Ken Bradshaw 80s Thruster Redux

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Beautiful example of a 1980s Ken Bradshaw shape. Pic via eBay

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is going to revisit a shaper / surfer I covered recently: native Texan turned Hawaiian big wave charger Ken Bradshaw. You can see my original post here. This time, my post will be focused on the market for Bradshaw’s boards, and the prices that are being fetched.

The board pictured above is a Ken Bradshaw thruster, shaped sometime in the 1980s, that is currently for sale on eBay. You can find a link to the board here. As of the time of this post, the bidding was a little over $200, with less than six days until the auction ends.

The original Ken Bradshaw post on this site featured a very similar board that went for sale a few months ago. I have posted a picture below.

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I first wrote about this board a few weeks back. Link to the original post here. Pic via eBay

Both of these boards were originally sold by the same seller (eBay username cashjack). The blue board above was sold less than two months ago, and the final sale price was $725. You can find a link to the blue board’s original eBay auction here.

 

The blue board has actually been re-listed on eBay. The board has a Buy it Now price of $1500 — almost double its original closing price. I suspect the original buyer is now trying to flip the blue board for a quick profit. In fact, the new listing (link here) contains the exact same description as the original one! The new seller, unlike cashjack, looks more like a professional eBay seller than a surfboard collector. I don’t know that the blue Bradshaw will command $1500, but it will be interesting to watch.

Likewise, it will be interesting to see what the red board sells for. I personally prefer the look of the red board, with the distinctly 80s wave design on the deck.

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This is not the most subtle spray job I have seen on a surfboard…and I like it! Pic via eBay

One thing to note about the red board is that it does not have a Bradshaw signature on it. I don’t know enough to say whether or not this means the board was shaped by someone other than Bradshaw. Contrast this with the blue board, which has a clear Bradshaw signature on the stringer:

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Ken Bradshaw signature. Pic via eBay

Finally, there’s a third Bradshaw board up for sale on eBay. You can find the link to the board here. This one isn’t in nearly the same condition as either of the two boards posted above, and as a result, I expect it to command a much cheaper price. Buy it Now price is $175. As much as I like this board — I love the rainbow gradient logos on the deck — it’s simply not in the same class as either of the other boards. There are also some dings that need repairs.

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Yet another Ken Bradshaw thruster. This one is only 5’9″, and you can see it has some yellowing that is expected given its likely age. Pic via eBay

I’m curious to see where final prices will end up for all three of these boards. As always, boards with distinctive 80s spray jobs seem to command a premium. Check out the listings on eBay and, as always, Happy Shredding!

Shred Sledz Social Media Roundup (June 12)

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a collection of some of the coolest boards I’ve seen floating around online as of late.

@Yater

A post shared by Robert Stassi (@robertstassi) on

How cool is this thing?! Yater was the subject of my most recent post, but I might like the board above even more. I can’t be for sure, but it looks to have a bit of a vee bottom. The outline of this board is very reminiscent of some Liddle and Andreini hulls. The fin — both its rake and its placement — reminds me of Liddle’s boards. The overall outline is reminiscent of Andreini’s Vaquero model.

Hull aficionado Kirk Putnam has an excellent pic on his blog that traces the lineage of Andreini and Liddle’s shapes back to George Greenough. I’ve added the picture below. Liddle’s board is at top, and the next two are Andreini Vaqueros. The fourth board from the top is a Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom shaped by John Price, and the board at the bottom is a Midget Farrelly stringerless vee bottom with a Greenough logo. I had been aware of Greenough’s influence on Andreini and Liddle, but had no idea that Yater had tried out some of these shapes as well. Andreini has made no secret of his admiration of Yater, and it’s cool to see a shape that combines the Greenough school of displacement hulls, and Yater’s more traditional side of California board building.

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A partial shot of Kirk Putnam’s quiver. Pic via kp’s round up

For more on the subject, I urge you to check out Putnam’s blog. If you’re prone to quiver jealousy, though, his Instagram feed might push you over the edge!

 

Lopez’s boards for Lightning Bolt are by far the most collectible, but it seems like there’s a growing interest in some of his more obscure shapes. Pictured above is an extra clean example of Lopez’s signature model that he produced for Hansen in the late 1960s. What’s interesting about that board is that it actually featured two different logos. There’s an example of a different Hansen / Lopez board that was recently sold on eBay. It has the alternate logo, which I have reproduced below.

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Note the different logos in the two Hansen / Lopez boards. The first one says “By Gerry Lopez”, and the second has “Designed By Gerry Lopez.” In addition, you’ll notice the Hansen logos themselves are very different. Pic via eBay

 

Bird Huffman is a San Diego fixture. He runs Bird’s Surf Shed, where he oversees an ungodly stash of vintage boards. Here Bird has come across two awesome early examples of boards from two separate San Diego craftsmen: Skip Frye and Steve Lis. Make sure you click through all the pictures in the gallery above. The Frye is very similar to the Select Surf Shop single fin I posted about recently, down to the glassed on wooden fin. I love the Frye wings logo towards the tail — never seen that placement before.

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Skip Frye Single Fin with Select Surf Shop laminate. Look at the sharp wings in the tail. Pic via Craigslist

The Lis board is a funky shape, given that it’s a wing pin single fin, and Lis is best known for his fish designs. Make sure you follow Bird on Instagram, as he has been posting updates on the Lis board as he gets them!

 

Surf Line Hawaii: Shred Sledz Deep Dive

Greetings, Shredderz, and welcome to the latest Shred Sledz Deep Dive!

Today’s Deep Dive features a venerable Hawaiian surf brand that has long deserved a closer look: Surf Line Hawaii. Before I get into the history, though, let’s skip right to the good stuff: pictures of awesome surfboards.

 The board that first caught my eye is a single fin shaped by none other than respected Hawaiian shaper Dennis Pang. Pang got his start at Surf Line Hawaii in 1976, before moving on to some of the most recognizable Hawaiian brands, like Lightning Bolt, Town & Country, and Local Motion. The board below was originally listed on eBay (pics originally found on the eBay post).

This thing is clean and mean. I love the black & white color scheme and the pinelines, with just a touch of color on the logos on both rails. I was a bit stunned when the board didn’t sell for $450, considering that another Surf Line board by Dennis Pang sold for $1800 ten years ago!

Surf Line Hawaii began as a surf shop on Oahu. It was founded by Dave Rochlen, and I believe Fred Swartz as well. By the time the shortboard revolution started in earnest, the shop began to put out boards under its own label.

I was blown away when I saw all the well-regarded shapers who passed through Surf Line over the years. According to Stoked-n-Board, Ben Aipa, Randy Rarick, Tom Parrish and Michel Junod, in addition to the aforementioned Dennis Pang, all shaped for Surf Line at some point!

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Aipa for Surf Line Hawaii. Board was made for Tony Moniz in 1981. Tony is a former pro and father to Josh and Seth, two up-and-coming Hawaiian pros in their own right. Pic taken from Boardcollector.com

However, I was even more shocked when I found out that Lightning Bolt’s famed core group — Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni — were all early Surf Line shapers. Lopez actually spent some time working in Surf Line’s offices on the business side.

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Gerry Lopez working at his “first real job” in the Surf Line Hawaii offices on Oahu, 1972. Picture via Gerry’s personal website.

Here is a great Surfer Magazine interview with Tom Parrish that expands on how a bunch of Surf Line employees broke away to found Lightning Bolt. Bolt was founded by Lopez and Jack Shipley, who was Surf Line’s top salesman at the time. Shortly thereafter, Lopez and Shipley were followed out the door by Reno, Barry, and co. It’s really saying something when it’s hard to find space to mention Dick Brewer‘s involvement with the brand, as well!

The board pictured below was shaped by Barry Kanaiaupuni. It was sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007, where it went for a mere $1,000 (anyone have a time machine handy?) Pics were taken from the auction site (original link here). I love everything about this board: the listing calls the bottom a “root beer” color, the purple fin pops, and I love the logo, with its clean lines and two-tone color job.

After Lopez left to found Lightning Bolt, Buddy Dumphy took the lead on shaping boards at Surf Line. Lopez writes about Dumphy in his memoir “Surf Is Where You Find It”. Patagonia’s website has a great excerpt from Lopez’s memoir, “Surf is Where You Find It”, where Lopez describes his early friendship with Dumphy and their early experiences riding new surfboard designs.

I’m fascinated by Dumphy’s boards. While they seem to be coveted by a segment of collectors, Dumphy shapes don’t seem to generate the same excitement as those from shapers like Barry K, Reno, and of course Gerry himself. Still, Lopez’s respect for Dumphy speaks volumes about his abilities as a shaper. Sadly, Dumphy passed away as the result of a car accident sometime in the 1990s.

The single coolest Dumphy board I was able to find online was posted by HolySmoke.jp. I have no clue if the board is for sale but that airbrush is absolutely killer!

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The 70s were a great decade for surfboard airbrushes…

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Here’s another Dumphy single fin, which was also sold at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction in 2007. I love the plumeria logo on the deck. It looks like this thing was shaped in the 70s for some serious North Shore surf. Pics taken from the original auction listing.

 

I was able to find a few Dumphy boards currently for sale online. There’s one currently for sale at New Jersey’s Brighton Beach Surf Shop, and it’s only listed at $450. Link to the board can be found here. I think it’s underpriced, considering the history of both the brand and Dumphy, but then again, the Pang board at the top of the page failed to clear the same $450 mark.

Surfboardhoard.com has a different Dumphy Surf Line Hawaii single fin for sale, but they don’t list the price. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s north of $450. You can find that board here.

Surf Line Hawaii has such a rich history and a deep stable of shapers, it makes it hard to spotlight just a few boards! Standard Store / UsedSurf.jp are selling two other 70s single fins. Note that because the boards are in Japan, the prices are much higher. But they illustrate the wide variety of cool logos that Surf Line employed throughout the years. Boards can be found here and here (pictures below taken from Usedsurf.jp). The boards are credited to Steve Wilson / Welson (guessing the difference is a translation issue), but I couldn’t find any evidence of a shaper by that name. If anyone has some details, let me know!

 

Finally, no Surf Line Hawaii post would be complete without a mention of Randy Rarick. In addition to organizing the Triple Crown of Surfing, putting on auctions like the aforementioned Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction, Rarick restores old surfboards. There is currently a Surf Line Hawaii board for sale on eBay that Rarick restored. The board is not a Rarick shape, but rather, it was made in 1971 by Ryan Dotson. You can find a link to the board here, and I have included some pictures below as well. (Pictures are from the eBay listing.)

 

Believe it or not, I haven’t even covered all of the Surf Line Hawaii shapers, like Rick Irons and Sparky Scheufele! If nothing else, that speaks to the incredibly deep collection of shapers that passed through the brand over the years. Sadly, Surf Line Hawaii no longer seems to be in business. It seems as if they stopped producing surfboards long ago (I would guess sometime in the 1980s or 1990s, but that is just a guess), and a Yelp listing indicates that Surf Line’s Honolulu retail location has closed, too.

Nonetheless, Surf Line Hawaii played a prominent role in the Hawaiian surf scene, and remains one of the most impressive collections of shaping talent ever.

I hope you enjoyed this Deep Dive! If you have any pictures of any Surf Line boards you would like to share, or any comments at all, please reach out via the Contact section. Thank you for reading, and may your stoke levels remain high and rising!

Featured Image at top from @aipasurf on Instagram. Original link to photo here.

Skip Frye Single Fin for Select Surf Shop

Skip Frye is a San Diego shaper whose boards are a surf-themed lesson in supply and demand. To even place an order one must have Frye’s blessing, and as a result, there’s a healthy market for Frye’s boards whenever they hit the second market.

Pictured above is a unique single fin Frye shaped in the late 1970s. The board is currently being listed for sale on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, a decent ways up the coast from its home in San Diego. (Pictures above were taken from the Craigslist post, which can be found here). The asking price is $1100. That is a lot of money for a surfboard — especially one that has some dings that need fixing — but I think it’s fair, considering this is a Skip Frye board, and a unique one at that.

What really stands out to me is the “Select Surf Shop: Pacific Beach” graphic on top of Frye’s famous and timeless wings logo. The biography section on Frye’s website tells the story of how, after leaving Gordon & Smith in the mid 1970s, Frye struck out on his own, shaping in a room located behind Select Surf Shop.

The poster claims this board was shaped in the late 1970s, and this matches up with the timelines given on Frye’s own website. By 1980, Frye was back at Gordon & Smith once again, shaping boards for their label (though he may have also been shaping for himself as well; I am not sure of that).

Other aspects of the board point to the 70s, too: consider all the foam up front in the beaked nose, the wing pin design towards the back, and the glassed-on fin. I wonder if the leash plug was added after the fact, however. I don’t see a signature anywhere on the board, though I wouldn’t read too much into that. By way of contrast, Surfy Surfy, to no one’s surprise, has a great example of a Frye board from a similar era, which does have some signatures on the stringer. See below for pictures of Surfy Surfy’s 70s Frye (pics below via Surfy Surfy’s fantastic blog).

 

Returning to the board pictured at the top of the page, there’s also a chance that the “Select Surf Shop” logo is not underneath the glass, but on top of it. I tend to think this isn’t the case. The logos are very close together, and at the very least, Frye had an association with Select Surf Shop dating back to when this board was likely produced. As always ,though, if you have any more information on the board, I would love to hear it!

Check out the Craigslist link here.

 

How to Tell if Al Merrick Shaped Your Channel Islands Surfboard

There’s no debate about it: Al Merrick is one of the most influential surfboard shapers of all time. And in less than a month, Merrick will be honored at the most excellent Boardroom Show in Del Mar, California, as part of its Icons of Foam series.

Merrick founded Channel Islands Surfboards, which I believe is the single largest surfboard producer in the world today. Al’s son, Britt, has continued to put CI boards underneath the feet of the world’s top pros.

But if you’re a surfboard collector in search of the genuine article, there are a few helpful ways to identify whether or not a CI board was actually shaped by Al, or if it’s one of the far more plentiful production versions that can be found in surf shops around the globe. There are a few vintage boards currently for sale online that I will be featuring below, to illustrate the variety of options available to would-be CI collectors.

Channel Islands Board #1: 6’1″ Vintage 1980s Channel Islands Thruster (eBay)

This is a classic 1980s Channel Islands thruster with great neon lams, and nice vintage touches like the glass on fins and then the logos along the rails. You’ll also notice a slight bump in the tail, which is a common template for CI’s 80s boards. I love these boards, and my personal opinion is that they are only going to become more collectible over time. The asking price for this board is $200, which might be a little pricey considering the condition, but isn’t outrageous. Link to the board is here.

However, Board #1 is not an Al Merrick hand shape. See below for a picture of the signature, which does not have Al’s name next to the distinctive fish icon:

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Continue reading to see some examples of genuine Merrick hand shapes…

Continue reading “How to Tell if Al Merrick Shaped Your Channel Islands Surfboard”

Acid Splash: Challenger Formula Micro Vee Redux

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your weekend is upon you, or not too far off.

Today brings us another piece of transitional era surfboard design funkiness. It’s a board I have written about before: the Challenger Formula Micro Vee.

There are actually two versions of this board that are currently for sale online.

Acid Splash Board: 8′ x 23″ (Pics via Craigslist)

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.

Continue reading “Acid Splash: Challenger Formula Micro Vee Redux”

Z-Boy Original

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I’ve been meaning to do a longer feature on Zephyr, the famed Los Angeles surf shop, which later became ground zero for Venice Beach’s surf and skate scene, as immortalized in the Stacey Peralta documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys.” In the meantime, though, a pretty fantastic example of a genuine Jeff Ho board has come up for sale on Craigslist, and I’m afraid that kind of heat can’t afford to wait for anyone, much less the overworked and underpaid Shred Sledz editorial team!

The board pictured above is a 1973 Zephyr / Jeff Ho single fin that can currently be found for sale on Craigslist in San Francisco (link here). I want to say the board is all original, but as always, buyer beware, and there’s no way of knowing the full extent of its condition unless you see it in person. With that said, check out that crazy fin! Sadly, such quality comes at a pretty steep price: the poster is asking $3,500 for the board. Original Zephyr boards are insanely collectible and difficult to come by.

As nuts as it sounds, I don’t think this is an outrageous price for the board. For example, here is another Jeff Ho Zephyr board that sold for $4,100 at auction recently. The auction board, pictured below, likely commands more of a premium considering the paint job from renowned artist C.R. Stecyk, but it’s a good data point nonetheless.

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Jeff Ho Zephyr Single Fin with C.R. Stecyk airbrush. Pic via Vintage Surf Auction

If you’re interested in the Zephyr board that’s currently for sale, you can find it here.