Greetings, Shredderz! Today we resume our regularly scheduled scans of vintage surf ads, which is all part of the Sagas of Shred series. This week’s entry focuses on one of the greatest power surfers of all time: two time world champion Tom Carroll, riding for Quiksilver. This ad originally ran in the July 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 7). I love the tagline in the ad: “Real Surfers. Real Surfing. Real Boardshorts.” Carroll is definitely a real surfer, and that snap is genuine too, but uh, those board shorts are real snug. But hey, this is a vintage surfboard blog, not a fashion advice column, so I’ll choose to focus on the stick Carroll is riding.
Turns out I actually featured the photo above in an earlier post. You can see the board Carroll has here is the same one in the photo at the top of the page. While it has a Byrne Surfboards logo, you can see the board was actually shaped by North Shore craftsman Pat Rawson.
It has a very similar airbrush pattern to the 7’8″ Carroll rode during the 1991 Pipe Masters. Carroll performed an insane layback snap at Pipe that remains one of the defining moments of his career.
It looks like Carroll must have stayed with this airbrush design for years, given the Rawson board was surfed in 1988, and the Pipe Masters board was ridden a full three years later.
Another funny note of trivia about the 7’8″ Pipe Masters board: apparently Carroll snapped the 7’8″ shape during the finals, and an enterprising young Jamie O’Brien tried to sneak off with the nose before it was returned to Carroll. The whole thing is detailed in a Stab Magazine story, which you can find here.
Greetings, Shredderz! It has been a few months since we last ran a Weekend Grab Bag feature. Here’s quick refresh for those of you who have better things to do than to spend your time keeping track of the various categories that appear on a low budget vintage surfboard blog (hopefully, this means most of you). The Weekend Grab Bag features a selection of vintage sticks for your perusing pleasure, all of which are listed for sale online as of the time the blog post was published. Anyway, enough from me, and onto some sweet sticks below:
I didn’t even know that Byrne Surfboards had produced a Tom Carroll model, and yet here we are. It’s a distinctly Eighties board between the airbrush, the channel bottom, the 2+1 fin setup, and the wings / squash tail combo. No dimensions or price were listed on the ad. Carroll was a longtime Byrne team rider, but often times his Hawaiian boards were shaped by Pat Rawson. This thing is absolutely killer and I wish I knew more about the history of the board.
The G&S Water Skate was actually designed by Tom Morey, which automatically makes it a surfboard worth mentioning. Morey is the mad scientist of surfing and his inventions are always thought provoking. Not sure if this was shaped by Morey — I tend to think it was likely crafted by one of G&S’ stable of in-house shapers, but that’s a guess. There’s no price on the Craigslist listing but I believe an earlier version had a very reasonable one attached. There’s also a square tail version of the Water Skate, too.
Diff’s career is fascinating to me. The list of legends that count Diffenderfer as an influence is long, spanning folks from Marc Andreini to Rusty Preisendorfer. And while there’s certainly a market for Diff’s boards, they don’t seem to be as collectible as, say, vintage Liddle hulls or any of Skip Frye’s boards (although few boards are). This here is one heck of an elephant chaser, clocking in at a healthy 10’10”.
I am all but certain this is an early Chuck Vinson surfboard. I’ve written up a few of Chuck Vinson’s shapes, but I have never seen a board with the Vinson & Gleason logo before. Given the dramatic vee bottom I have to assume this was a Transition Era shape from the late Sixties. Unfortunately I have more questions about this board than answers, starting with who Gleason is. If you know more definitely drop me a line.
If neon isn’t your thing, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and close this tab immediately. Likewise, if you’re not into seeing a handful of all-time surf greats all in one photo, this one might not be up your alley. But if those two things are your kind of deal, then you just might enjoy this O’Neill ad from 1988 as much as I do.
This ad is just beyond classic. It’s taken from a full page spread in the May 1988 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 29, No 5). The O’Neill roster at the time is chock full of talent: Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons (I’m rather partial to Snips’ first Sagas of Shred appearance, courtesy of Uggs), Tom Carroll, and Martin Potter all rode for the Santa Cruz-based wetsuit label at the time. To be honest, I’m not sure who either Anderson or Farnsworth are — my apologies, but this ad is a little before my time.
For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, Carroll seems to dominate this ad. He looks completely relaxed, confident, and in his element. Then again, Carroll had won two world titles by the time this photo had been taken, and this was about three years before his famous under the lip snap at Pipe. If you look at the top right photo, you’ll notice Carroll riding one of his Byrne boards with the signature swooping airbrush. Or maybe it’s just his Oakley blades.
Pottz, on the other hand, is almost subdued in the main spread. Granted, at this many words in, I am definitely guilty of reading way too far into a random wetsuit ad from the late Eighties. Still, it’s odd to think that this ad ran shortly before Pottz won his world title on the back of his progressive surfing.
Anyway, thanks for checking out Sagas of Shred. We’ll have another fresh scan of a vintage surf ad next Thursday evening, California time. Mahalo for reading!
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Attention vintage surfboard trivia buffs: Matt “Mayhem” Biolos and …Lost Surfboards team rider Kolohe Andino are giving away a free surfboard to the person who can name all of the surfers who inspired the various paint jobs in the Instagram post above. Edit: Kolohe also included close ups of all the boards on his Instagram account, which I have included below:
Some hints are rapidly filling up in the comments. Even with the added help, I’m only certain of three of them, and I have an educated guess for another.
The board at the top left is modeled after a board Kelly Slater surfed at Trestles in “Kelly Slater in Black & White.” I only know this from the comments, but I was able to find a YouTube video with the incriminating evidence.
The red / blue board on the top row, second from right, is clearly Tom Carroll’s board from his famous under the lip snap at macking Pipeline. I’m not sure who the shaper might be, though.
On the bottom row, the board second from right is clearly Martin Potter’s “The Saint” board, which is one of the most recognizable airbrushes ever.
I believe the board that is second from left on the top row is a Mark Richards Lightning Bolt, but I’m not 100% sure.
I suspect many of the boards aren’t what some would consider vintage. For example, there are a lot of guesses in the comments that suggest the top left board was one ridden by Kelly Slater in one of his earlier videos.
I’ll be running an updated post once all the answers are in, as I’m dying to know myself. In the meantime, check out the post here.