Celebrating Skipe 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.

First is a 9’9″ K Model that is listed 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 this 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, Frye’s designs 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.

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)

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

@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 board is very reminiscent of some Liddle and Andreini hulls. The fin — both its rake and its placement — reminds me of Liddle’s boards. The overall outline is reminiscent of Andreini’s Vaquero model.

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.

Kirk Putnam Hulls
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!

 

Seventies Skip Frye Single Fin for Gordon & Smith

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 and Mike Hynson circa 66 with the snub nose Gordon & Smith "Stretch" model. So much to thank Larry Gordon for. Rest in Peace.

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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 single fin Frye 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 board 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.

 

Shred Sledz Presents: 4/2 Weekend Grab Bag (Skip Frye, Harbour, Morey, O’Neill)

Yeah, yeah…it’s not the weekend. But we live in the age of alternative facts, so I’m not going to let something as trivial as accuracy get in the way of giving you a little taste of the coolest vintage surfboards that are currently for sale online. Without further ado, here goes…

Skip Frye G&S Vee Bottom on Craigslist

No link because the board already came and went. This board was sold on Craigslist in Santa Cruz and it vanished after a short time. The seller was asking $850, which is below market price if you ask me. Looks like it’s in decent condition, though there are some obvious repairs that have been done. Check out a similar Skip Frye vee bottom that went for auction recently, with the price estimate between $700 and $2K. Skip modeled his v bottom designs on the models pioneered by the Aussies — you can read a bit of history on  his website. This is such a sick board and I hope whoever owns it now is putting it to good use.

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Presents: 4/2 Weekend Grab Bag (Skip Frye, Harbour, Morey, O’Neill)”

Shred Sledz Presents: Mid-Week Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a little selection of some cool boards you can find for sale online.

Bing Bonzer on Craigslist (San Diego)

This thing is 8′4″ and it’s got all the cool branding you would expect from this unique Campbell Bros / Bing collaboration. However, there’s some discoloration going on. Check out the Bonzer-branded glass on fins, though!

Greg Noll Mini Gun on Craigslist (Sarasota, Florida)

This thing is pretty trashed, honestly. I don’t think it’s worth buying. Nonetheless, it includes a good close up picture of the Mini Gun logo. More than anything else this is a great opportunity to share some cool older surfboard logos. Click through only if you won’t be triggered by the sight of a collectible surfboard that has been abused throughout its lifetime.

Greg Noll 1950s Longboard on Craigslist (San Diego)

This board is no spring chicken either. Same deal with the other Greg Noll board listed above – just look at the cool logo. This is a rare variant that has Noll holding a camera while riding (you can see that it actually rads “Surf boards and film productions.”) One interesting tidbit is that Stoked-n-Board has the filming logo corresponding to the late 50s, but the actual green logo as being in the 1960s.

Daytona Formula V on Craigslist (West Palm Beach, Florida)

This is a really cool looking vee bottom board. I don’t think Daytona was a particularly notable Florida label, but I’ve never seen one of these before. It’s in decent condition, maybe a little pricey at $300, but I love these cool vee bottom transitional boards.

Skip Frye Gordon & Smith Longboard on Craigslist (San Diego)

If you’re wondering why the link is missing…this thing was taken down very quickly! Someone jumped on this bad boy. It was going for $500. I couldn’t get a good idea of the condition but I tend to think these boards are quite collectible.

Holy Matrimony: Skip Frye and Gordon & Smith

Skip Frye is undoubtedly one of the greatest living surfboard shapers in the world. Good luck if you’re looking to get your grubby mitts on one of his boards. He’s notoriously picky about choosing his clientele. This scarcity, combined with his sterling reputation, means that mere mortals like myself have to look on the second market for Frye’s boards. They command a premium and they disappear from Craigslist nearly instantaneously.

The board pictured here is an unusual example of a Frye shape with Gordon & Smith branding on it. It’s available on Craigslist in New Jersey – far from Frye’s homebase of San Diego – listed at a predictably steep $1200.

What’s interesting about this board is that it is NOT the famous Skip Frye signature model that G&S produced started in 1966. Island Trader Surf – a rad shop in Florida that sells some really nice vintage boards – has a picture of a G&S Frye signature model, and you can see the board is quite different than the one pictured above:

You’ll also notice that the Skip Frye models have a small but important distinction: beneath Skip Frye’s famous wings logo, you can see a small “model”, which denotes a signature model, as opposed to a board that Frye had shaped for the G&S label.

Photos courtesy Island Trader Surf Shop

Frye left G&S in 1976 to start his own label, which he continues to shape under today. However, one thing I learned is that Frye actually returned to Gordon & Smith from 1981 to 1985. The seller on the Craigslist ad mentions that the board is from this era. It’s a cool find for sure.

The board measures 9′8″ and it’s got a neat pintail in the back. But c’mon, the real appeal is that it’s a Skip Frye board, and it’s actually for sale! You can check out the listing here.