Follow Shawn Stussy on Instagram.

I’m usually not one to tell people how to live their lives, but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. The title says it all. If you’d rather not read the unhinged fan boy ramblings of a part-time blogger, then by all means, skip directly ahead to the beautiful pictures below. While I love the neon look of 80s surfboards in all its forms, there’s no denying that Shawn Stussy is on a different level. His boards still look futuristic a good thirty-plus years after they were shaped. Fluoro sprays might have been the dominant trend of the Echo Beach era, but it’s clear that Stussy was one of the people who defined the aesthetic, as opposed to hopping on the bandwagon. I’m simply in awe of these boards, whether it’s the bold strokes of the now-classic Stussy script logo, the double winged swallow tails, or, of course, the arresting graphics. There’s a reason why Stussy shortboards from the 80s command such high prices on the open market, and it’s not just nostalgia.

new wave… 1982

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As a bonus, here’s a picture of Stussy alongside one of his creations for the Russell Surfboards label. I’ve featured a few sweet Stussy / Russell Surfboards shapes in the past. The one below has them all beat. I’ve also never personally seen the orange box logo on a Russell shape. I’m wondering if it might have been restored, but either way, it is an absolutely stunning board.

1977 Russell shaped by @shawnstussy. Roots run deep. One hell of an outline

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Shawn Stussy “The Brotherhood” for Russell Surfboards

For the most part, there are few things I enjoy more than discovering unusual vintage surfboards and writing about them. Today’s post, however, is written with a heavy heart, as an absolutely primo example of a Shawn Stussy The Brotherhood board popped up for sale on Craigslist at a decent price, and then was snapped up by someone else.

Here at Shred Sledz we celebrate anything and everything related to Monsieur Stussy, whether it’s his Echo Beach boards of the 1980s, or his latest shapes, which he creates under his new S Double label.

For a long time, however, I have been fascinated with Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards. On one hand, the thrusters and twin fins Stussy shaped for his eponymous brand in the 1980s are among some of the most collectible items from the entire decade. For whatever reason, the boards Stussy shaped for Russell Surfboards in the 1970s aren’t nearly as expensive. See here for an earlier post I wrote about Stussy’s work for Russell Surfboards.

Shawn Stussy w:70s Boards.JPG
A young Shawn Stussy with a pair of sleek single fin missiles. Date, photographer and source unknown, but judging from the outlines of the boards, I would guess this photograph was taken during the Seventies, during Stussy’s days at Russell Surfboards.

The Brotherhood refers to a crew of Orange County surfers that coalesced around Russell Surfboards and Newport Beach. (Not to be confused with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a group of Laguna Beach hippies turned drug dealers that counted Mike Hynson among its associates.) You’ll often see The Brotherhood referred to in early Russell ads from the era.

While I love Stussy The Brotherhood boards, it’s also apparent that as an artist, Stussy had yet to come into his own in the 1970s. My favorite thing about Stussy’s 80s boards are the intricate graphic designs that appear everywhere. By contrast, the graphics that appear on Stussy The Brotherhood shapes don’t have quite the same level of polish as those on his 80s designs. I also wrote up another Russell Surfboards 70s single fin a few weeks back, with a graphic that looked suspiciously like a Stussy drawing (John Gothard, a Stussy team rider in the 1980s, also agrees!).

In any event, I can’t get enough of the 70s Stussy The Brotherhood single fin pictured above. Other than a bent original fin and a noticeable repair on the upper rail, the board is still in great condition. I love the clean, classic 70s single fin lines, and the triple stringer is a nice touch, too. Of course, the Stussy graphic on the deck is the star of the show, too.

If you bought the Stussy The Brotherhood board pictured above, and you have more info to share, please drop me a line! Until then, the hunt for a 70s Stussy grail continues…

Vintage Russell Single Fin

Vintage Russell single fin that may or may not be shaped by Shawn Stussy

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re visiting because you’re on the prowl for last-minute holiday gifts for your favorite blogger, well, look no further. A beautiful Russell single fin is currently up for sale on Craigslist in Huntington Beach. You can find a link to the board here.

As you can see, the Russell single fin pictured above is in impeccable condition. The board boasts some pretty primo details as well. The triple stringer setup is a classy touch, and check out those beautiful wooden nose and tail blocks.

Russell Single Fin 8
Close up of the graphic on the board. This has the look and feel of some of the graphics Shawn Stussy put on his later boards.

However, the detail that drew the most interest is the hand-drawn graphic on the deck of the board. I have included a close-up picture of the graphic to the left. I love the styling of the graphic, which is whimsical, but small enough so that it doesn’t detract from the clean lines of the board.

More importantly, I am wondering if the graphic might have been drawn by Shawn Stussy. Stussy shaped for Russell Surfboards in the 1970s before striking out on his own. Fellow Stussy-ologists will recognize the little fishing graphic above as fitting Stussy’s pattern of decorating his surfboards with a number of small, intricate hand-drawn graphics. I have included some examples of some of my favorite Stussy graphics below, which were taken from an old eBay listing for a beautiful 80s Stussy twin fin.

This, of course, leads to the inevitable follow-up question of whether or not the Russell single fin was shaped by Stussy himself. I have spoken with the seller and there are no signatures anywhere on the board. The graphic in question is completely unlike any other Russell Surfboards logo I have ever seen (you can see some other Russell logos on Stoked-n-Board’s site.) In conclusion, I have no way of definitively knowing whether or not Stussy played a hand in shaping the board.

Either way, the Russell single fin pictured above is a unique shape. At 7’8″ it’s not exactly an option for everyday surf. And in the very likely the case the board has nothing to do with Stussy, it’s still a super clean example of a shape from a great Seventies California label, to say nothing of the craftsmanship that went into the wooden details! Check out the board here.

 

 

 

Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards Model: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of Sagas of Shred. Today’s post focuses on an old ad for Ole Surfboards. Ole is the namesake and brain child of Bob Olson. This is a blog that likes to celebrate history, but Olson is truly old school. For starters, the man is in his mid-eighties, and I believe he continues to shape to this day! Check out Ole Surfboards page on Facebook here.

Olson got his start in Orange County. For a quick bit of background on the man, I recommend this article in the Orange County Register, which was written by none other than Corky Carroll. Olson not only shaped Corky’s third ever surfboard…he was also a wood shop teacher at Shawn Stussy’s high school, and went on to become a shaping mentor to Stussy. (Since we are big Stussy fans here at Shred Sledz, here’s another bit of trivia: Jeff Timpone glassed Olson’s boards at some point, and Timpone and Stussy shaped together at Russell Surfboards during The Brotherhood days.)

guy on the right is responsible for my second shaping job ever, and by far the most formative… Mr. Bob Olson was my wood shop teacher at high school and also my employer in the tenth grade… the summer after ninth grade I worked at Chuck Dent shaping up in Costa Mesa behind bay cities glassing… Bob would bring his blanks there for glassing throughout that summer… he would see me there and say hey, aren't you that kid from wood shop?… what you doing here?… what, your shaping boards for Chuck out there in the back?… I am like yeah, figuring it out… so I go back to school in the fall and have woodshop again… I get my license and he offers me a job with this new thing called " work experience"… after fourth period I drive to sunset beach, open his old gas station turned surf shop and rough out boards till he got there after all his seven periods that were required of him… he would critic the work I did, offer tips, finish off a few together, doing our thing… all good… his brand was OLE and he has been around since kinda the beginning… at the end of my junior year he packs up and moves to Lahaina and has been there since… big shout to the guy that saw something in me and let me mow some foam and figure it out… big hug BOB, I wish to thank you…

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Olson’s shaping career is worthy of a post of its own. However, for today I’ll simply zero in on one fascinating little detail in the advertisement. You’ll notice in the bottom right the ad says “Phil Edwards Model now available.” The ad at the top of the page was published in Surfer Magazine in 1963 (Aug. – Sep. 1963, Vol. 4 No. 4). I have personally never seen a Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards Model, and I imagine these must be incredibly rare. Google searches don’t turn up any info, either. I’m not sure how the timing of Ole’s Phil Edwards Model lines up with its far more famous counterpart, which was Edwards’ famous signature model for Hobie Surfboards.

Phil Edwards for Bob Ole Olson
Photo of Phil Edwards that Phil signed for Ole. Apparently this is hanging up in Ole’s current shop in Lahaina, Maui. Pic via Composite Corner / Fiberglass Hawaii

I was able to find evidence of a friendship between Olson and Edwards, including the photo above, which is apparently hanging in Ole’s shaping room on Maui. In addition, it was Phil Edwards who recommended Olson for the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame back in 2009.

If you have any info on the Ole Surfboards Phil Edwards model, please let me know!

Price Check: Eighties Stussy Boards

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be looking at a selection of some of the most prized sticks in any would-be collector’s sights: Eighties Stussy boards. Shawn Stussy is best known for his clothing label, but before he became one of the godfathers of streetwear, he made a name for himself as one of the better shapers in Southern California. Stussy continues to shape today under his S/Double label. But given this is a vintage surfboard blog, it is Stussy’s earlier designs — both at Russell Surfboards and under his own name — that really get pulses going over at Shred Sledz HQ. Recently, a trio of Eighties Stussy boards went for sale on eBay, and here’s a rundown of the pricing and the condition of the various boards.

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #1: QZ/3 Thruster #1056 (eBay)

Eighties Stussy Boards QZ:3 Thruster 1

The Stussy QZ/3 pictured above has all the bells and whistles you might want from an 80s Stussy board. Stussy’s shapes often feel like treasure hunts — there are always cool little graphics and details to be discovered if you look closely enough. I personally love the laminate on the glass-on fins, and what I like to think of as a laser show airbrush on the deck of the board. However, I am wondering if the board pictured above wasn’t re-finished, at least on the bottom. I don’t know why there’s a cutout around the signature, but it sure looks as if the yellow paint on the bottom was an after market addition. That would also explain the relatively low price — the board sold for $280, which is practically unheard of for Eighties Stussy boards.

 

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #2: QZ/3 Thruster #2748 with The Brotherhood Logo (eBay)

Please forgive the lighting on the pics, which are all via the eBay listing linked above. This board isn’t in phenomenal condition. It has a bit of a tan and there are some huge old traction pads on both the tail and the middle of the board. Nonetheless, I am drawn to a unique detail on this board, which is the neon Brotherhood logo located directly beneath the Stussy laminate. It’s far more common to see references to The Brotherhood on old Russell boards.

The board has a lot of the thoughtful touches you’ll find on Eighties Stussy boards. I love the little “SS” laminate right above the fins, and Stussy even finds ways to make his signatures look cool. The Brotherhood logo board is being offered at $400, and a few days into the auction, there are no bites.

 

Eighties Stussy Boards Example #3: QZ/3 Thruster #2373 (eBay)Eighties Stussy Boards Q:Z3 1.jpg

Here we have another example of a Stussy QZ / 3 thruster. The QZ / 3 was a model name that Stussy used for a thruster-based design. You can find a tiny bit more context on Board Collector, along with some cool pics of some other Stussy shapes. Sadly, #2373 has seen better days. The board is being offered at $350.

 

 

Questionable Moments in Surf Advertising History: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re currently wondering whether or not this humble little vintage surfboard blog took a sudden left turn, let me assure you that is not the case. Shred Sledz remains as dedicated as ever to our mission of shedding light on the great surfboards and craftsmen of yesteryear. But let’s face it: this 1980s Gotcha ad is simply too funny not to post.

Throw in a pair of acid wash jeans and the ad hits every single cliche about bad fashion in the 1980s. More importantly…what on earth is going on? Is the painting on the left supposed to be coming to life? Why is the other guy just staring off in the distance? Sadly, seeing as how this is a family friendly blog, I think there are many questions that will have to go unanswered. And if you haven’t noticed, that’s Pottz who’s getting his tank top stretched out. Not sure how they coerced him into doing this photo shoot. I imagine the ad was originally intended to be edgy and provocative, but with three decades worth of perspective behind us, the entire thing is silly. I say that affectionately, though: no matter what, I will always have a soft spot for the weird and colorful creations that the surf industry produced during the eighties.

Fun fact: the Gotcha logo that appears in the ad was actually designed by Shawn Stussy.

As always, tune in next Thursday for the next installment of Sagas of Shred!

Shred Sledz Presents: August 6 Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to another installment of the Shred Sledz Grab Bag, where we’ll be taking a look at some boards that have recently been listed or sold around in the internet. And if you’re catching up, I’d like to recommend checking out the earlier post on Rick Surfboards. Without any further ado, here are some selections:

Two Stussy Surfboards (Craigslist and Craigslist)

Stussy Surfboard.jpg

There are two Stussy surfboards for sale on Craigslist, both of which are located in New Jersey. It looks like they are being offered by separate sellers. Both of these boards are cheaper than what you might expect for Stussy boards. In the case of the board pictured above, this probably has a lot to do with the condition of the board. The board is signed by Stussy (click through to the listing for more pics), but there are numerous visible repairs and pressure dings. Check out the funny Waterman’s Guild dolphin logo! As for the second board, which also boasts a Rasta logo, it’s hard to draw any conclusions on the condition from the pictures. I emailed the seller, who claims there are no dents and dings. The board above is listed at $525, and the second board (not pictured) is offered at $500. Neither board has the over the top 80s spray jobs, but the second one seems like a pretty good deal at $500.

 

1980s Schroff Twin Fin (eBay)

This board has come and gone, so if you have an itchy trigger finger and an affinity for neon, I’m sorry to disappoint you! I thought this board was an interesting litmus test for prices around pre-Echo Beach boards. The Schroff twin fin above ended up selling for $388, which was a bit below what I had expected. This board looks like it’s barely a pre-Echo Beach shape. On one hand, with the bright colors and the multiple logos, you can see the beginnings of what would become Schroff’s signature style. On the other, the board is missing the signature Schroff black and white checkered logo, and between the beaked nose and the old-school lams, it has more of a late 70s / early 80s vibe. Personally, I love this twin fin, and I thought $388 was a steal, even considering the board had a bunch of dings. Then again, it’s clear that the market favors a certain era of Schroff boards, and this one does not fit into that description. The seller just posted another Schroff board, this time with all the 80s bells and whistles, and it’ll be interesting to note where the price ends up. For another example of a pre-Echo Beach shape, check out the earlier post on a Wave Tools single fin, which is still available for $250! Check out Board Collector for some more great shots of Schroff boards if you’re interested.

 

Hansen “The Hustler” Longboard (Craigslist)

Let’s switch gears to a classic 1960s noserider as a little palate cleanser to the go go Day Glo 80s boards featured above. This here is a Hansen “The Hustler” model noserider, clocking in at a serious 9’10”. The poster claims the board was shaped in 1967. This is somewhat supported by the old Newport Beach surfboard permit sticker that dates to 1969. You can also see the board has the old Hansen bolt through fin, which you’ll find on many Hansen boards from this era. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but info about Hansen Hustler models is scarce online. There’s another Hansen “The Hustler” noserider on sale on eBay, which is partially restored and is listed for $3,500. The board above looks all original and it is being offered at $1700. I don’t know enough about these boards to weigh in on the price, sadly. If you have more context, please drop me a line — I would love to hear from anyone with some info on this board!

 

Donald Takayama Hawaiian Pro Designs “In the Pink” Model

Pictured above is a Donald Takayama “In the Pink” 9’0″ noserider that was sold on Craigslist in San Diego a few weeks ago. The listing has since been removed. It’s an interesting board for a few reasons. First, look at the clear DT hand signature in the second to last pic, and compare the serial number with the one on the order form in the last photo. It’s a very cool look at a Takayama order form. I’m not sure when the board was made, but judging from the side bite fin boxes, it’s modern, likely made a few years before Takayama’s untimely passing in 2012.