Skip Frye Bonzer 5 Conversion

I’m usually hesitant to share pics that have been posted on other sites (except Craigslist and eBay posts, of course). When I stumbled across this unusual Skip Frye bonzer that’s currently listed for sale, though, I knew I had to share the good word. First, news of the board’s sale was originally posted to Surfer’s online forum (link here). You can contact the seller via that link. Second, the photo of the Skip Frye bonzer was originally shared on Surfy Surfy’s awesome blog. You can find the original Surfy Surfy link here. Hit up Surfy Surfy’s site for more pics of the board. And if you find yourself in sunny Leucadia, Surfy Surfy and its sister coffee shop — yup, named Coffee Coffee — are worth an in-person visit.

As for a bit of background on the board, you can find a more detailed rundown in the link to the Surfer Forum post. The Skip Frye bonzer measures in at 6’10” x 21.5″ x 2.5″ (apparently ‘just shy of 2.5″‘, according to the seller). I freaked out when I first saw the board, as I have never seen a Skip Frye-shaped bonzer before. However, turns out that the board was originally shaped in the Eighties as an egg with a thruster fin setup. The board was later converted into its current five fin iteration. The other interesting thing about this Skip Frye stick is the prominent Moonlight Surfboards logo. I can’t recall off the top of my head if I have seen any other of Skip’s boards with a similar laminate, but it’s definitely unusual.

The seller doesn’t list a price with the board, and I think it’s safe to assume that he’s expecting a Godfather offer. I hesitated to even call this guess an educated one, but I would be surprised if the Skip Frye bonzer changed hands for less than $1,500. As for my personal preferences, if I were to shell out the money for one of Skip’s prized sleds, I would prefer an all-original fin setup. Then again, that’s just me, and that’s not to take anything away from this neat Frye bonzer.

Anyway, you can check out the Surfer Forum link here to contact the seller, and make sure you check out Surfy Surfy’s blog here for more pics of the Skip Frye bonzer.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an awesome example of one of the greatest Transition Era boards of all time: the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom Model.

I’m not sure exactly when G&S produced Skip’s signature models, but they were somewhere in the 1968 – 1969 range. (Sadly, Stoked-n-Board continues to go missing from the SHACC website, though I have been told that there are plans to revive the site).

Pictured below is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in the Santa Cruz area. You can find a link to the listing here. Longtime readers might actually recognize this board from when it sold on Craigslist a little over a year ago and I wrote up a brief post on the board. The asking price for the G&S Skip Frye V Bottom last year was $850, and now the seller is asking a cool $3,500. (More on that later).

There are no two ways about it: this is a bitchin’ board with a lot of neat bells and whistles. Check out the W.A.V.E. Set fin, and the colorful G&S logo on the bottom of the board is an insane trip back to surfing’s psychedelic roots.

As you can see, the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is in very good condition, and there’s even a serial number on the deck (#3153).

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom 11.jpg

Now, as for the price, well, I think $3,500 is a bit ambitious. Now, don’t get me wrong: any example of a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is going to fetch a nice price. And I can’t begrudge the guy for pouncing on the board at $850 a year back, when it was clearly worth a LOT more.

The California Gold Vintage Surf Auction just closed up a few weeks back, during which  another nice G&S Skip Frye V Bottom board went on the block. You can find a link to the auction board here. I’ve also embedded a photo below.

late 60’s skipper V bottom. Super foiled with mild V. I’m tripping #skipfrye

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The auction Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom ended up selling for $2,000, a good deal cheaper than the $3,500 that’s being asked for the Craigslist board. (Note that there are fees with the auction board, but it still ends up being cheaper.) The auction board looks to be in slightly better condition, too — note the visible discolored repairs on the bottom of the Craigslist Skip Frye V Bottom.

That said, I personally don’t have a problem with people buying boards on Craigslist and then re-listing them for more. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I don’t think a Skip Frye board should be cheap! Boards like the one posted here are genuine pieces of surf history. Now, do I think it’s worth $3,500? Probably not. But either way it’s a rad board, the Craigslist posting has some great photos, and if money’s no object, you can even take the board him with you. Check out the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom board for sale on Craigslist here.

Happy Frye-day: 1984 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Pintail

Happy Frye-day, Shredderz! I have an incredible board for you today that comes courtesy of a reader who goes by Frenchie Fred. Monsieur Fred was kind enough to share pictures of his early 2000s Donald Takayama Larry Bertlemann twin fin a few weeks ago. As it turns out, Fred has even more heat in his collection! Pictured above is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye surfboard. Update 11/3: I originally referred to this board as a glider, but after consulting some far more knowledgeable folks, it turns out that this is simply a pintail, with a more pulled-in shape than a Skip Frye Eagle. The Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board pictured above measures in at 9’6″, and it was shaped in 1984.

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 4
Most of the time you’ll see this logo in black. I think the cobalt blue is a nice touch, however.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 3
A nice look at the rocker on the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye pintail pictured above.
Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 2
The bottom of the board has Skip’s signature hand-drawn wings, versus a laminate. As you can see, it is a single fin setup, and the board is absolutely spotless.

Many thanks to Frenchie Fred for the beautiful pictures of an exquisite board. Here at Shred Sledz HQ we are very serious about conferring any surfcraft with the coveted Cherry Status. But as you can see from the pictures above, it’s clear that Frenchie Fred’s Skip Sled meets the criteria!

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 10Gordon & Smith Skip Frye for M Heinrich 1984 9'6 9

Believe it or not, this bad boy gets even better! Skip Frye wrote a very detailed inscription on the stringer that sheds more light on the board’s origins. You can see partial pictures of the inscription above. Here is the entire text:

“Shaped for master shaper and craftsman and brother of the sea –Heinrich– by old school advocate Skip Frye on the 101st anniversary of the birthday of the first surfer of the modern age –George Freeth– November 8, 1984”

Frenchie Fred tells me that the board was shaped for a Brazilian shaper named Marcos Heinrich, who is apparently a friend of Skip’s. This was the first I had ever heard of Heinrich. The only info I could find on Heinrich was on a website written in Portuguese, which you can see here. I’m not sure how this lovely Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board found its way from San Diego to possibly Brazil to its current home in France, but I’m stoked to be able to document it.

George Freeth via Orange County Register.jpg
George Freeth. Pic via Orange County Register

Finally, you’ll notice the precise date of November 8th, which signifies George Freeth’s birthday. George Freeth is often credited with bringing the sport of surfing to California from its birthplace in Hawaii, along with Duke Kahanamoku. I recommend reading the Encyclopedia of Surfing’s entry on Freeth, and if you don’t already subscribe to EoS, it’s one of the best deals on the internet (seriously). Just as Skip’s math suggests, Freeth was born on November 8th, 1883, meaning the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye seen above was shaped exactly 101 years afterwards. Frenchie Fred says the stringer inscription sends chills down his spine, and I’m inclined to agree!

Merci beaucoup, Frenchie Fred, for sharing the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye board from your collection. I hope all you Shredderz enjoyed this special Frye-day post, and I wish you all weekends full of tasty waves and smiles!

 

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup: #Fryeday Edition (September 1)

Greetings, Shredderz! Here to take you into the weekend is a celebration of one of California’s finest board builders, one Harry “Skip” Frye. Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of The Surfer’s Journal for a comprehensive look at Skip’s personal quiver. In the meantime, here are some social media selections showing off Skip’s shapes…

I wrote about this Skip Frye single fin when it was posted on Craigslist…and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it! This is the only Frye I have seen with a Select Surf Shop laminate, and it’s got a sick little wing pin outline to boot. I’m glad that it found a good home with Buggs, who runs Surfboard Line. The board has been fixed up and looks better than ever. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures!

A palm reflection off two Skip Frye's

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Taylor Knox owes his long career to his powerful rail surfing. It’s difficult to imagine him laying these gliders into his patented spray-chucking carves, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Taylor Knox! I’m just stoked to see this unexpected but rad union between two opposite ends of the famously varied spectrum that is San Diego surfing. Don’t hold your breath for Joel Tudor to bust out a high performance thruster, though…

I don’t know a word of Japanese, but I do know how to recognize an incredible quiver when I see one…

Holy Grail. Art and shape by Skip Frye.

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This board is a bit of a mystery, but don’t skip over it because of the abstract picture! Skip Frye shaped this board for use at Jeffrey’s Bay, and it ended up being ridden by Derek Hynd (and I believe Tom Curren, too). You can read more about the board and the session in Andrew Kidman’s forthcoming Beyond Litmus book.

A post shared by James Llewelyn (@lyttlestreet) on

A young Skip Frye holding an early Gordon & Smith board. Interesting to note Skip’s board doesn’t have any Frye logos on it — it must pre-date his signature models for the brand.

Skip Frye Quiver in The Surfer’s Journal

Think of this less as a blog post and more of a public service announcement: there is an absolute must-read feature in the current issue of The Surfer’s Journal featuring Skip Frye’s personal quiver, and a detailed overview of his various shapes. The article covers just about every kind of board Frye has ever produced, from his days with Gordon & Smith to more recent designs. If you at all have a passing interest in surfboards, or you ever think to yourself “Why, yes, I would be interested in seeing the sickest quiver in the Western Hemisphere,” then go out and purchase an issue today.

Picture above via The Surfer’s Journal; photograph by Shawn Parkin (Shawn’s Instagram Account)

Trio of Skip Frye Vintage Surfboards

Greetings, Shredderz! We’ve got some more detailed posts in the hopper, so please stay tuned. And if you haven’t already, please check us out on Instagram. In the meantime, though, now is a good opportunity to feature three Skip Frye vintage sticks that are currently for sale on eBay, all being offered by the same seller. Based on some of the boards’ various details, it looks like all three of these Skip Frye vintage boards were shaped in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are some cool details on each board, which I have explained below.

Skip Frye Vintage Board #1: 9’1″ K Model “The Diamond Frye” Logo (Link)

This board has definitely seen some better days, but that’s understandable, if not outright required. Click through to the eBay link above for more pics, and you’ll be able to see some obvious places where repairs were made. Board measures 9’1″ and you can see it has a thruster setup with glassed on fins. Starting bid is $1200, which might be a bit on the steep side. Note “The Diamond Frye” logo. Stoked-n-Board lists “The Diamond Frye” logo as having been produced between 1986 and 1988. During those same years, S-n-B claims Frye’s boards were produced at the Diamond Factory in San Diego. That can’t be coincidental. As for the shape of the board itself, I believe it’s a K Model. There’s another picture of a Skip Frye K Model on Daniel’s Longboards, and the outline looks identical. I’m not certain on that, however. As always, drop me a line if you have more info on Frye’s boards, as there is nothing listed on his website.

 

Skip Vintage Board #2: 7’9″ Thruster (Link)

This board seems like the best bargain of the bunch. First, it’s in superior condition to the K Model pictured above, with only a $200 difference in starting price (opening bid is $1400). As far as I can see, no major fixes have been made. The 7’9″ board also has beautiful wooden glassed on fins. They might be Larry Gephart fins, but I can’t be certain. In the last picture you can see an “S.D.” written on the stringer, followed by a number that looks like “19”. Unfortunately, the number is obscured by the fiberglass leash loop. Once again, Stoked-n-Board comes through in the clutch. S.D. does not stand for San Diego, but rather Skip and Donna (Donna being Skip’s wife). The S.D. written on the stringer started in 1990 and continued in 2000. If it is in fact number 19, that pegs the board as having been shaped in 1990. It makes sense that the various boards being listed by this seller were all shaped around the same time.

 

Skip Frye Vintage Board #3: 7’7″ Thruster (Link)

The last board is another thruster, this time with a neat green paint job, and a multi-colored Skip Frye wings logo. The 7’7″ green board is very similar in shape to the 7’9″ thruster. One interesting little touch on the 7’7″ green board is a doubled up version of Skip’s signature hand drawn wings design, located on the stringer right near the fins. This is a pretty unusual touch that I haven’t spotted before. See the second picture above for a closeup. This board has also been signed “S.D. 63″ (I didn’t include the pic, but click through the link above to see). This would squarely date the board in 1990, according to Stoked-n-Board’s very thorough records. The 7’7” green board is also being offered at a starting bid of $1200.

Skip Frye vintage boards don’t always pop up for sale, and when they do, it can often be a little tricky figuring out when they were made. Seeing this trio for sale sheds some light on what Frye’s boards were like during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The prices might be ambitious, especially if these are just starting bids, but I never pass up an opportunity to window shop when it comes to Skip Frye’s creations.

Celebrating Skip Frye: Happy Frye-Day!

Celebrate #Fryeday with some Skip Frye surfboards!

Greetings, Shredderz! If, like me, your thirst for vintage surfboards (and Skip Frye shapes) has long left reason and logic in the rearview, you have no doubt turned to Instagram for your fix. One of the nice little traditions you can find on Instagram is the #Fryeday hashtag, where users share photos of some of Skip Frye’s fine creations.

As a nod to Fryeday, I’d like to shine the spotlight on a few Skip Frye boards that are either currently for sale or were recently listed, along with some prices. Some collectors don’t like to discuss board prices — “throw it on eBay if you want to find out!” is a common (and unhelpful) refrain — but considering most mortals will have to buy a Skip Frye board on the secondary market, I think it’s a topic worth exploring.

Update (8/24): At the owner’s request, previous pictures of the board were removed.

First is a 9’9″ Skip Frye surfboard for sale on Craigslist in Orange County. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $2,485. I tend to think the price is on the higher end of the spectrum for a Skip Frye board. The listing has been up for a few weeks now, and generally speaking, Skip Frye boards tend to come and go very quickly, thanks to their limited availability. Unfortunately, I can’t say what Frye’s boards sell for when you buy them directly, but the issue is the access, not the price. (Note: The original version of this article had this board described as a K Model, but a reader wrote in with a correction.)

For contrast, there’s a 9’6″ Eagle — Skip Frye’s glider model — being offered in San Diego for $1200. You can find a link to that posting here. There are no pics with the listing, but it’s worth noting to get a sense for prices.

The second board is an 8’6″ mini-glider with a thruster fin setup that was recently for sale on Craigslist in New York (posting has since been taken down). The asking price was $3500. This seems extremely high. The board above also spent a few weeks on Craigslist before the listing was taken down. I know, I know — using Craigslist postings isn’t exactly science — but I take this as evidence that the 8’6″ board was overpriced.

Finally, there’s another 8′ Skip Frye K Model for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The board is going for $650…but there are more than a few catches. There’s current delamination on the board, it looks like one of the fins may have been partially ripped out earlier, and overall it’s not in the great condition of either of the examples posted above, cosmetically and otherwise. If anything, this is a testament to the fact that Skip Frye’s boards command premium prices, considering it’s a $650 project.

Hope this post was helpful. As always, if you have any feedback feel free to reach out using the Contact link, or leave a comment below.

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 12): Yater Hull and More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a collection of some of the coolest boards I’ve seen floating around online as of late, including an awesome Yater hull.

@Yater

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How cool is this thing?! Yater was the subject of my most recent post, but I might like the board above even more. I can’t be for sure, but it looks to have a bit of a vee bottom. The outline of this Yater hull is very reminiscent of some Liddle and Andreini hulls (specifically, Andreini’s Vaquero model.) The fin — both its rake and its placement — reminds me of Liddle’s boards.

Hull aficionado Kirk Putnam has an excellent pic on his blog that traces the lineage of Andreini and Liddle’s shapes back to George Greenough. I’ve added the picture below. Liddle’s board is at top, and the next two are Andreini Vaqueros. The fourth board from the top is a Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom shaped by John Price, and the board at the bottom is a Midget Farrelly stringerless vee bottom with a Greenough logo. I had been aware of Greenough’s influence on Andreini and Liddle, but had no idea that Yater had tried out some of these shapes as well. Andreini has made no secret of his admiration of Yater, and it’s cool to see a shape that combines the Greenough school of displacement hulls, and Yater’s more traditional side of California board building. If you have pictures of another Yater hull, please drop me a line!

Kirk Putnam Hulls: Yater Hull
A partial shot of Kirk Putnam’s quiver. Pic via kp’s round up

For more on the subject, I urge you to check out Putnam’s blog. If you’re prone to quiver jealousy, though, his Instagram feed might push you over the edge!

 

Lopez’s boards for Lightning Bolt are by far the most collectible, but it seems like there’s a growing interest in some of his more obscure shapes. Pictured above is an extra clean example of Lopez’s signature model that he produced for Hansen in the late 1960s. What’s interesting about that board is that it actually featured two different logos. There’s an example of a different Hansen / Lopez board that was recently sold on eBay. It has the alternate logo, which I have reproduced below.

Hansen Gerry Lopez Logo Shred Sledz
Note the different logos in the two Hansen / Lopez boards. The first one says “By Gerry Lopez”, and the second has “Designed By Gerry Lopez.” In addition, you’ll notice the Hansen logos themselves are very different. Pic via eBay

 

Bird Huffman is a San Diego fixture. He runs Bird’s Surf Shed, where he oversees an ungodly stash of vintage boards. Here Bird has come across two awesome early examples of boards from two separate San Diego craftsmen: Skip Frye and Steve Lis. Make sure you click through all the pictures in the gallery above. The Frye is very similar to the Select Surf Shop single fin I posted about recently, down to the glassed on wooden fin. I love the Frye wings logo towards the tail — never seen that placement before.

Skip Frye 1970s Select Surf Shop Single Fin 6'10"12.jpg
Skip Frye Single Fin with Select Surf Shop laminate. Look at the sharp wings in the tail. Pic via Craigslist

The Lis board is a funky shape, given that it’s a wing pin single fin, and Lis is best known for his fish designs. Make sure you follow Bird on Instagram, as he has been posting updates on the Lis board as he gets them!

 

Skip Frye Gordon & Smith: Seventies Single Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Apologies for the slowdown in posting frequency. Shred Sledz is back with a vengeance, though, featuring a Skip Frye Gordon & Smith single fin for sale in central California, available on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics of the board can be found below (photos taken via the Craigslist post).

Check out the listing for some details on the origins of the board. The seller contacted Bird Huffman, surfboard aficionado extraordinaire and owner of San Diego’s Bird’s Surf Shed, and got some more info. Bird estimates the single fin pictured above likely dates to sometime between 1973 and 1973, and it was possibly shaped for team rider Steve McCullum. Bird also mentions the diamond tail as being unusual for a Frye design, and speculates that it could have been made at the request of Gary Keating or Tim Lynch. It should also be noted the board is a project, and it would require some more work to get it ship shape, hence the relatively modest $450 price tag.

I also find it interesting that the Gordon & Smith laminate on the board above is the classic red and black version of G&S’ famed bowtie logo. All the Frye / G&S boards from the 1960s I have seen feature monochrome black & white Gordon & Smith bowtie logos, like this one below:

Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Model 1967 9'81
1967 Gordon & Smith Skip Frye Model. Board was sold via US Vintage Surf Auction (pic from USVSA listing).

Here’s another example of a Skip Frye / Gordon & Smith logo, which does not have the bowtie at all.

Skip Frye Model for Gordon & Smith Logo
Non-bowtie Skip Frye / Gordon & Smith logo. Pic via Holy Smoke

Anyway, I don’t know if the red bowtie version is a rare logo; but it is one I have never personally seen before. As always, if you have more info, please chime in below!

Finally, here’s a bonus shot of Skip Frye from 1966 toting an interesting-looking Gordon & Smith shape. To the left is none other than Mike Hynson. Pic courtesy excellent New York surf shop Pilgrim Surf + Supply.

Skip Frye Single Fin for Select Surf Shop

Skip Frye is a San Diego shaper whose boards are a surf-themed lesson in supply and demand. To even place an order one must have Frye’s blessing, and as a result, there’s a healthy market for Frye’s boards whenever they hit the second market. Pictured above is a unique Skip Frye single fin shaped in the late 1970s.

The board is currently being listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, a decent ways up the coast from its home in San Diego. (Pictures above were taken from the Craigslist post, which can be found here). The asking price is $1100. That is a lot of money for a surfboard — especially one that has some dings that need fixing — but I think it’s fair, considering this is a Skip Frye board, and a unique one at that.

What really stands out to me is the “Select Surf Shop: Pacific Beach” graphic on top of Frye’s famous and timeless wings logo. The biography section on Frye’s website tells the story of how, after leaving Gordon & Smith in the mid 1970s, Frye struck out on his own, shaping in a room located behind Select Surf Shop.

The poster claims this board was shaped in the late 1970s, and this matches up with the timelines given on Frye’s own website. By 1980, Frye was back at Gordon & Smith once again, shaping boards for their label (though he may have also been shaping for himself as well; I am not sure of that).

Other aspects of the board point to the 70s, too: consider all the foam up front in the beaked nose, the wing pin design towards the back, and the glassed-on fin. I wonder if the leash plug was added after the fact, however. I don’t see a signature anywhere on the board, though I wouldn’t read too much into that. By way of contrast, Surfy Surfy, to no one’s surprise, has a great example of a Frye board from a similar era, which does have some signatures on the stringer. See below for pictures of Surfy Surfy’s 70s Frye (pics below via Surfy Surfy’s fantastic blog).

 

Returning to the Skip Frye single fin pictured at the top of the page, there’s also a chance that the “Select Surf Shop” logo is not underneath the glass, but on top of it. I tend to think this isn’t the case. The logos are very close together, and at the very least, Frye had an association with Select Surf Shop dating back to when this board was likely produced. As always ,though, if you have any more information on the board, I would love to hear it!

Check out the Craigslist link here.