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.
I’m not sure exactly when G&S produced Skip’s signature models, but they were somewhere in the 1968 – 1969 range. (Sadly, Stoked-n-Board continues to go missing from the SHACC website, though I have been told that there are plans to revive the site).
Pictured below is a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in the Santa Cruz area. You can find a link to the listing here. Longtime readers might actually recognize this board from when it sold on Craigslist a little over a year ago and I wrote up a brief post on the board. The asking price for the G&S Skip Frye V Bottom last year was $850, and now the seller is asking a cool $3,500. (More on that later).
There are no two ways about it: this is a bitchin’ board with a lot of neat bells and whistles. Check out the W.A.V.E. Set fin, and the colorful G&S logo on the bottom of the board is an insane trip back to surfing’s psychedelic roots.
As you can see, the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is in very good condition, and there’s even a serial number on the deck (#3153).
Now, as for the price, well, I think $3,500 is a bit ambitious. Now, don’t get me wrong: any example of a Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom is going to fetch a nice price. And I can’t begrudge the guy for pouncing on the board at $850 a year back, when it was clearly worth a LOT more.
The California Gold Vintage Surf Auction just closed up a few weeks back, during which another nice G&S Skip Frye V Bottom board went on the block. You can find a link to the auction board here. I’ve also embedded a photo below.
The auction Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom ended up selling for $2,000, a good deal cheaper than the $3,500 that’s being asked for the Craigslist board. (Note that there are fees with the auction board, but it still ends up being cheaper.) The auction board looks to be in slightly better condition, too — note the visible discolored repairs on the bottom of the Craigslist Skip Frye V Bottom.
That said, I personally don’t have a problem with people buying boards on Craigslist and then re-listing them for more. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I don’t think a Skip Frye board should be cheap! Boards like the one posted here are genuine pieces of surf history. Now, do I think it’s worth $3,500? Probably not. But either way it’s a rad board, the Craigslist posting has some great photos, and if money’s no object, you can even take the board him with you. Check out the Gordon & Smith Skip Frye V Bottom board for sale on Craigslist 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 first example is listed on Craigslist in Costa Mesa, in the heart of Orange County, California. Asking price is $300. You can find a link to the board here. This thing sports a beautiful two-tone acid splash paint job, with red on the deck and a nice deep green on the bottom. However, there is one significant catch with the board: apparently it has a visible twist, which will take some work to undo (assuming surgery goes correctly). Luckily, the honest seller here called out this fact ahead of time, but now is as good a time as ever to remind everyone that you never know a board’s condition just by looking at pictures.
Yeah, yeah…it’s not the weekend. But we live in the age of alternative facts, so I’m not going to let something as trivial as accuracy get in the way of giving you a little taste of the coolest vintage surfboards that are currently for sale online. Without further ado, here goes…
Skip Frye G&S Vee Bottom on Craigslist
No link because the board already came and went. This board was sold on Craigslist in Santa Cruz and it vanished after a short time. The seller was asking $850, which is below market price if you ask me. Looks like it’s in decent condition, though there are some obvious repairs that have been done. Check out a similar Skip Frye vee bottom that went for auction recently, with the price estimate between $700 and $2K. Skip modeled his v bottom designs on the models pioneered by the Aussies — you can read a bit of history on his website. This is such a sick board and I hope whoever owns it now is putting it to good use.
Shred Sledz is (proudly) made in California. And given HQ’s location in the Golden State (AKA my living room), it’s no surprise that the blog focuses primarily on American and Hawaiian surfboard shapers. Today I’m excited to lend a little more Aussie influence to this modest seppo-centric blog. We’ll be exploring the history and contributions of one of Australia’s earliest surf stars: none other than the late, great Bernard “Midget” Farrelly. In particular, today’s post focuses on a rare surfboard model: a collaboration between Midget Farrelly and Gordon & Smith, the famed San Diego-based US board maker.
Farrelly won the inaugural World Surfing Championship in 1964. The event was held at Manly Beach, located in Farrelly’s hometown of Sydney. A few years later, Farrelly was an active contributor to the experimental surfboard designs of the Transition Era.
To this day there remains a heated debate over the origins of the vee bottom surfboard design. Bob McTavish, another Australian surfer and shaper, is widely credited with having invented the design in 1967. Farrelly, on the other hand, claims that he was the inventor of the vee bottom. He offers the picture below as proof. Farrelly claims the white board in the picture below was about 8′ x 22″ – a good deal shorter than the boards being ridden by his contemporaries – and that the picture was taken in 1967 at the Windansea vs. Australia contest in Palm Beach. Farrelly contends that McTavish did not even glimpse a vee bottom board until November of 1967, which later inspired McTavish to do his own take on the design. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, on the other hand, credits McTavish with having begun work on the vee bottom in March of 1967. McTavish says he was shaping vee bottoms at the Keyo factory in mid-1967. If you want to read more about Midget’s side of the story, I recommend going to his website. Sadly, Midget passed away last year from stomach cancer.
While the origin of the vee bottom may be contested, I think we can all agree on one thing: transition boards – and vee bottoms in particular – are very, very cool.
Pictured at the top of this post is a Midget Farrelly / Gordon & Smith design that is currently up for sale on Craigslist in Monterey, California. It’s 7′10″ in length, but no other dimensions are offered up. The price is $1200 – steep, but this is a rare surfboard, and it looks to be in good condition, other than an obvious repair on the nose. I have included more pics below:
Gordon & Smith agreed to distribute Farrelly’s boards in the United States, and this is a clear example of the partnership. In the very first picture you can see the logo reads “Farrelly by Gordon and Smith Surfboards USA”.
However, it’s unclear to me exactly what model this is. Gordon & Smith – it’s interesting to note that the logo on the board reads “Gordon and Smith”, and doesn’t contain the customary ampersand – produced a Midget Farrelly Stringerless model. Stoked-n-Board has the Farrelly Stringerless model as having been produced between 1967 and 1969, which means it pre-dates the creation of the vee bottom. Here’s an example of a G&S Farrelly Stringerless model, and you can see that it is longer and more of a traditional longboard shape than the board listed at the top. It’s listed at 9′6″, and Surf Research actually dates the board to 1966, a full year earlier than Stoked-n-Board. Either way, it’s clear that the board below is a different model from the one at the top of the post – it’s longer, it has a fuller nose, and it has a different logo.
And here’s an old print ad for the G&S Farrelly Stringerless model. Note that this is clearly more of a standard longboard / noserider design – pre-Transition Era, I’m guessing. Note that this version of the logo has numbering. I’ve seen Stringerless logos without numbers.
G&S has another old ad up on their website, which shows the Farrelly Stringerless design alongside a Skip Frye and a Mike Hynson design.
In conclusion, I don’t believe the board at the top of this post is a G&S Farrelly Stringerless model. Instead, I think it’s a slightly later G&S Farrelly V Bottom. See the ad below, taken from G&S’ website. If you look closely you can see the second board from the left is called the “Midget Farrelly V Bottom” model. I believe this is the same model as the board at the top of the post. And while the Farrelly V Bottom does not have a stringer, it should not be confused with the Farrelly Stringerless model, which is a longer board.
This board below – which I found floating around on Pinterest – looks like an exact match to the one at the top of the page. It has similar deck patches, logo placement, and of course the overall outline. The picture below also gives a better idea of the vee in the tail, which is of course one of the defining characteristics of the board.
The board for sale can be found here on Craigslist (Update: Link has been removed). The seller also looks to be getting rid of some other gems, including a Morey Pope Tracker and a mystery David Nuuhiwa model. None of the boards are cheap, but they look well cared for. I’m wondering if these weren’t all at some point part of a larger collection in the Monterey area that was sold off a few years ago.
Finally, while we are on the topic of Australian surfing luminaries, I cannot recommend surfresearch.com.au enough. This article on 1967 and the creation of the vee bottom is incredibly thorough and detailed, and a real treat for anyone who’s interested in the topic. The same can be said for surfresearch.com.au’s entry for Farrelly himself, which is a fitting tribute for a true legend of the sport.
Here at Shred Sledz we are equal opportunity surfboard aficionados. Even though the blog is focused on vintage shapes, we love boards of all shapes, sizes, and creeds (with a few notable exceptions).
With that said, we do have a soft spot for transitional shapes, and here we have an exceptional example of an interesting board that was produced right as the surfboard industry was still figuring out a graceful way to go from heavy old longboards to shorter, nimbler shapes.
I’ve written about Hansen’s Derringer model before, but here’s an example of an all-original Derringer that is in very good shape, and has the original bolt-through fin to boot. It’s currently on sale on Craigslist (San Diego), and it’s not cheap at $600, but I don’t think that is all that outrageous, considering these boards aren’t plentiful, and this particular example seems to be in pretty good condition.
In the fourth picture you can see the vee bottom and the diamond tail. In the third you can see the top of the screw that holds the fin in, which is part of the board’s unique bolt through fin design. It looks like this bad boy has the original fin as well, which is always great.
Welcome, loyal Shredderz, to the last post of 2016.
First and foremost, I would like to thank all three of my loyal readers, or even anyone who has stumbled across the site and waited for at least three seconds before closing the tab. If you have read any one of these posts and enjoyed them, then I can’t thank you enough. It is my pleasure to find cool and interesting surfboards and share them with people, no matter how minuscule (some would even say non-existent) my audience might be.
The last board of the year is a doozy! It’s a Challenger Surfboards Micro model, currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego for a not at all outrageous $350.
Challenger surfboards was the brainchild of Bobby “Challenger” Thomas, a San Diego-based shaper who sadly passed away in 2012. At its height, Challenger Surfboards was one of the better-known San Diego surfboard labels, and it had some other talented shapers in its table, including Bill Bahne.
This is a classic transitional board from the late 1960s. You can just barely see in the logo that this is a specific Micro Formula Vee model (look for the small “Formula Vee” directly above the “Micro” logo, and hidden by the wax). The Surfboard Project has a great example of another Micro Formula Vee, and I’ve included their picture here:
According to Stoked-n-Board, the Micro Formula Vee was a specific variant with down rails and a pintail that was shaped between 1968 and 1969. You can clearly see the pintail in the second picture, along with what looks to be an original fin in place, too. The Micro Formula Vee, as the name indicates, is also a vee bottom board. It’s hard to see in the original pictures, but I’ve included a few shots of another Micro Formula Vee that give a better look at the shape of the vee bottom:
Challenger Micro Formula Vee on the right; Photos courtesy Flickr
The original board looks like it’s in decent shape, especially considering it’s closing in on 50 years old! Looks like there are some dings in the tail that were repaired, and there’s another suspicious looking spot near the fin. In any case, feel free to check out the board here.
Finally, I wish you all a Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you more stoke than you could possibly imagine!
Ah, it’s the beginning of the holiday season. I may be sedentary and couch-ridden, still in the anaconda-like process of digesting everything I ate on Thursday, but the quest to shine a light on the greatest vintage surfboards for sale around the internet is a neverending one.
I’ve written about vee bottom boards a few times here on Shred Sledz. I’m particularly fond of the Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom models, which I wrote about here and here. The Bahne Crystal Ship – an appropriately groovy name for a transition board – is another cool example, which I wrote about here. Finally, here’s a cool Hobie vee bottom design that popped up for sale a little while back. Finally, I wrote a recent post on a Hansen Derringer vee bottom, which can be found here.
The board pictured here is another Hansen vee bottom board for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, California. It has a clear serial number on the stringer – #18098 – and even a signature from Don Hansen, the brand’s namesake. Regarding the signature, though, this was clearly added after the board was shaped, as you can see it is on the exterior of the fiberglass and not on the foam. The board measures in at a tidy 7′6″, which seems right in the ballpark of similar shapes from the transitional era.
The poster claims the board was shaped sometime in the late 1960s and Stoked-n-Board dates the serial number to 1968. I’m having a hard time figuring out the fin box situation. I’m starting to think that this could be an example of Hansen’s own proprietary fin system, which S-n-B claims was produced from 1966 to 1977.
One interesting tangent I stumbled across when researching Hansen vee bottoms. It seems like Hansen’s Derringer model is the one mostly associated with the vee bottom shape. But excellent site The Surfboard Project also lists a Hansen pintail from the late 60s with a vee bottom design. I have included their picture below. This board looks a LOT like a Hansen Mike Doyle model, and it’s even the same length as some of the Doyle boards (8′6″), but I digress.
Anyway, back to the board in question. The thing I can’t figure out is why the board pictured here isn’t considered another Hansen Derringer. It looks remarkably similar to the Derringer model, starting from the distinctive diamond tail / v bottom block, to the pin lines on the deck, which create that vaguely trapezoidal shape where the surfer’s front foot might go.
The other interesting thing about the board is the “Custom” text that can be found beneath the logo. I’m not sure what this refers to. Maybe this was a custom board that was based on the Derringer model?
Finally, the glass job looks suspiciously new and shiny for a board that is almost 50 years old. I think another coat may have been added at some point. There’s a decent amount of browning on the board’s bottom – either from water damage or the sun, I can’t tell – and it just doesn’t seem right that the glass would be in such pristine condition, given this damage.
Anyway, you can check out the Craigslist listing here. The seller is asking $650 and it’s a rad example of a late 60s transitional board.
For the first time in Shred Sledz history, I am using a different picture to link to a post. The picture above, which I found on Flickr, courtesy of user surfvinsd, is of an 8′ Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom board.
The good news is there’s a very similar board up for sale on Craigslist right now. These Surfboard Hawaii vee bottoms are pretty hard to come by, and the one that is listed appears to be in decent condition. The poster is asking $650 for the board, which seems fair, with the big assumption that the board is in decent condition.
I couldn’t bear to post the picture that came with the ad, since this board is so dang beautiful and unique. But I urge you to check it out here and maybe even spring for the board (again, check it out in person yourself, and make sure the condition is up to snuff!) should you be inclined to own a piece of transition era surfboard history.