt, Ian Cairns is selling some of his 1970s Tom Parrish-shaped Bolt single fins to help finance his new biography. Enjoy this timely quiver shot, which I have to imagine was taken on the North Shore of Oahu.
This is a mind-boggling board. Make sure you swipe through all the photos. I have never seen a flex tail on a Rick Surfboards shape before. Rick made some really neat transitional boards, including the famous Barry Kanaiaupuni Model. Not sure who the shaper might have been.
I don’t know that surfboards get any more classy — or classic, for that matter — than the Phil Edwards Honolulu. (Though the Hobie Phil Edwards comes close). Stay tuned…there may be a Deep Dive forthcoming on the subject.
I don’t know if this is a vintage picture or just a vintage board, but for all you California-philes out there, is there anything more timeless than a clean Renny Yater single fin? You can just barely make out the logo towards the nose, lurking beneath the wetsuit.
First, if you haven’t seen the previous posts on Rick Surfboards and you’re interested in learning more about the brand, I recommend checking them out. Here are links for Part I and Part II.
Pictured above is a super rare Barry Kanaiaupuni personal rider with the Rick Surfboards logo. The pictures come courtesy of Randy Rarick / Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction. The Rick BK personal rider above was sold at the 2011 Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction. Prior to that, it was on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu for a number of years (anyone know how I can hire that interior decorator?) Many thanks to Mr. Rarick for providing the pictures and the background on the board!
One of the coolest things about the BK rider — you know, besides the fact that it was ridden by BK himself! — is the logo. It is the only board I have ever seen with this Rick Surfboards Hawaii variant logo. According to Rarick, during the time when Rick Surfboards was producing its BK Pintail models, the brand opened up a store in Honolulu on Kapiolani Boulevard. Kanaiaupuni shaped some custom boards with Rick logos from their Honolulu store. My guess is the pink board pictured above was likely either shaped or sold at the Rick Surfboards Honolulu shop, hence the Hawaii logo. I’m not sure of the significance of the hands above the logo, but I am sure that it looks really, really cool.
I’m not sure when the Rick BK personal rider was shaped, but the board does have a distinct outline similar to other Transition Era boards. I imagine this board was put through its paces at Sunset!
For more on the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, visit the website here. Thanks again to Randy Rarick for the pictures and information in this post.
An in-depth overview of the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model surfboard produced during the Transition Era of the late 1960s
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is Part II of our exploration of one of surfing’s most influential but still somehow underground surfboard labels: Rick Surfboards. If you missed Part I, which covers Rick noseriders and pre-Transition Era models, please check it out here. The initial version of the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model, produced starting in 1966, was a noserider. Rick Surfboards BK Model longboards continue to command high prices; one recently sold at the California Gold vintage surf auction for $2,450.
In 1967, with the Transition Era underway, Rick Surfboards released a shorter surfboard made for the steep, challenging conditions of Hawaii’s North Shore, and, of course, its namesake’s radical surfing. The end result was the Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail model.
The canvas for Kanaiaupuni’s new equipment — I’ve seen his Transition Era boards referred to as both pocket rockets and mini-guns — was big wave spot Sunset Beach. Barry K’s exploits at Sunset resulted in some iconic surf photographs, including shots from famed photographers Art Brewer and Jeff Divine.
Barry Kanaiaupuni’s Early Shaping Days
From what I can tell, the longboard version of the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model was produced only during 1966 and 1967. I believe sometime in 1967 Rick Surfboards began producing the Pintail version of the BK Model. Stoked-n-Board claims the BK Pintail was produced until 1982. I find this unlikely for two reasons. First, just about every BK Pintail I have seen has a distinct Transition Era outline, which would have been outdated for the 1970s, much less the early 1980s. Second, Barry Kanaiaupuni started shaping for other brands during the early 1970s.
The Encyclopedia of Surfing tells us Kanaiaupuni began his shaping career at Rick Surfboards, followed by stints at Country Surfboards, Surf Line Hawaii, and then Lightning Bolt. This sequence makes me think Rick Surfboards ceased production on the BK Pintail well before 1982. There are many examples of boards shaped by Kanaiaupuni for other brands well before 1982: Surfboard Hoard has a Chuck Dent brand shaped by BK dated to 1969; I have seen a BK Surf Line Hawaii board dated to 1971; and Surfing Cowboys has a Lightning Bolt BK board supposedly made in 1972. Based on this evidence, I believe the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model was produced from 1967 until the early 1970s, at the latest.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail: Gun
Pictured above is an unusual example of the Rick Surfboards BK Pintail. Although dimensions for the board are not listed on the post, you can see the board has a traditional big wave gun shape. Compare this to all the examples below, which are shorter and have fuller noses paired with long, drawn out pintails. Nor is the pintail gun above a noserider, a la the board featured in the first post. The logo is interesting, too. It is the only example I have seen that reads “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail.” All the other versions in this post read either “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model” or “Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail.” The board has been fully restored by Randy Rarick. The restoration makes me think it’s possible the logo is not all-original. See below for a pic comparing the length of the board to a Hobie Dick Brewer Model. I couldn’t find dimensions for the gun, but it looks considerably longer than all the other BK Pintails featured in this post.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model: 7’1″, 1967, Serial No. 442 (Non-Pintail Logo)
Pictured above is another Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail oddity. Pics are via the USVSA. As you can see, the board is clearly a Pintail version of the Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model. However, it does not have a Pintail logo. The Rick Surfboards laminate is in the original font, too. Note the board is numbered #442 on the stringer; more on this later.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail (Various)
This section focuses on “standard” versions of the Rick Surfboards BK Pintail. I define these boards as follows: they possess a Transition Era outline, with a full nose and dramatic, pulled-in pintail; and the logos bear the updated Rick Surfboards font and the “Pintail” text (versus boards that simply read “Barry Kanaiaupuni Model”).
A number of the standard Rick BK Pintails have been sold at auction recently. The picture above is from a board that sold at the Vintage Surf Auction in 2015. The Rick BK Pintail above is dated to 1967, and it has the serial #368. No dimensions are listed for #368. One thing that throws me for a loop is the ordering of the serial numbers. #442, the board with the blue fin that appeared earlier in the post, does not have the updated font on the Rick Surfboards logo, nor does it have the Pintail text. The numbering indicates #442 was made after #368, but the logo suggests otherwise.
Buggs, the proprietor of Surfboardline.com, has a number of awesome Rick BK Pintails, which he has featured on his website and Instagram. The board above appears on Surfboardline.com. No serial number is listed for what I’ll call “Buggs’ Board.” I think it’s very possible Buggs’ Board and #368 are one and the same, but I can’t be sure without seeing pictures of the fin on #368. Buggs’ Board is all-original and it measures in at 8′ x 22″ x 2-1/2″, compared to #442, which comes in at 7’1″.
Pictured above is a 1967 Rick BK Pintail with an era-appropriate acid splash paint job. The board was sold at a USVSA event close to ten years ago. Pics are via the auction listing, which you can find here. The Acid Splash board measures in at 7’10”. Other than the rad airbrush, it looks quite similar to the other Rick BK Pintails listed above, from the silhouette down to the W.A.V.E. Set fin box.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail with Glass-On Fin
The board above comes courtesy of French surfboard site Surf-Longboard.com, and it is currently being offered for sale at €1,000. You can find a link to the board here. The French Board measures in at 7’4″. It has a very similar outline and length to the other Rick BK Pintails posted above.
The thing that stands out about the French Board is its glass-on fin. This is the only example I have seen without a W.A.V.E. Set fin box. The French Board also has some nice pin lines, reminiscent to #442.
There are a few Instagram posts that show off the details of the tail on the French Board. I assume this is true of the other Rick BK Pintails as well, but it’s difficult to say without any close-up pics.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail with Signature
The yellow board shown above is the only Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model I have seen that looks like it was signed by BK himself. The board was previously posted for sale on SurfnHula.com. You can find the link here. I don’t know whether or not this is a genuine BK signature. I have seen a variety of boards signed by BK, and his signature seems to vary.
Like the gun at the top of the post, the Triple Stringer board has two additional stringers. It’s interesting the note the Triple Stringer board has been labeled a “Pocket Rocket.” The Triple Stringer’s dimensions are 7’9″ x 20-1/2″, putting it line with the other standard Rick BK Pintails featured here.
There you have it — every single Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Pintail I have ever laid eyes on. I’m still bursting with questions: did BK shape all of these, or did Rick Surfboards use a ghost shaper? (I’m leaning towards the latter). What were the exact years during which the Rick BK Pintails were produced? How to explain the varying lengths of the boards — were they offered in different pre-set sizes? And, perhaps most importantly, are these boards every bit as cool as they look? As always, if you have any additional information or pics about the wonderful Rick Barry Kanaiaupuni Model, please give me a shout!
Check out the earlier post in the Rick Surfboards Deep Dive series here. Coming soon is Part III, in which we will delve into the beautiful single fins Rick Surfboards produced during the 1970s.
Photo Credit at the top of the page: Barry Kanaiaupuni surfing Sunset Beach, 1969. Photo by the peerless Art Brewer.
Rick Surfboards is a surfboard label that should be more famous than it is. I admit, part of this stance is informed by my own extensive biases, starting with the fact I have a soft spot for Rick’s clean and classy logos. Setting aside these preconceptions, though, Rick Surfboards boasts a rich history intertwined with some of California surf culture’s most notable figures. Sadly, Stoner’s premature passing in 1977 brought an early end to a label whose influence can still be felt today. Today’s post is an exploration of the early history of Rick Surfboards, and the shapes it produced during the mid-1960s. This is the first part in a series. As always, if you have additional information on Rick Surfboards, please drop me a line!
Part I: History — Bing & Rick
Rick Surfboards is the eponymous label of Rick Stoner. Stoner was a native of the South Bay of Los Angeles, hailing from Hermosa Beach. In 1955 Stoner decamped to Hawaii alongside friend Bing Copeland. Even in the 1950s the North Shore of Oahu was a proving grounds for the emerging surf scene. Bing and Rick surfed until their funds ran out, then joined the Coast Guard reserves, where they were lucky enough to be stationed on a ship in Hawaii.
According to Copeland, shortly after opening up their shop, Rick decided to focus on being a full-time lifeguard, selling his shares of the business to Bing in the process. The newly renamed Bing Surfboards went on to become one of the most recognizable and influential surf brands in the world.
At some point, Stoner must have had second thoughts about the surfboard business. As best I can tell (mostly from the Stoked-n-Board entry for the brand), Stoner established Rick Surfboards in 1963.
Part II: Rick Surfboards from the Longboard Era (Mid 1960s)
Before the dawn of the Transition Era and shortboards, Rick Surfboards, like every other surfboard manufacturer at the time, initially focused on producing beautiful old-school longboards. Examples of 1960s Rick Surfboards longboards are highly coveted and demand high prices at auctions. Here is a rundown of some of the best-known early Rick Surfboards models.
Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model Longboard
The Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni Model is one of its most famous designs. Produced in conjunction with the legendary Hawaiian surfer, The Barry Kanaiaupuni Model first hit shelves in 1966. For the first few years, the BK signature model was a traditional noserider. This changed when the Transition Era hit (more on that later). There’s a great example of a Rick Surfboards Barry Kanaiaupuni model that was listed on eBay. The auction was pulled, so there is no final price associated with the board, but the initial asking bid of $2,500 is telling (as is the fact the seller, Brett7873, has sold a number of collectible boards before.) See below for pictures:
According to the seller, the Barry Kanaiaupuni model above was produced in 1966. The dimensions are 9’6″ x 21-1/2″ x 3″. The board has been restored by none other than Hawaiian surfboard whisperer Randy Rarick, which is the next-best thing to being completely original. One last important note about the board: even though Kanaiaupuni went on to famously shape boards at Lightning Bolt, it’s unclear whether or not he shaped these Rick boards, or merely leant his name to them.
Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model
Rick Surfboards also released the Dru Harrison Improvisor model in 1966. Dru Harrison was a well-regarded pro in the 1960s. Like Stoner, Harrison hailed from Hermosa Beach.
Here are some pictures of a recent Improvisor model that was listed for sale on Craigslist (board has since been purchased). The dimensions of the Dru Harrison Improvisor example are 9’0″ x 20-1/2″ x 2-7/8″. I believe this board is all original, other than some repairs that were made.
The seller claims the Dru Harrison Improvisor above was produced in 1967. Production of the Improvisor ended in 1970, according to Stoked-n-Board. During this time, Rick Surfboards released a number of different logos for the Improvisor. However, I have yet to see any examples of genuine vintage boards bearing the alternate Improvisor logos. Here’s an example of an alternate Dru Harrison Improvisor logo, but I believe this board was part of Matt Calvani’s recent run of Rick reproductions.
As for the collectibility of the Rick Surfboards Dru Harrison Improvisor Model, it is difficult to say. I haven’t seen any Improvisors sold at auction recently. The one data point I have is an eBay sale that took place almost six years ago. You can find the link here. The board sold for just under $3K, and apparently it had a very low serial number (#67). Sadly, there are no pics on the listing any longer.
Rick Surfboards UFO Model
Rick Surfboards also produced the UFO Model longboard between 1966 and 1968, according to S-n-B. The UFO Model had a bunch of advanced features at the time of its release, including an interesting scooped out tail, a step deck, and a teardrop concave design on the nose. These features were incorporated to improve the UFO Model’s noseriding capabilities. Adam Davenport of Davenport Surfboards has a nice writeup of the UFO Model’s functionality, which you can find on his personal website here.
Here’s another example of a Rick Surfboards UFO Model. Pics below are from an old Craigslist posting (board is no longer for sale). The multiple stringer configuration is a common characteristic of the Rick UFO. On an aesthetic note, I love the logos, particularly the ones framing the stringer.
The UFO Model can be seen on the far left in the gallery above; it is the board with the blue / green fin and the quadruple stringers (two center stringers, and then one on either edge). The seller listed the board at 10’0″ and claims it was made in 1967. The asking price was $1300, but seeing as the board sold on Craigslist (if at all), I have no insight into the final closing price.
Rick Surfboards Assorted Noseriders
There are other longboard models that Rick Surfboards produced during the mid 1960s, but I have yet to see any examples for many of them. It’s difficult to comment on the rarity and collectibility of these boards. For example, I have only seen one D&B Pintail Model, and that was submitted to The Surfboard Project. Here’s a smattering of some random Rick pre-Transition Era noseriders::
Pictured above is a beautiful 9’9″ Rick Surfboards noserider with the classic old-school logo. I love the double laminates on the deck. It has serial number #1252, and the seller claims the board dates to 1965. This board has been listed on and off Craigslist for a while now. The seller has been holding firm at $1200, which I think is reasonable for an all-original 1960s Rick, but apparently I’m in the minority, judging from the fact the board has yet to sell. You can find a link here.
Pictured above is another Rick Surfboards longboard. Check out the beefy stringer. It’s also interesting to note the tail block and the glassed-on fin. The Rick Surfboards logo appears to be a few shades of blue lighter than the double-logo version above. This board is listed at 10’6″; pics via an old Craigslist posting.
Here’s a Rick Surfboards model with a rare “Tripper” laminate. Check out the Rick logo on the fin, too! I have never seen this model before, and I haven’t been able to find any other information about it online. Stoked-n-Board has no mention of a Tripper model. Pics via an old Craigslist listing. According to the poster, this may be an experimental board that never saw the light of day. The wedge stringer is taken from the Improvisor Model, and you’ll notice the similarities between the Tripper fin and the one on the Barry Kanaiaupuni Model.
Finally, see above for an example of a Rick Surfboards Noserider with a corresponding logo. Pics via Island Trader Surf Shop, who date the board to 1966. This is a pretty unusual logo, that I have only seen on a few boards. The board measures 10’1″.
As always, my sincere thanks for making it this far through the post. As mentioned earlier, this is the first post in a series that will cover the history of Rick Surfboards. Subsequent posts will cover Rick Surfboards’ Transition Era models — including the famous Barry Kanaiaupuni Pintail — as well as Rick’s transition to the 1970s and single fins produced under the stewardship of Phil Becker. Stay tuned and Happy Shredding!
Greetings, Shredderz! As your weekend comes to a close (it’s almost midnight here in California), here’s a selection of a few cool boards I saw for sale over the past few days.
Rich Pavel / Steve Lish 5’8″ Fish on Craigslist
Steve Lis design
Hatchet glass on fins
Cool old Moonlight Glassing logo!
This thing has already been sold, so there’s no link. It went for $700. This is a MUCH cleaner example of a Pavel / Lis / Choice fish than the one I featured a little while ago. This one has some really cool touches, like those glassed-on wooden hatchet fins, and a nifty older Moonlight Glassing logo.
This board is no longer for sale, but there are some nice reference points. First, Surfy Surfy has an old blog post on another Pavel / Lis / Choice board that was shaped in 1979. It looks very similar to the one above.
Finally, there’s another Pavel / Lis / Choice fish for sale in the Inland Empire, which you can find here. It looks very similar, but I think it’s overpriced at $1K. I believe the date on this board is wrong as well — I tend to believe sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s is more accurate. Two other notes: the Inland Empire board was glassed at Diamond Glassers and it has a Clark Foam logo, so we know it’s pre-2005 at least (when Clark went out of business).
This thing is in impeccable condition. It might take a bold surfer to show up to a crowded lineup with this bright pink paint job and the heart-shaped patch on the deck, but that’s a small price to pay for a board in such great shape. The poster claims this was purchased in 1972 as an older stock board and was never surfed. It certainly looks all original. Sadly, it’s hard to find reliable info on Hobie boards online. The board is listed as 8’4″, and it looks like the Silver Bullet model was produced at least beginning in 1969. Check out the rad advertisement below. The only catch? The board is listed at $2,450…hope you brought your piggy banks with you.
I’d like to say one thing up front: the board at that link is in terrible condition. The price is indefensible, too. With that said, the board has a cool checkerboard fin, and it sports a variant of a classic Rick logo I haven’t seen before (see above). The logo above has atomic rings above it, a la the classic Greg Noll marque. Any time I find a logo that doesn’t appear on Stanley’s Surfboard Logos or Stoked-n-Board, I consider it a success.
The price on this bad boy is steep — $1400. But it’s in beautiful condition, and I just have a soft spot for the clean lines of 70s single fins. I love the contrast between the green pin lines and the yellow color on the rails and the bottom.
I’d love to do a more in-depth post on Simon Anderson. I’m just waiting to find one of his early thrusters go on sale so I can do the board justice with an accompanying post. (I featured one of his early single fin boards in this post.)
In the early days of Anderson’s pioneering thruster design, he licensed it out to Nectar so he could sell the board in America. The board linked above is a fantastic early example, apparently from 1981, and it looks to be in pretty impeccable condition. It’s not cheap at $569 but it’s not easy to find 35 year old boards in such great condition. If you’d like to read more about the Anderson / Nectar collaboration, I recommend this article at Boardcollector.com.
This Chuck Dent board is sporting some artwork that can only be described as groovy, and it looks like it is in pristine condition. Bonus: the board is seen pictured with an ultra-rare Gordon & Smith / Skip Frye vee bottom, with another logo I haven’t seen before. Not sure if the Frye is for sale (likely not), but it’s worth the click through, trust me. This bad boy is listed at $600. I’m not sure how collectible Dent’s boards are, but if the condition is every bit as ideal as the post suggests, then this could be a fair price.
Neither of these boards are in particularly great condition, but if there’s one thing I love, it’s finding rare logos from old boards. It’s always a good sign when you can’t find the logo on Stoked-n-Board or Stanley’s Surfboard Logos, and I can’t find mention of a Rick Surfboards Lightweight model anywhere. Maybe this is a nod to Bing’s famous Lightweight model, given that Rick Stoner and Bing Copeland were once business partners? I can’t say for sure. At $700 I can’t really justify this cost, but oh well.
Here is a vintage Rick single fin that is up for grabs on Craigslist in Echo Park, Los Angeles. It’s not perfect, by any means – I’ve omitted the pictures that show some dings that have been not-so-beautifully repaired – but it is only $60.
More importantly, it’s a genuine Rick board! I love finds like this one because there isn’t much mention of the brand name on the Craigslist listing. No telling who the shaper is, but there’s always a chance it was made by Phil Becker. By now you should be accustomed to having me direct you to Stoked-n-Board for more info, and of course, S-n-B’s entry on Rick Surfboards has some great stuff. The logo here looks like it maps to what S-n-B lists as common for the 1970s, although this board only says “Rick”, and not the entire “Rick Surfboards” logo.
There are many more famous – and expensive – Rick models to be had. The ne plus ultra is probably the Barry Kanaiaupuni signature model, which was produced back in the 60s. Here’s an example of one that was listed on eBay a little while back (note that it was restored by Randy Rarick). I’ve included a picture below.
Rick Surfboards was the genesis of what eventually became Becker Surf. Becker bought the Rick Surfboards factory in 1980, and the rest became history. And while this board might not be one of the holy grails associated with Rick, it’s supposedly water tight, and you can’t really beat the price (though you should, as always, check out the ding situation before forking over any cash).