T&C Surf Designs with Dane Kealoha: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s late on Thursday night, which can only mean one thing: that’s right, it’s time for Sagas of Shred, where we feature a different vintage surf ad every week. Honestly, this ad speaks for itself, so I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum. It originally ran in the January 1986 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol. 27, No. 1). I love how this T&C Surf Designs ad combines the cheerful neon aesthetic that dominated the Eighties, along with Kealoha’s brand of aggressive, powerful surfing. Kealoha’s boards look so sweet in this ad, too — I would love to see better pictures of both of them, along with some info around who shaped these sticks.

Thanks for reading and come back next week for another heaping helping of Sagas of Shred!

 

Christian Fletcher for T&C Surf Designs: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! For those of you who don’t know, Sagas of Shred is a series on the blog where we run vintage surf ads. While old magazine articles are great — The Surfer’s Journal digital archive, available to subscribers, is amazing — an overlooked angle is the fact that surfing’s story often gets told in the form of ads.

The T&C Surf Designs Christian Fletcher ad featured here ran in a 1990 issue of Surfer Magazine. To me, it’s a pretty classic expression of surf culture at the time, between the tail end of the Eighties and the Momentum Generation, which would arrive a few short years later. If I’m being honest, I often struggle to describe these ads. There’s no denying the unintentional humor. But the last thing Sagas of Shred aspires to be is the douchebag hipster that hides its unpleasant contempt behind a thin veneer of so-called irony. I can genuinely say I love this ad, and not just because it features one of the most influential surfers of the late Eighties and early Nineties. I love everything about it, whether it’s the odd torn paper effects, Fletcher’s vintage T&C shirt, or the unsettling feeling that Christian Fletcher might be trying to challenge you to a staring contest.

While many elements of the ad are charmingly dated to the late Eighties and early Nineties, the same cannot be said of Fletcher’s surfing. His front hand layback gouge is every bit as radical as it was when the advertisement first ran.

I’ve written a lot of Sagas of Shred posts about Fletcher and his family over time. We have featured T&C Surf Designs in Sagas of Shred a number of times as well, whether it’s a 1982 ad featuring Dane Kealoha in some short shorts, or another entry featuring the evolution of Ben Aipa’s famous Sting design. I think we can all agree that the Christian Fletcher / T&C Surf Designs marriage is one for the ages.

Thanks again for checking out Sagas of Shred and tune in late next Thursday night for more vintage surf ads!

Neon Appreciation Society: The Eighties at The 2018 Boardroom Show Auction

Greetings, Shredderz! As I’m sure many of you already know, next weekend sees this year’s version of The Boardroom Show, hosted at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 2018’s Icons of Foam Honoree is none other than Marc Andreini, an all-around classy dude and tremendous shaper. The Boardroom Show is also home to the California Gold Surf Auction, which, in my mind, is the premier vintage surfboard auction. As always, the CA Gold auction has a curated selection of some the usual suspects — names like Dora, Noll, Brewer, et cetera. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a significant number of boards from the late 1970s and 1980s. This is nothing new, of course — 80s Town & Country boards command pretty ridiculous prices any time they pop up on eBay — but I wonder if it isn’t a sign of a larger shift in tastes as older collectors age out. And as an incorrigible fluoro enthusiast, I thought I would take the time to highlight some of my favorite boards from the auction. Keep reading for some selections…

Stussy Thruster for Michael Tomson of Gotcha (Link)

Oh man, this board is killer. Michael Tomson, cousin of Shaun, founded Gotcha clothing. Stussy even designed an early Gotcha typeface that was used prominently during the 80s. This thruster has all the little touches I love about Stussy’s boards, including some nifty hand-drawn graphics. I love the little planer design, and the Gotcha shark logo on the deck is an awesome throwback to the brand’s heyday. Make sure you hit the link above for a shot of the sick Stussy Team logos on the fins. I also wrote up this board when it popped up at the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club swap meet a few months back.

Wave Tools Lance Collins Twin Fin (Link)

Wave Tools Lance Collins Twin Fin California Gold Surf Auction 2

I can’t think of a better representation of Echo Beach than this incredible board. The board was shaped in 1980, and the auction estimate is between $2,500 and $3,000. There are so many details to love about this board, whether it’s the branded glass-on fins, the huge Lance Collins laminates, or, of course, the inimitable airbrush. The board has been restored, which I find slightly odd given the visible ding on the bottom right above the fins, but I’m not going to quibble. This Wave Tools twinny is ridiculous in all the right ways.

T&C Glenn Minami Channel Bottom Single Fin (Link)

Town & Country Glenn Minami Channel Bottom Single Fin California Gold Surf Auction 2

My initial guess was that this stunner was shaped in the 1980s, but it turns out it’s from 1978. Then again, it feels a little silly to focus so much on dates given the timeless — and bitchin’ — checkerboard graphic on the deck. This T&C single fin has also been restored. And while I prefer my boards all-original, this is a stunning example of a classic Hawaiian single fin.

T&C Glenn Minami Sting (Link)

Alright, this technically isn’t an 80s board, either, but given how sweet the board is, I am willing to make an exception. Like the other Glenn Minami example above, the board has been restored, hence its impeccable condition. I can’t get enough of the color scheme, and I really dig the old school Town & Country logos on both boards. I think it’s interesting how Glenn Minami’s name appears in a sans serif font on the sting, and then in a script font on the checkerboard single fin above. The sting is also dated to 1978.

Miscellaneous Boards

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the website for more boards that are being listed for auction at this year’s Boardroom Show. I’d also encourage you to attend, if possible! (Sadly, I won’t be there, due to existing commitments). If classic boards are more your thing, there is an embarrassment of Renny Yater riches up for auction this year, including a mini-gun with stunning abalone inlays, and a 1963 Pat Curren model elephant gun. There’s also a Phil Edwards Honolulu Model, an unrestored Gordon & Smith Skip Frye v bottom, a Bing David Nuuhiwa Lightweight with a tiger stripe paint job, and finally, an incredible Rainbow Surfboards example with a next level airbrush. Make sure you check out the site and support the fine folks who make this celebration of vintage sticks possible.