Shaper Spotlight: Surfboards by Todd Pinder

Greetings, Shredderz! I’d like to welcome all of you to a brand spanking new series on the blog, titled “Shaper Spotlight.” Up until now, this humble blog has focused mostly on vintage surfboards. I think it’s also important to profile contemporary shapers who are building boards today. There’s a ton of rich history found in older surfboards, and that will always be a big part of Shred Sledz. That said, there’s only one way to ensure hand shaped surfboards continue to get their due, and that’s by supporting the talented craftsmen who build them.

Last month I took my first ever trip to Oahu, and during that time I was lucky enough to meet up with Todd Pinder, the man behind Surfboards by Todd Pinder. Pinder plies his trade in Honolulu, where he painstakingly crafts each and every board by hand. This doesn’t just apply to shaping, however — Pinder is one of those rare shapers who also glasses all of his own creations, too.

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Todd Pinder creates all his boards by hand, shaping and glassing his creations. Here are a few boards waiting to be finished. Love the bold but simple red color.

Pinder might be a modern surfboard builder, but he draws upon some very deep roots from years of living in Hawaii and working alongside some well respected folks, like Carl Schaper (pronounced Shopper) and Donald Takayama. Pinder also continues to provide boards for folks like Joel Tudor and his sons.

Pinder’s shop is filled with a bunch of rad vintage sticks. See below for a neat Seventies Greg Liddle single fin. I can’t recall off the top of my head whether it was a hull, but I really dig the unusual pattern on the deck. Click the photos below to enlarge.

I got to see the Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding model that Joel Tudor posted about below. Todd told me the Nuuhiwa is a little shorter than other stock DN Noseriding models from the same time period.

The single coolest board Pinder showed me was an insane Joe Quigg paddleboard. Make sure you click the photos below to enlarge, as they show off the paddleboard in a bit more detail. Check out the squared off tail. The Joe Quigg paddleboard has incredibly thick rails, and I think it’s about 12′ long, so there’s plenty of paddle power to spare. You can see Pinder posing alongside this board in the post at the top of the page.

Here are some earlier photos, via Pinder’s Facebook page, that show Joe Quigg alongside Todd and the paddleboard.

That’s not all Pinder had stashed away, however. Upstairs in his shaping room Pinder also had a Seventies Surf Line Hawaii single fin shaped by Buddy Dumphy and a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye from the late Sixties. Click the photos below to enlarge. I couldn’t quite figure out which model the G&S / Skip Frye board is — maybe a “Speed Board”? — but it’s interesting that it has a small text G&S logo, instead of the classic bow tie logo that we all know and love. Pinder tells me the outline on the G&S / Skip Frye board has inspired some of his own egg shapes.

If you’re still not satisfied, well, there’s more. Pinder also showed off a sick Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel. The Sopwith Camel is one of Tom Morey’s many quirky and incredible Transition Era shapes, featuring an early stringerless design. I could go on a rant about how Tom Morey might be the most underrated inventor in surfing history, but I’ll save that for another time.

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Pinder with a very cool Morey-Pope Sopwith Camel.

And while Pinder’s shaping room is filled with vintage gems, I’m even more stoked about his current creations. I mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth repeating: Pinder shapes and glasses all of his boards. Yes, all of them. Surfboards are often marketed as bespoke goods, but the manufacturing reality can be the opposite. When you order a surfboard from Pinder, you know it was built by one set of very capable hands from start to finish. If you even have the slightest appreciation for craftsmanship, that should resonate with you. As a bonus, Todd is a very friendly and surf stoked individual.

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Pinder posing alongside some of his newer creations. Pic via Surfboards by Todd Pinder Facebook Page

If you’re in the market for a beautiful new board, hit up Surfboards by Todd Pinder and tell him we sent you! You can also follow him on Instagram here and on Facebook here. Thanks Todd for inviting me to your studio and for sharing the story behind some killer surfboards!

Weekend Grab Bag: Single Fins Galore

Greetings, Shredderz! For many of you it’s a three day weekend, which means even more time to consider making an ill-advised surfboard purchase. If your money is really burning a hole in your pocket, keep reading for some ideas on where to spend your hard earned cash.

G&S Swallowtail Single Fin (Craigslist Los Angeles)

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I really dig the outline on this Gordon & Smith surfboard. It measures in at a generous 7’8″. I also love the double blue pinline around the rails. Not sure how you would describe this, exactly, as it’s a good deal bigger than you might expect for a standard single fin. It almost looks like an oversized fish, but there’s only one fin. The seller is asking $430, which I think is pretty fair.

Surf Line Hawaii Ryan Dotson Single Fin (Craigslist Orange County)

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To me, Surf Line Hawaii is something of an unsung surfboard brand, considering the incredible lineup of shapers that mowed foam under the label. (For more on Surf Line Hawaii, you can check out the Deep Dive I wrote here.) Here’s a gorgeous Ryan Dotson shaped Seventies single fin that’s currently listed for sale. I can’t tell if the board was restored at some point, but either way, it’s gorgeous. Check out the cool glass on fin, too.

Mystery Lightning Bolt (Craigslist Orange County)

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I have no idea whether or not the board pictured above is a genuine Lightning Bolt. Bolt is probably the single most ripped off surfboard brand ever. During the Seventies people pumped out tons of boards with the iconic logo that had absolutely nothing to do with the Hawaiian label. A few people on Instagram suspect that it might have been shaped by Tom Eberly. I can’t say one way or another whether that’s likely, but I love the detail of the Bolts on the rails.

Weekend Grab Bag: Bill Stewart Airbrush & More

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s another installment of our Weekend Grab Bag series, which features cool boards I have seen listed for sale online recently. Keep reading for the rundown, including a rad OP surfboard with a sweet Bill Stewart airbrush, and more…

Surf Line Hawaii Fish (Craigslist Hawaii)

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The board above is an unusual twin fin fish with a classic Seventies Surf Line Hawaii laminate on it. I wrote a Deep Dive on Surf Line Hawaii a while back, and it remains one of my favorite blog posts, even if it doesn’t seem to be all that popular. I’m not sure who shaped the board, and I suspect it might have been originally made as a twin fin, but just about every other Surf Line Hawaii surfboard I have seen is a Seventies single fin.

Dewey Weber Ski Model (Craigslist Hawaii)

Click the photos above to enlarge. This is a gorgeous Transition Era surfboard that comes complete with a WAVE Set fin. The board has been restored by Randy Rarick. I have a weakness for hulls of all shapes and sizes, and this one definitely fits the bill.

OP Thruster with Bill Stewart Airbrush (Craigslist Norfolk)

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Bill Stewart’s airbrushes were the subject of the most recent installment of the excellent Surfboards and Coffee series. This OP Surfboard has a pretty bitchin’ Bill Stewart airbrush, which you can also see in the image at the very top of the page. The board is priced at $475. It also happens to come with what looks like an original Rainbow Fin, so if you’re local, this could be worth it with the Bill Stewart airbrush and the collectible fin.

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Hobie Corky Carroll Stringerless Model (Craigslist Monterey)

Anecdotally, I see a lot of Hobie Corky Carroll models floating around for sale on Craigslist, eBay, etc. I’m guessing they were produced in pretty high numbers during the Sixties. The Hobie Corky Carroll model featured above is a stringerless variant, which I don’t believe I have ever seen before. Looks like the glass leash loop was probably added after the fact, but it’s still a very cool board complete with the original bolt through fin.

Surf Line Hawaii: Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest Shred Sledz Deep Dive! Today’s Deep Dive features a venerable Hawaiian surf brand that has long deserved a closer look: Surf Line Hawaii. Before I get into the history, though, let’s skip right to the good stuff: pictures of awesome surfboards.

First up is a single fin shaped by none other than respected Hawaiian shaper Dennis Pang. Pang got his start at Surf Line Hawaii in 1976, before moving on to some of the most recognizable Hawaiian brands, like Lightning Bolt, Town & Country, and Local Motion. The board below was originally listed on eBay (pics originally found on the eBay post).

This thing is clean and mean. I love the black & white color scheme and the pinlines, with just a touch of color on the logos on both rails. I was a bit stunned when the board didn’t sell for $450, considering that another Surf Line board by Dennis Pang sold for $1800 ten years ago!

Surf Line Hawaii History

Surf Line Hawaii began as a surf shop on Oahu. It was founded by Dave Rochlen, and I believe Fred Swartz as well. By the time the shortboard revolution started in earnest, the shop began to put out boards under its own label.

I was blown away when I saw all the well-regarded shapers who passed through Surf Line over the years. According to Stoked-n-Board, Ben Aipa, Randy Rarick, Tom Parrish and Michel Junod, in addition to the aforementioned Dennis Pang, all shaped for Surf Line at some point!

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Aipa for Surf Line Hawaii. Board was made for Tony Moniz in 1981. Tony is a former pro and father to Josh and Seth, two up-and-coming Hawaiian pros in their own right. Pic taken from Boardcollector.com

However, I was even more shocked when I found out that Lightning Bolt’s famed core group — Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni — were all early Surf Line shapers. Lopez actually spent some time working in Surf Line’s offices on the business side.

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Gerry Lopez working at his “first real job” in the Surf Line Hawaii offices on Oahu, 1972. Picture via Gerry’s personal website.

Here is a great Surfer Magazine interview with Tom Parrish that expands on how a bunch of Surf Line employees broke away to found Lightning Bolt. Bolt was founded by Lopez and Jack Shipley, the latter being Surf Line’s top salesman at the time. Shortly thereafter, Reno, Barry and co followed Lopez and Shipley out the door. It’s really saying something when it’s hard to find space to mention Dick Brewer‘s involvement with Surf Line, as well!

Surf Line Hawaii Surfboards

The board pictured below was shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni. It was sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007, where it went for a mere $1,000 (anyone have a time machine handy?) Pics were taken from the auction site (original link here). I love everything about this board: the listing calls the bottom a “root beer” color, the purple fin pops, and I love the logo, with its clean lines and two-tone color job.

After Lopez left to found Lightning Bolt, Buddy Dumphy took the lead on shaping boards at Surf Line. Lopez writes about Dumphy in his memoir “Surf Is Where You Find It”. Patagonia’s website has a great excerpt from Lopez’s memoir, “Surf is Where You Find It”, where Lopez describes his early friendship with Dumphy and their early experiences riding new surfboard designs.

I’m fascinated by Dumphy’s boards. While they seem to be coveted by a segment of collectors, Dumphy shapes don’t seem to generate the same excitement as those from shapers like Barry K, Reno, and of course Gerry himself. Still, Lopez’s respect for Dumphy speaks volumes about his abilities as a shaper. Sadly, Dumphy passed away as the result of a car accident sometime in the 1990s.

The single coolest Dumphy board I was able to find online was posted by HolySmoke.jp. I have no clue if the board is for sale but that airbrush is absolutely killer!

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The 70s were a great decade for surfboard airbrushes…

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Here’s another Dumphy single fin, which was also sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007. I love the plumeria logo on the deck. It looks like this thing was shaped in the 70s for some serious North Shore surf. Pics taken from the original auction listing.

 

I was able to find a few Dumphy boards currently for sale online. There’s one currently for sale at New Jersey’s Brighton Beach Surf Shop, and it’s only listed at $450. Link to the board can be found here. I think it’s underpriced, considering the history of both the brand and Dumphy, but then again, the Pang board at the top of the page failed to clear the same $450 mark.

Surfboardhoard.com has a different Dumphy Surf Line Hawaii single fin for sale, but they don’t list the price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s north of $450. You can find that board here.

Surf Line Hawaii has such a rich history and a deep stable of shapers, it makes it hard to spotlight just a few boards! Standard Store / UsedSurf.jp are selling two other 70s single fins. Note that because the boards are in Japan, the prices are much higher. But they illustrate the wide variety of cool logos that Surf Line employed throughout the years. Boards can be found here and here (pictures below taken from Usedsurf.jp). The boards are credited to Steve Wilson / Welson (guessing the difference is a translation issue), but I couldn’t find any evidence of a shaper by that name. If anyone has some details, let me know!

 

Finally, no Surf Line Hawaii post would be complete without a mention of Randy Rarick. In addition to organizing the Triple Crown of Surfing, putting on auctions like the aforementioned Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, Rarick restores old surfboards. There is currently a Surf Line Hawaii board for sale on eBay that Rarick restored. The board is not a Rarick shape, but rather, it was made in 1971 by Ryan Dotson. You can find a link to the board here, and I have included some pictures below as well. (Pictures are from the eBay listing.)

Surf Line Hawaii: Odds and Ends

Believe it or not, I haven’t even covered all of the Surf Line Hawaii shapers, like Rick Irons and Sparky Scheufele! If nothing else, that speaks to the incredibly deep collection of shapers that passed through the brand over the years. Sadly, Surf Line Hawaii no longer seems to be in business. It seems as if they stopped producing surfboards long ago (I would guess sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, but that is just a guess), and a Yelp listing indicates that Surf Line’s Honolulu retail location has closed, too.

Nonetheless, Surf Line Hawaii played a prominent role in the Hawaiian surf scene, and remains one of the most impressive collections of shaping talent ever.

I hope you enjoyed this Deep Dive! If you have any pictures of any Surf Line boards you would like to share, or any comments at all, please reach out via the Contact section. Thank you for reading, and may your stoke levels remain high and rising!

Featured Image at top from @aipasurf on Instagram. Original link to photo here.