Col Smith Channel bottom

One of the most important design innovations of the T2 period was the development of the channel bottom. It is thought that the channel bottom led to today's single and double concaves. One man who is given much of the credit for developing the channel bottom is Newcastles's Col Smith, RIP, father of rookie Rique Smith. Not to be confused with Narrabeen's Col Smith AKA the rubberman who made Morning Star Surfboards. Col is also responsible for earning the design broad acceptance by winning the Pipe masters on one of his own channel bottom designs. A poet warrior in the classic sense.
Here is a photo of my own Col Smith shaped channel bottom, board double fly, pin tail single fin, a classic example of his designs. A similar example can be found here
The sad news is I no long have this board, having sold it for $220 to pay rent. The good news is I no longer have those shoes or that crappy Dodge ute either.

(Many thanks to Gerr for helping me out on this one).

Where were you in '77?- Jonny Rotten.

Where were you in '77 is the title of the Sex Pistols album the released as a bootleg in 1985. The title is meant to imply that you should have been at the front of the 100 Club pogoing like everyone else in the UK in 1977. The reality of course is that most of England was at home listening to 'Abba Arrival' or learning the bag pipes as reveled by the true Top Five Singles of the year on the British Charts for 1977 list:
1"Mull of Kintyre"Paul McCartney and Wings
2"Don't Give Up on Us" David Soul
3"Knowing Me Knowing You" Abba
4"Way Down"Elvis Presley
5"I Feel Love" Donna Summer
So too it is with surfboard design. Most surfers of the day were pretty slow to give up their flares and single fins and jump on the new multi finned surfboard designs, despite Simon Anderson effectively proving the functionality of the design by winning back to back contests at 20ft Bells, 2ft Manly and the Pipe Masters in Hawaii all in the space of a month in 1981.
Which brings me to this board of mine, quite obviously shaped in 82 or 83, based on the checker boards spray. But guys were still ordering single fins off Simon right up till the end of the 80's. Nice board though.

Gerry Wedd

Gerry Wedd is one of the most talented surfer's to come out of the surfless city of Adelaide. Several times state champion, he has a deep understanding of surf history and culture and is the only person to have read every article by Derek Hynd. He is also a talented ceramicist and potter. He has recently produced a series of ceramic tiles that celebrate important, if little know, points in surf history, including some historic innovation period mile stones. You can see the rest of his exhibition on Dain Thomas' s website

Bob Hurley

Hurley surfboards ad from 1982

I mentioned in the previous post that Shawn Stussey used to shape boards in the 80's. So too did Bob Hurley, who shaped this beautiful Lightning Bolt single fin pin tail belonging to my friend James in LA. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the story goes Bob shaped for Bolt before shaping under his own label Hurley. The Hurley business struggled along until Bob got the licence to produce Billabong apparel in the US. This proved to be a licence to print money as the Billabong team, led by Occy stormed the world. But Bob was doing a great job, so good a job that the lazy Queenslanders stopped designing their own ranges and just waited for the US sample range to arrive for "approval".Then they copied the US 'licensed' range and then tried to 'licence' it back to Bob.
Bob eventually got sick of this and pulled the plug and started Hurley, taking with him the US Bilabong team of riders, the design team, the production facilities and the account list. He then went on to quickly grow the brand and sell it to Nike. My understanding he made enough money to buy 17 of the 19 islands in the Hawaiian chain.
And my mum said I could'nt be a shaper cause I'd never make enough money.

Peter Schroff the original Marc Newsom

Peter Schroff is an LA based artist who used to shape surfboards around the same time Shawn Stussy mowed foam in the mid 80's.
He was my idol and I used to texa pen copies of his geometric sprays on my own boards.
Above are 3 examples of his surfboard inspired furniture designs. I'm pretty sure Marc Newsom had a good look at his work for inspiration (see green fibreglass lounge in tp photo).
Anyway, I'm chatting online to my friend in LA other other day. He says "Damion, is there any board you really need for your collection" "I say, yeah, I'd really like to find an original 80's Schroff, but I know its nearly impossible" Next thing I know he sends me shots of his collection of 8 twinny's, thrusters and quads. Oh my God! Look at that!

University of Narrabeen, School of Design.

The lagoon fed sand banks of Narrabeen have produced some the finest surfers in Australia. Beginning with Bob Pike & Nat Young then the 'innovation period' crew of Simon Anderson, Terry Fitzgerald, Col Smith, Ron Ford, Grant Oliver, Tom Carrol and many other surfers who made names locally and internationally.
From a design perspective it was home to both the first transition period of surfboard design from long board to short board and the second from one fin to three.
Specifically, Col Smith developed the channel bottom and Simon developed the thruster here.
Everyone is familiar with shots from 'THE SWELL OF 83' (top photo) but the reality is its not that unusual. The (bottom 2 photos) I took recently as I hurriedly jumped into my wetsuit on a sunny Sunday.

Trap for young players.

Everybody wants an original 70's Hot Buttered, Terry Fitzgerald shaped single fin for their collection with a nice Marty Worthington spray like the one in the top photo. I found the board above at Gavin Hardy's auction house in the days when you could only look and not touch. I could see it said 'designed and hand shaped by Terry Fitzgerald' under the glass and i decided I had to have it. I won the auction and the day came to pick it up and suddenly I realized something was very wrong. The board is 5'6".
5'6"! What use is that to anyone. Terry what were you thinking!
This board is worth nothing.

$10,000 to be paid for first successful kick flip by a surfer

Volcom will pay $10,000 to the first person to produce video of themselves cleanly stomping this yet-to-be documented maneuver.


'Old Faithful'- the famous MR Flame board. Part 3

The influence of 'Old Faithful' goes far and wide. Above is a pic of a Mike Davis shaped stinger from 1978 or 1979 from Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales.
Below is Mark Richards learning to shape a similar stinger from the master, Dick Brewer in Hawaii in 1977.
I believe that to gain entry to the WQS young pro surfers should have to spend 6 months in the shaping bay to get a basic understanding of board design and construction instead of drinking vodka cruisers and playing Nintendo.