Greetings, Shredderz! Here’s a handful of recent videos related to vintage surfboards and/or alternative surf craft that I enjoyed. Hope they bring you some stoke, too.
Of all the cult surfboard shapers in the world, is there anyone more notable than Greg Liddle? The video above, which was produced by Daydream Surf Shop as part of their excellent “Case Study” series, goes deep on Liddle history with displacement hull OG Kirk Putnam. For example, did you know that Liddle often handed out board templates alongside any custom board orders? Before watching this video it had never occurred to me that you could be jealous of another person’s garage, but Putnam’s man cave, which has more surf history per square foot than any other structure on the planet, is a doozy. The video also some great vintage footage of folks riding older Liddle hulls, which is always a treat.
“Camel Finds Water” is a really enjoyable video. It doesn’t actually have a ton of surfing, but more importantly, it manages to fit a bunch of great stuff — adventure, friendship, hard work, and uncrowded spots — in its modest run time. As an admittedly well below average surfer, it’s hard to relate to a lot of modern surf videos. At their worst, surf videos can have an unhealthy preoccupation with “high performance”, focusing strictly on technical (and admittedly impressive maneuvers), while stripping out all the intangible things that I love most about surfing. “Camel Finds Water”, presented by Santa Barbara surfer Trevor Gordon, is a mini adventure featuring some remote waves, smooth surfing, and some cool-looking Ryan Lovelace-shaped sticks.
I wrote up the first entry of Mollusk’s “Craft Connection” series in the last Clipz post, and here’s more of the same goodness. Talented surfer / shapers don’t grow on trees, but Tyler Warren is definitely one of them. Video by Jack Coleman.
I loved “Relatable Form”, a new short surf film from Santa Barbara shaper Ryan Lovelace. You can watch it in its entirety above. The movie features Lovelace and crew as they unleash a quiver of varied shapes on the perfect setups of the Mentawais. The surfing is great and the boards are groovy, but what I enjoyed most was the movie’s insistence on shedding some light on the local Mentawai people. It’s an angle that is far too often overlooked — or omitted altogether — in the usual media coverage of one of the most famous archipelagos in surfing. I particularly dug the parallels drawn between hand shaping surfboards and the Mentawai tradition of building canoes. “Relatable Form” has a wonderfully relaxed vibe, but it also manages to pack plenty of substance into his brief running time. If you like travel, high performance surfing, or gorgeous hand crafted surfboards, then I can’t recommend “Relatable Form” enough.
Shred Sledz might have its roots firmly in the California tradition of surf history and culture, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any love for our friends across the pond. After all, who doesn’t love Australia? The accents are charming, the waves are great, and most importantly, Australia boasts a former prime minister who has skulled a beer (chugged, for you seppos) to a standing ovation at a cricket match not once but twice. But I digress. This post is a deeper look at various Wayne Lynch surfboards, and an attempt to document the Australian legend’s shapes as they evolved over time. This is Part I in a series.
I. Transition Era, Shortboard Revolution, and the Involvement School
It is hard to overstate Lynch’s impact on the sport. Surfer Magazine lists Lynch as the #17 most influential surfer of all time. For more on Lynch, I recommend the excellent entries from the Encyclopedia of Surfing and SurfResearch.com.au. Lynch, like his contemporaries, started off with longboards that were typical of the early to mid 1960s:
Shortly after, though, Lynch would play a critical role in bringing about the Transition Era and the shortboard revolution, thanks to his radical surfing and equally revolutionary equipment. Many regard Paul Witzig‘s seminal 1969 surf film “Evolution” as Lynch’s coming out party.
I’ve written about Christian Fletcher before, and I will never, ever get sick of his old logo, which manages to be both an act of visual rebellion as well as a time capsule for the day glo SoCal surf scene of the 1980s and 1990s. This is an interesting example of a Fletcher board, as apparently it was shaped by pioneering Aussie shaper Nev Hyman, who founded what would later become Firewire Surfboards. The other Fletcher boards I’ve seen have been signed by California shapers like Randy Sleigh and Chris McElroy. This board was posted to the excellent Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook; click through the link for the rest.
Finally, here’s a bonus shot of Fletcher — pre-tattoos! — and a McElroy shape.
Ryan Lovelace is a talented shaper based in Santa Barbara. He posted this picture below recently, which shows an early George Greenough sailboard with an edge board design. Edge boards have come into vogue lately, thanks to shapers like Marc Andreini (Andreini), Manny Caro (Mandala), and Scott Anderson (Anderson).
Speaking of neon boards from the 80s and 90s, I’ll never, ever get sick of old Channel Islands boards. This guy on Instagram posts a bunch of sweet boards, and he has a collection of vintage Merricks that makes me sick with envy. Check out his feed for more.