T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin: Price Checks

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a quick check in on a very cool board: a T&C Surf Glenn Minami twin fin from 1978. Put your wallets away, though, because the eBay auction is already done and dusted. All photos in the site are via eBay; you can find the original listing here.

T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin 1.jpg

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: as much as everyone loves the 80s T&C Surf boards, I think the earlier single fins and twin fins are a bit underrated. As is always the case with noteworthy surfboard labels, T&C Surf Designs has its foundation in the combo of talented craftsmen and gifted surfers. According to T&C’s website, T&C Surf founder Craig Sugihara was inspired after riding a Mark Richards twin fin during the early 70s. Sugihara then enlisted Glenn Minami to continue to iterate on the design. Shortly thereafter, Dane Kealoha joined the roster and the rest is history.

T&C Surf Glenn Minami Twin Fin 2.jpg

As for the T&C Surf Glenn Minami board you see here, it measures in at 5’8″ x 20″ x 2 3/4″. According to the seller it was shaped in 1978, during the relatively early days of the Town & Country label. Overall the board looks to be in pretty good condition, although it looks like the swallowtail underwent some surgery. The board is super colorful and eye-catching, and while it’s not quite as crazy as the neon airbrushes that would define T&C’s look in the 80s, I really dig it. In particular, the fins are a super cool touch, especially with T&C’s classic yin yang logo on them.

And yes, this is a Price Checks entry, so you know we’re going to discuss the price tag on this bad boy. The final price was $860. This is a shade lower than what I would have guessed, but even so, it’s a healthy price for a forty year old board. The board looks to be in good condition aside from the aforementioned work on the tail. The T&C Surf Glenn Minami twin fin is no longer for sale but you can check out the eBay listing here.

Finally, Glenn Minami continues to shape surfboards today. He shapes under his own name, rather than the T&C Surf label, and you can find more about Glenn’s boards on his website or follow him on Instagram.

Price Checks: T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann Surfboard

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be examining one of the most coveted signature sticks out there: a T&C Surf / Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard. As I have written about before, getting concrete information on surfboard prices can often be tricky, but eBay makes things slightly easier, thanks to the fact it keeps up posts on completed listings even after the sale has closed. The Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard featured here just closed earlier today on eBay, and thankfully, the listing still has pics and prices. You can find the listing here; all photo in this post are via eBay.

This Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard closed at a cool $1,085, with an option to ship the board within the US for an additional $100. The board is a swallow tail twin fin and it measures 5’10” x 20″ x 3″. On one hand, I can’t say I’m that surprised, as these Larry Bertlemann boards are super popular among collectors. On the other, this board has discoloration throughout, and some additional restoration work has been done, too. The board is in decent condition, all things considered, but it’s also clearly not a perfect example. I see the price as an indication of how collectible Bertlemann surfboards are, given that it still went over $1K, even with its various imperfections. I’m curious to see what a similar Larry Bertlemann surfboard in excellent condition might fetch — I can’t see one going for anything less than $2,000, but that’s only a guess.

Larry Bertlemann Surfboard via Juice Magazine.jpg
Larry Bertlemann, AKA The Rubberman, going vertical. Photo by Jeff Divine and via a Juice Magazine interview between LB and Zephyr’s Jeff Ho

I still can’t quite figure out whether the Larry Bertlemann surfboard you see here is considered a Hawaiian Pro Designs board, or a T&C Surf Designs board. As you can see it has laminates from both brands. The T&C Surf Designs yin yang features prominently throughout the board, but all of the Pepsi Larry Bertlemann logos have Hawaiian Pro Designs on them, too. Hawaiian Pro Designs is best known for being Donald Takayama’s label during the later part of Takayama’s career. However, I simply don’t know about the earlier history of the Hawaiian Pro Designs brand. See here for a Hawaiian Pro Designs Larry Bertlemann surfboard that has a rare Olympic rings logo, but no mention of T&C. And here is another Larry Bertlemann surfboard, which has the T&C Surf Designs yin yang logos, but otherwise no T&C branding (looks like the sticker on the fins was added after the fact). Long story short, I don’t know how to classify the brands and/or labels for Larry Bertlemann’s various signature surfboard models.

I also don’t know who shaped the board. Bertlemann shaped some of his own surfboards. According to SurfboardLine.com, Takayama also shaped some twin fins for Bertlemann during the Seventies, but I’m not sure when. These Larry Bertlemann surfboards were produced under license in Australia for a while, too, but again, I’m not clear on who the production shapers were.

Finally, see below for a little video produced by Buggs Arico, the collector behind the aforementioned SurfboardLine.com. Buggs’ site has a great entry on Bertlemann, including a killer Larry Bertlemann surfboard producer under the killer Hot Lips Designs label, so check that out if you get the chance.

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

Greetings, Shredderz! It’s Thursday evening in California, which can only mean one thing: more vintage surf ads coming your way, via Sagas of Shred. Today’s entry is another classic from the Eighties, AKA the decade that popularized neon, mullets, stonewashed jeans and countless other instances of poor taste. You know what has aged well, though? Dane Kealoha’s inimitable brand of Hawaiian power surfing. Here’s a T&C Surf Designs Dane Kealoha ad from an issue of Surfing Magazine published sometime during the Eighties. I am not going to make any comments about the outfits Dane can be seen rocking on the right side of the ad. No, not even those oversized baby blue shorts, because Dane is a better surfer than I could ever dream of being, and he’s definitely tougher than me, too. So I’ll keep the fashion commentary to a minimum and focus instead on the fact T&C Surf Designs and Dane Kealoha is an absolutely perfect pairing.

Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday for more Sagas of Shred!

Christian Fletcher Goin’ Off: Sagas of Shred

Shredderz, it’s late, and I’ve got stuff to do. But nothing — nothing — stops the Sagas of Shred train from leaving the station every Thursday night, delivering more vintage surf ads to all you internet surfers. The topic’s of today’s entry is none other than esteemed aerialist and counter culture icon Christian Fletcher. Here’s a pic of one of Fletcher’s famous frontside boosts, powered by a T&C Surf Designs stick bearing his awesome skull logo. I still don’t quite understand the relationship between Christian Fletcher Surfboards and T&C. As you can see in the ad, Christian Fletcher definitely rode for Town & Country Surfboards, and for at least part of that time, his boards had both the T&C yin yang laminates as well as the Christian Fletcher logo. I’m guessing he later split off to found his own Christian Fletcher Surfboards label — here’s a Steve Boysen-shaped Christian Fletcher Surfboards stick that isn’t from T&C — but I haven’t read any definitive accounts of what happened. Either way, Fletcher blazed a trail through surfing in the late Eighties and early Nineties with his radical moves and contempt for the pro contest scene.

Thanks for reading and check in next Thursday night for more Sagas of Shred!

Social Media Roundup: Autumnal Awesomeness

Greetings, Shredderz! By now you may know the drill: here’s a collection of some of my favorite vintage surfboard related social media posts from the past month or so. Keep scrolling for more.

I believe this photo was actually taken and published by Jeff Booth’s dad. True story: as a seventeen year old “grom” one my first surf experience was attending a Quiksilver surf camp in Montauk. Jeff Booth was the resident pro that day, and not only was he nice enough to push me into a wave, he politely declined to point out the fact that I was five to ten years older than all the other campers. Thanks Jeff — I owe you for that one! Anyway, peep that killer Eighties Stussy stick, complete with the NSSA lams. (The photo at the top of the page features Booth in a later ad for Stussy Surfboards.) I’m also trying to zoom in on the Stussy logo beneath the NSSA sticker, but can’t quite make out what it might be.

I love vintage Yater single fins. This one is classic: all clean lines and understated cool. This is a grown ass man’s surfboard.

Here’s a killer Town and Country twin fin. Make sure you scroll through all of the pics, including the beautiful glassed on fins with the T&C yin yang logo. Lots of people go nuts over the Eighties T&C boards with the crazy airbrushes — and I love them, too — but I think the slightly earlier T&C vintage boards are every bit as cool.

View this post on Instagram

Presents Expression Session 5: California Dreamin’

A post shared by Surfboardsandcoffee (@surfboardsandcoffee) on

Surfboards and Coffee held their latest event this month, and by all accounts, it was a doozy! They collected a bunch of boards with some amazing airbrushes. Shout out to all my Airbrush Aficionados out there!

View this post on Instagram

Flashing on empty secos with a stringerless….. early 1980s… i usually keep my trap shut but….I always hear guys talking about hulls these days talking about how they enjoyed them back in the day … when I’m thinking to myself wait a minute wernt you the kid on that stupid pointy down railed rocketship that just didn’t work in most surf or that ampy echo beach thingy… or whatever.. fact is for now at least my memory is pin perf…. I can spin about 20 names off like Greg, steve, mardy,Andy,bozo, wocheck,Tim kabota,ed Phillips, kp, McKnight , buck,wemple…dadams to name a few…. (sorry if I left u out, it’s early) i mean show me a shot of you riding one better yet how bout a shot of you just holding one?…. in the 70s…. naw… 80s nope…, 90s, maybe…. 2000s yeh probally… better late than never…. this post isn’t ment for you younger guys….. #hulls #liddlesurfboards #surfboards #glomontoanything 👣bongo archives photo: Kirk Putnam

A post shared by Alan Neal Casagrande (@bongobay) on

Now this is a vintage Liddle flex! Happy that Mr. Casagrande spares “younger guys” like me — I’m in my mid thirties, do I still count? — but regardless, respect to the hull trailblazers. And how dope is that board?

Last but not least we have a rare and beautiful Surfboards Haleiwa single fin shaped by none other than Mike Diffenderfer. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Diff board under the Surfboards Haleiwa label before, but this one is so cool. Love the resin pin lines, the bold red bird logo on the bottom, and the unmistakable outlines of a classic Seventies single fin.

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.