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.

Hansen Gerry Lopez Logo Shred Sledz
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!

 

Shred Sledz Presents: 5/16 Grab Bag

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

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

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

 

Surfboards Hawaii Semi-Gun by Mike Slingerland (Facebook)

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

 

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

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

 

Gordon & Smith Magic Model (Craigslist — Orlando)

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

Gordon & Smith The Magic Ad

 

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.

 

Bing Takayama

Maybe it’s the 90s hip hop fan in me, but there are few things I enjoy more than a great collaboration.

As far as vintage surfboards go, the Donald Takayama Model for Bing Surfboards has to be up there.

The board pictured above is an example of a Donald Takayama Model, created for Bing Surfboards between 1965 and 1967. It’s currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Orange County, and you can find the board here. The asking price is $1K. This may seem a little steep, but for reference, another Bing Takayama (albeit in perfect condition) recently sold for $5K at auction.

I’m able to notice a few key differences between the board at the top of the post, and then a few other Bing Takayama boards I found online. For the first comparison, see below for pictures of the Bing Takayama that was sold at auction.

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Photos via LiveAuctioneers.com

The second example I was able to find was on usedsurf.jp, which always has great vintage boards for sale (albeit at steep prices, no doubt because the shop is located in Japan). I’ve reproduced those pictures below as well:

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Photos via usedsurf.jp

Now, let’s compare the three boards: the Craigslist board at the top of the post, the auction board, and then the usedsurf.jp board. First, all three of the boards share the same basic outline – a slightly pulled in nose, a triple stringer, and a squash tail in the back. However, the auction and usedsurf.jp boards also have two critical differences: they have large D-fins, as opposed to the Craigslist board’s more raked design; and second, you’ll notice the logos are slightly different. The Craigslist board’s logo has an evenly applied bold outline around the eye-shaped Bing logo; the auction and usedsurf.jp boards have an outline that gets thicker around the right side of the eye.

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Close up of the auction board. Bolding is only on the right side of the eye logo.

Here’s my guess: the D-Fin boards (in this case, the usedsurf.jp and auction boards) were produced at a different date than the non-D-Fin boards (see one at the top of the page). The Craigslist board at the top (non-D-Fin) is dated as 1965. Usedsurf.jp dates its D-fin board to 1967. However: the auction board, also a D-Fin, is dated to 1965. Since the Takayama model was only made between 1965 and 1967, I think one of these dates must be wrong. In other words, I believe at some point Bing must have switched from the non-D-Fin to the D-Fin, or vice versa.

Consider, now, the tiebreaker. Here are two more boards I was able to find online, both of which are dated 1965 and closely resemble the Craigslist board at the top of the page. First, we have a board once listed on eBay (aka the eBay board). I can’t get a close look at the fin, but it looks like the rake fin design (not the D-Fin). Note the logo design and placement. First, it’s the logo that has bolding on right and left. Second, the logo is on the right side of the deck, fairly close to the nose.

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Second is a board that was listed for sale on Cannon Beach Artz. It’s also dated to 1965. It has the same logo and placement as the Craigslist board and the eBay board, not to mention the red tail block visible on the Craigslist board.

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Photo via Cannon Beach Artz

Conclusion? I believe that the earlier run of Bing Takayama boards can be identified by three things: 1) The logo with the bolding on both sides of the “eye”; 2) Placement of the logo (right side of the deck, close to the nose); and 3) A more raked fin design (versus the D-Fin). There are multiple sources that date these boards to 1965. I believe the later model – produced in 1967, but possibly earlier – has the D-Fin, the logo with the bolding only on the right side, and then logo placement further down the board.

If anyone has more info, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, the Craigslist board is still for sale, and you can find it here.

Australia via San Diego: Midget Farrelly and Gordon & Smith

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.

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Farrelly putting it on a rail.

Photo by Dick Graham, taken from his book “The Ride: 1960s and 1970s, A Photo Essay

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.

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Photo by Dick Graham; photo via Farrelly Surfboards

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.

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.

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Photo via surfresearch.com.au

Here’s a close up of the G&S Farrelly Stringerless logo (from a different board).

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Pic via Surfers Japan

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.

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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.

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Photo via G&S

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.

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Photo via G&S

I’ve found pictures of the Farrelly V Bottom model elsewhere online, and here are a few examples. In this one below you’ll note that it has a tunnel fin, which I believe was added afterwards.

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Photo via Gbase

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.

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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.

Shred Sledz Presents: Mid-Week Grab Bag

Greetings, Shredderz! As always, here’s a little selection of some cool boards you can find for sale online.

Bing Bonzer on Craigslist (San Diego)

This thing is 8′4″ and it’s got all the cool branding you would expect from this unique Campbell Bros / Bing collaboration. However, there’s some discoloration going on. Check out the Bonzer-branded glass on fins, though!

Greg Noll Mini Gun on Craigslist (Sarasota, Florida)

This thing is pretty trashed, honestly. I don’t think it’s worth buying. Nonetheless, it includes a good close up picture of the Mini Gun logo. More than anything else this is a great opportunity to share some cool older surfboard logos. Click through only if you won’t be triggered by the sight of a collectible surfboard that has been abused throughout its lifetime.

Greg Noll 1950s Longboard on Craigslist (San Diego)

This board is no spring chicken either. Same deal with the other Greg Noll board listed above – just look at the cool logo. This is a rare variant that has Noll holding a camera while riding (you can see that it actually rads “Surf boards and film productions.”) One interesting tidbit is that Stoked-n-Board has the filming logo corresponding to the late 50s, but the actual green logo as being in the 1960s.

Daytona Formula V on Craigslist (West Palm Beach, Florida)

This is a really cool looking vee bottom board. I don’t think Daytona was a particularly notable Florida label, but I’ve never seen one of these before. It’s in decent condition, maybe a little pricey at $300, but I love these cool vee bottom transitional boards.

Skip Frye Gordon & Smith Longboard on Craigslist (San Diego)

If you’re wondering why the link is missing…this thing was taken down very quickly! Someone jumped on this bad boy. It was going for $500. I couldn’t get a good idea of the condition but I tend to think these boards are quite collectible.