I believe this photo was actually taken and published by Jeff Booth’s dad. True story: as a seventeen year old “grom” one my first surf experience was attending a Quiksilver surf camp in Montauk. Jeff Booth was the resident pro that day, and not only was he nice enough to push me into a wave, he politely declined to point out the fact that I was five to ten years older than all the other campers. Thanks Jeff — I owe you for that one! Anyway, peep that killer Eighties Stussy stick, complete with the NSSA lams. (The photo at the top of the page features Booth in a later ad for Stussy Surfboards.) I’m also trying to zoom in on the Stussy logo beneath the NSSA sticker, but can’t quite make out what it might be.
Here’s a killer Town and Country twin fin. Make sure you scroll through all of the pics, including the beautiful glassed on fins with the T&C yin yang logo. Lots of people go nuts over the Eighties T&C boards with the crazy airbrushes — and I love them, too — but I think the slightly earlier T&C vintage boards are every bit as cool.
Surfboards and Coffee held their latest event this month, and by all accounts, it was a doozy! They collected a bunch of boards with some amazing airbrushes. Shout out to all my Airbrush Aficionados out there!
Now this is a vintage Liddle flex! Happy that Mr. Casagrande spares “younger guys” like me — I’m in my mid thirties, do I still count? — but regardless, respect to the hull trailblazers. And how dope is that board?
Last but not least we have a rare and beautiful Surfboards Haleiwa single fin shaped by none other than Mike Diffenderfer. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Diff board under the Surfboards Haleiwa label before, but this one is so cool. Love the resin pin lines, the bold red bird logo on the bottom, and the unmistakable outlines of a classic Seventies single fin.
Greetings, Shredderz! The board I’m writing up today is one of the coolest I have ever seen. By now some readers might know that Shawn Stussy is a favorite of this humble vintage surfboard blog. Stussy’s Eighties thrusters are likely his most popular shapes, and for good reason. But what makes this Shawn Stussy thruster special is the fact it was shaped for none other than Gotcha founder Michael Tomson.
First and foremost, a big shout out to Rob, who owns the board above, for sharing the photos you see in this post. He’s on Instagram here.
Anyway, back to the board in question. By now we all know Shawn Stussy’s legacy as a renowned surfboard shaper and an early streetwear pioneer. But early on, Michael Tomson looked to be on the exact same trajectory, having transitioned from a pro surfing career to founding Gotcha, which was one of the hottest labels in surfing during its heyday. It’s also worth noting that Tomson ripped.
As you can see from the Instagram post above, Stussy and Tomson’s history goes back to the early Eighties. This isn’t totally surprising, given Stussy’s Laguna Beach roots, which also was home to Gotcha’s offices.
Befitting Gotcha’s raw, in your face style, Tomson was one of the most outrageous characters on the surf scene at the time. Sadly, Tomson’s hard charging lifestyle has lost a considerable amount of its romance, given Gotcha’s eventual fade and a string of drug arrests that occurred well into middle age.
I love the fact this surfboard was not only shaped by Stussy, but also created for a true character who happened to be a world class surfer. And even if you don’t care about Tomson’s colorful history, well, at the end of the day, the board is still a Stussy thruster, with all the details and flourishes that make his boards so collectible.
Of course, the board wouldn’t be complete without a Gotcha logo — beneath the glass, naturally. You can also see an additional Stussy signature on the deck right above the tail.
What really gets me going are the awesome hand drawn logos found on the Stussy thruster. The planer laminate is one I don’t believe I have seen on any other Stussy boards. And how cool is that Stussy Team laminate?! That must have been the ultimate Eighties surfing street cred accessory. I love the touch of having the logo on the glass on fins, too — I wish more shapers did this nowadays.
You might be wondering what kind of psycho writes five hundred plus words about an Eighties surfboard. Well, I regret nothing, because this Stussy thruster shaped for Michael Tomson is an absolute gem. Thanks again to Rob for generously sharing the pics of the board — you can follow him on Instagram here.
If you don’t know, now you know: Shawn Stussy just might be the coolest man alive. If you’re sick and tired of this blog fawning over Stussy, well, you’vegotapoint. But we’re not stopping any time soon. Pictured above is a rad vintage Stussy ad from 1990 or 1991. I scanned the vintage Stussy ad from the April 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 4), but as you can see, the ad itself is dated to 1990.
Obviously, I tend to focus on Stussy’s surfboards. I love his Seventies single fins, and of course the Eighties thrusters that elevated the Echo Beach aesthetic into something way more memorable. But when it’s all said and done, Stussy will probably be best known as one of the godfathers of streetwear due to his eponymous clothing line.
The vintage Stussy ad ran in 1990 or 1991, right as the brand’s popularity was beginning to explode. Earlier in 1990 Stussy had just opened up its first standalone store in New York City. (Check out Complex’s oral history of the brand here, which is told from a fashion-centric point of view.) It’s interesting to see the ad running in Surfing Magazine, but with no reference back to Stussy’s background as a shaper, or anything to do with surf culture, really. Curiously, I have never been able to find any vintage Stussy ads in Surfer Magazine during the Eighties and Nineties. I was surprised and stoked to see this turn up in an issue of Surfing Magazine, and I understand that Stussy also ran a lot of ads in Thrasher during the Eighties, too. To me the ad catches the Stussy brand at a moment where it is in between different worlds — not quite a product of the Orange County surf industrial complex, but still dabbling in surf culture. Shawn Stussy would end up leaving his brand at the end of 1995, but it still exists today.
Needless to say, I love the hand drawn lettering and the slightly off-kilter copy. It’s nothing if not distinctive, which is only fitting considering Stussy’s legacy of being far ahead of its time.
As always, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred, and check back in a week for even more vintage surf ads.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features Bird Huffman, owner of the legendary’s Bird’s Surf Shed down in San Diego. If you haven’t paid pilgrimage to the Shed yet, you should. The Shed is stocked full of an incredible array of vintage boards and staff members are personable and knowledgeable.
Bird has also been hosting a great series for Surfer Magazine titled “Shed Sessions.” Each Session takes a crew of surfers from a certain area and then hooks them up with some vintage boards, all of which have a historical connection to the featured location, and films the results. The most recent Shed Session features some Newport Beach rippers taking a couple of Orange County gems through their paces.
There’s a beautiful Dyno sting — shout out to Bird for the proper nomenclature — that looks really fun in the small but hollow beachbreak testing grounds. The next board is a Robert August swallowtail single fin, which looks very similar to a board I wrote about recently.
The star of the show, though, is a Shawn Stussy-shaped Russell Surfboards single fin. As longtime readers may know, I love Stussy’s boards in general. It’s hard to argue with a classic Eighties Stussy thruster, but I may love the Russell single fins from the Seventies just as much. For one, they aren’t as common.
I love this Russell Surfboards Stussy shape because you can see the beginnings of what would go on to become one of the most famous streetwear brands ever. In the photo above, which is a screengrab from the video, you can see an early version of the Stussy logo. As Bird mentions in the video, I have never seen another Russell board with a Stussy logo. I have seen other Russell boards that were signed by Stussy, and I have also seen Stussy boards with early versions of the logo that pre-date the famous script, but the combo above is unusual.
Surfer Magazine has produced a bunch of Shed Sessions episodes, and I urge you to check out the entire run. It’s a great series featuring some beautiful old boards paired with great surfing and even some history, too.
This post probably should have been written a few days earlier, but better late than never. If you happen to find yourself in beautiful Guethary, France, check out the new Permanent Lighting “Tagging and Gliding” exhibit at Le Bar Basque. Permanent Lighting is the nom de ‘Gram of a talented Italian photographer named Daniele. As longtime Shredderz by now know, this humble vintage surfboard blog keeps an eye peeled for anything Shawn Stussy-related. Stussy designed a bunch of collateral for the exhibit.
Both fellows are definitely worth a follow on Instagram, where they have been sharing materials related to the show. “Tagging and Gliding” runs through September 1st, so if you’re local, be sure to check it out and report back. And, if like me, you’ll be chained to a cubicle when the show is running, content yourself with some previews below:
Greetings, Shredderz! As I’m sure many of you already know, next weekend sees this year’s version of The Boardroom Show, hosted at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 2018’s Icons of Foam Honoree is none other than Marc Andreini, an all-around classy dude and tremendous shaper. The Boardroom Show is also home to the California Gold Surf Auction, which, in my mind, is the premier vintage surfboard auction. As always, the CA Gold auction has a curated selection of some the usual suspects — names like Dora, Noll, Brewer, et cetera. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a significant number of boards from the late 1970s and 1980s. This is nothing new, of course — 80s Town & Country boards command pretty ridiculous prices any time they pop up on eBay — but I wonder if it isn’t a sign of a larger shift in tastes as older collectors age out. And as an incorrigible fluoro enthusiast, I thought I would take the time to highlight some of my favorite boards from the auction. Keep reading for some selections…
Stussy Thruster for Michael Tomson of Gotcha (Link)
Oh man, this board is killer. Michael Tomson, cousin of Shaun, founded Gotcha clothing. Stussy even designed an early Gotcha typeface that was used prominently during the 80s. This thruster has all the little touches I love about Stussy’s boards, including some nifty hand-drawn graphics. I love the little planer design, and the Gotcha shark logo on the deck is an awesome throwback to the brand’s heyday. Make sure you hit the link above for a shot of the sick Stussy Team logos on the fins. I also wrote up this board when it popped up at the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club swap meet a few months back.
I can’t think of a better representation of Echo Beach than this incredible board. The board was shaped in 1980, and the auction estimate is between $2,500 and $3,000. There are so many details to love about this board, whether it’s the branded glass-on fins, the huge Lance Collins laminates, or, of course, the inimitable airbrush. The board has been restored, which I find slightly odd given the visible ding on the bottom right above the fins, but I’m not going to quibble. This Wave Tools twinny is ridiculous in all the right ways.
My initial guess was that this stunner was shaped in the 1980s, but it turns out it’s from 1978. Then again, it feels a little silly to focus so much on dates given the timeless — and bitchin’ — checkerboard graphic on the deck. This T&C single fin has also been restored. And while I prefer my boards all-original, this is a stunning example of a classic Hawaiian single fin.
Alright, this technically isn’t an 80s board, either, but given how sweet the board is, I am willing to make an exception. Like the other Glenn Minami example above, the board has been restored, hence its impeccable condition. I can’t get enough of the color scheme, and I really dig the old school Town & Country logos on both boards. I think it’s interesting how Glenn Minami’s name appears in a sans serif font on the sting, and then in a script font on the checkerboard single fin above. The sting is also dated to 1978.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Let’s face it: no one would ever confuse Shred Sledz with real journalism. The upside is that we don’t have to pretend to be objective. Case in point: Shawn Stussy is a blog favorite, and until he says something nasty about us, that’s not likely to change. Stussy got his start shaping surfboards in Southern California. He printed up t-shirts for his fledgling brand, and soon his namesake company ended up becoming a streetwear juggernaut. And while Stussy’s best-known and most coveted surfboards are from the eighties, Stussy began his shaping career at a different Southern California brand: Russell Surfboards. For all you fellow Stussy-philes, there’s currently a Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy board for sale on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. I have reproduced some of the pictures below.
The poster claims the board was shaped in 1973. It’s not surprising to hear that date given the outline and the dimensions of the board: 7’5″ x 19″. The coolest part of the board is the hand drawn Stussy logo, which you can see at the top of the page. Stussy’s boards are difficult to find as is, much less a clearly marked example of a Russell board. Rarer still is the logo: this is the only example I have seen of a hand-drawn Stussy logo on a Russell board.
According to Russell Surfboards’ website, Stussy, along with Jeff Timpone, handled the bulk of shaping duties for the brand from the mid- to late-1970s. Stussy’s run ostensibly ended in 1980, when he struck out on his own. I was able to find a picture from his Russell days. If you look closely, you can see the Russell Surfboards logo on his t-shirt.
Russell Surfboards has its roots in Newport Beach, where it was founded in 1967. During the seventies the brand was also referred to as “The Brotherhood” in reference to a tight-knit group of locals that surfed Newport’s best breaks. The Brotherhood included surfers like Junior Beck, Lenny Foster, Billy Pells, Paul Heussenstamm, and Jack Briggs. You’ll see The Brotherhood branding on a number of Russell boards from this era:
There’s an excellent blog post from a site called The Central Shaft that details one of The Brotherhood’s early trips down to Puerto Escondido during the mid-seventies. There are some incredible pictures of some Newport locals surfing Stussy’s boards in the pounding beachbreak for which Puerto Escondido has become infamous.
And if you’re into quiver porn, the article features a shot of a quiver Stussy shaped during his Russell days. The Central Shaft suggests this quiver was shaped for the Puerto Escondido trips, but a recent article in The Surfer’s Journal indicates that this is actually Stussy’s quiver for the 1974 winter, which he spent in Kauai.
In The Central Shaft blog post, Stussy goes on to describe the boards he shaped for the Puerto Escondido trip.
These boards were usually between seven six and eight six, nose and tail blocks from scraps of fin panel that the glass on fin was made from, also the leash mound when that started to happen, yellow tint with full gloss and polish, double and triple touching resin pinlines Russell would lay down, shit was awesome… we were so committed to making what we called “Cadillacs” at the time… a full sixties vibe was alive and well at the brotherhood in that period… love these pictures and this part of my shaping life…
I was also able to find an example of another Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy creation. This one comes courtesy of Board Collector / Damion Fuller. I have added two of the pictures below. It’s a classic twin fin shape, and according to Damion, the board was shaped in the late 1970s. You can see a Stussy signature on the stringer in the second picture; it’s also signed Greg, and I’m not sure who this is. If you have tips, let me know! The Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy twin fin also has a Larry Bertlemann-inspired spray job, which is a beautiful touch. See the original post here. Stussy crafted some pretty fantastic twin fins in the eighties under his own brand, and Damion’s site has some great pictures as well.
Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy twin fin, shaped in the late seventies. Pic via Board Collector.
Sadly, Robert Russell Brown, who founded Russell Surfboard, passed away in 2011. Stussy wrote a tribute to the man on his personal blog. It’s clear that Stussy remains very much influenced by his time at Russell Surfboards.
You can find the Craigslist link to the Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy shape at the top of the page here. The seller is asking $750. The board needs some repairs, particularly on the bottom, but I don’t think this is an outrageous price. Stussy maybe known for his eighties design, with their bright colors and intricate logos, but the Russell single fin is a rare artifact from his earlier shaping days.
Corrections / Updates July 9 2017
Updated the photo credit for the featured photo, which was taken by Craig Fineman. In addition, the quiver shot was originally credited as having been created for a Brotherhood trip to Puerto Escondido; an article in The Surfer’s Journal claims the quiver was made for a Kauai winter in 1974.