The Boardcollector is back in Bali. This time with a 5'9" triple fly swallow tail Christie twin fin from about 1980. A lovely board, shaped on the South coast of NSW around Ulladulla, that's working well for me despite its shorter length because of its nice wide fin base that can take all 105kg's of me thru the turns at Batu Belong and Chungu.
I've been spending some time with twin fin devotee and surf photograher, Dustin Humphries of Sipping Jetstreams fame.
Yeah, Bali's a pretty nice place to be for a guy and 28 year old surfboard.......
Here is my 6'1" Jim Banks model single fly, swallow tail, channel bottom, Emerald Twin Fin. A sweet ride, with hand shaped fins as thick as your thumb. I don't know if the fin foil was designed that way or some one had a hang over this day and couldn't be bothered sanding them down much past the original thickness of the fin blank.
6'2" Simon Anderson hand shaped thruster. Single flyer square tail, with red and blue panels on the deck. Clear bottom. This board was made when Simon had just left the Energy label and he said that only appox 100 were made of these boards with the Simon Anderson logo on the rails with the 3 fin circle logo. The board is well restored and completely water tight. No cracks around fins or delam on deck. I was really looking forward to surfing it. I bought this board at Mick Mock's auction and the money from its sale was donated to the Surf Aid charity. I was being offered for sale along side 2 other beautiful Energy thrusters by Scott Beggs. This board was particularly rare because Simon shaped it. He was'nt doing much shaping during this period as he was competing full time.
Sadly I can't afford to keep it, although I truely wish I could. I wrote on the ebay listing 'If this board was a puppy dog I'd say 'to a good home only'.
At the auction I thought it was an Energy and that maybe it had Simon's name down the rails cause it was one of his competition boards. But my research proved that it was not to be.
Then I saw an article on Coastalwatch.com about a charity that had collected 180 surfboards for Papua New Gineau. The boards are being donated to existing and prospective surfers in villages across PNG and also through the network of clubs of the Surfing Association of PNG. The donation is to encourage the locals into taking up surfing as a recreational activity and to foster a growing surf industry, including the development of a sustainable surf travel sector.
There in the photo I saw a familiar sight- The Simon Anderson I just bought at the Surf Auction.
Tomorrow its off to its new home, somewhere on the Australian East Coast.
Brandon from Hawaii sent me these pics of his 5'10 triple flyer (triple!!) swallow tail 'Cheyne' model Mc Coy Laser Zap. Its in fantastic condition for a board from 1982. The board was originally designed to be ridden with a Star fin or winged keel designed by Ben Lexan and Cheyne Horan. I discussed the design of the board and the fin with Cheyne earlier this year. He explained to me that the winged tips on fin are designed to compensate for the surface area of the fin that is lost when the board is tipped on its side during a turn. Which makes complete sense, as this would give a lot of additional forward drive . The wide tail area of the board and 'no nose' design is meant to skim across the water like, and I quote Cheyne here, "when you squeeze a watermelon seed between your fingers", which is completeley mad makes no sense at all. I love the design of these Geoff McCoy shaped boards and have two of my own but I find them completely impossible to ride. But without Cheyne's , Geoff's and Ben's commitment to experimentation and innovation we wouldn't have the boards we have today.
Jeff from California wrote to me with a story that just has to be shared......
There's still a few treasures to be found now and again. This board was found when I went to look at an old pickup that was being sold for scrap. This board was inside the cab. Left the pickup, bought the board. The pics don't do this board justice
Pray for surf.
The 2008 Sydney Surf Auction went off with a bang on Sunday. Appropriately, it was held at the Harbord Diggers club, overlooking the beach where the first surf board was ridden in Australia by legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku. There were 350 items up for auction with the highlight's including a 1976 7' Hot Buttered Single fin single flyer swallow tail with airbrush mural of a breaking wave by Martyn Worthington, 2 x McCoy Laser Zaps and 3 x early 80's Simon Anderson thrusters. It was exciting for me as Mick had included a lot more 70's and 80's boards than in the past. I scored 2 pieces for the collection and a clip across the ear from the wife when I tried to tell her that I only bought one board and she found the reciept for 2 under the seat of the car.
I had to go to LA for work for a few days last year. A week before I was due to go I jumped on ebay USA, searched surfboards, entered the area code where I was staying, 90210, searched surrounding 20 miles, refined the search to items ending the day before my arrival and up popped this little gem.
A 5'10" single fly swallow tail swallow tail shaped by California legend Bruce Jones.
I scored it pretty cheap cause it didn't have any fins.
I took it home and started searching for a set of second hand fins of the right age and style.
First off I used a pair of FCS fin box converter and a set of fibreglass MR twin fins.
Then I found these nice red fins from the late 70's that seemed to fit really well.
I waited till my next trip up the coast, packed it up, put in the new fins and was pretty phyched about getting it wet.
It had travelled halfway round the world and had taken 6 months for me to get it all together.
I waxed it up, paddled out at a nice beach break near Seal Rocks NSW and took off on the first wave the board had surfed in years.
I went well down the line but as I put in my first cut back I heard a terrible noise come from the board.
The inside fin tore completely from the board, fin box and all.
Thanks to Christian Tan for documenting the whole episode.
On October 3, 2008, Slater won his ninth ASP world title at the Billabong Pro Mundaka. When the Boardcollector caught up with Kelly he was very polite and complimented me on my John Lennon quote t-shirt 'war is over- if you want it'.
A fine surfer and an informed music historian. He is a great man.
Marty Hunt wrote to me-
"I am a member of a local malibu club and on the weekend I asked them if they wanted to do a retro division, and I would bring some of my boards down. Attached is a photo of my boards we used (only some of my collection).
They included Mcgrigors, Nirvanas, Jacksons, Carey, Kenn, WB, Emerald, Sky, etc, etc just to name a few.
It was a fun day and good to see the old girls in the water."
This blog is supposed to be about exploring and celebrating the 'innovation' period of surfboard design in the early 80's from an Australian perspective. So in theory this futuristic looking board an 80's Wavelenght Wetsuits ad fits right in.
2 x built in low powered lights (not water proof)
1 x Minolta 110 camera (splash proof)
1 x Sony Walkman, AM/FM radio casssette player (splash proof)
Silver paint job.
Its a cheap 80's prop but so is Rockatansky's MFP Interceptor, the Ford Falcon from Mad Max.
The 15 year old in me really wishes I owned them both.