Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going to shine a spotlight on one of my all-time favorite Transition Era boards: the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom, or, as it’s technically known, the Surfboards Hawaii V.
The Surfboards Hawaii V bottom you see above (click photos to enlarge) comes courtesy of Shred Sledz reader Bobby. Thanks for sharing the photos of your beautiful board! As you can see, Bobby’s Surfboards Hawaii V is in pretty great condition. The fin — I’ll be honest, I always mix up my Transition Era fins, and I always guess W.A.V.E. Set when it’s not, so I’ll just pass for now — in particular stands out, and you can see the dramatic vee in the tail. (Update: I just asked a far more knowledgeable friend, and he confirmed that the fin is an early Bahne / Fins Unlimited design.)
I’ve heard some people say that the Surfboards Hawaii V doesn’t surf all that well, but I’m not one to judge. Rather, I tend to appreciate the unusual lines and dimensions of the board. I always trip out whenever I see a close up shot of the tail of a Surfboards Hawaii V bottom, like in the photo below. I’m always struck by the sheer amount of foam packed in the back end of these boards. The Surfboards Hawaii V bottom is almost reminiscent of a Corvette with its bulky, high tail. In addition to the dramatic vee on the bottom, you can also see how the tail section on the deck has been carved out, too. I love the black pinline on Bobby’s board and how it accentuates the Hawaii V’s angular lines.
There was another Surfboards Hawaii V bottom that was posted for sale on Craigslist earlier this month. I have reproduced some of those photos below, which give you a good idea of the rocker and outline of the board. You can click on the photos below to enlarge.
One thing I have never been able to track down is more information on who might have shaped the Surfboards Hawaii V bottoms. As many of us have been known to do, Bobby sought out the counsel of Bill Thrailkill on Swaylocks. According to Bobby, Thrailkill told him that there’s a good chance Ed Wright, who was on the Surfboards Hawaii label in the late Sixties, shaped a number of these boards. If anyone knows more, hit me up!
Last but not least, here’s a cool Surfboards Hawaii V bottom ad, courtesy of the @vintage_surf_ads account on Instagram. I love how the ad turns up its nose at the competing “mild V-bottoms on the market today”, and touts the fact that the Hawaii V is for “experienced surfers only.” It’s also interesting to read that these boards were apparently made with fiberglass stringers, too.
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.
Greetings, Shredderz! Consider this post a simple heads up for a cool and unusual surfboard that’s currently listed for sale. The board pictured in this post is a stringerless Con Super Minigun. You can find the board on Craigslist here. I am almost certain this is being sold by the owner of Chubbysurf.com.
You can click on the photos above to enlarge. My guess is the board was shaped during the late Sixties, during the Transition Era. It looks like it has a hull-like bottom, but I can’t say for sure without seeing the board in person. The board also has some rare logos for a Con Surfboards stick. I have personally never seen many of the logos or model names on this board. For starters, I have never seen that Con logo on the bottom of the board. This is also the first and only Super Minigun I have seen. Con made a Minipin during the Transition Era, and the Super Ugly is one of its most famous models, but the Super Minigun is a first. The stringerless blank is also unusual.
Anyway, if you’re interested, you can check out the Craigslist posting for the board here.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick glimpse at an interesting Transition Era board from a classic California surfboard label: that’s right, a vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom that was likely shaped during the late Sixties.
While the Transition Era took place only over a few short years, a whole lot of experimentation was condensed into this time in history. I am a huge fan of v bottom boards in general, although this has more to do with their history and how they look than anything else. I have heard mixed things about how v bottoms surf. It’s also worth noting that some well-regarded modern shapers have incorporated the v bottom into modern high performance designs, such as Marc Andreini, Gene Cooper, and Bruce Fowler.
The vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured in this post is currently for sale on Craigslist in Central California. You can find a link to the listing here. First, this is the only Harbour Rapier I have seen that boasts a v bottom. Harbour Surfboards continues to produce the Rapier today. Most versions of the Harbour Rapier I have seen, whether modern or vintage, have the board as a pintail longboard. By contrast, the V Bottom in the post is only 8’6″ in length, a good deal shorter than the longboards produced during the Sixties. See below for pics of a vintage Harbour Rapier, along with the classic “Sea Nymph” logo.
Beyond the rarity of the Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured here, I love a lot of the small details on the board. The creamsicle color scheme is absolutely killer, for starters. I also love the bold black resin lines on the deck, which were fashionable during the Transition Era. The double Harbour triangle logos are a sweet and unusual touch, too. As you can see below, the board also comes complete with a rare W.A.V.E. Set fin.
As of the time this post was being written, the listing for the board is still up, but the board has apparently been sold. The price on the listing was $7,000, but I’m wondering if that was a typo. Even given the unusual nature of the board and its condition, I would have a hard time believing that the Harbour Rapier V Bottom sold for anywhere near that price.
Thanks for reading and you can check out the Craigslist listing here.
Greetings, Shredderz! This transmission is being sent from the midst of a severe wave drought in Northern California. Please send swell ASAP. There hasn’t been much in the way of waves recently, but luckily there have been a few good finds popping up on Craigslist and eBay. Case in point: featured here is a Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull, shaped by Bob Olson.
I can’t in good conscience claim this is the prettiest board I have ever seen, but as a big fan of the interesting shapes that emerged from the late 1960s, I thought it was worth a closer look. The Ole Surfboards Transition Era hull is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. The seller is asking $400 for the board, which I find a bit on the pricey side, given the condition. That said, it’s an unusual board with some awesome pedigree. The vast majority of Ole Surfboards I have seen are traditional longboards, like the one pictured below.
Anyway, back to the Ole hull in question: the seller claims the board measures in at 7’11”. He also says that it has a serial number of #70 somewhere on the board, although this isn’t shown in the pics. Given that Olson began his shaping career in the late 1950s, and the hull was likely shaped a decade number, I doubt this is a sequential serial number.
The Ole Surfboards hull also comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which you can see in the photos below. (Click to enlarge).
The photos also give you a good sense of the vee bottom on the board. Again, all of these details point to the board being shaped in the late 1960s, per the description on Craigslist.
As an aside, I am a little stunned to see that Olson doesn’t have an entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Stoked-n-Board is temporarily out of order due to the SHACC website redesign, which means that there isn’t a ton of info readily available on Olson online. Either way, it seems like there should be much more information about Bob Olson given his long and storied career as a shaper. (Olson was also the shop teacher for a young Shawn Stussy, believe it or not, before moving to Maui in 1971). Amazingly, Olson continues to shape Ole Surfboards to this day from his home base of Maui. You can find a listing for his surf shop on Facebook here.
According to the Craigslist posting, this board was made in 1972. It’s a beautiful example of a 70s David Nuuhiwa (pictured above on the left) surfboard, and it even comes complete with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin. The seller claims the board is all original, with the exception of a few small repairs. The asking price is $800.
The board above is a trip. It looks to me like a late 1960s Transition Era board, but there is very little information provided with the listing. I haven’t seen many The Greek boards that have sold, but the price (starting bid of $2,700) strikes me as extremely ambitious. There are some very cool details, though: check out the huge logo on the deck, and click through the link for shots of a very trippy fin. I hesitate to call this authentic or make any definitive statements about the board, but I recommend taking a peek at the listing.
Personally, I prefer boards that are as original as possible, even if that means putting up with some discoloration or spots. The board above is a Mike Diffenderfer thruster likely shaped sometime in the 1980s, and restored since then. It measures 6’8″ and the seller is asking $800 for the board. I would say Diff’s most collectible boards were made during the 1970s, but overall his shapes are difficult to find.
For more background on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, please check out the earlier Shred Sledz Deep Dive on the subject. There’s another vintage CC Rider for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. What’s interesting about the board above is that it looks like the dual high-density stringers are not tapered, unlike the other examples I have seen. It’s worth noting the board was also re-glassed at some point, so it is not all-original. The CC Rider above measures in at 9’4″ and the seller is asking $1175.
Greetings, Shredderz! I hope this post finds you all well. Today’s post features a surfboard I have long been fascinated with: the Harbour Spherical Revolver. The Spherical Revolver was invented in 1969, according to Harbour’s website. Harbour continues to produce the board today, at lengths ranging from 6’10” to 8″. While the Spherical Revolver has been updated since its genesis in the Transition Era, the board’s MO remains the same: it is intended as a shorter board for longboarders who still want paddling power, but are looking for something a little more maneuverable.
Rich Harbour is California surf royalty, and his vintage boards are very collectible. As is far too frequent when it comes to surfboards, though, it can be hard to find concrete information on prices and history. Even Harbour’s website doesn’t have any details on the history of the Spherical Revolver, other than its creation date. Stoked-n-Board, shockingly, doesn’t even mention the model by name.
As you can see in the advertisement above, the Spherical Revolver was based off an experimental design that was made in collaboration with Mark Martinson. (Side note: Harbour Surfboards has a webpage dedicated to their old ads and it is a must-visit.) Martinson was an early pro who won a bunch of surf contests in the 1960s, and was part of the Harbour Surfboards stable. Martinson continues to shape for Firewire Surfboards today, after stints working as both a commercial fisherman and then shaping for Robert August’s label.
Unfortunately, that is where the trail goes cold. I have no clear information on when the Spherical Revolver was produced, and what specific changes were made to the board between its introduction and its current iteration. It’s a shame, as while many Transition Era boards are derided as being impractical and tough to actually surf, the Spherical Revolver endures today. If you have more info, please drop me a line!
It’s not all bad news, though, as you can still find Spherical Revolvers that pop up for sale on Craigslist and eBay these days. There’s currently one up for grabs in San Diego, California on Cragislist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below via the Craigslist posting.
The board is 8’1″ and the asking price is $650. I’m reluctant to weigh in on the price, as I have been unable to find any comparisons from boards sold at auction, etc. However, the board above was definitely produced in the late 1960s or so. The first thing you’ll recognize is the awesome, slightly psychedelic logo:
Here’s a Hang Ten ad from Surfer Magazine in 1969 featuring Mark Martinson. You’ll notice he has a Spherical Revolver under his arm in the photo, and the logo is identical to the Craigslist board currently for sale.
One quick note about the board and its logo: in the close-up shot of the board’s logo, you’ll notice there is a small serial number written horizontally (#6670). Nowadays, Rich Harbour signs his hand-shaped boards very clearly. However, I believe this was not the case early on in Harbour’s history. There are other examples of Harbour hand-shaped boards with similar serial number formatting. Kagavi.com interviewed Harbour a few years ago and took a picture of a very collectible 1968 Trestle Special that was hanging from the rafters of the Harbour shop. The Trestle Special was shaped in 1968 and it has serial number #4032. In the case of the Spherical Revolver that is listed for sale, I do not know whether this board was shaped by Rich himself. The Trestle Special documented by Kagavi indicates that there are Harbour handshapes that do not have a signature, but have numbers written horizontally across the stringer.
Finally, the Spherical Revolver for sale on Craigslist comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin and the corresponding fin box. This is as clear a sign as any that the board was made in the 1960s, back when these Tom Morey-designed fin boxes were popular.
It’s too bad there isn’t a definitive history of the Spherical Revolver that is available to fans of Rich Harbour and his surfboards. In the meantime, check out the board that’s for sale listed here.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Deep Dive focuses on perhaps my favorite old-school surfboard brand ever: Con Surfboards. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the Con Surfboards logo is a gorgeous piece of graphic design. It’s classy and timeless, with just the right amount of color to make it pop. Today’s post examines a model that is near and dear to my own East Coast roots: the Con Surfboards CC Rider. The CC Rider is named after famed East Coast surfer Claude Codgen. Before one Robert Kelly Slater came along, Codgen was Cocoa Beach’s most famous surfing export who became a well-known pro in the 1960s. In 1966, Codgen had the honor of representing the East Coast at the World Surfing Championship held in San Diego. That same year, Codgen joined forces with Con Surfboards, which released his signature CC Rider model.
Despite Con Surfboards’ status as a cult classic brand, and Codgen’s legacy as one of the first true East Coast pros, there isn’t a whole lot of information online about the Con Surfboards CC Rider model. This post is an attempt to explore the history of the CC Rider, and present pictures of the various iterations of Claude Codgen’s signature model. This post is by no means definitive, as I have done my best to cobble together the various bits of information available online. As always, if anyone has any better info on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, do not hesitate to drop me a line.
Con Surfboards CC Rider
The CC Rider was produced starting in 1966. I believe it was only produced for a handful of years, as Stoked-n-Board indicates that Sunshine Surfboards, Codgen’s own brand, was founded in 1970. Sunshine continues to produce the CC Rider model, and Codgen is still shaping today.
According to a thread on Swaylocks, Bill Shrosbree was one of the early shapers responsible for making many of the early Con Surfboards CC Rider boards. I’m not sure whether or not this is true. Even though Codgen now shapes boards under the Sunshine label, I am under the impression that he was not responsible for shaping the various CC Rider models.
See below for an example of what I believe to be the most basic version of the Con Surfboards CC Rider. These pictures are via a Craigslist listing for a board from a few months ago.
Classic black laminate with Codgen’s signature
CC Rider is located on the far left
Look closely at the fin box, with the screw that is parallel to the board, located towards the back. Not sure what design this is. Drop me a line if you have more info!
Note the telltale black label on the board’s deck. Here’s another picture of a similar board, via the Long Island Surfing Museum, featuring Charlie Bunger’s personal collection of 1960s Con Surfboards. The board on the far right looks almost identical to the one posted above: same black label on the deck, and then the tapered yellow high-density foam stringer.
At some point it appears Con Surfboards expanded its CC Rider portfolio, and released a bunch of variants. Here is an old Con Surfboards ad detailing the different CC Rider variants.
Con Surfboards CC Rider Lightweight
The main distinction between the standard CC Rider and the Lightweight variant is unclear, other than the different text that appears on the laminates. In other words, I believe the CC Rider Lightweight model has a “Lightweight Model” added to the logo, which you can see in the first picture. I imagine the construction of the board was likely changed as well, but I can’t say for sure. Otherwise, the high-density foam stringer looks the same as the standard CC Rider, and the board appears to have the same volan patch as seen in the example in the ad above. Pics via an old Craigslist posting.
Con Surfboards CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom
Vee bottom boards were very popular in the late 1960s, and to my surprise, I learned that Con Surfboards produced one as well. I love the branding of this board, including the hand flashing the peace sign in the ad above. The only example I have found of a CC Rider V-Wedge Bottom comes via ChubbySurf.com and their Pinterest account. This is a pretty rare variant, and I have yet to see one up for sale. Check out the neat rainbow CC Rider logo on the bottom. No dimensions were listed.
Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight
I have been able to find two versions of what I believe are CC Pintails, but there are a few details worth noting. First, neither of these boards bears a straight up “CC Pintail” laminate. The laminates on both boards read “CC Rider Lightweight.” I consider both of these boards CC Pintails, however, because their silhouettes are identical to the “CC Pintail” pictured in the ad above.
First is an CC Pintail Lightweight that was recently listed for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. This board is a trip, starting with the two-tone high-density tapered stringer. The board was listed at 9’10”, and according to the seller, it’s circa 1968.
Island Trader Surf Shop is a rad Florida-based shop that features a great collection of vintage boards. They have an example of another Con Surfboards CC Rider Pintail Lightweight, and you can find it here. I have reproduced some of the pics below. It also has the same two-tone high-density stringer, black pinline design, and logo placement. In addition to boasting an elaborate fabric inlay, the Island Trader board is considerably shorter than the orange board, measuring in at only 8’6″.
Con Surfboards CC Rider Minipin Lightweight
Finally, Con Surfboards also produced as CC Rider Minipin. This variant does not appear in the ad above, alongside the Lightweight, the V-Wedge Bottom, and the Pintail. I am guessing it is a later board — late 1960s? –but I’m not certain. There are three examples I have seen, the first being a 7’6″ CC Minipin Lightweight with a blue (probably re-done) bottom. This board was posted for sale on eBay a little while ago. According to the original listing, the board was produced in 1969, supporting the theory that this is a later-era CC Rider model. It certainly has the funky outline of a Transition Era board from the late 1960s, with the wide point pushed pretty far back towards the tail.
There’s another CC Minipin Lightweight that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. This one measures in at 8’6″, a full foot longer than the blue bottom example above. There’s also a small difference in laminates: this board has one logo reading “CC Minipin Lightweight”, whereas the blue bottom board has its CC Minipin and Lightweight laminates located on separate parts of the board. The example below also has a bitchin’ Con Surfboards logo on the bottom near the nose (see last photo). Pics below via the eBay listing.
Finally, there is another Swaylocks thread with an extremely clean example of a CC Minipin, complete with its original fin. I have reproduced the pictures below. In the thread, well-regarded shaper Bill Thrailkill weighs in on the board. He identifies the fin as being a rare first generation Fins Unlimited fin, and based on this, he estimates the CC Minipin below was likely shaped in late 1967 or 1968.
According to Bill Thrailkill, this is a rare example of a first generation Fins Unlimited fin box and fin.
Classic transition era outline. Love the volan patch and the subtle Con Surfboards logo
Those are all the examples of Con Surfboards CC Rider models that I have been able to find. Drop Claude Codgen a line at the Sunshine Surfboards Facebook Page; it seems like he is still stoked on surfing and shaping a good half century after his signature model was released!
The Transition Era of surfboard design was a time period marked by widespread experimentation. Oftentimes, these unorthodox approaches could extend beyond just the design of a surfboard. Pictured below is a Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus Model. The board is listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, currently going for $600. Pics are via the Craigslist post, and you can find a link to the board here.
I can’t say the Micro Platypus has the elegance of, say, a Yater nose rider from the same era, but it has an irresistible, freewheeling charm to it. I love the name and the logo, for starters. The board also appears to be in great condition, especially when considering its age. According to Stoked-n-Board, the Micro Platypus was only produced in 1969.
However, the poster lists the Micro Platypus as measuring in at 7’6″, and Stoked-n-Board only has record of Micro Platypus models at either 7’2″ or sub 7′. This is the first and only Micro Platypus I have ever seen, so it’s difficult to say. As always, please drop me a line if you have more info about the board!
There are a bunch of neat design details here as well. Check out everything that’s going on in the nose:
The board comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which is always a nice touch.
Island Trader Surf Shop has an example of an original Challenger Platypus on their website. You can find a link to that board here. Based on both sets of pics, it’s difficult to compare the outlines of Island Trader’s Challenger Platypus with the Micro Platypus pictured above. However, here’s a shot of the original Platypus logo. Note that there’s no “Micro” above the Platypus logo, and the addition of the “by Challenger Surfboards” script below.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say who may have shaped the Micro Platypus pictured at the top of the page. Island Trader’s original Platypus was shaped by Bobby Thomas, and there’s a Swaylocks thread that indicates Thomas shaped a bunch of these boards. Apparently, Billy Caster — who later founded Caster Surfboards — also churned out some boards for Challenger at this time as well.
The Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus is going for $600, and you can find the Craigslist posting for the board here.
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.
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.
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).
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.