Well, Shredderz, they say it’s better late than never, so accept my apologies for today’s Sagas of Shred entry, which appears a full 24 hours or so after its customary slot. But I’ll try and make it up to all eight of you with a gem. Pictured above is an ad that ran in a 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine that helped announce Simon Anderson’s thruster design to the rest of the world. I believe Anderson’s original thrusters were produced in Australia under the Energy Surfboards label. Across the pond, San Diego-based Nectar Surfboards and shaper Gary MacNabb took the reins to distribute Anderson’s revolutionary design.
If you look closely in the ad above, it even looks like Anderson is riding an Energy board, with its clearly identifiable pyramid shaped logo, and not a Nectar shape. The “3 Fin Thruster” logo in the ad looks like a rudimentary version that you’ll find on both Energy and Nectar Simon Anderson examples.
Amazingly, Anderson never made a dime off the thruster design, despite its ubiquity. It’s amazing that over three decades later, the thruster remains the standard fin setup for high performance surfing, although nowadays you see a number of quad fin setups when world tour pros surf places like Pipeline, etc. Matt Biolos of …Lost Surfboards attempted to rectify this a few years ago, pledging to donate $1 per thruster sold to Simon Anderson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Biolos’ good intentions caught on with the rest of the surf industry.
And while Simon Anderson is unlikely to ever make Warren Buffett money off of his design, his influence on the sport is beyond reproach. And surely that means a lot more than having a few extra dollars here and there. (I wouldn’t know, as I am neither rich nor historically significant, but that’s a story for another time.)
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next week with more Sagas of Shred.
Greetings, Shredderz! I hope a weekend chock full of tasty waves is on the forecast. In the meantime, see below for a selection of some wonderful boards that have recently caught the eyes of the Shred Sledz editorial staff.
There’s actually a Harbour Trestle Special for sale on eBay right now. You can find the eBay board here. Unfortunately, the example that’s being sold isn’t in great condition, which is more or less expected, given the age of the board. The example above is super clean and it also has a great close-up shot of the fin. We’re big fans of Rich Harbour here at Shreddies, and we’re always on the lookout for a particularly cherry example of a Harbour Trestle Special!
I didn’t realize the iconic Larry Bertlemann twin fin board with the Pepsi spray job was also produced in Australia until I saw both posts above. LB’s legendary board is begging for a more in-depth feature. Stay tuned…
Hilarious Simon Anderson / Nectar Surfboards ad from back in the 1980s. According to the caption, the ad originally appeared in Australian Surfing Life magazine. I had always thought Nectar Surfboards had only distributed Anderson’s thrusters in the US, but I guess I was mistaken!
Luis Real is the owner of North Shore Surf Shop on Oahu. He is also the owner an extensive collection of vintage surfboards that has been known to bring grown men to tears. He posts a lot of incredible stuff on Instagram and on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook. This post above is a rad picture of a rare Dick Brewer logo that features Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman as well. Note that in the top portion of the pic, Sam Hawk is on the left, Owl Chapman is in the middle, and Brewer himself is to the right.
Today’s post features some tasty Bonzer content for all you alternative surf craft fans. Check out this Shane Bonzer shaped by none other than Simon Anderson! This is a cool look at one of Anderson’s earlier experiments with a tri-fun setup before he invented the proper thruster and revolutionized surfboard designs forever. Note that the owner of the account above is none other than Duncan Campbell, brother of Malcolm and one of the co-founders of Campbell Bros.
Your last Bonzer related post of the day comes from none other than Joel Tudor. Check out the comments in the thread where Tudor and Malcolm Campbell are discussing how Joel is going to take that thing down from the rafters and have the outlined copied so he can make a repro. Check out the fin placement on the board on the right — just like the Campbell Bros recommend. Love the little “Bonzer Vehicles” logos you can see next to the side bites, not to mention the funky double concave and the super thinned out tails.
Look at this beautiful example of a Steve Lis fish! And check out those dimensions: at 5’2″ x 20 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ it’s not hard to see the kneeboarding influence. You can barely see a little logo on the bottom of the board towards the top.
Surfboards and Coffee (looks like their website isn’t quite ready for primetime yet) is a group of surfboard collectors in LA that host regular meetups to compare boards and ingest some caffeine. If I lived in that lovely City of Angels I’d like to think I’d be a regular, but alas Shred Sledz HQ isn’t moving from the Bay Area any time soon. Anyway, check them out on Instagram (and how about the spray job on that Stussy!)
Last but not least, Marc Andreini took to Facebook to explain some of the backstory behind his famous Vaquero design. The board on the right is an early predecessor of the Vaquero — then called the “365”, because Andreini and co found they could surf the board nearly every day of the year — from 1974.
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.
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.
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.
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.