Looking for some board and shaper history

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ezshippingguru's picture
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Looking for some board and shaper history

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Hey guys found this board at the GF's uncles house this weekend and was looking for some history on the artist and shaper. As well as any possible estimated value?

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Huck's picture
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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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I'm gonna guess Clyde Beatty with Griffin-esque artwork.

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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Haha sorry huck, should have been more specific. are these rare, does the art work add any value to the board? was clyde a shaper of any real interest? Just trying to find out if its a lost gem or just an old board like any other old board.

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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ezshippingguru wrote:


Haha sorry huck, should have been more specific. are these rare, does the art work add any value to the board? was clyde a shaper of any real interest? Just trying to find out if its a lost gem or just an old board like any other old board.



Well, Yeah, Clyde is a shaper of real interest.  Google Clyde Beatty Jr., read up.  Rumor has it he has moved to Asia, and is teaching 'em how to make surfboards to undercut the American market.  I don't know if its true, or if it would tarnish his star, as it were.  He's definitely an accomplished shaper who has earned a spot in the history of the surfboard.


I'm sure there are other guys here who could pin down the value of your board better than I could, but I would say Yes, you have something there.  The photos don't show the whole board very well.


As far as the artwork - its an obvious copy of a Rick Griffin work that accompanied the 1970 movie Pacific Vibrations.  From the photo, it doesn't look to me like the quality I would expect if Rick Griffin had done it (just compare with Rick's work below), so its probably just a decorative copy.  Had Rick Griffin painted it, the value would skyrocket accordingly.  Rick's original work is very sought after.  If it was a copy signed by an artist who later went on to make some kind of name for himself, then that would also figure in.


So I'll hazard a guess that your board is probably early to mid 1970's, the wide point forward, narrow pin (or diamond) tail single fin was a prevalent shape at that time.


In the final analysis, the value is what the buyer will pay.  Research vintage Clyde Beatty surfboards, see what they're selling for, or listing for, to give you an idea what you might ask, or put it up for auction and see what happens.



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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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I'd say huckleberry is right on all counts. Someone spent a lot of time on that airbrush, but it certainly isn't Griffin's work

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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wow thats really interesting! Thanks huck! Also the artwork is signed by beatty as well and it is a dove/swallow tail something along those lines. so yeah i dont know how well clyde was known for his artwork but he def. spent a good amount of time on this one!

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ezshippingguru wrote:


wow thats really interesting! Thanks huck! Also the artwork is signed by beatty as well and it is a dove/swallow tail something along those lines. so yeah i dont know how well clyde was known for his artwork but he def. spent a good amount of time on this one!




The Clyde Beatty Rocket Fish is his trademark shape, your board is probably an example of his early interest in the split tail.  Have you checked to verify the signature is Clyde Beatty Jr.'s?


The split swallow tail probably adds to the "collectible" value, as does the fact that it was also airbrushed by the shaper (but not as much as a Griffin airbrush would, obviously).  Clean it up and hang it on the wall, or, if you're as strapped for cash as me, put it up for auction!  From what the photo shows, it seems to have survived remarkably well.

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Regardless of its 'value,' that's a very cool old board.  Mike

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Oh, and what I recall about Beatty.  He is an excellent surfer, one of the early  rocket fish guys, and I believe one of the first west coast guys to go with eps/epoxy builds  commercially.  Mike

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Most of what everyone is saying is spot on. Clyde is an accomplished surfer (goofyfoot), a very talented artist, and spent years in England developing the EPS epoxy growth of surfboards then returning to the states to develop the Hydro Foam (EPS) label using SP115 Epoxy resin systems at the "Lite Wave"Factory in a partnership of sorts with Rod Shaver in downtown Santa Barbara between Haley & Gutierrez Streets. The shaping was predominantly done by Steve Brom and John Bradbury. He later began using Greg Loehr's "RR" epoxy and was an important and  long time customer of GL's.

I have no doubt that the signature is Clyde's and I am nearly certain that he would have done the airbrush homage to Griffin. I expect that someone requested a knockoff as an ordered custom board, as it would not have been Clyde's nature to do a copy when he is an extremely talented and imaginative artist on his own.

In later years Clyde took over the historical Yater factory that was located for many years on Gray Avenue. That building was, and is, owned by the Castagnola family, a group of 8 fisherman who came to this country from Italy.  They were hard working, enterprising fisherman that allowed them to invest in real estate and purchase substantial land holdings in early day Santa Barbara. Sonny Castagnola once told me that the building that housed Yater and then Beatty, was only built after they approached Yater and told him "if you design a building you want to build your surfboards in, we will build it for you".

This resulted in Yater moving into a building of his own design in which he stayed for decades until he wanted to change things up in his life and it was offered to Clyde. Clyde told me while I was working as one of the shapers doing his label, that, although he could have gotten a cheaper square footage in Goleta, he decided upon the Gray Avenue site because it had always been a surfboard factory and had some distinct advantages grandfathered in with the City of Santa Barbara. An additional building was added a half block down the street, a large quonset hut that was exclusively dedicated to shaping. The hut housed, Renny and Lauren Yater, Steve Brom, Max McDonald, Kevin Mc Clelland, and myself..... each having our own individual shaping bays, blank storage and a large bay door that allowed easy loading and off loading of raw, machined, and handshaped blanks. That building fell prey to development and everyone was forced to relocate. Renny ended up off Milpas Street while others stayed with Clyde in a new site on nearby Santa Barbara Street. All of these buildings were located in what is known as "The Funk Zone", an area designated and filled with artists, craftsmen, designers, and other creative and eclectic types.

In a tough economic downturn, Clyde eventually faced the decision to downsize and began considering  making a move to Asia, as so many others have. He kept the factory here (minus the quonset hut & second shaping building) with a skeleton crew of longtime employees Pancho, his father Alvaro (sp?) and Mike Noonan who worked retail sales and oversaw operations. I shaped there briefly, in the aftermath, but it was a very sad feeling I got, sort of similar to going to a small town where the steel mill had shut down.

Renny had moved over to his site off Milpas Street, and began doing some exciting art pieces utilizing extensive abalone inlay with a gifted local artist. Clyde continued to develop his business dealings in Asia with occasional trips back here. Those trips became less frequent and the factory was finally closed out for good about 2 or 3 years ago.

Clyde's greatest claim to fame is The Rocket Fish. He and I were long time friends and although I have my own feelings about why he decided to make a move to Asia, I understand that he truly felt it was his best option.

Sometimes life hands you lemons, and you have to learn to make lemonade. Both of us are pursuing our passion in different ways from opposite ends of the earth, but the passion remains nonetheless...

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Your missing a top shot of the board.

A roaring lion logo is Beatty.

Yeah, Beatty also was located in Santa Barbara, but before that he was located in Culver City, CA during his Rocket Fish heyday.

Across the street from MGM Studios, where his father was in the movies a generation earlier as a .....'lion tamer'.

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Quite correct. Clyde Beatty Sr. was one of THE famous lion tamers known for some first ever's in that field of entertainment. Like the first to stick his head into the mouth of a lion.  He was much publicized and became a darling with many celebrities. I believe I read somewhere that he frequented Randolph Hearst's parties in Central California. 

There was also the "Clyde Beatty Circus" that was still touring in Europe. I recall Clyde leaving to make an appearnace one time. Kinda funny, when his hair grew long, I always thought he would make the perfect clown. 

We had a lotta fun back then. 

Good memories resist fading.

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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Hey guys!

Sorry for the late response! Thanks to all you guys for the great info, after researching the board and checking out the art work on some of clyde's other boards I think this might be one worth resporing and hanging for sure! Oh and the top side does have the roaring tiger logo! Oh and thanks Deadshaper for checking out the signature!

Johnny

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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You may be intererestedin this old thread

Rocket fish article

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Re: [ezshippingguru] Looking for some board and shaper ...

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The asian connection.. there have been boards in the surfshops in Bali bearing the "Clyde Beatty Rocket Fish" logo for the last coupla years..