Canyon Surfboards Ad: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It is Thursday evening, so as is customary around these parts, we’re serving up a fresh scan of a vintage surf ad. This time around we have an advertisement that originally appeared in the April 1984 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 25, No 4). But we also have an example of a rad Canyon Surfboards stick — shaped by Rusty, natch — which we’ll get to in a bit.

I love learning about the early labels of various shapers’ careers, whether it’s Shawn Stussy cutting his teeth at Russell Surfboards, Gerry Lopez’s stint at Surf Line Hawaii, or countless others that I haven’t covered yet. Rusty Preisendorfer had established himself as a top shaper well before he established the eponymous brand that would make him something of a surf mogul. By the early Eighties, Rusty had already shaped boards for world champs Peter Townend and Shaun Tomson.

There’s a comprehensive San Diego Reader article that has a nice profile of Rusty and his early shaping career. According to the article, Canyon Surfboards was a collaboration between Rusty and his longtime glasser, John Durward. Durward owned Canyon Glass, which glassed most of Rusty’s shapes, and at some point the two men went into business together. Later on Canyon Surfboards would become the official licensee for Shaun Tomson’s personal line of shapes.

You’ll notice the ad features Peter Townend, Tomson and Dave Parmenter, among others. The sheer number of surfers Rusty has shaped for during his long career is mind-blowing, not to mention his role informally tutoring folks like Parmenter, who has gone on to become one of the foremost authorities in building surf craft.

There also happens to be a nice and clean Canyon Surfboards twin fin listed for sale on Craigslist in the Bay Area. You can find the listing here. I really the Canyon Surfboards label, which Rusty designed himself, having majored in visual arts at UCSD.

The board was shaped by Rusty, as clearly indicated on the signature, and it has a neat pair of Star System fins, complete with an Eighties-appropriate checkerboard print.

Even after all the accolades and the decades spent in the surfboard industry, I suspect Rusty might still be underrated. At the very least, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t more attention around Rusty’s earlier boards, whether they were shaped under the Canyon Surfboards and/or the Music! labels. That said, I think Rusty is easily considered one of the greatest living shapers in California, and at some point I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a renewed interest in the shapes he produced towards the beginning of his career.

Weekend Grab Bag: All Mixed Up

Greetings, Shredderz! This Sunday we’ve got a smattering of sledz for your perusing pleasure, as part of our Weekend Grab Bag series. It’s been a while since we last ran one of these entries. The last time around we featured some cool Donald Takayama surfboards. The rules for the Weekend Grab Bag are simple: scroll below for some photos of surfboards that are currently listed for sale online, along with links to the sale listings and some commentary. Without any further ado, let’s take a peek at the goods!

Steve Coletta / Natural Curves Single Fin (Craigslist Orange County)

This is a gorgeous vintage board shaped by Steve Coletta of Natural Curves Surfboards. Coletta is a longtime Santa Cruz shaper. As someone who occasionally samples the right hand points of Santa Cruz, I have a fondness for vintage boards from the area: here’s a stunning Rick Noe / Steamer Lane Surfboards single fin, and I’ve always got my eye peeled for any Chuck Vinson shapes. Anyway, the Steve Coletta stick pictured above is 7’7″ of single fin goodness with some killer details. Check out the technicolor tail block and the gorgeous glass on wooden fin. The seller is asking $380. I think this is an attractive price, but as always, that’s up to the market and not me. [EDIT: I had originally described the board as a Seventies single fin; according to the original listing it was shaped in 1981.]

Shaun Tomson Model Single Fin (Craigslist San Luis Obispo)

This Shaun Tomson Model can be found tucked away on California’s Central Coast. The board isn’t in spectacular condition, and I think it might be a tad pricey considering the condition (asking price is $300), but I really dig this thing. Tomson, of course, is one of the greatest surfers of the Seventies, if not all time, and I love the swooping airbrush. This board has a nice glass on fin, too.

Donald Takayama 2+1 Eighties Thruster (eBay / Huntington Beach)

Here at Shred Sledz we’ve featured a ton of Donald Takayama’s boards. Unsurprisingly, most are longboards, with some other templates mixed in here and there. However, you don’t really see a ton of straight up Takayama thrusters out there. This board has some clear Eighties influence with the wide point pushed pretty far back, and the short-lived 2+1 fin setup. I’m curious about where the price will end up. The board is $147.50 as of the time of this blog post, with three and a half days still left in the auction.

O’Neill Ad from 1988: Sagas of Shred

If neon isn’t your thing, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and close this tab immediately. Likewise, if you’re not into seeing a handful of all-time surf greats all in one photo, this one might not be up your alley. But if those two things are your kind of deal, then you just might enjoy this O’Neill ad from 1988 as much as I do.

This ad is just beyond classic. It’s taken from a full page spread in the May 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 5). The O’Neill roster at the time is chock full of talent: Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons (I’m rather partial to Snips’ first Sagas of Shred appearance, courtesy of Uggs), Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter all rode for the Santa Cruz-based wetsuit label at the time. To be honest, I’m not sure who either Anderson or Farnsworth are — my apologies, but this ad is a little before my time.

For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, Carroll seems to dominate this ad. He looks completely relaxed, confident, and in his element. Then again, Carroll had won two world titles by the time this photo had been taken, and this was about three years before his famous under the lip snap at Pipe. If you look at the top right photo, you’ll notice Carroll riding one of his Byrne boards with the signature swooping airbrush. Or maybe it’s just his Oakley blades.

Pottz, on the other hand, is almost subdued in the main spread. Granted, at this many words in, I am definitely guilty of reading way too far into a random wetsuit ad from the late Eighties. Still, it’s odd to think that this ad ran shortly before Pottz won his world title on the back of his progressive surfing.

Anyway, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred. We’ll have another fresh scan of a vintage surf ad next Thursday evening, California time. Mahalo for reading!

Social Media Roundup: RIP Charlie Bunger

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here are some of my favorite social media posts I have seen over the past month. Keep scrolling for more.

I hate to start off with one of my own posts, but this time it’s important. Sadly, Charlie Bunger, one of the true OGs of the New York surf scene, passed away earlier this month. The only reason I included my own post is, well, it’s my favorite photo of a Bunger surfboard. RIP to Mr Bunger and thoughts and prayers to all his family and friends.

If, like me, you have an obsession with both Skip Frye boards and their opaque pricing, you’ll also enjoy the post above from Bird’s Surf Shed. (Roperized, for those who are unfamiliar, means the board was fixed up by San Diego local Joe Roper, who runs one of the better-known repair shops in town.) The Modern Machine is a G&S model, not a Skip outline, which Joel Tudor referenced in another recent Instagram post. Anyway, the G&S / Skip Frye board was listed for $1,200, which seems extremely fair to me.

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First gun I ever shaped, in Sumer of 1988. …30 years ago. @renoabellira was in San Clemente, building some boards @herbiefletcher SurfShop ( now @catalyst_sc ) that summer, where I worked. He gave me a little help with the outline and rocker. I took it to Hawaii (on my first trip ever) and surfed fun sized #SunsetBeach…as well as the best #Laniakea I’ve still ever seen to this day. I ran out of money and sold it to a used board surf shop in Honolulu. In 2005, on Hawaiian holiday with my family, I found it sitting in the used racks @ #SurfandSea SurfShop, Haleiwa ( remember that @crawford.eddie ! ). Ofcourse I bought it, and brought it back. Here it is now, sitting in the lam room, @catalyst_sc , exactly where is was first built. Home 🏠. #PacificCoastFiberglass #Suds #MickyT @astrodeck

A post shared by Matt Biolos (@mayhemsurfboards_mattbiolos) on

Is this pushing the limits of vintage? Maybe. Do I care? Not one bit. I hardly ever write about high performance thrusters — mostly because I can’t surf them! — but I am an unabashed fan of Matt Biolos and his Lost Surfboards label. I’ve never met the dude but he seems knowledgeable without being the least bit pretentious. Anyway, this board has some nice history, as it not only involves Mayhem, but also Reno Abellira and Herbie Fletcher.

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Surfed out Al looking at his watch, futility trying to convince Shaun that he needs to get back to the shaping room. Shaun almost smirking, “as if.” Low tide and firing. 5 minutes later Shaun and the professor are walking back up the point for another go. • These early 80’s session, “Shaun at the Con” with Al are legendary. Al has often cited these surfs as some of his most cherished surfing memories. The presence of Shaun, his board, his surfing were all out of place, not Rincon's status quo. This one seemingly basic image of two guys talking, of cobblestones and sticks, red single fins, of black wetsuits and mustaches at the foot of the cove where the trail empties out, this one simple image represents a relationship and the flash point of all that was to come. • #almerrick #shauntomson #rincon #twinfin #santabarbara #surfinglife #surfphotography #cisurfboards @cisurfboards @cisurfboards_sbstore @oneill #adayatthebeach #cobblestone #mustache #allday @cisurfboardssantamonica @cisurfboards_europe @cisurfboards_japan @cisurfboards_africa @cisurfboards_oz

A post shared by Jimmy Metyko (@metykojimmy) on

Jimmy Metyko is a photographer who has been sharing some real gems on Instagram lately. I urge you to give him a follow. He has chronicled some of the great moments in California surf history, with a particular focus on Santa Barbara and legends like Tom Curren and Al Merrick.

Finally, Pat Rawson is well worth the follow. Despite having a resume that any shaper would envy, Rawson is still going strong. He shares a lot of posts on his modern shapes and the details behind the boards, rooted in his deep knowledge of the craft.

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!