Tails of the Thruster: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Buckle in for another scorcher of a vintage surf advertisement. As a quick reminder, I scan a different surf ad every Thursday evening (California time, of course) as part of the Sagas of Shred series. I have a fondness for ridiculous Eighties ads, but usually I can only get in about one or two jokes, max, before I realize that my affection for the ad isn’t ironic after all. I’ve seen different scans of this ad floating around the internet somewhere, although I can’t seem to find them. What you see here is a Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad that originally appeared in the May 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 5). Anderson, of course, created the tri fin thruster design nearly forty years ago, and it remains the de facto fin setup for countless surfboards across the globe. I can only guess the magnitude of his invention hadn’t yet become apparent by the time he decided to pose for a half hearted Indiana Jones spoof. Nectar Surfboards, based out of San Diego, was the American licensee for Anderson’s boards. I don’t believe Simon shaped any of the US boards, but I’m not totally certain on that point. What’s interesting about this ad is that it also includes a closeup of some very cool and varied designs that were part of Nectar’s lineup at the time. From left to right there’s a standard Eighties bump squash tail; a wing round pin (not sure if that’s the precise term); and two swallow tail varieties. There’s also an interesting variety of fin sizes and shapes. You’ll notice some of the boards have smaller center trailing fins, whereas others have three fins of equal sizes. I’m not sure what to call the fins on the white and yellow board second from right, but they’re reminiscent of the trapezoidal fins currently found on some Vulcan Surfboards. This ad is definitely one of my favorites in terms of sheer ridiculousness, but, as is usually the case, it isn’t long before I find myself getting genuinely excited about the boards and the people that are featured.

Shred Sledz Presents: Monday Grab Bag

Happy Monday, Shredderz! Here are a few boards that have caught my eye over the past few days.

Simon Anderson / Nectar Thruster on Craigslist (Los Angeles)

I’d love to do a more in-depth post on Simon Anderson. I’m just waiting to find one of his early thrusters go on sale so I can do the board justice with an accompanying post. (I featured one of his early single fin boards in this post.)

In the early days of Anderson’s pioneering thruster design, he licensed it out to Nectar so he could sell the board in America. The board linked above is a fantastic early example, apparently from 1981, and it looks to be in pretty impeccable condition. It’s not cheap at $569 but it’s not easy to find 35 year old boards in such great condition. If you’d like to read more about the Anderson / Nectar collaboration, I recommend this article at Boardcollector.com.

1960s Chuck Dent Transitional Board on Craigslist (Santa Cruz)

This Chuck Dent board is sporting some artwork that can only be described as groovy, and it looks like it is in pristine condition. Bonus: the board is seen pictured with an ultra-rare Gordon & Smith / Skip Frye vee bottom, with another logo I haven’t seen before. Not sure if the Frye is for sale (likely not), but it’s worth the click through, trust me. This bad boy is listed at $600. I’m not sure how collectible Dent’s boards are, but if the condition is every bit as ideal as the post suggests, then this could be a fair price.

1960s Rick Surfboards Lightweight on Craigslist (Los Angeles)

Neither of these boards are in particularly great condition, but if there’s one thing I love, it’s finding rare logos from old boards. It’s always a good sign when you can’t find the logo on Stoked-n-Board or Stanley’s Surfboard Logos, and I can’t find mention of a Rick Surfboards Lightweight model anywhere. Maybe this is a nod to Bing’s famous Lightweight model, given that Rick Stoner and Bing Copeland were once business partners? I can’t say for sure. At $700 I can’t really justify this cost, but oh well.

Simon Anderson for Energy Surfboards

Check out this vintage Simon Anderson single fin on eBay Australia! Simon Anderson’s claim to shaping fame is the fact he invented the thruster, the first tri-fin surfboard design that stands as one of the most influential shapes in surfboard history. 35 years ago the thruster ushered in the modern shortboard era, and it remains the de facto fin setup for performance surfing.

This board, from Anderson’s now-defunct Energy label, likely predates Anderson’s wonderful invention. It’s a great example of an early-era Anderson board. Energy thrusters in good condition are more coveted (and command higher prices), but what we have here is still the product of one of the most important shapers ever, and it’s water-tight, to boot!

According to the listing the board has been looked over by well-known Aussie surfboard restorer Levi Jones (who is very active on Vintage Surfboard Collectors). It measures in at 6′5″, and it’s ready for a surf right now. Good luck on the bidding here.