Doug, my new friend from Tokyo sent me these pics of his board he's trying to learn more about. I felt I had to post them because I think Doug has a great piece of experimental innovation period design on his hands. I've never seen or touched the board but my guess is that is a Japanese licence of Dick Brewer's brand from Hawaii because the logos are different and I've never heard of the shaper. Its a 5'8" rounded square tail with double hips. But the most interesting feature is the twin stabilizer fins set behind the big clear laminate twin fins. I've never seen this on a 80's twin fin. But it is similar to what Dick and Reno Abalila were doing with bonzer 3 fins a few years earlier. To me it looks very modern, like the new school quads kids are riding today.
In Australia Shawn Stussy is generally considered to be the man who populated a plague of elastic waisted pants upon a generation. Few here believe he was once a credible shaper in his own right (like Bob Hurley who even shaped for Lighting Bolt). I heard when Shawn finally visited Australia and complained as to what had become of his good name the local licensee in Melbourne simply replied 'well...you never sent the cheques back'.
I have found here a rare portrait of him with one of his boards from an ad from a surf shop that carried his hardware and a shot of a young Californian ripper putting one of his boards to good use. I sure would like that twinny for my collection.
Simon Anderson collecting his 1981 2SM Surfabout Trophy, shaking hands with a defeated Shaun Thompson who has just lost on a twin fin to Simon's new thruster design in 2 foot surf at Narabeen. Simon had just won the Bells Easter Classic a week before in huge waves on the same design, thus cementing its place in surfboard design history as the most functional design ever.
I continue to search for the original owners of boards in my collection identifiable by their markings. My research indicated that this Team Bolt twin fin shaped by Bill Barnsfeild in Hawaii could only have belonged to Rory Russell, Mark Richards or Bobby Ownens.
But here we see evidence of a young Richard 'Mr Cutback' Cram riding a very similar board in Jefferies Bay South Africa.
If it were the same board it would have traveled from Hawaii to Bondi on tour to SA and finally back to Bondi where it has now peacefully retired.
Photo by Pat Flanagin
Simon Anderson is a professional surfer and a shaper. He is the man credited with developing the tri-fin surfboard design that he called the 'Thruster'. In 1981 Simon was frustrated with the limitations of the twin-fin design, in particular the way it would slide out, and he, at 6'0" liking to put a lot of power into his turns. Simon's tri-fin design solved this, adding more stability and allowing for greater control in the pocket. The three fins combined the best features of the single and twin-fin designs, and naturally became hugely popular. His tri-fin design was the biggest innovation since fibreglass and polyurethane foam.
This rounded pin tail board is an early examples of his design as evidenced by the rear fin that protrudes past the tail and the angled channels on the bottom. Features that were modified within the first rear of the designs manufacture.
It was made for a pro surfer, sponsored by bite clothing.
? But who was he?
? What happened to bite clothing and their baggy shorts?
? Who shaped this board?
? Why the question marks?
? A a fan of Frank Gorshin's Riddler character from the Batman TV series?
? Or an old school DC comics fan
Kingsley Looker's legacy to surf history is less about his prowess in the water and more about his trail blazing alternative career path. Kingsley was the original pro-surfer turned professional musician. He paved the way for the likes of Jack Jonhson, Tim Curran, Rob Machado, Neal Purchase Jr and Andrew Kidman.
It is true that his red rose on the grand piano lacks some of the laid back surf cool of Johnson or Kidman. But he was the first to get paid for pulling into barrels at Manly by day and paid again to sing Billy Joel at Steps Cocktail bar, Cremorne by night.
Hey sing me a song your the piano man.......