Iconic 80's innovation period surf movie. Featuring Mark Richards riding a twin fin in huge surf, Wayne Lynch the guru, Rabbit Bartholomew on a channel bottom single fin, Gerry Lopez on a lighting bolt single fin at G-land in a pair of speedos (!?) and Simon Anderson riding both classic single fin and his brand new 3 fin thruster design that was to go on to change the face of surfing.
The Poet Warrior.
Mark Richards is the true poet warrior and the king of innovation period surfboards. Trained to shape by Dick Brewer in Hawaii, Mark developed his own unique design for the twin fin (inspired by Reno Abelira). He shaped his own boards and rode his own boards and went on to win 4 world titles.
So when I found this '82 MR designed twinny shaped by Bob Margets. I knew it had to be restored.
Which brings me to the point of the blog...........
If a board needs to be restored do you seal the dings clear so you can see the boards imperfections and history? Or do you spray paint and gel coat over any water and sun damage?
In this case I let the masters at Jackson surfboards in Cronulla do a good resto job and colour match the repairs to the sun damage. So this is a "fake natural" restoration if you will.
The other point to consider about this board is the 'bat tail' design. This type of tail is currently very fashionable on modern quads and with surfers like Ozzie Wright. Just remember, Mark thought of it first.
Mick Mock's Vintage Surf Auction 2007. Harbord Digger's Club.
T & C Quad.
This blog is about the innovation period of surfboard design and quads are a big part of that. I found this little number at Cash Converters Woolongong. Its a great collectible because of its cutting edge (for the time) design and matching spray. Nice, also is the Lennox Head decal.
Bondi Boardriders- Single fin comp.
The annual Bondi Board riders Single fin comp is always a bit of a wet dream for collectors as every board ridden in the comp has to be shaped before 1980. This year we were blessed with a huge southerly that threw up 6 to 8 ft bombs by the time the finals came on in the afternoon. I was fascinated to watch Bondi's best wrestle 5'9"' single fins down the faces of some big sets. The truth is they didn't go to good and there were some heavy beatings being handed out. I was lucky, as 4 time world champ runner up and dedicated single fin surfer Cheyne Horan came down to check it out and let me bend his ear with all manner of questions about Geoff McCoy and Laser Zaps.
Collecting vintage surfboards is not like collecting stamps, they wont all fit in a shoe box. I've rigged up this simple but effective set of beams across the roof of the garage.
There's a good reason Western Australia is a terrible place to go to look for collectable surfboards. I saw these two guys coming back from a surf with two broken boards. Boards don't last long down south in WA.
I'm constantly surprised at auctions and on ebay when pictures and posters sell for more than the actual boards featured in the same pics. Although I would spend some $$$ to get hold of an original version of this 70's pop art airline poster.
I was just on my way to the shops when I saw young Bondi local Liam Constantine coming back from the surf with a nice old Free Flight channel bottom single fin. Not shaped by Col Smith as you would expect but shark island legend Brad Mayes. Keep up the good work. If we don't ride these old beauties they will end up at the tip.
Old school Mentawais
I wasn't the only guy testing old school designs on the indo reefs. I saw this guy at Macaroni's riding a single fin and pulling in. Thanks to Eugene at www.aquabumps.com for the photo.
I often lie in bed and stare at the board rack and wonder how the different tails or fin set ups would go in perfect conditions. My first custom surfboard was a quad fin and I continue to be fascinated by them. But they seem to always be relegated to crap surf. People have them in the quiver as a 'slop groveler'. So this year I took a quad to the Mentawais to see how it would go in some power and barrels.
The verdict came back 'pretty damn good'.
thanks to www.aquabumps.com for the photos
People ask me, 'why do you collect those stupid old boards?'
A vintage surf board is hand carved, so its part sculpture.
Its designed to ride waves, so its part hydrodynamic science experiment.
They are generally brightly sprayed, so its part original painting.
They remind me of my childhood, so its a bit of nostalgia.
The colours are great.
And I love surfin' them.
For me the most desirable surfboard is an early 80's Lighting Bolt twin fin. I have amassed 3 in my collection. My research indicates the the yellow one belonged to Hawaiian great Bobby Owens as featured on the cover of Surfer.
Home made boards- Just say no!
This is the worst board in my collection. But I love it. Its classic innovation period. Needle nose, jet fins, low wide point. It is worth nothing!
Collecting vintage surf boards isn't all about the surf craft. The real fun comes when you get hold of the associated memorabilia like this original Big Daddy Roth designed Revel Surf Fink model my friend Keith found for me in a Penrith junk shop.
This is the thickest twin fin in the collection. It must be 3" thick at least. It paddles and catches waves unbelievably well. But as you can see in the photo it only wants to go straight while I'm trying to get it to go down the line. The original owner couldn't afford or couldn't get hold of any astro deck. So instead he used industrial grip tape, the type you'd use on a slippery stair case. Its guaranteed to leave your knees bleeding every surf.
Its sad to see how few shapers today put any effort into their tissue art work. Here's an example of a early 80's tissue by revolutionary shaper and the man accredited with developing the channel bottom, Col Smith. Battlestar Galactica meets Old English.
5 fins plus plus plus
I found this board at a furniture auction house in inner city Sydney. It was shaped in Queensland and has 5 fin boxes and came with the winged tip centre fin. It has a full deep channel bottom and a textured deck. Its a good example of why shapers should not accept custom orders from frothin' teen age kids like me.
A true treasure trove of collectibles comes round once a year in Sydney when Mick Mock hosts the Vintage Surf Auction. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next one in June '08.
Right tools for the job
There is no such thing as the one perfect surfboard. Only the right board for the right person on the right wave. Here's a good example of a board shaped 28 years ago doing what it does best. It working good for me in this photo taken up the north coast!
Thanks to Eugene at www.aquabumps.com for the photo.
Star Fin System
One of the most frustrating aspects of collecting early 80's twin fins is trying to find original Star Fin fins for twin fins. This system was particularly popular in the US. I have found 2 solutions recently. The first is a plastic fin box converter made by FCS for long board center fin boxes. These work well in the Star Fin fin boxes and take the FCS Mark Richards template fins beautifully. The second solution is a guy in Florida who is making fantastic replicas. Who can contact him via the Bruce Jones surf surf in Seal Beach California.
Legendary collector Mick Mock gave me a sneak peak of a lovely 5'10" Emerald twin fin. Shaped in 1980 it has an amazing spray. It your interested call Mick at his Little Dragon store in Newport on 02 9974 4417
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