Here at Shred Sledz we are unabashed fans of the Transition Era and all of its crazy designs. The shortboard revolution of the late 1960s was a time of unprecedented experimentation. One of my all-time favorite Transition Era boards is the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom.
According to Stoked-n-Board, the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom was produced between 1968 and 1971. S-n-B has record of four different logos that were made during this run. One of these boards recently popped up on Craigslist in San Diego for a mere $250! The fin box was busted, but that still strikes me as an incredible price for one of the more interesting v bottom boards.
I believe the model is technically considered the “Hawaii V”, as indicated by both the close-up of the logo to the left, as well as the copy in the advertisement posted above. (All pics of the board first appeared in the original Craigslist posting, which has since been taken down.)
I love how the Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom boards often have elegant, minimalist pinlines. The one pictured above is no exception, with beautiful resin work around what looks like a volan patch in the middle of the board, as well as in the signature angular tail block. The Surfboards Hawaii V Bottom pictured above also came with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, another indication of its age.
Even though the Hawaii V is a coveted Transition Era shape, I still can’t find any reliable information on who actually designed the board. As always, if you have any ideas, please drop me a line! I love hearing from fellow Shredderz.
Sadly, an eagle eyed reader snapped up the board above before I had a chance to act. Stay tuned for another special v bottom board coming up tomorrow!
Fresh off last week’s post about Mike Purpus, today we have another collaboration between the Hermosa Beach pro and a well-known shaper. The board pictured above and below is the Jacobs Mike Purpus V, a Transition Era vee bottom board that was created in the late 1960s. The board can currently be found for sale on Craigslist, and you can find a link to the listing here. Keep reading below for some more pictures of the Jacobs Mike Purpus V for sale, and some background on the collaboration between Jacobs Surfboards and Purpus.
Brief History of the Jacobs Mike Purpus V
Purpus became a Jacobs team rider when he was 14 years old. The first Jacobs Mike Purpus signature model was created under an unusual set of circumstances, befitting Purpus’ colorful personality. In 1967, Purpus had successfully made the finals of the AAA Oceanside Invitational (competing against a murderer’s row of Donald Takayama, David Nuuhiwa, Skip Frye, Corky Carroll and Mark Martinson!). When pressed by the announcer, Hap Jacobs declared that if Purpus were to win the contest, he could get his own signature model. A few waves later, Purpus sealed the victory, and the rest was history.
The initial Jacobs Mike Purpus model was a standard noserider that was similar to the Bing Noserider Model of the 1960s. Jacobs Surfboards continues to produce the original Mike Purpus model today, but I believe Matt Calvani is now the head shaper.
Just as we saw with Rick Surfboards and the Barry Kanaiaupuni model, which began as a noserider and then morphed into a mini-gun design in the blink of an eye, the Jacobs / Purpus collaboration underwent dramatic changes in a very short period of time.
By 1968, around a year after the Jacobs Mike Purpus model was introduced, the Transition Era was underway. Surfers now sought out turns and maneuvers in favor of extended rides on the nose, and as a result, shapers began to make smaller, more nimble boards. The Jacobs Mike Purpus V employs many of the design elements that emerged during the Transition Era. As the name suggests, the Jacobs Mike Purpus V has a pronounced vee bottom in the tail. The board also has a dramatic scoop deck, which you can see below.
The Jacobs Mike Purpus V is a fairly rare surfboard. To date I have only seen three others online. The Surfboard Project has a Jacobs Mike Purpus V, but I believe the board has been restored. The Museum of Surf has a bitchin’ Jacobs Mike Purpus V with a similarly colorful spray job. Finally, a plain white Jacobs Mike Purpus V was sold on eBay a little over a year ago. I have included pictures of the board below:
Even though Purpus’ career extended well into the 1970s, his vee bottom board was produced closer to the end of Hap Jacobs’ career as a surfboard builder. In 1971 Jacobs sold his business to focus on commercial fishing, and didn’t return to shaping for another twenty years. Even so, Jacobs remains a revered figure in surfing circles.
Australian Influences of the Jacobs Purpus V
The other interesting aspect about the Jacobs Mike Purpus V is that it is referred to as an Australian board in multiple places. Stoked-n-Board calls it “the first shortboard from Australia”, which is both a very strong statement as well as maddeningly vague. The Surfboard Project refers to its example as an Aussie vee bottom, but there’s no other context given.
Luckily, I found an amazing article that Purpus wrote for the Easy Reader News in which he tells some fantastic stories about the history of his collaborations with Hap Jacobs. In 1967, Purpus, alongside Skip Frye, Steve Bigler and Margo Godfrey, headed to Australia to film “The Fantastic Plastic Machine”. During this trip, Purpus encountered the vee bottom boards that had begun to usher in the shortboard revolution down under. (I’m still unclear as to whether or not Plastic Fantastic Surfboards got their name from the movie or vice versa).
Purpus’ article in the Easy Reader News sheds light on the Aussie influences on what would later become the Jacobs Mike Purpus V. The outline for Purpus’ 1968 signature model came from Aussie surf pioneers Midget Farrelly and Bob McTavish. Farrelly and McTavish disagree on who invented the vee bottom. Purpus sidestepped the controversy by modeling his new board after both Australian shapers. He says the nose of the Jacobs Mike Purpus V was taken from Farrelly’s design, and the tail from McTavish. When Purpus returned stateside, he worked with Hap Jacobs shapers Ricky James and Robert August to tweak the design.
The way Purpus tells it, Jacobs was initially resistant, and was convinced Purpus’ new board would be a dud. As a result, Jacobs promised Purpus that any vee bottom produced under the Jacobs label would bear Purpus’ personal decal. There was another boldfaced name working with Jacobs who was openly skeptical about the Purpus V: none other than Donald Takayama! Takayama apparently favored the mini-gun, which was popular in Hawaii, and saw it as a superior option to the vee bottom.
When the Jacobs Mike Purpus V began selling out, the Jacobs team riders that were surfing Takayama’s boards began to ask Donald for their own vee bottom shapes. Donald acquiesced, but as soon as Purpus caught wind of this, he reminded Jacobs of their initial agreement:
Donald could see the David Nuuiwhia Noserider ordeal starting all over when his top riders Bobby Warchola, Jim Lester, Tommy Padaca and Pee Wee Crawford, wanted V-bottoms. Donald made them V-bottoms with his decal on them. I went crying straight to Hap, who told Donald that a deal was a deal. If he wanted to make a V-bottom he would have to use my decal. Donald was furious at me and left Jacobs to open his own shop down the road by the Baskin Robins 31 Flavors in Redondo Beach. Hap remained best friends with Donald, but as far as I was concerned the divorce was final. As I look back, I should’ve asked Donald to work together on shortboard designs, using both our names but I was way too immature and wouldn’t reach puberty for several more years.
Again, the entire article is well worth a read. Purpus’ account also makes me wonder if any of Donald’s short run of Jacobs vee-bottoms have survived! I have personally never seen or even heard of one existing, but needless to say, a Jacobs Takayama vee bottom would make an incredibly rare and special board.
Here is a link to the Jacobs Mike Purpus V that is currently being offered for sale on Craigslist. The seller is asking $1700. One other little tidbit that I was unable to confirm: apparently, at some point the board belonged to Gene Cooper! Whoever previously owned the board, the Jacobs Mike Purpus V is a very cool piece of California and Australian surf history.
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.