Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy

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.

Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy
Hand drawn Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy logo

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.

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Stussy shaping a board. Note the Russell Surfboards t-shirt. Photographer / source are unknown.

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:

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Example of a Russell Surfboards / The Brotherhood logo. Pic via Craigslist

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.

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Paul Heussenstamm on a Russell Surfboards Shawn Stussy-shaped sled, about to pull in to a Puerto Escondido cavern. Apparently this was taken from the first published article about Puerto Escondido in Surfing Magazine (Nov 1976, Vol. 12 issue 5). Pic via Tim Bernardy, and taken from the awesome writeup found on The Central Shaft.

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.

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Stussy isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think seventies single fins, but that is a killer quiver! Love the Rainbow fins, too. Pic via The Central Shaft

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.

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.

 

Shawn Stussy Surfboards Trivia

Surfboards and Coffee had their second event this past weekend, and it looks like it was a doozy. Expression Session #2 was a celebration of all things Echo Beach, and as you might expect, there was enough neon to hurt your eyes (this is a good thing!). Peter Schroff and Lance Collins (Wave Tools) both made cameos, alongside a serious collection of classic 80s boards. I would have liked to drop by, but luckily, there are some great recaps to be found on Instagram. And this is a strictly a matter of personal preference, but the event resulted in some cool insider info on Shawn Stussy surfboards.

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Expression Session 2: Echo Beach

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One-time Stussy team rider John Gothard showed up to the event and provided some awesome context on decoding some of Stussy’s mysterious stringer markings. To summarize the video below, at some point during the 80s Stussy was obsessed with James Bond. As a result, Stussy signed his personal boards “007” on the stringer. Gothard’s boards were marked “008” in a reference to Bond’s friend and Secret Service colleague.

Here’s an example of a Shawn Stussy “007” personal rider. It’s also interesting to note the logo in the board below is slightly different from the classic Stussy script we all know and love.

See below for a nice contrast between the different Stussy logos. The boards on either side have the what I’m guessing is an older logo, and the board in the middle sports the classic version.

Shawn Stussy Surfboards
A nice collection of 80s Stussy surfboards. Picture via Chicago Fashion Blogs

I was able to find another Stussy board on Instagram, which I believe pre-dates the script logo entirely. I believe the board below is from the late 1970s or early 1980s. (Note that Stoked-n-Board says Stussy didn’t start shaping until 1980).

Finally, another one of Stussy’s personal riders was up for sale earlier this year at the California Gold Surf Auction. See below for a picture, which was originally posted on the auction listing. There’s no “007” anywhere on this board, which dates to 1991. I’m guessing the “007” signature was relatively short-lived, but it’s just a guess.

Shawn Stussy Personal Rider Twinzer 1991
Shawn Stussy personal rider from 1991. No “007” markings, but a very clear signature with dating. Pic via California Gold Surf Auction

I’m bummed to have missed the event, but hopefully Surfboards and Coffee will continue to do God’s work in bringing together some killer boards and old school shapers! If you haven’t already, give them a follow on Instagram here.

All That Glitters: California Gold Vintage Surf Auction

This is it, folks…the big Kahuna.

The 2017 California Gold Surf Auction is underway. Lots begin closing later this week, on May 7, and as the auction enters the home stretch, I figure now is a good time to take a closer look at some of the boards being offered.

First, a little context: the California Gold Surf Auction is put on by Scott Bass, who runs the excellent Boardroom Show surfboard expo, and can be heard on both his Down the Line podcast, as well as the Surf Splendor podcast (both of which I recommend).

More importantly, the auction benefits the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center. If you’re at all interested in surf history — and if you’re not, I’d love to know how you ended up here, of all places — the SHCC is worthy of your support. Personally, I love the SHCC’s Stoked-n-Board resource, which is an online directory of just about every surfboard brand ever. Bottom line: not only are you buying some rad sticks, you’re also supporting an organization that does some great work in preserving history and spreading stoke.

Alright, I’m going to step off my soapbox and play the hits. Here are some of the rad boards on offer.

Renny Yater Personal Rider: 7’4″ Single Fin (Link Here)

I’ll let the auction organizers say it: “in our eyes the coolest board in the auction.” Who am I to disagree? Yater shaped, glassed, and finished this board…and then probably ripped perfect Rincon with it, too. One cool detail for fellow board nerds: you’ll see a number on the stringer with a small Y above it. Apparently this is how Yater signed some of his personal boards (versus the more common “R. Yater” signature and numbering you see on his later designs). The board was shaped in 1976. I’m not sure if this is considered a proper Pocket Rocket or not. There is no reserve and right now the highest bid is $800. That is an unbelievably low price, though I suspect bidding will probably heat up towards the end of the auction. You can see more pics on the auction site, which you can find here.

Hit “Continue Reading” below to see more selections from the auction…

Continue reading “All That Glitters: California Gold Vintage Surf Auction”

Shred Sledz Presents: Thursday Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a collection of some rad boards that have popped up on the radar lately. Today’s post has a heavy 80s flavor to it, so if you’ve got a thing for neon, stick around and start scrolling.

Stussy Shortboard on Craigslist (San Diego)

If you don’t have a soft spot for 80s Stussy surfboards, then this is NOT the blog for you. This one has a bunch of sun damage, and the $1K price is steep, for sure, but these boards simply aren’t that easy to come by. This one has some rad artwork, and a very clear hand signature you can see in the picture above. I’d be very curious to see what this board ends up going for.

Schroff Blaster on eBay (Texas)

The 80s parade continues! This board is in excellent condition. Part of the reason why it has held its color so well is that it was apparently sprayed white. The poster claims this is one of the first 700 boards Peter Schroff shaped. I’m curious about that, given that Schroff used a standard script logo before the black and white grid logo seen above. In any case, it’s a beautiful board, and while bidding is low (<$70 now), I think you’ll see this one climb by the time the auction ends in four days.

Channel Islands / Al Merrick Tri-Plane Hull Quad Fin on Craigslist (Houston)

This one is SO close to being an exemplary collectors board. First of all, you can see that it is an Al Merrick handshape – check the clear “Al / Fish” combo signature on the listing. It also has such great logos and branding, like the “Channel Islands” script running down both rails, and then a nice “Quad Design” logo on the bottom. But you can also see where repairs were made to the board, and the nose looks blunted as a result. It’s not necessarily a terrible deal at $200, either, but man, this could have been added to the Shred Sledz Signature Collection with just a few tweaks.

Takayama Funshape Thruster on Craigslist (San Diego)

This is kind of a funky Takayama board. I’m not sure what model it is, exactly, which is part of the mystery. And check out the logo on the bottom, which is not one you see every day. If you click through to the listing you can see that it has DT’s signature in pencil on the blank itself, meaning it’s not one of the newer boards where his signature has just been stamped on. Board is listed at $890.

Friday Round Up

Hope this weekend is bringing the global Shredderz community some tasty waves. In the meantime, we’re experimenting with a new format. Instead of going super deep on specific boards and shapers, we’ll be presenting a grab bag of cool boards you can currently find for sale online.

Takayama 7′0″ egg on Craigslist (San Diego)

Not cheap at $1200, but it’s in great condition and has a cool acid paint job on the deck. It’s hard to see the signature but it looks right to me. Looks like a 90s Donald hand shape, and it has some cool egg logos to boot.

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Stussy Shortboard on eBay

Don’t be fooled by the initial picture – this thing is trashed, and it’s in pretty sorry condition. But hey, it’s always a delight to come across these boards. It’s currently <$200, so it could even be a rescue project for the right person. The only downside of looking at boards like this one is getting worked up over the fact no one took better care of it…but I digress.

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Greg Noll board on Craigslist (Florida)

This one is priced fairly, which is to say, out of the price range for what Shred Sledz pays its overworked and underappreciated employees. Then again, they don’t come up for sale very often, so check it out before it moves into some weirdo collector’s giant air-sealed garage.

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W.A.V.E. hollow board on Craigslist (New York)

I’ve written about these boards before, and they are a real trip. W.A.V.E. boards were created by Tom Morey and Karl Pope back in the 70s, and they featured a hollow, chambered design. This one looks to be in great condition, and it also has a gorgeous example of a 70s rainbow fin, which you can see in the pic below. It’s not cheap at $500, but oh well.

Beat Up Shawn Stussy Thruster

This thing isn’t gonna win any beauty pageants any time soon, but it is a genuine vintage Shawn Stussy board – signatures and all – available for $250.

You can find it here, on Craigslist in Broward County, Florida. Shout out to the poster for acknowledging that prices for Stussy boards are going nuts, and still offering this one at something reasonable, considering the market.

The same board was at one point being offered on eBay, but that listing has been taken down, which makes me wonder if the board has been sold already.

In any case, 80s Stussy boards are no joke! You can see this one sold for $2,100 on eBay, even with that unsightly area near the fins. A twin fin went for above $2,000 also on eBay, although it looked to be in pretty good condition. All things said and done, $250 for a genuine Shawn Stussy shape, even with this amount of discoloration, seems fair to me. Although I just looked at the board again and man, this thing has seen better days…

Check it out here, and hopefully you can still snag the board if it’s available.

80s Legend Shawn Stussy

For all you dedicated Shred Sledz readers – hi, Mom! – by now you know that few things warm the cockles of my heart quite like surfboards from the 1980s.

Check out this rad Stussy shortboard for sale on eBay, priced at a pretty royal $1600. Astoundingly, I don’t know that I have ever written about Shawn Stussy.

Long before his name became a shorthand for streetwear, Shawn Stussy was a well-renowned Southern California shaper. According to Stoked-n-Board, Stussy started his eponymous label in 1980. I was shocked to see that Stussy has a Wikipedia entry but no such luck with the otherwise comprehensive Encyclopedia of Surfing.

Sadly, Stussy doesn’t own the rights to his name anymore and his brand continues to be operated without him. Stussy continues to pump out fantastic looking boards out of his S/Double label, and he’s not shy about sharing pictures on his excellent Instagram. Stussy shot to popularity back in the 1980s, though, thanks not only to his skills as a shaper but also his keen eye for design. Pics below taken from the S/Double blog.

The seller for this board claims it was shaped in the 1980s. My guess is late 1980s or sometime in the 90s but I can’t be sure. Stoked-n-Board dates the logo – the signature double “S” design in the blue box – from the 2000s, but who knows.

The other rad thing this board has going for it is a clear signature from the man himself. And man, how cool is it that the board was made for one Scotty Rotten? I could do without the Oakley logo on the nose but otherwise it’s a sick board that’s in good shape.

Check it out on eBay here.