It’s coming soon, kids! The California Gold Surf Auction is going to rear its head around these parts pretty soon, and you can always count on those folks bringing out the heat. Pictured above is an Owl Chapman gun alongside a Yater single fin bearing the super rare Yater Hawaii laminate.
I thought the most recent Star Wars flick was just decent, but Herbie Fletcher’s incredible sci fi airbrush above gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from the Shred Sledz editorial staff. Love the look of the board, too: I’ve seen a lot of Herbie’s squared off noseriders, but I haven’t seen nearly as many of his shorter single fins with the same design.
You know how incredible this snap is? Imagine, for a moment, a surfing maneuver so radical and boundary-defining that it even grants the surfer a free pass for wearing the footwear TC’s rocking in that picture. I kid, I kid, because Carroll has heaps of style where it actually counts: in the water and on the most critical parts of the wave. I love that he’s posing with the board in question, which, despite the Byrne laminates, was actually shaped by Pat Rawson. You can see Rawson’s signature on the tail.
Few things warm the cold hearts of Shred Sledz’s crack editorial team like surfboards from the eighties, and especially boards associated with the infamous Echo Beach scene. Technically a stretch of sand in Newport Beach, Echo Beach has come to encapsulate the bright colors and over-the-top personalities of pro surfing in the eighties. Echo Beach is remembered fondly today, and that affection is reflected in the high prices commanded by pristine examples of Schroff, Wave Tools and Stussy surfboards. However, earlier boards from some of these shapers — Schroff and Wave Tools in particular — can be had at cheaper prices. This post will explore some recent listings of pre-Echo Beach boards. Pictured below is an earlier Schroff twin fin that recently sold on eBay for $436 with no shipping.
Now, $400 for a used surfboard isn’t cheap, especially one that has signs of wear and tear. But I believe the Schroff twin fin above is priced cheaper to its equivalents from the Echo Beach era. The board has some yellowing, and there are some repairs throughout, including an area in the tail. You’ll notice that the board lacks the black & white Schroff parallelogram logo from the 1980s, and bears the older Schroff script logo instead. The starfish logo is a throwback to Hanifin Surf Shop, owned by Pat Hanifin, where Schroff got his start. See below for an example of a board from around 1972, as estimated by Pimp himself. On top you’ll see the Hanifin starfish logo, and beneath it an extremely early hand-drawn Schroff Designs logo!
I recently wrote up a separate Schroff twin fin that also sold on eBay. That board, pictured below, ended up selling for $388. Again, the red Schroff twin fin below doesn’t have the attributes of the most desirable Schroff boards from the 80s — black & white logo, “Blaster” laminates, geometric airbrush graphics — but given the bright colors and the good condition, I’m still amazed it sold for less than $400. As a bonus, there was a recent Schroff single fin (from the same seller as the red Schroff twin fin) that sold for a mere $380, which I estimated would go for almost double.
In summary, I am pleasantly surprised by the relative affordability of some pre-Echo Beach Schroff surfboards. Now, standard caveats about surfboard prices supply, given that only a handful of boards sell for any period of time, and there’s no way to keep track of private sales, which is how I suspect many of the real gems trade hands. Nonetheless, if eBay is any indication, there are some beautiful Schroff boards from the late 1970s and early 1980s that can be had at decent prices.
One sees a similar trend with Wave Tools, where pre-Echo Beach Lance Collins boards can often go for much cheaper prices than the 80s versions. A few months ago I wrote a post about a vintage Wave Tools single fin that was being sold at $275. There is a nearly identical Wave Tools single fin being listed for sale on eBay, which you can see below.
The yellow Wave Tools single fin isn’t in great condition by any stretch. I have excluded pics that show some ugly repairs on the rails, and there are some open wounds on the board, too. The price on the yellow Wave Tools single fin has dropped a few times, and it can currently be yours for $200. The relatively poor condition of the board makes a straight apples to apples comparison a little more difficult. Even so, there’s a classic 80s Wave Tools twin fin that’s currently for sale on eBay, and the seller is asking $850, even with some discoloration on the deck.
While Lance Collins will forever be associated with Wave Tools, you can also find boards he shaped under different labels. The prices on non-Wave Tools Lance Collins boards are also a bit cheaper, but again, this isn’t scientific. Here is a Hot Lips sting shaped by Lance, and we also wrote up a Jack’s Surfboards single fin he made.
One small note about the numbering scheme on the Wave Tools single fin: the yellow board above is numbered #0678, and the previous board was numbered #0685. I’m not sure how Lance numbered his boards, but it appears that the two Wave Tools single fins were created within the same time period.
Finally, if you have a pre-Echo Beach Schroff twin fin or a Wave Tools single fin you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
The sting design has a special place in the hearts of the Shred Sledz editorial staff. Any story about the sting must start and end with Ben Aipa, who created the shape. That said, here at Shred Sledz HQ there’s a deep appreciation for other shapers’ takes on the sting. (One of my all-time favorites is this 1970s Con Surfboards sting with a sweet step tail.) Today’s post features a sting from Mike Purpus’ Hot Lips Designs label, shaped by none other than Lance Collins of Wave Tools fame.
The Hot Lips surfboard pictured above is currently listed for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles. You can find the for sale link here. It was also posted on a Swaylocks thread about a month ago.
What is there to say about the Hot Lips Designs logo, other than it is delightfully loud and tacky? Hot Lips Designs was the brainchild of Mike Purpus, the South Bay surfer who shot to fame in the 1970s. It’s a fitting name for a surfboard label founded by a guy who posed for Playgirl magazine (yes, seriously).
It’s unclear to me whether or not Purpus actually shaped for Hot Lips, or whether the brand was meant to capitalize on his fame at the time. Regardless, Purpus clearly had an affinity for the sting design. Check out the photo below, via the Australian National Surfing Museum, that features another Hot Lips sting. If you click through to the Facebook link, you’ll see that Purpus himself has commented on the post, and dates the board below to 1977.
Here’s a photo of the Hot Lips team taken during the early 1970s, featuring an array of designs, including more than a few stings. You can see Purpus in the middle, standing above a sting. (Purpus’ affinity for racy airbrushes on his boards is well-documented.)
Likewise, Lance Collins also has some history with the sting design. Board Collector has some incredible pictures of some pre-Echo Beach era stings that Lance Collins shaped for Danny Kwock and others, one of which I have included below. Board Collector is a must-read website for anyone with an interest in vintage surfboards.
A little over a week ago I featured a surfboard shaped by Lance Collins for Jack’s. The questions in the post about the Lance Collins / Jack’s Surfboards single fin apply here as well. In other words, it appears as if Collins was shaping boards for other brands like Jack’s and Hot Lips, even while his Wave Tools brand was up and running, and I’m not sure why that would be the case.
The Hot Lips Lance Collins sting at the top of the page is listed at $800. One word of caution: the board needs a lot of work, including around the fin box. The seller was kind enough to include detailed pictures of the damage, so hit the Craigslist listing for more.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today I’d like to feature another board from Los Angeles Craigslist celebrity Jeff in LA. Jeff always sells an interesting selection of boards, and today he has come through with a fascinating piece of history: a vintage Wave Tools surfboard. To be specific, it’s a Lance Collins single fin shaped sometime in the 1970s. You can find a link to the Craigslist post here. Pics below via Craigslist.
The board clocks in a generous 6’9″ x 19-1/4″ x 2-3/4″. The tail looks like it’s halfway between a diamond tail and a pintail. There are some lovely pin lines on the board, but some work will be required to get this thing looking right. I’m unsure if the streaks in the blue airbrush on the deck are intentional. The board also has a clear Lance Collins signature. It looks like the signature might be on top of the glass.
The coolest thing about this board is that it sports a vintage Wave Tools logo. Check the picture below:
Stoked-n-Board’s Wave Tools entry says this logo was produced between 1971 and 1974. However, I think that might be slightly wrong. The main counterpoint is that Icons of Surf is currently selling a few replicas of vintage Wave Tools surfboards, which you can find here. Icons dates all of the replicas to 1975. As you can see in the picture below, the replicas all have logos identical to the one on Jeff’s board above. In conclusion, I think the Wave Tools logo above was produced into 1975.
It’s interesting to compare the dimensions of the replicas to the original board at the top of the page. First, none of the replicas have the pin / diamond tail setup of the original board; they either have round pintails, like the one above, or swallow tails. Second, the original board is 6’9″ x 19-1/4″ x 2-3/4″. The replica that’s closest in size is the green one immediately above this paragraph; the green board’s dimensions are 6’8″ x 20″ x 3-5/16″. The increase in thickness from the original board to the recent replica is pretty eye-popping.
Finally, I’d like to share some thoughts on the collectibility of vintage Wave Tools surfboard. I believe 80s boards with elaborate logo laminations and outrageous spray jobs will continue to command premiums, like Jeff Parker model twin fins. Nonetheless, I wonder if the 1970s predecessors to the infamous Echo Beach models will continue to increase in value. For example, there’s a beautiful Schroff single fin for sale on eBay that’s being listed at $300, with three days still left in bidding at the time this post was written. I’d be surprised if that thing closes for anything south of $650 or $700, despite having an older logo and none of the features of the most coveted Schroff designs (caveat: these are the not-so educated guesses of a man who writes about old surfboards in his free time, so take that with a grain of salt). All of this is a long way of saying that the board at the top of the page is going for $275, which I think is a pretty great deal. Again, the vintage Wave Tools surfboard featured here will require some repairs, but as they say, they’re not making any more of these bad boys.
It’s a scientifically proven fact that you can’t go wrong posting pictures of vintage Lightning Bolt boards. And sure, the thing has a bit of water damage, but I much prefer old boards with some character than a lot of the full-blown restoration jobs that prioritize aesthetics over preservation. But I digress. No matter where your preferences might lie, Gerry Lopez was and will always be the man.
Another proven fact: there is no such thing as too much neon. This here is a selection of some primo Echo Beach vehicles, courtesy Lance Collins of Wave Tools, and Peter Schroff of Schroff Surfboards. Love the Team lams on the Wave Tools boards to the right.
Click “Continue Reading” below for some more selections…
Hope all you Shredderz are enjoying the Holidayz. Apologiez (okay, I get it, the z joke is getting old now) for the slowdown in post scheduling, but I’m back in the saddle.
Today’s offering is just a quick hit. Up for grabz (last one, I promise) near Torrance is a Lance Collins / Wave Tools twin fin that was recently posted to Craigslist.
I’m not sure what the exact year of the board is, but I would guess sometime in the late 80s at the earliest. The board looks like it’s a bit later than the neon machines made at the height of Wave Tools’ prominence. As always, the Clark Foam icon indicates that, at the very least, the board pre-dates Clark Foam’s 2005 shutdown. Here’s an example of an earlier Wave Tools Twin Fin, taken from the wonderful Board Collector website.
Speaking of which, I love the huge Clark Foam logo, as garish as it might be. (Then again, Shred Sledz has never been a blog devoted to subtlety in surfcraft design). The “Twin Fin” logo, with the yellow text and the fin outlines, is also one I haven’t seen before. I’m dying to know what’s on the signatures at the bottom of the board, near the left fin. You can always contact the Craigslist seller and see for yourself.