Greetings, Shredderz! It’s a rainy day here in Northern California, so I figured what better way to spend some time than with some quality surfboard related videos. See below for a selection.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: Bird’s Surf Shed is the Mecca! If you ever find yourself in San Diego, make sure you pay a visit to witness one of the most epic stashes of vintage surfboards you will ever see in your life. In this latest installment of Surfer’s excellent Shed Sessions series, Bird pulls down some real gems off the shelves, including a rad little Steve Lis twin fin fish. I actually snapped a pic of the same Lis fish when I visited the shed; you can see the pic (alongside a Skip Frye fish) at the top of the page.
Newport Beach’s Daydream Surf Shop has begun to produce a video series and podcast entitled “Case Study”, and their very first episode features none other than the esteemed Marc Andreini. Check out the video above and you can find the podcast here.
I recently wrote a Sagas of Shred post featuring an old Mike Eaton Surfboards brochure featuring his various models. See above for the first part of three of a series of interviews done with Eaton.
Not vintage, just fun: witness Mason Ho putting a series of impossibly small Matt Biolos / …Lost Surfboards Round Nose Fish models through their paces in pumping Hawaiian surf. For all my love of awesome airbrushes and cool laminates, at the end of the day, surfboards are all about function, and this video is a great reminder of that fact.
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s been a while since I put one of these together. What better way to stave off the slow and inexorable encroachment of the work week than by perusing some of the cooler vintage sticks to go on sale over the past few days? Here’s a little selection of boards that have caught my eye recently:
T&C boards have become incredibly collectible over the past few years. This is especially true of 80s T&C boards with outrageous spray jobs. Given the board above is a bit earlier than the most famous T&C models, I’m a little surprised that it seems to be commanding a premium with five days left to go in bidding, as the price is already north of $350. It’s also surprisingly small, clocking in at a cozy 5’9″. As an added bonus, the board was shaped by Dennis Pang (see here for an earlier post about his work for Surf Line Hawaii.)
Rick Hamon Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting & 80s Single Fin (eBay & Craigslist)
I’ve written before about how to distinguish whether or not an Aipa sting has been shaped by the man himself. And while I think it’s useful to know whether or not a board is an Aipa hand shape, let’s not forget that there are plenty of other non-Aipa shaped boards that are still awesome. Pictured above is a Rick Hamon-shaped Aipa sting, under the Surfing’s New Image label, that recently sold on eBay. Asking price was $600 but the listing makes it seem as if someone came in with a higher offer. Hamon is a well-renowned shaper in his own right who can currently be found mowing foam at Rusty Surfboards.
The second board in today’s Rick Hamon doubleheader is a Surfing’s New Image 80s single fin that can be found on Craigslist in Charleston. The seller is asking $475. The board looks like it’s in absolutely beautiful condition. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but hey, some covers just happen to be way more beautiful than others. The board has an interesting shape, too. It looks like Hamon’s take on the famous McCoy Lazor Zap model. I’ve reproduced a picture of one below, courtesy of excellent online vintage surf purveyor Von Weirdos.
We’ve got two separate Choice Surfboards / Steve Lis fish here, both of which are linked in the header above. The blue quad fin on the left is 5’8″; the twin fin on the right with the wooden keels doesn’t have any dimensions listed. There’s no price on the blue board, and the twin fin is going for $1K. I’m not sure what to make of these Choice / Lis fish boards. As I wroteearlier, I’ve heard these Choice / Lis models are not shaped by Lis, but rather, made from a template he designed. If anyone has any additional info, please drop me a line!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Greetings, Shredderz! As your weekend comes to a close (it’s almost midnight here in California), here’s a selection of a few cool boards I saw for sale over the past few days.
Rich Pavel / Steve Lish 5’8″ Fish on Craigslist
Steve Lis design
Hatchet glass on fins
Cool old Moonlight Glassing logo!
This thing has already been sold, so there’s no link. It went for $700. This is a MUCH cleaner example of a Pavel / Lis / Choice fish than the one I featured a little while ago. This one has some really cool touches, like those glassed-on wooden hatchet fins, and a nifty older Moonlight Glassing logo.
This board is no longer for sale, but there are some nice reference points. First, Surfy Surfy has an old blog post on another Pavel / Lis / Choice board that was shaped in 1979. It looks very similar to the one above.
Finally, there’s another Pavel / Lis / Choice fish for sale in the Inland Empire, which you can find here. It looks very similar, but I think it’s overpriced at $1K. I believe the date on this board is wrong as well — I tend to believe sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s is more accurate. Two other notes: the Inland Empire board was glassed at Diamond Glassers and it has a Clark Foam logo, so we know it’s pre-2005 at least (when Clark went out of business).
This thing is in impeccable condition. It might take a bold surfer to show up to a crowded lineup with this bright pink paint job and the heart-shaped patch on the deck, but that’s a small price to pay for a board in such great shape. The poster claims this was purchased in 1972 as an older stock board and was never surfed. It certainly looks all original. Sadly, it’s hard to find reliable info on Hobie boards online. The board is listed as 8’4″, and it looks like the Silver Bullet model was produced at least beginning in 1969. Check out the rad advertisement below. The only catch? The board is listed at $2,450…hope you brought your piggy banks with you.
I’d like to say one thing up front: the board at that link is in terrible condition. The price is indefensible, too. With that said, the board has a cool checkerboard fin, and it sports a variant of a classic Rick logo I haven’t seen before (see above). The logo above has atomic rings above it, a la the classic Greg Noll marque. Any time I find a logo that doesn’t appear on Stanley’s Surfboard Logos or Stoked-n-Board, I consider it a success.
The price on this bad boy is steep — $1400. But it’s in beautiful condition, and I just have a soft spot for the clean lines of 70s single fins. I love the contrast between the green pin lines and the yellow color on the rails and the bottom.
As you can see in the pictures above, I can’t say with a straight face that today’s post features a board in absolute mint condition. Since Shred Sledz prides itself on fostering a family atmosphere, let’s just say this board has been well-loved throughout its lifetime.
What today’s post does bring, however, is a deeper look at one of the most enduring designs in surfboard history.
The fish, as it is known, is one of the more popular variants on a standard shortboard. In a Surfline feature, Nick Carroll described the original fish as “a broad, super-wide-swallowtail with a straight rocker line and long-base rigid twin-fins.” Fish, thanks to their increased volume and better paddling ability, are go to boards for many surfers facing less-than ideal conditions.
Despite having been invented in the late 60s, the fish saw a resurgence in popularity in the 90s. A big part of this was thanks to Tom Curren’s surfing on a 5′7″ fireball fish in pumping Indonesian right handers, which was more or less uncharted terrain for a board seen by many as being suitable for waist high slop.
…Lost Enterprises also released 5′5″ x 19 1/4″, an entire video dedicated to its stable of young team riders ripping on unorthodox equipment. What Youth recently ran an excellent retrospective on the video, which I recommend checking out.
So, before we get too deep down the fish rabbit hole…who invented the thing, anyway?
The man widely credited with inventing the fish design is San Diego kneeboarder Steve Lis, who created the distinctive swallow tail shape back in the late 1960s. Lis was doing some truly incredible surfing on these shapes in his San Diego stomping grounds, which helped create the initial groundswell of interest in his design. As always, the Encyclopedia of Surfing entry on Lis tells his story better than I could ever hope to.
This brings us to the board pictured at the top of the post. There is a fish for sale on Craigslist in Orange County with Steve Lis’ name on it, but a few other details that I haven’t quite been able to sort out. And before we get into the history, just check out that awesome 70s airbrush!
As you can see in the first picture, the board is clearly branded with Lis’ name. However, the logo on the board is that of Choice Surfboards.
Choice Surfboards is one of the many brands from well-regarded San Diego shaper Rich Pavel (who also shapes under his eponymous label, Greenroom Surfboards, Axis / Access Surfboards, and even Rainbow Surfboards.) Pavel was a protege of Lis’, and he has continued to pump out fish designs on his own. Here’s a recent Pavel fish produced under the Choice label, and featured on San Diego shop Surfy Surfy’s own site. Notice the bigger Choice logo.
The board listed at the top of the page appears to be a Lis / Choice collaboration, which I have never seen before. Stoked-n-Board’s entry for Choice lists Lis as having shaped for the brand from 1975 to 2009. However, the vast majority of Lis fishes I have seen have had his own branding, with no mention of Choice.
What’s interesting about the Choice / Lis board featured at the top of the page is that it does not have a clear Lis signature. My guess – and this is by no means definitive – is that Lis supplied the template, which was then shaped by someone else.
With that said, the Choice / Lis board certainly looks vintage. The awesome airbrush screams 1970s, as do the dimensions of the board itself. According to the Craigslist post, the board is only 5′. Lis’ boards seem to have gotten longer as he has tweaked the shapes over the past few years. For example, the grey board taken from the Surfer Magazine forum is 6′2″ x 21″. There’s no leash plug, and the fins are glassed on as well.
It’s a shame the Choice / Lis board wasn’t better cared for, but oh well. I’m not sure what to say about how collectible it might be. I doubt it’s a Lis handshape, but then again, I have never seen one of these Choice / Lis boards before, and apparently neither have the far more knowledgeable folks at Stoked-n-Board. The board is priced at $200, which isn’t cheap for something this weathered, but this might be a good pickup for someone looking for an unusual example of a Lis-related shape.