Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a quick glimpse at an interesting Transition Era board from a classic California surfboard label: that’s right, a vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom that was likely shaped during the late Sixties.
While the Transition Era took place only over a few short years, a whole lot of experimentation was condensed into this time in history. I am a huge fan of v bottom boards in general, although this has more to do with their history and how they look than anything else. I have heard mixed things about how v bottoms surf. It’s also worth noting that some well-regarded modern shapers have incorporated the v bottom into modern high performance designs, such as Marc Andreini, Gene Cooper, and Bruce Fowler.
The vintage Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured in this post is currently for sale on Craigslist in Central California. You can find a link to the listing here. First, this is the only Harbour Rapier I have seen that boasts a v bottom. Harbour Surfboards continues to produce the Rapier today. Most versions of the Harbour Rapier I have seen, whether modern or vintage, have the board as a pintail longboard. By contrast, the V Bottom in the post is only 8’6″ in length, a good deal shorter than the longboards produced during the Sixties. See below for pics of a vintage Harbour Rapier, along with the classic “Sea Nymph” logo.
Beyond the rarity of the Harbour Rapier V Bottom featured here, I love a lot of the small details on the board. The creamsicle color scheme is absolutely killer, for starters. I also love the bold black resin lines on the deck, which were fashionable during the Transition Era. The double Harbour triangle logos are a sweet and unusual touch, too. As you can see below, the board also comes complete with a rare W.A.V.E. Set fin.
As of the time this post was being written, the listing for the board is still up, but the board has apparently been sold. The price on the listing was $7,000, but I’m wondering if that was a typo. Even given the unusual nature of the board and its condition, I would have a hard time believing that the Harbour Rapier V Bottom sold for anywhere near that price.
Thanks for reading and you can check out the Craigslist listing here.
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.
According to the Craigslist posting, this board was made in 1972. It’s a beautiful example of a 70s David Nuuhiwa (pictured above on the left) surfboard, and it even comes complete with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin. The seller claims the board is all original, with the exception of a few small repairs. The asking price is $800.
The board above is a trip. It looks to me like a late 1960s Transition Era board, but there is very little information provided with the listing. I haven’t seen many The Greek boards that have sold, but the price (starting bid of $2,700) strikes me as extremely ambitious. There are some very cool details, though: check out the huge logo on the deck, and click through the link for shots of a very trippy fin. I hesitate to call this authentic or make any definitive statements about the board, but I recommend taking a peek at the listing.
Personally, I prefer boards that are as original as possible, even if that means putting up with some discoloration or spots. The board above is a Mike Diffenderfer thruster likely shaped sometime in the 1980s, and restored since then. It measures 6’8″ and the seller is asking $800 for the board. I would say Diff’s most collectible boards were made during the 1970s, but overall his shapes are difficult to find.
For more background on the Con Surfboards CC Rider, please check out the earlier Shred Sledz Deep Dive on the subject. There’s another vintage CC Rider for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. What’s interesting about the board above is that it looks like the dual high-density stringers are not tapered, unlike the other examples I have seen. It’s worth noting the board was also re-glassed at some point, so it is not all-original. The CC Rider above measures in at 9’4″ and the seller is asking $1175.
Greetings, Shredderz! This late night special is brought to you by some insomnia-fueled Craigslist trawling. The focus of today’s post is a vintage Yater longboard that is currently for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the board here. I have included pictures of the board below:
This vintage Yater is interesting for a few reasons. In the first picture you can see the logo says “Reynolds Yater Signature Surfboards.” According to Stoked-n-Board, this logo was produced starting in 1989. However, I believe that is incorrect, due to the fin box. I believe the fin box is an example of a W.A.V.E. Set fin box, which would mean the board was produced in either the late 1960s or early 1970s. The board also comes with what looks like its original fin, which is a nice touch. Stoked-n-Board claims that Yater produced boards with W.A.V.E. Set fin boxes in the early 1970s. As you can see in the last picture, it appears some additional work was done on the fin box. I’m wondering if it wasn’t replaced altogether (see this thread for an excellent step-by-step overview of replacing a leaky W.A.V.E. Set box). Finally, the triple stringer on the Yater board above is an unusual touch. The stringer of choice for a vintage Yater longboard is a wedge stringer.
Finally, I was able to find pictures of another vintage Yater longboard with the same Signature logo. I believe this is another piece of data that indicates the Signature logo was produced sometime during the late 1960s or early 1970s, versus S-n-B’s date of 1989. (Let me be clear: S-n-B is one of the best online resources for info on vintage surfboards, but like anything else, it’s not perfect.)
I was also able to pick up on one small detail regarding the Yater Signature surfboard logo. More recent boards bearing this variant of the logo have a tilde following the Signature. See below for an example from a more recent board. I’m not exactly sure on the date, but it’s a thruster, meaning that it must be post 1981 at a minimum:
You can check out the triple stringer longboard on Craigslist here.
Greetings, Shredderz! I hope this post finds you all well. Today’s post features a surfboard I have long been fascinated with: the Harbour Spherical Revolver. The Spherical Revolver was invented in 1969, according to Harbour’s website. Harbour continues to produce the board today, at lengths ranging from 6’10” to 8″. While the Spherical Revolver has been updated since its genesis in the Transition Era, the board’s MO remains the same: it is intended as a shorter board for longboarders who still want paddling power, but are looking for something a little more maneuverable.
Rich Harbour is California surf royalty, and his vintage boards are very collectible. As is far too frequent when it comes to surfboards, though, it can be hard to find concrete information on prices and history. Even Harbour’s website doesn’t have any details on the history of the Spherical Revolver, other than its creation date. Stoked-n-Board, shockingly, doesn’t even mention the model by name.
As you can see in the advertisement above, the Spherical Revolver was based off an experimental design that was made in collaboration with Mark Martinson. (Side note: Harbour Surfboards has a webpage dedicated to their old ads and it is a must-visit.) Martinson was an early pro who won a bunch of surf contests in the 1960s, and was part of the Harbour Surfboards stable. Martinson continues to shape for Firewire Surfboards today, after stints working as both a commercial fisherman and then shaping for Robert August’s label.
Unfortunately, that is where the trail goes cold. I have no clear information on when the Spherical Revolver was produced, and what specific changes were made to the board between its introduction and its current iteration. It’s a shame, as while many Transition Era boards are derided as being impractical and tough to actually surf, the Spherical Revolver endures today. If you have more info, please drop me a line!
It’s not all bad news, though, as you can still find Spherical Revolvers that pop up for sale on Craigslist and eBay these days. There’s currently one up for grabs in San Diego, California on Cragislist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics below via the Craigslist posting.
The board is 8’1″ and the asking price is $650. I’m reluctant to weigh in on the price, as I have been unable to find any comparisons from boards sold at auction, etc. However, the board above was definitely produced in the late 1960s or so. The first thing you’ll recognize is the awesome, slightly psychedelic logo:
Here’s a Hang Ten ad from Surfer Magazine in 1969 featuring Mark Martinson. You’ll notice he has a Spherical Revolver under his arm in the photo, and the logo is identical to the Craigslist board currently for sale.
One quick note about the board and its logo: in the close-up shot of the board’s logo, you’ll notice there is a small serial number written horizontally (#6670). Nowadays, Rich Harbour signs his hand-shaped boards very clearly. However, I believe this was not the case early on in Harbour’s history. There are other examples of Harbour hand-shaped boards with similar serial number formatting. Kagavi.com interviewed Harbour a few years ago and took a picture of a very collectible 1968 Trestle Special that was hanging from the rafters of the Harbour shop. The Trestle Special was shaped in 1968 and it has serial number #4032. In the case of the Spherical Revolver that is listed for sale, I do not know whether this board was shaped by Rich himself. The Trestle Special documented by Kagavi indicates that there are Harbour handshapes that do not have a signature, but have numbers written horizontally across the stringer.
Finally, the Spherical Revolver for sale on Craigslist comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin and the corresponding fin box. This is as clear a sign as any that the board was made in the 1960s, back when these Tom Morey-designed fin boxes were popular.
It’s too bad there isn’t a definitive history of the Spherical Revolver that is available to fans of Rich Harbour and his surfboards. In the meantime, check out the board that’s for sale listed here.
The Transition Era of surfboard design was a time period marked by widespread experimentation. Oftentimes, these unorthodox approaches could extend beyond just the design of a surfboard. Pictured below is a Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus Model. The board is listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, currently going for $600. Pics are via the Craigslist post, and you can find a link to the board here.
I can’t say the Micro Platypus has the elegance of, say, a Yater nose rider from the same era, but it has an irresistible, freewheeling charm to it. I love the name and the logo, for starters. The board also appears to be in great condition, especially when considering its age. According to Stoked-n-Board, the Micro Platypus was only produced in 1969.
However, the poster lists the Micro Platypus as measuring in at 7’6″, and Stoked-n-Board only has record of Micro Platypus models at either 7’2″ or sub 7′. This is the first and only Micro Platypus I have ever seen, so it’s difficult to say. As always, please drop me a line if you have more info about the board!
There are a bunch of neat design details here as well. Check out everything that’s going on in the nose:
The board comes with an original W.A.V.E. Set fin, which is always a nice touch.
Island Trader Surf Shop has an example of an original Challenger Platypus on their website. You can find a link to that board here. Based on both sets of pics, it’s difficult to compare the outlines of Island Trader’s Challenger Platypus with the Micro Platypus pictured above. However, here’s a shot of the original Platypus logo. Note that there’s no “Micro” above the Platypus logo, and the addition of the “by Challenger Surfboards” script below.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say who may have shaped the Micro Platypus pictured at the top of the page. Island Trader’s original Platypus was shaped by Bobby Thomas, and there’s a Swaylocks thread that indicates Thomas shaped a bunch of these boards. Apparently, Billy Caster — who later founded Caster Surfboards — also churned out some boards for Challenger at this time as well.
The Challenger Surfboards Micro Platypus is going for $600, and you can find the Craigslist posting for the board here.