Monday, January 31, 2011

Challenger Eastern Revived? Visit from Tinker...

My Challenger Eastern tailblock & fin
Right before Christmas we had a cool visit from a surfboard building legend...Carl "Tinker" West.  Tinker owned and shaped surfboards for Challenger Eastern Surfboards in Neptune, NJ in the early to mid 1960's.  Born out of the San Diego label Challenger Surfboards, Tinker saw a large market in the Northeast and after a quick stop in Florida, set up shop in Neptune. 
My Challenger Eastern lam.

Tinker, Myself and Rick
My son and I were working the shop and a throwback lookin guy came in with his girlfriend...we asked them if they needed help and they politely said "no thanks" and got lost looking around at the boards hanging in the shop.  After a while, they walked towards the front counter and I overheard him tell her "it used to be in here, but they must have gotten rid of it".  Just as I asked him what it was he was looking for, he pointed up to the super clean Challenger Eastern slider above the counter and said "There it is, I shaped that board, that was my label".  With what I knew about the Challenger Eastern, I figured I was either talking to Michelle Junod, Jim Phillips or more than likely Tinker...I knew what Junod and Jim Phillips look like from photos, so I reached my hand out and said Tinker, it's a pleasure to meet you.  I made sure my son realized we were looking at a Surf Industry legend...especially here in the Northeast.

Tinker called up one of his buddies, Rick Barry, and asked him to come down to the it turns out, Rick was Tinker's salesman.  As Tinker put it, "I hired him because I was such a pain in the ass to deal with and Rick knew how to handle people.  If I had to deal with people we wouldn't have sold any damn surfboards".  We talked for quite a while and they talked story about the good ole days.  They told us about the days with Bruce Springsteen playing in the back of the factory (Steel Mill I believe), they talked about their California days, teaching Michelle Junod how to surf and shape, told us about his dealings with Jim Phillips in the early days, and when he first came to NJ and what they called the different town.  If I can remember right, Manasquan was Manasquat..."an Indian walked up to the Inlet and saw a white guy takin a dump and said Manasquat", Bay Head was "Head's by the Bay", Asbury Park was Raspberry Park, Sea Girt, Sea Grit, Point Un-Pleasant, and lots more.  We talked for a bit about the way his "Challenger Eastern" label was taken from under him by the guys at Rockaway Beach Surf Shop and being bastardized in China.

Tinker and Jim Phillips in the shaping room...
Bottom line, it looks like Tinker, Rick Barry and Jim Phillips will be making a handful of Classic replicas for sale in select shops...Pretty cool!  Sounds like they got the templates from Michelle Junod's shop and are going  to build some at Jim's place and have Channin glass them.  This was just what they were throwing around, so let's see what develops.  For my son and I it was a really awesome stroll through some cool New Jersey surfing history.

For more info. on the history, check this thread...

Jim Phillips and Tinker, CA

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Snow...and More Swell. This past week, we got a little more of both.

This past Thursday, January 27th, we added more snow to our already large snowfall totals...with it came some nice waves.  I took a few photos...enjoy.

Mount Street peeler...up the road from the shop

Snow on Main Street.

Karge Street A-frame...wish you were here?

Someone's in that lefty

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cool photos...old school skate up by the beach.

My Son Shane's been taking a photography class in himself a camera and shot some cool photos.  Check em out...

the author...sittin up top of the shop.

Cheater ten...

skate focus...

Flag focus...

Rear view...

old clay wheels.

old school sanuk...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Couple more boards from the ceiling...Transition Era gunny sticks

Took a couple more shots of some boards on the ceiling...Trasition Era.

Mid 1970's Single fin...7'6" Ben Aipa Stinger.  A super cool piece of surf history that came out of New Image Surf Shop in Normandy Beach, NJ.

Aipa Stinger on the left...Slingerland SH gun on the right
 An 8'6" Surfboards Hawaii Makaha Gun...1972, Shaped and designed by Mike Slingerland.  Another real cool piece of Surfing History.  Purchased in Makaha circa 1972 and ridden in the Islands...back to NJ.

Stiger lam...and tail.

Aipa lam.          

SH Sligerland lam.

SH gun lam.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An old Cat that wandered into the shop...

A little ways ago a Vintage Greg Noll Cat wandered into the shop...A solid example of Miki Dora's signature model.  It has seen more wear than it would have liked, but is still solid.  The fin is nice and in great shape,  the lam is in nice shape except the "greg Noll" is faded, there are no delams on the board, just dings and some water damage but not soft.  The board hasn't seen water in over 10 years and weighs real close to what it weighed when excess water weight.  9'8"...22 wide... 3 plus thick, 16" nose and 16" tail...FOR SALE  -*SOLD*



Noll and Dora lams...


Fin's side 2

bottom damage

tail damage

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paddlefoot and the Enforcer...

A couple of local legends...

Weekly Hipster...or Hipsters

They're out there...and not just for Halloween.

Ahoy mateys...welcome to the Pirate Shack.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Few memories of Last week's Blizard...

What a wild storm this one was...I can't remember a crazier snowstorm in NJ...ever! We got a total of 34 inches....34 inches! What's crazy is that it all fell in less than 24 hours. The winds were humming at about 30 to 45mph causing blizzard conditions and almost no visibility...not great to be outside. The worst part of the whole thing was the lack of waves. For those that could get there, there were chest high waves for half a day.

The BEST part of the whole thing is that the conditions caused me to come to a grinding hault...I got to spend tons of time with my family...and that's what life is really all about!
Next morning's the shop.

Early in the evening...
snow barrell on the roof...

late night fun...