A Very Special Logo

I am a member of The Friends of Rick Griffin mailing list. Mostly because I’ve been a fan and collector of RG’s work since I first started surfing. Today I got an email with pics of a new board. It was shaped and glassed by John Sewell of Mana Surfboards. It was built for a guy who goes by the name of Murph. The email said that the board will be on display on June 25, in Santa Cruz at Woody’s on the Wharf. It is a 10’ stepdeck with a glass-on fin. The photos included were mainly to show the logo. Rick’s widow Ida will receive a royalty on each board sold since she has rights to his work and any use thereof. The label is called “Ojo Surfboards”. If I get more pics I will post them.

The only other board label I know of that used artwork by Rick was William Dennis back in the 70s. Some Greg Noll guns had lams drawn by Rick, but this is a whole other realm.

I want one. Anyone know who Sewell is?

As usual, first post attachments only appear as links. So, here’s the pics again so they’re visible without the need to click on a link.

A little scrutiny of the email I got shows that the person called “Murphy” is named Mike Graham.

John Sewell is a low key, low profile shaper on Maui.  Has a solid following on the Island hangs with "da crew" at Ukemehame.

A few years ago there was an attempt to auction off a Parrish at one of the "vintage" auctions in San Clemente.  The board was the only known surfboard that had an authentic hand sprayed airbrush done by Rick Griffin.  The reserve was $10,000.00.  The reserve was not met.  I think I read in TSJ a few years back that Ricks daughter had rights to his artwork and had begun reproducing T-shirts.  I actually bought one at South Coast in OB.  Haven't seen any around for several years now.  An underappreciated artist even upon his untimely death. 

…OJO DE LOS OLAS, there s a mistake in the O; is ojo de LAS olas.

regarding attachments, you should unclick the ticks in the small boxes, then only appear the big photos, at least to me.


Might not be a mistake.  In Calif we speak Spanglish.  As in "lunche"  "trucke" etc. y otra palabres tambien.


If there is a Parrish with an RG airbrush in existence, that makes four boards I know of that Rick sprayed. I’ve seen two of them with my own eyes and I do not think either of the ones I saw were shaped by Parrish. But, hype like the claim you stated above is typical at certain surfboard auctions.


I have also seen Rick’s personal board that he hand painted. It’s a Jacobs.


You must be thinking of Flaven. She and her husband, Tod Clayton, have made a few attempts at t shirt designs. I have about a dozen one-offs that were printed as test runs which were obtained from Tod and Flaven. The last batch was in conjunction with Hurley and they were ugly slim fit styles that I would not touch. While some of the shirts they have done over the years used art from other mediums in original form (posters, cartoons, etc) very few of the shirts made after Rick’s death were reproductions of earlier shirts that Rick sold under the Griffin’s Graphics or Adventure Designs label. I have some of those 70s originals in my collection.

Ida owns the rights to all of Rick’s work. Flaven and Tod are the people who take care of the various product designs and such. Such as the series of shoes done recently by Vans.


Here’s a few of the shirts I have. The “Aloha” and light blue Eyeball shirts are 70s vintage I bought directly from Rick’s company, some time around 1974-75. Pacific Vibrations shirt came from Artrock back around '92. Darker blue Eyeball shirt came from Tod and Flaven a few years ago. It is one of the sample shirts that never went out to retail vendors.

from the Sacred Craft Ventura show last year, honoring Rennie Yater


Who did the artwork?


Griffin… not just a graphic artist, his work was so good it actually became fine art.

(Though Crumb commented recently of making the distinction between “fine” art and graphic art - at an opening of his own work in a  NY gallery: “Fine art? That only means someone will pay a lot for it”  :0)

That Pacific Vibrations tee is great - nice you were able to get ahold of one.



I had two, originally. Gave one to a girlfriend. Now an “ex”. Never should have given it away.

But, I also have  the original program, the poster (2nd printing), and a hat. (Plus, VHS and DVD copies of the movie.)

I guess I know a Tom Parrish surfboard when I see one.  As Parrish's glasser was also my glasser when I lived on Maui.  I also having grown up in Calif. during that time frame can recognize Griffin's art when I see it.   The claim by the owner of the Parrish that his board was the only known airbrush done by Griffin on a surfboard was not my claim but HIS.  And at that time may have been to his knowledge(and everyone else in the room of 200 or 300 people) a claim or fact.  I think there has been mention of that same board in TSJ as well.  If you haven't seen it or heard of it;  you may not be the expert you claim to be.   Griffin's relationship to surfing and surf art was IMO THE main reason his art was not taken seriously by the rest of the art world.  His best work was done later when he moved on to other things.  The "Zap" years and the stuff he did for people like the "Dead" were much better.  Crumb recently did an exhibit in LA of "Old Testament" scenes.  Art is in the Eye of the Beholder.  

I've got (what remains of) that "Aloha'' shirt! It was one of my favorite tees back in the good old days.


You said that the Parrish was the only board Rick ever airbrushed. I’m telling you, from first hand knowledge, that it isn’t true. I did not grow up in California, but I have been collecting Griffin stuff since 1964. One of my old friends has some of the most valuable Griffin pieces in the world, including the original painting for Pacific Vibrations. How big is your Griffin collection?





I made no claim of being an expert. But, it seems I know a lot more about RG’s work than you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have made the blatant mistake of claiming the Parrish as the only board airbrushed by Rick. Anyone who is a fan and collector knows that’s not true.




I disagree. Apparently, you don’t even know that during the years he was doing Zap, Dead, and Xtian stuff he STILL did surf related pieces. His xtian stuff was a real change in style for him. Though I really appreciate some of those, visually, the subject matter turns me off. His Dead stuff doesn’t really do much for me, either. Again, due to subject matter.


As far as how much I know about Griffin’s work… I do not claim to know all he did. I just know when a claim of rarity is incorrect. There are a few websites that feature his work. I have contributed scans from my personal collection to some of those sites. I have also given some things to Rick’s widow Ida because she wanted certain images that she’d never seen before.


Rick’s spelling difficulties are a running joke among collectors and fans. people used to write letters to Surfer Mag all the time correcting Rick’s mistakes. His poster for Bud Browne’s film “Spinning Boards” was spelled SPININNING, with an extra syllable, even.

A recent email I got had a poster that someone suspected as an RG work. A person responded saying it might not be his because there’s no spelling errors. So, if he had trouble with English, his Spanish spelling wouldn’t be any more accurate, no?

…I understand,

super cool artwork and airbrushes anyway

keep em posting

I love Pacific Vibrations. My dad drove us into town to see it at the old King Theater in Honolulu when it came out. First real surf movie I ever saw. Can’t believe he sat through that with us, but he was very artistic and a good photographer.

I bought a copy on DVD. Great segment on Griffin with the bus and the trip out to the Ranch. Always loved the Murphy cartoons in Surfer Mag.


Same here. Severson’s last surf flick. One of the best, ever.


Here’s a pic of Rick driving the bus.

Photo by Drew Kampion

Knot Head----------I did NOT say any such thing .  Go back and read my post !  It was a Parrish and it was Griffins art.!  I said it was the claim of the owner at THAT time.  What is wrong with your friggin'  thick skull?  You've never seen the board didn't even know existed.  And for a self proclaimed EXPERT like yourself;  That is an embarassment.