Stussy Thruster: Artwork Galore

Greetings, Shredderz! If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you may already know that we like to examine Stussy surfboards at a level of detail that’s usually reserved for ancient texts and Renaissance art. It’s weird, I know. But hey — there’s a sweet Stussy surfboard for sale on eBay, and I don’t want to let anyone down by not giving it the usual Shred Sledz treatment.

The board is quite clearly a Stussy surfboard, but I believe it was actually shaped by Terry Martin. More on that later. In the meantime, the thing I dig most about the board is the artwork. Stussy is known for decorating his surfboards with tons of elaborate logos. This is but one of the many reasons they remain popular today.

The Stussy surfboard pictured above is a 6’6″ thruster, and I believe it was likely shaped in the late Eighties or early Nineties. I got the photos from the eBay listing, which can be found here. Don’t quote me on this one, but I want to say both the Double S Crown logo and the Rasta-inspired artwork can be found in “later” Stussy boards, versus ones from the early- to mid-Eighties.

The sheer amount of logos on the board might be overkill for some, but definitely not me.

What I love most are the tiny drawings sprinkled throughout. The martini glass logo you see above is small compared to the rest of the artwork on the board, but I like it just as much (if not more) than the more recognizable laminates.

And yes, even the glass-on fins have logos on them. I also love the stylized hand done lettering and Stussy’s inimitable copy: “Built for Those Livin'”, “When Itz Time to Relax”, “Positive Vibration Inna Rub a Dub Style”, etc.

This shit is art. Now, look: Shawn Stussy’s career certainly doesn’t need my stamp of approval. But I’m almost annoyed that his surfboards aren’t more valuable. The board you see above has been floating on eBay for over a week with no bites. And yet Kim Jones and Dior just based their latest collection on Stussy’s hand-drawn lettering, and vintage Stussy clothing is prized by collectors and streetwear aficionados. Even if the board wasn’t shaped by Stussy, as I suspect, I can’t believe that it can be had for less than $800. That’s a lot of money for a surfboard, I know. But how is this not modern art? What’s the difference between this board and, say, a pair of Stussy-designed Nike Dunks, other than the fact the sneakers cost $500 more? Now, I’m not buying it myself, so you would be justified in telling me to put my money where my mouth is. That said, I look at this surfboard and think of it as a unique creation from a notable artist. (I took exactly one art history course in college, so you’re not dealing with an expert here.) All that aside, though, the board and all the artwork look awesome, and I’d love to have it on display even if I didn’t surf.

It’s also worth mentioning that I believe the board was shaped by Terry Martin, and not Stussy himself. Martin is definitely no slouch himself; Surfer Magazine once estimated that he shaped more than 80,000 boards in his long and prolific career.

Here’s why I think the board was shaped by Martin. In the photo above you can see the laminate says “Design Concept Shawn Stussy.” I interpret this to mean that while Stussy “designed” the board, it wasn’t actually shaped by him. I have anecdotally heard that as the clothing brand began to pick up speed, Stussy shifted the surfboard production to Terry Martin. I don’t have proof of this, but I think there’s some good evidence suggesting the board wasn’t shaped by Stussy, at a minimum.

I say this because Stussy clearly signed many of his earlier shapes. See below for a few examples of some Stussy signatures.

The board pictured above is an Eighties Stussy thruster which I found on Surfboard Hoard. You can clearly see the signature, which appears to have been drawn by hand and in pencil. I believe it is under the glass as well. Note that it’s a signature and not a laminate or a logo.

Here’s another example of a Stussy signature, from an earlier board I wrote up, which remains one of the coolest Stussys I have ever seen.

As a rule of thumb, I don’t consider a board to be hand shaped by Stussy unless there is a clear handwritten signature on it, often in pencil and beneath the glass. Even so, it’s hard to put hard and fast rules in place, and I’m sure there are some exceptions floating out there.

You can check out the Stussy board on eBay here.

1980 Stussy Twin Fin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got an early example of a Stussy twin fin. The board featured here is currently for sale on Craigslist in Seal Beach, in northern Orange County. All of the photos in this blog post are via the listing, which you can find here.

According to the seller, the Stussy twin fin you see above was shaped in 1980, right about the time when Stussy left Russell Surfboards to strike out on his own. You’ll notice an early version of the Stussy script logo, which was later modernized and updated. The board is 5’10” and no other dimensions are given.

The board also sports some Einstein-inspired artwork, which you can clearly see in the photo above. I believe that artwork was done by Stussy, but I can’t be 100% sure without getting verification from someone closer to the process. What’s interesting to me is that the artwork looks quite different from other Stussy boards I have seen. See below for a random selection of Stussy graphics for comparison.

The graphics above seem much cleaner than the more sketch-like example on the twin fin featured in this post. Even the earliest Stussy boards I have seen have very fine and precise line work, whereas the Einstein artwork on the twin fin looks quite rough. See below for an example of a random early Stussy board (which I think pre-dates the Stussy label).

I don’t mean to cast doubts, but I am struck by the difference in the artwork on the twin fin versus the other examples provided in this post. Consider this an observation or a question more than anything else. I feel pretty confident in saying that it’s a genuine Stussy surfboard — I can’t imagine any other explanation, although I was recently fooled by a bad Skip Frye imitation in Australia — but I’d love to get an explanation from someone who’s more in the know. As always, if you have some ideas, hit me up. You can check out the listing for the Stussy twin fin here.

La Jolla Surf Systems: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday again, which means we’re serving up some red hot scans of old surf ads as part of the Sagas of Shred series. Today we’ve got an unlikely all star cast in an ad for La Jolla Surf Systems. The ad originally appeared in the February 1983 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 24, No 2). I assume La Jolla Surf Systems was an old San Diego surf shop, but that’s about all I know. What’s really interesting is the collection of shapers featured in the ad (and one notable craftsman who apparently didn’t make it to the shoot on time). The ad features the late Bill Caster, whose boards are still coveted among a selection of San Diego locals; Gary McNabb, of Nectar Surfboards fame; Tim Bessell, who is still shaping today; Eric “Bird” Huffman, founder of Bird’s Surf Shed; and of course, a young Shawn Stussy. If you look closely at the bottom right of the ad you’ll see a gorgeous-looking Stussy twin fin with purple rails and some wings in the tail. I’m a little intrigued by Stussy’s inclusion, as I believe he is the only non-San Diego local in the names listd above. While the ad mentions that La Jolla Surf Systems has Skip Frye boards in stock, if you look below Bird’s photo you’ll see “Skip Frye — gone fishing.” To me this suggests Skip was originally supposed to take part in the shoot, but that’s just a guess. Thirty six plus years after the ad was shot, I can’t even imagine the sheer luxury of walking into a surf shop and seeing a bunch of Skips on the racks, to say nothing of the Stussy boards! If you read this blog you know that my bread and butter is poking fun at the ridiculousness of Eighties art direction, but I’m still too starstruck by all the shapers in the ad to come up with anything halfway decent.

Mahalo for reading and don’t be afraid to come back next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Social Media Roundup: June Gloom

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here are some primo vintage surfboard pickins from your favorite social media outlets.

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Twin fin Stussday.

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Pop quiz, hotshot: what has six fins, incredible artwork, and more color than a bag of Skittles? Well, that would be the three Shawn Stussy shaped twin fins you see pictured above. These are some truly top notch examples of Stussy’s infamous Eighties shapes. You can check out another Eighties Stussy twinny I wrote up here. I believe the one in the middle is an earlier board, judging by its logo. What I wouldn’t do for one of these bad boys!

Is there such a thing as too much Shawn Stussy? I don’t know, and I’m not the right person to ask. Bird of Bird’s Surf Shed (glad to see they got their Instagram back!) recently posted this absolutely gorgeous Stussy / Russell Surfboards gun. It’s not the only Stussy / Russell shape in Bird’s ridiculous quiver, either! If you see me with tears running down my cheeks and a far off look in my eyes, it probably means that I remembered the profound beauty of the matching leash loop and glass on fin and was overcome with emotion. Excuse me in advance.

I love how this shot elegantly illustrates surfboard progression over the years. The board on the far left is actually an early John Bradbury Creative Freedom shape from the late Sixties. It’s very cool to see the S decks on the Transition Era boards gradually flatten into more recognizable rockers. It’s also interesting to see the rare and coveted Yater Hawaii laminate on a thruster. I had always assumed that those appeared only on older boards, but the fin setup means it had to have been shaped in the Eighties at the earliest. I’m partial to the racy looking yellow board that’s second from right.

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6’11” single diamond for @danedamus

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In theory Shred Sledz is a vintage surfboard blog, but we also reserve the right to feature any shapes, modern or otherwise. Tyler Warren shaped this heat seeking missile for Dane Gudauskas, and I’m dying to see where it gets surfed. Massive Cloudbreak, I hope? This board reminds me a bit of the neat HaydenShapes single fin that Craig Anderson recently took through its paces. The Gudauskas brothers are do gooders in and out of the water, the latter via their Positive Warriors Foundation.

Photo at the top via Natterjacks; photographer unknown (let me know if you have any clues!)

Weekend Grab Bag: Airbrush Aficionado Edition, featuring 80s Stussy Surfboard and More

Well, Shredderz, if I’m going to waste a good chunk of my waking hours trawling Craigslist and eBay, I figure someone should benefit from all the time I’ve spent combing through listings. For today’s installment of the Weekend Grab Bag I’ve highlighted a few boards that all feature some pretty futuristic graphics, courtesy of some talented artists and craftsmen. As always, the Weekend Grab Bag features boards that are still for sale as of the time the blog post goes live. Anyway, keep scrolling to see a selection of special sleds that are currently for sale…

Stussy 80s Surfboard (Craigslist San Diego)

If there’s a cool 80s Stussy surfboard for sale, well, you know that I’m probably gonna write about it. Sadly this board has seen some better days, but the awesome airbrush is still largely intact. I think this board has an incredible paint job, even by the high standards of Stussy’s boundary pushing artwork in the Eighties. As an added little bonus, this 80s Stussy surfboard has a small planer logo, which is one of my favorite Stussy mini laminates. See below for an example of the planer logo that the S Double honcho shared on his Instagram:

M.T.B. Channel Twin Fin (eBay)

MTB Surfboard Airbrush.jpg

We’ve got some more airbrush heat coming straight at you, this time courtesy of M.T.B. Surfboards. M.T.B. stands for Mulhern, Takayama and Brumett. Most of the M.T.B. Surfboards I see are located in Florida, which is where I think Mulhern was based. I personally haven’t seen very many Donald Takayama-shaped M.T.B. Surfboards, but I don’t know why that’s the case. Much like the 80s Stussy surfboard above, the bottom of the M.T.B. board doesn’t look great. As of the time of this post, the bidding was still under $200.

Mike Eaton Surfboards Single Fin (Craigslist SF Bay Area)

First of all, I love Mike Eaton’s surfboards, from his Bonzers to just about everything else he’s done. Second, Eaton’s surfboards commonly feature airbrushes by a particular artist, or at least very much influenced by that person’s style. I have never found any information online about who airbrushes Eaton’s boards, but I really dig them. See below for an example of a Bing board with a very similar airbrush, which I imagine was likely shaped by Eaton as well. I think the Mike Eaton surfboard is a little pricey at $800, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

Stussy Surfboard: Eighties (?) Thruster

Greetings, Shredderz! Recently a cool little Stussy surfboard sold on eBay, and given my long standing interest in Senor Stussy’s boards, I figured I would do a quick writeup on the topic. The original eBay listing can be found here; pics in this post are via the listing.

The Stussy surfboard pictured above is a vintage thruster with a very cool airbrush. If I had to guess, I would say the board above was either shaped during the late Eighties, or perhaps even the early Nineties. There are a few things that stand out to me. First, you’ll notice the logos on both the deck and the bottom of the board. On the deck you’ll notice a crown logo with a Chanel-like double S beneath it. I believe the Stussy crown logo didn’t make its debut until the late Eighties or so. On the bottom of the board you’ll notice some Rasta themed logos, including a lion and the Rastafarian flag. The lion also appears on the glass on fins, which you can see below:

You can click the photos above to enlarge. Back to my earlier point, I believe the Rasta logos and influence didn’t show up on Stussy’s boards until the late Eighties or early Nineties.

Pictured above is an example of another Stussy surfboard with Rasta logos. I would say these boards were likely shaped within a few years of one another, although you’ll notice that the eBay board at the top of the page has a serial number of 1115, and then the Stussy surfboard “For Rocket” is #2837. I tend to think Stussy’s numbering is not totally sequential. In fact, I suspect #1115 was likely shaped after #2837, but I can’t confirm that.

Shawn Stussy Personal Rider Twinzer 1991

The one example of a Stussy surfboard I have seen with a definitive date is this super sick Wil Jobson inspired twinzer, which you can see above. The Stussy twinzer was sold at auction a few years back, and the photo is from the original auction site. Note the Jobson / Stussy surfboard has the same Rasta lion logo as the eBay board at the top of the page. It has a crown logo, too, although it’s a bit different than the one featured earlier in this post. Unlike the other boards in the post, the Jobson twinzer doesn’t have a serial number, but it appears to have been shaped in 1991.

The Stussy surfboard at the top of the page was listed on eBay with a price of $1,250. It looks like the board didn’t sell on eBay, but likely was sold in a private transaction off the site. There’s no way to tell the final price, and I’m curious to see if it reached the original asking, which I would put slightly on the steep side. Then again, the Stussy surfboard has a great original airbrush, which I think can improve the value of these boards considerably.

Weekend Grab Bag: Happy New Year

Shredderz, it might be a brand New Year, but it’s the same old program as far as Shred Sledz is concerned: nothing but vintage sticks and tasty waves. As always, here’s a rundown of some of the cooler boards I’ve seen posted for sale this weekend, including some nice Mike Eaton gems, in honor of the most recent Sagas of Shred post that featured an old Eaton Surfboards brochure. Anyway, enough talk, and onto the boards!

Mike Eaton / Joe Bauguess Zinger (Craigslist San Diego)

Here’s an interesting example of an Eaton Zinger, complete with a great shot of the tail that shows the insanely deep concave and the unusual quad fin Zinger setup. The seller says the board is an Eaton UEO outline. This particular board is a collaboration with San Diego shaper Joe Bauguess, who claims to have invented the Mini Simmons. Judging from Bauguess’ Instagram account, he has continued to experiment with super deep concaves and the Zinger setup. The seller is asking $775. This might be a tad on the steep side, but for what it’s worth, I have never seen an Eaton / Bauguess board before.

Eaton Twin Fin (Craigslist San Diego)

Yes, another example of a Mike Eaton surfboard! This here is a more standard looking twin fin, and I don’t see any of Eaton’s trademark ultra deep concave, nor is there a bonzer fin setup. The seller is asking $399.

ET Surfboards Pat Ryan Single Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

ET Surfboards Pat Ryan Single Fin 1.jpg

This is the same board featured at the top of the page. I’m a sucker for any Seventies single fin with a beautiful coke bottle blue glass job, and this one fits the bill. I love the subtle red resin pinline on the deck, too. Ryan is a long time shaper from the South Bay of Los Angeles. I don’t know if Pat is still shaping, but it looks like his website is still up and running. This board costs $325. I think that’s about fair, but I haven’t seen it in person.

Eighties Stussy Thruster (eBay)

Here’s a pretty clean Stussy thruster that has been for sale on eBay for a few weeks now. I’m a little surprised no one has pounced on this board at what I would call a reasonable $750. I guess it’s a different story if you’re paying for shipping, and the board is located all the way down in Florida, but still! I’m wondering if the relatively plain paint job is keeping the price down.

Thanks for reading and tune in next week for some more vintage surfboard goodness!

Stussy S/Double Swingin’ Single

While Shred Sledz predominantly focuses on vintage surfboards, there are many modern surfboards that are also deserving of attention. I have written up Shawn Stussy‘s vintage boards many times before, but have paid comparatively little attention to his new label, S/Double. Part of this is because of the aforementioned focus on vintage boards, combined with my love for Stussy’s earlier work, like his stint at Russell Surfboards, and the boards made in the Eighties under his own name. There are few surfboards I would like to add to my quiver more than a Stussy S/Double. Like Skip Frye’s surfboards, it’s not possible to simply call up Señor Stussy and have him whip something up in a few months’ time. As a result, I keep an eye peeled for the rare occasions when S/Double surfboards pop up for sale on the secondary market.

The board pictured above is an S/Double single fin that was posted for sale on Craigslist in Orange County earlier this month. The board is not mine and all pics in this post are via the original listing, which has since been taken down. The board measures 6’5″ x 21″ and it was glassed by the talented folks at the Waterman’s Guild.

Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 5Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 4

I love the clean lines of this board and the restrained color palette. The incredible appearance shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given Stussy’s well-documented career as a designer and the equally regarded work of the Waterman’s Guild.

Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 1Shawn Stussy S Double Swingin' Single 2

The board is a Stussy shape, so you know the logos and the details are all going to be on point. I’m not sure if “Swingin’ Single” is an official model or just a catchy name, but either way, I’m into it. The signature has all the flair you’d expect, and I love the handwritten description of the board and its dimensions.

In the original listing, the seller claims he purchased the board from Shawn Stussy himself. Apparently the board was never ridden, either. It’s clear from the photos that the board is in absolutely pristine condition. The original asking price was $1,500. I don’t have much basis for comparison, given how few S/Double boards publicly change hands. On one hand, $1,500 is a lot for a surfboard, even if it is brand spanking new and has a beautiful glass job like the Stussy S/Double board featured above. But as we all know, the combination of scarcity and cool has a way of driving up prices past the limits of logic.

And if you’re not one for talking about prices, at the end of the day, the board above is a beautiful surfboard shaped by one of the most culturally influential figures to ever pick up a planer, and that’s always worth checking out.

Blood, Sweat and Foam: Blue Hawaii Pottz Twinzer by Wil Jobson

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry — in which I scan an old surf magazine ad and write a bit about it — builds upon yesterday’s Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model post. As you can see in the photo above, it’s an advertisement for Pottz’s line of signature models shaped under the Blue Hawaii brand, but with a couple of very interesting twists. First, I wrote a separate Sagas of Shred post a few months back that featured the Blue Hawaii Pottz Pro Model, which you can find here.

The ad above — which originally ran in May 1991 issue of Surfing Magazine (Vol 27, No 5) — features a quad fin variant of the Pottz board. Gone is the flame spray along the rails, replaced by a twinzer fin setup, what I guess you would call a bat tail, and then some interesting concave out of the back. Glenn Minami shaped many boards for Martin Potter, starting at Town & Country during its early days, and then going on to found Blue Hawaii. The ad above, however, clearly features Wil Jobson, the shaper credited with inventing the twinzer fin setup.

Pottz Blue Hawaii Twinzer via Swellnet.jpg
Close up of a Blue Hawaii Pottz twinzer. This board was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy. Pic via Swellnet.

Swellnet wrote up a post on Wil Jobson and the twinzer, and they also included this awesome close up of the business end of one of the Blue Hawaii / Pottz twinzer boards. The Swellnet board, however, was shaped by Stuart D’Arcy, and not Jobson. When you compare the Swellnet board above with the one featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, you’ll notice some key differences. First, the Blue Hawaii board has a different shape in the tail, and what looks like only two channels, versus the four in the Swellnet board above. However, both boards have the smaller twinzer stabilizing fins, which, according to Swellnet, are called canards.

Shawn Stussy Personal Twinzer
Business end of a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider. This board looks very similar to the board featured in the Blue Hawaii ad, down to the channels and the bat tail. And you know I love the logos on the glass-on fins!

And because here at Shred Sledz we celebrate Shawn Stussy’s entire catalog, of course we had to mention the board featured above. That board you see in the photo is a Shawn Stussy shaped personal rider that was apparently inspired by Jobson himself. The Stussy twinzer was sold at last year’s California Gold Surfboard Auction. Now, I know that Stussy shaped boards for Michael Tomson, who was CEO of Gotcha. Gotcha, in turn, was Pottz’s longtime clothing sponsor. Is it possible that somewhere in this mix Stussy got the idea to shape the twinzer pictured above? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly would be cool if that turned out to be the case.

Thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in next Thursday evening, California time, for more vintage surf ads.

Social Media Roundup: Herbie Fletcher’s Hawaiian Boards and More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a smattering of social media posts from the past month or so, that I think you might enjoy. Keep scrolling for more…

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In 1969, I was having the time of my life living on the North Shore with Dibi, and surfing some of the biggest waves that ever hit the Hawaiian Islands. I hand shaped this 7’4” diamond tail board, and the nose on this board had plenty of concave; it was perfect for riding fast in the tube — and that’s just what I did! ——————————————————————————— (📷: @artbrewer) #astrodeck #theoriginator #since1976 #tractionpad #45degreetovert #wavewarriors #adrenalinesurfseries #thethrillisback #sideslipboogie #surfhistory #surffilm #fletcherdna #genepoolofcool #herbiefletcher #dibifletcher #artist #style #love #fun #performanceart #wrecktangles #wallofdisaster #archipelagos #bloodwaterseries #caseofarrows #hawaii #northshore #1969 #60s #fbf @dibifletcher @astrodeck @wavewarriors @fletcherdna @rvca @rvcasurf

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Pictured above we have two Herbie Fletcher boards shaped for Hawaii, happening at opposite ends of his career to date. The board in the top photo is a square nose longboard Herbie made recently and the lower photo features a 7’4″ diamond tail shaped in 1969.

This month Taylor Knox comes with not one but two separate entries. The first shot shows Ben Aipa making it look easy in some serious Hawaiian juice; the second is Taylor Knox putting a Mark Richards twinny through its paces.

And here’s one more that really ties the room together: MR, Owl Chapman, and Ben Aipa, sometime during the Seventies.

I wrote up this awesome Stussy twin fin recently. Here’s a shot of former Stussy team rider John Gothard brandishing another S double stick with some interesting looking fins.