Channin Diffenderfer Surfboard: Transition Era Hull

Greetings, Shredderz! Today we just have a quick little hit for your viewing pleasure, but I think you’ll dig it anyway. Mike Diffenderfer is regarded by many as an incredibly influential shaper. Before he passed away in 2002 at the relatively young age of sixty four, Diffenderfer had established himself as one of the premier shapers of his generation. Diffenderfer was known for his big wave guns as well as his balsa designs. Even though the Encyclopedia of Surfing estimates Diffenderfer shaped over 25,000 surfboards in his career, they’re not super easy to come by. Needless to say, whenever a Mike Diffenderfer stick pops up for sale I’m always interested, and the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard featured here definitely fits the bill.

Pictured above is a very cool looking Channin Diffenderfer surfboard that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. The board is not mine and all pics are via the Craigslist post, which you can find here. The Channin Diffenderfer surfboard measures in at 8’3″ and it was likely shaped sometime during the late Sixties, given its dimensions and hull-like features.

 

As you can see in the photo above and to the left (click to enlarge), the Channin Diffenderfer surfboard sports some really great resin pin lines on the deck. If you look closely you’ll see the inner most pin lines are done in yellow, contrasting with the two blue pin lines closer to the rails of the board.

The surfboard has been restored with a new gloss coat at some point, and you can see where there was some water damage on the nose. Nonetheless, it’s great to see the board is mostly preserved a good half century or so after it was initially shaped.

The seller is asking $950 for the board. You can find the listing here. I’m a bit torn on the price. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but while it’s pricey, well, these boards aren’t very common, and I am definitely a sucker for painstaking resin pin lines. I’d say this price is probably a little above what most people would be willing to pay, but that’s mostly a guess.

Here’s a photo of Diffenderfer in his shaping bay in Hawaii, taken by the peerless Jeff Divine. There’s an excellent Mike Diffenderfer fan page on Facebook, which I recommend checking out here.

Mike Diffenderfer Hawaii via Degree 33 Surfboards
Diffenderfer in the shaping bay. Photo by Jeff Divine; via Degree 33 Surfboards

 

 

Shred Sledz Presents: 5/16 Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! I hope the stoke levels are high and climbing for each and every one of you. First and foremost, you may recognize a slight name change to our Peabody Award-winning series (Editor’s Note: definitely not), the Shred Sledz Weekend Grab Bag. We’re dropping the “Weekend” part of the moniker, given the fact our editorial staff moves with all the speed of a line at the DMV on a sunny Saturday. It shall henceforth be known as the Shred Sledz Grab Bag. New name, same collection of cool sticks. Anyway: onto the good stuff.

Sunset by Bill Shrosbree 1970s / 1980s 6’1″ Single Fin (Craigslist — Santa Cruz)

This thing was originally posted a few days ago, and then posted again without that lovely Rainbow Fin you can see in the third pic. Luckily, Shred Sledz goes to great lengths to preserve any evidence of rad surfboards online. Board is listed at $350 (without the fin, though!), which I think is quite fair given the board. Shrosbree is a favorite of surfboard aficionado Joel Tudor, which means he’s good enough for me! Check out the board at the link above.

 

Surfboards Hawaii Semi-Gun by Mike Slingerland (Facebook)

This surfboard is unlikely to win any awards for political correctness any time soon. (Check the cartoon in the third pic, alongside the “Charlie Don’t Surf” lam). Questionable laminates aside, though, it is a beautiful example of a later-era Surfboards Hawaii semi-gun that looks to be in awesome condition. Love the colors alongside the stringer and the beautiful, era-correct Rainbow Fin, too. Original post seems to have been taken down, but I linked to an earlier one in the title above.

 

Channin / Diffenderfer 1969 Transition Board (Craigslist — Raleigh, NC)

Can’t say this thing hasn’t seen better days. But shout out to the seller for being as up front as possible, going as far to recount a story about how the board flew off his roof rack while going 70 mph! There’s something sad about seeing someone sell a cherished board, but then again, it’s also an opportunity to score a funky little transitional shape for under $200 ($195, to be exact).

 

Gordon & Smith Magic Model (Craigslist — Orlando)

Cool little transitional shape for sale in Florida. G&S has a little info on this board on their own website. The Magic was invented towards the end of the summer in 1968. It was largely invented by Dennis Benadum, but apparently none other than Skip Frye also chipped in with the board’s design! See below for a picture of the original ad for the board, published sometime in the late 1960s, I believe. Seller is asking $500.

Gordon & Smith The Magic Ad

 

Channin Diffenderfer

 

Here at Shred Sledz we love old surfboards of all shapes, sizes, and creeds, but if there’s one thing that makes us go particularly crazy, it’s surfboard brands that are no longer with us. Today’s post is a brief history on the Channin Diffenderfer partnership, which eventually spawned a few different brands. And of course, we have pictures of some neat boards, for those of you who never bothered with the pretense of reading Playboy for the articles.

According to this wonderful article, Tony Channin and Mike Diffenderfer first went into business together in 1965. Channin had made a name for himself as an outstanding glasser in the San Diego area, while Diffenderfer had been honing his surfing and shaping skills in Hawaii. Their brainchild, Channin Diffenderfer, produced surfboards until 1970, when both men went their own ways, setting up brands under their own names.

Today’s first board is a Channin Diffenderfer. The picture below (as well as the first picture in the set above) was taken from a Craigslist post in San Diego that has since been taken down. Diffenderfer was the main shaper, but according to Stoked-n-Board, there were other shapers who made boards under the Channin Diffenderfer label as well. There’s no signature on this board, which makes it difficult to say whether this board was shaped by Diffenderfer himself.

Example of a classic Channin Diffenderfer surfboard. The board was likely shaped in the 1970s (poster claims 1970 itself). Pic via Craigslist.

The second board today is from the Channin brand, after Tony and Mike went their respective ways. It’s a 7′0 pintail single fin that you can currently find on Craigslist in the San Diego area, where Channin is located. The board is listed for $850, which I find totally unrealistic. Price aside, it’s a clear example of a Channin branded board. Channin employed a number of different shapers for his own label, and without a signature, it’s difficult to say who may have shaped it.

Channin Surfboard — no Diffenderfer this time. Picture via Craigslist

Finally, to complete the trifecta, there is a Diffenderfer branded board that is up for sale on Craigslist right now. I have included pictures below. It’s an 8′11″ single fin, and if I had to guess, it’s a more recent board (1980s or 1990s, maybe?) Diffenderfer, sadly, passed away in 2002. What’s interesting about this board is that even though it is made under the Diffenderfer brand, it was still glassed by Channin. You can see the clear “Channin Precision Fiberglassing” logo at the tail of the board as well. According to Stoked-n-Board, a man named Jim Allen also shaped under the Diffenderfer label. I find it interesting that this board bears a laminate that reads “Custom Shape by Mike Diffenderfer”, but there’s no signature.

Diffenderfer longboard with a triple stringer setup. Pic via Craigslist
Close up of the glassing laminate from the tail. Even though the board is a Diffenderfer shape — with no other names on the laminate — you can see that Channin still glassed the board.

Anyway, there you have it. I hoped you enjoyed this journey through the various iterations of the surfboard brands of Tony Channin and Mike Diffenderfer. Happy Shredding!