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.
Greetings, Shredderz! You know the drill: here are some of the coolest boards I’ve seen on Instagram lately. Keep scrolling for more…
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⚡️RENNY YATER GUN⚡️1976⚡️ . This is Jock Sutherland’s personal Pipeline Gun. . Dims: 8’1 x 20-1/2” x 3-1/2” . #renny #yater #santabarbarasurfshop #santabarbara #pipeline #ricon #jocksutherland . . #californiasurfmuseum #volunteer #donate #dropin #today #fun #legend #history #surfsup #surf #love #pacific #oceanside
Renny Yater. Jock Sutherland. Pipeline. And yes, a red high density foam stringer to top it all off. This thing is clean and mean!
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Still my two favorites by master craftsmen Dick Brewer and Robin Prodanovich #tomcurtisspray #legends #sandiego #surf #california #craftsmenship #pinkandblue #robinprodanovich @robin_prodanovich #dickbrewer #quad #80s #surfboard #surfboards #vintagesurfboard #boardcollector
Technically I believe only one of these boards is vintage (that would be the Brewer on the bottom). This is far from a “classic” Brewer in the sense it’s an Eighties thruster, but hey, it’s got Dick Brewer’s name on it, and the airbrush is awesome.
I recently wrote up an early Energy Surfboards / Simon Anderson / Frank Latta thruster, but featured above are three of Simon’s personal riders. Super cool stuff.
Meanwhile, Simon Anderson also shaped for Shane Surfboards early on. Here’s a very interesting wing pin setup.
Here’s Al Merrick posing with a Channel Islands Surfboards thruster that was likely shaped in the Eighties. From the OP sticker I’m guessing this has to be one of the boards that Tom Curren rode en route to a US Open victory. You don’t hear much about Al these days, as his son Britt has taken the reins at CI, but it’s great to see an update!
Greetings, Shredderz! While I generally don’t write too much about thrusters, there’s no denying that Simon Anderson’s signature invention belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the most influential surfboard designs ever. Even now, a good thirty plus years after Anderson first popularized the tri-fin shortboard, the thruster remains the standard setup for high performance shortboards. While there is no disputing the incredible work being done by modern shapers like Matt Biolos and others, given Shred Sledz’s primary focus on vintage surfboards, it’s only right that we examine some thrusters from the Eighties. The very first thrusters were shaped under the Energy Surfboards label. Simon Anderson also partnered with San Diego label Nectar Surfboards to bring the thruster design to the United States. As much as I love the Nectar collaboration boards, the Aussie thrusters made under the Energy Surfboards marque will always be my favorites.
As countless other shapers have done over the years, Anderson enlisted help keep up with demand once his design hit the big time. He turned to well-regarded Sydney shaper Frank Latta. Latta was a standout competitive surfer during the dawn of contest surfing during the Sixties who drew praise from the likes of Midget Farrelly. Sadly, Latta passed away while surfing eight years ago, at the relatively early age of sixty three.
There is currently an Energy Surfboards thruster from the Eighties, shaped by Frank Latta, that is listed for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. I believe the board is being sold by well-known surfboard collector Buggs Arico, who runs Surfboardline.com. I have re-posted pics from the eBay listing below:
You can click on the photos above to enlarge. The board is in super clean condition, and it has a bunch of really rad touches. First, I believe it is from a later run of Energy Surfboards thruster boards, as it has a different Energy logo. Compare this to another Energy Surfboards thruster on Retro Surf Co, which is advertised as first generation. Note the triangle logo on the Retro Surf Co board, which doesn’t appear on the eBay / Frank Latta board featured above.
There are some great touches throughout. I love the simple but effective color on the bottom of the board (particularly with the white glass on fins, too). You can see the distinct Eighties outline in the board — the squash tail looks pretty severely squared off in the picture at the above left.
And this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz post if I didn’t geek out on the logos. “The Original 3 Fin Thruster Concept and Design” laminate is all-time, even if, on closer inspection, it looks pretty crudely hand drawn and cut out. The black and white Frank Latta laminate underneath the Energy logo on the left is also very cool. I also like that it features Latta prominently, whereas a lot of other so-called ghost shapers often go unmentioned.
Right now the board is under $180, but this is sure to rise as there are still five days left in the auction. It’s not every day you see a clean example of an Energy Surfboards thruster, especially not in the States, where the Nectar / Anderson thrusters are far more commonplace. If you’re interested in bidding on the board check it out on eBay here.
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.
Ben Aipa. Town & Country Surfboards. Neon.
There is nothing else that needs to be said about this gem.
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!
Greetings, Shredderz! Here is the latest in vintage surfboard news from the far reaches of the interwebs, collected all in one place.
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.
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The LIS FISH shaped in 1974 by legend Steve Lis. 5'2" x 20-3/4" x 2-1/2" Stringerless foam and fiberglass with marine ply duel foil Keel fins. "I liked to ride pintails but my swim-fins hung over the side and created drag. So I designed a split-tailed board with the width to support my fins, but at the same time preserve the characteristics of the pintail." -Steve Lis. #LisFish #fish
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.
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.
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.