1979 Lightning Bolt Surfboards Ad

Greetings, Shredderz! Here on the blog I’ve been writing a lot about the storied Lightning Bolt brand quite a bit: here’s a cool Rory Russell Model twin fin, and then I also happened to feature not one but two Darrell Beckmeier single fins. So for today’s installment of Sagas of Shred I figured why not keep the roll going, and dig out a vintage Lightning Bolt ad for all of you to enjoy.

The ad you see here originally ran in the June 1979 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 20, No 6). For many years Lightning Bolt ran ads on the back cover of Surfer Magazine. Oftentimes Bolt featured its incredible roster of team riders, and for good reason. I love that this ad also specifically calls out each team rider’s Surfer Poll results.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next Thursday evening with more vintage surf ads for your perusing pleasure!

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model Twin Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! There’s been a lot of coverage lately on this humble little blog about Lightning Bolt Surfboards — and for good reason, considering Bolt is likely the most famous surfboard label of all time. Today we’re back with even more Bolt coverage, as there’s a sweet Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here.

The Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model twin fin pictured above is 5’10”. According to the seller, it is in all-original condition.

What’s interesting about the Rory Russell Model is the fact it’s a twin fin with a channel bottom. One of the earliest posts on this blog — nearly four years ago! — featured a Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model with a similar twin fin / channel bottom setup.

I’ve seen a variety of Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Models, ranging from single fins all the way to thrusters. This isn’t exactly scientific, but I’d say that most of the Russell Bolt twin fins I’ve seen are not channel bottoms. I believe the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Model was produced starting in the late Seventies and into the early- to mid-Eighties. This is based off the templates and the fin setups. I know at least some of these boards were shaped by Tom Eberly, but most of them are unsigned. See below for an example of a early- to mid-Eighties Eberly Bolt Rory Russell Model, with a 2+1 fin setup. I’m almost certain these boards were shaped in California, too.

Finally, I really dig the airbrush design that can be found on many of these Rory Russell Model Bolts.

The board on the left in the photos above was listed for sale on Surfboard Hoard; the one on the right I wrote up in an earlier post, and it was listed on eBay. Both boards are absolutely gorgeous (although probably worth noting that the one from Surfboard Hoard was fully restored). Surfboard Hoard claims Laura Powers airbrushed the board on the top left. I don’t know if Powers created this design, but as always, if you know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks for reading and you can check out the Rory Russell channel bottom twin fin on eBay here.

Lightning Bolt Single Fin Duo

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a two-some from one of surfing’s most storied labels: the often imitated, never duplicated Lightning Bolt Surfboards. The histories of Lightning Bolt, Gerry Lopez, and Pipeline will forever be intertwined, and resumes don’t get any more sparkling than that. The Gerry Lopez-shaped Pipe gun — presumably surfed by Lopez with timeless grace at the world’s most famous surf spot — will long be many collectors’ version of the ultimate grail. That said, for all the talent Bolt’s Seventies roster boasted, incredibly, it was also matched by the team’s depth.

There are currently two different vintage Lightning Bolt surfboards listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. I wouldn’t categorize either as a top-shelf auction board, but that’s not the point. I see these sticks as evidence of the variety and quality of Lightning Bolt Surfboards’ offerings during the brand’s heyday.

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Single Fin (Craigslist)

This board is super clean. It’s a Rory Russell Model, and I think it was shaped in the early Eighties. Whatever the exact date, I suspect the board came well after Russell’s more “classic” Seventies shapes.

I don’t have the history on West Coast Glassing, but I can only assume it was a glass shop located somewhere in California. Was this the same factory where the famous Mickey Munoz and Terry Martin California Bolts were shaped? Your guess is as good as mine. I have also seen variations on the Rory Russell Model, including some twin fins. Overall, I think it’s unlikely that the board was shaped by Russell himself.

No dimensions are listed, but according to a previous Craigslist post, it is 6’4″. The seller is asking $1,500 for the Rory Russell Model. I tend to think this is on the high end, and interpret this how you’d like, but the board has been listed for sale for a few weeks.

Lightning Bolt Darrell Beckmeier Single Fin (Craigslist)

This board is making its second appearance on Shred Sledz; click here for the original post (which, coincidentally, features a Lighting Bolt Rory Russell twin fin.) Beckmeier might not be one of the most recognizable shaper to pass through Lightning Bolt, but he’s got some co-signs from folks like Randy Rarick. Check out this video from an earlier auction, featuring a cool Beckmeier shape.

I think the Beckmeier board is absolutely gorgeous. It’s got a few nicks and scratches, but overall it looks to be in pretty good shape. I love the simple details on this one, whether it’s the glass on fin, or the contrasting logos on the deck and the bottom of the board. I think it’s likely this board was shaped somewhere in the mid-Seventies, making it more of a classic Bolt shape than the Rory Russell Model above.

The board is 6’6″ x 19 1/2″ and the seller is asking $950. This one has also been up for a few weeks, which might mean the price is on the high end.

Moroccan Madness via Lightning Bolt and Rory Russell: Sagas of Shred

Alright, Shredderz, I don’t exactly get paid by the word here, so I’m going to make it snappy. As part of the Sagas of Shred series I post a different vintage surf ad every Thursday evening. One of the Sagas mainstays are Lightning Bolt ads from the Eighties, which were featured on the back cover of Surfer Magazine. Pictured here is the Lightning Bolt ad on the back cover of the February 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 2). As you can see, the ad covers Rory Russell‘s travels throughout Morocco. It’s interesting to note that as of late 1982, by the time Simon Anderson had invented the thruster, Russell was still sticking to single fins. I love how each and every ad is a short, self-contained story. One of these days I’ll try and put up a monster post featuring all of the Lightning Bolt back cover ads, but in the meantime, this one should be enough to tide you over. And if you know where I can snag one of those amazing Team Bolt beach towels, definitely hit me up!

Lightning Bolt Board Meeting: Sagas of Shred

Here’s a great vintage Lightning Bolt ad from 1980 that originally appeared in Surfer Magazine. I love the corporate goals laid out in the ad (“Surf your brains out! Get tubed!”). Thanks for reading and check back in next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads.

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! For tonight’s entry in Sagas of Shred we’ve got something quick but undeniable: an early Eighties Lightning Bolt ad featuring none other than Rory Russell posing with a quiver of his own boards. I actually posted a Lightning Bolt Rory Russell twin fin on Instagram earlier today. I really love the distinctive graphics on Rory’s Bolt boards, which include dual angled bolts on the deck and some color. Russell, also affectionately known as “Dog”, was an early mainstay on the Lightning Bolt roster. It’s too bad the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell ad above doesn’t showcase the tails and fins on the boards, but it’s still a doozy.

Thanks for reading and check back in next Thursday evening for more vintage surf ads on Sagas of Shred!

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Single Fin: Price Checks

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick update from eBay on an interesting and collectible surfboard: a stunning Lightning Bolt Rory Russell model. What immediately catches my eye is the fact this board is a single fin. I’ve written up two previous Lightning Bolt Rory Russell models, both of which were twin fins. I don’t have any info on how many single fins were made compared to twin fins, but maybe there’s a Shred Sledz Deep Dive to be written on the subject of Russell’s signature model.

The board pictured above recently sold on eBay for a cool $2,400 — technically $2300 and change, plus a nominal shipping fee. All photos are via the original eBay listing, which you can find here. I’m not totally surprised by the price. However, I think there are some interesting aspects to consider. First, $2,400 is pretty rarefied air for surfboards. Second, I am a little taken aback that someone ponied up this kind of cash for a Lightning Bolt that isn’t a classic Seventies single fin, a la Gerry Lopez and company. My guess is the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell single fin was shaped in the early Eighties, judging by the outline of the board and the graphics, including the logo you can see at the top of the page.

That said, it’s not hard to see why the board commanded a high price. It looks all original, and while there are some small dings here and there, including some open spots on the tail, it’s in otherwise incredible shape. It also goes without saying that the airbrush is killer, and if there’s one thing you should know about Shred Sledz, it’s that we are certified Airbrush Aficionados (TM).

Finally, I’m not sure who shaped the board. My guess is that the Lightning Bolt Rory Russell model was mass produced somewhere in the continental US, likely by ghost shapers outside of Bolt’s original roster.

Once again, you can check out the eBay listing for the board here.

Shred Sledz Presents: September 15 Grab Bag (Hawaii Edition)

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest edition of the Grab Bag, where I’ll be featuring some of the more notable boards I have seen listed for sale over the past few weeks. Today’s entry has a distinct Hawaiian flavor , as all of the boards covered below are from famous labels that hail from the birthplace of surfing.

Lightning Bolt Rory Russell Twin Fin (eBay)

This thing is KILLER! First, it’s in excellent condition. Actually, let me back up: first and foremost, the board just looks awesome. Even if you didn’t know the first thing about Lightning Bolt or Rory Russell, this board makes you stop and look. Maybe that makes me shallow…or maybe I just have impeccable taste when it comes to vintage surf craft. I’m always a sucker for intricate details, and I love the Clark Foam and Rory Russell Model laminates on the tail. The board is 5’4″. Is this considered a fish? I never see the Rory Russell twin fins referred to as such, but they seem pretty fish-like to me. Bidding is already hovering near $700 with four more days to go. Pics above via the eBay listing.

Surfboards Hawaii Owl Chapman Gun (Craigslist)

I love the old school Surfboards Hawaii logo, which is one of my favorite surfboard labels ever. Apparently this board was shaped by none other than Owl Chapman, uncle to current North Shore pro Kalani Chapman, and all-round Oahu fixture. I asked the seller if there’s a signature anywhere on the board, but I haven’t heard back. I’m not sure when this board was made, but I am guessing very early 1970s, based on the shape of the pintail, what looks like an after-market leash plug, and the glass-on fin. I have never seen a straight up Surfboards Hawaii Owl Chapman surfboard before. The pairing makes sense, given Chapman’s association with Dick Brewer, and the fact Brewer founded Surfboards Hawaii in 1961. The board is 9′, the board is located in Los Angeles, California, and the seller is asking $900.

Dick Brewer Gun and 1970s Single Fin (Craigslist & eBay)

There are currently two great Dick Brewer boards for sale. The first, pictured above, is a 8′ x 19-1/2″ x 3″ gun with glass-on fins in a thruster setup that should be ideal for the upcoming winter. It is being sold in Orange County, California. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $600. I think that price is extremely reasonable, given that the board looks to be in excellent condition.

You want a Dick Brewer signature? Great, then how about another one? It’s a little odd that Brewer signed the board twice, but either way, I feel confident in saying the board was shaped by Brewer himself.

There’s a 1970s Dick Brewer single fin available on eBay that also bears two Dick Brewer signatures. Pic above is via the listing, which you can find here. The seller is asking $1500 for the board. The 1970s single fin has a wonderful old school outline and glassed on fin. Unfortunately, the pics provided with the eBay listing are pretty poor, so I have omitted them from the post. Still, I encourage you to click through and check them out for yourself.

As for the price difference, the best I can offer is that Brewer prices can be all over the place. I think one should expect genuine 1970s Dick Brewer single fins to command higher prices than newer boards. The gun on Craigslist is clearly newer (I would guess mid-1990s or later) and in better condition, but I imagoine 1970s single fins have more cachet.

Lightning Bolt 1970s Single Fin by Darrell Beckmeier (Craigslist)

Darrell Beckmeier was a fixture at Lightning Bolt during the 1970s. There’s a beautiful example of one of his boards that currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. Pics above are via the listing. The board is 6’6″ x 19-1/2″ (no dimension listed for thickness). The seller is asking $750. I’m honestly not sure what to make of this price, and how Beckmeier’s boards compare in value to other Bolt shapers. Still, it doesn’t get any more classic than single-fin Bolts!

Astrodeck Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! As promised, we have another episode of Sagas of Shred, which features various bits of surf history from over the years. We have written about old Astrodeck ads before, but hey, you gotta keep drawing from the well until it’s dry! Today’s installment is an Astrodeck ad from the 1980s that features another murderer’s row of surfers. Pictured left to right: Willy Morris, Rabbit Bartholomew, Larry Bertlemann, Wes Laine, Gary Elkerton, and Chappy Jennings. The second picture has Hawaiian fixtures Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Rory Russell…because the All Star team assembled in the first one simply wasn’t enough! A lot has changed in surfing over the years, but Herbie Fletcher’s unparalleled ability to gather big name pros has not. Hope you enjoyed this post and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (April 30)

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope you are all having fantastic weekends. Without any further ado, here’s a selection of social media posts that have recently caught my eye.

Christian Fletcher’s signature model is the coolest. Raddest. Most-shredding-est. Choose whatever superlative you prefer; I just can’t get enough of these things.

Hit the “Continue Reading” link below for some more vintage surfboard goodness…

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