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.
Above is a pretty crappy version of a 6'0" Bryne rounded pin tail channel bottom thruster with adjustable centre fin. Based on (or possibly one of???) Tom Carroll's boards that he competed on from 82 to 85, winning the 82 and 84 world titles. I believe he was he first goofy foot to win a world title (Rolf Aurness 1970??) he worked closely with his shaping partner Phil Bryne, who's boards he still rides to this day.
With the recent US theatre release of the 'Bra Boys documentary and the planned film version with Mark Whalburg staring as Koby Aberton a number of people have been asking me 'how heavy is the 'bra'?
Here is a recent photo of me on sunny day at Maroubra. Please note- there is no smoke from burning cars, no riot control police, no gangs of tattooed thugs lining up to beat me up for surfing their break. In fact there's not even another surfer in the water.
In my opinion you couldn't find a prettier beach or a more orderly group of surfers anywhere. By orderly I mean they don't tolerate drop in's which makes for a safer and more pleasent surfing experiance for all.
Now Bondi on the other hand with its 10,000 kooks bailing chinese made long boards in the impact zone every time theres a 3ft set, that place is heavy, don't go there....
photo by aquabumps.com
For you enjoyment, I submit this nice 6'1" single fly rounded pin tail twin fin shaped by Steve Griffiths of Emerald surfboards Taren Point (near Cronulla). According to surfsearch Steve left Emerald in 1979 although I would have guessed its age at 80/81.
It has a nice 'Lighting Bolt' inspired spray, pin lines and multi coloured laminated fins.
I love all twin fins but round tails always look a little weird to me, like twin fins can only work on a swallow tail.
I'll take it for a surf and let you know how it goes.
Kenny emailed me with some pics of his collection.
I laughed out loud when I opened them up.
He's a complete freak like me with a fantastic selection of boards from a really tight period around 79 to 81.
EXCEPT HE'S WORSE THAN I AM!
He has a Town and Country fetish. So not only is he focused on T2 period boards but he specifically goes for T&Cs.
I cant wait for him to write again cause I think I can see a Buttons Kaluhiokalani model and a Dane Kealoha model.
We will wait and see......
I found the bolt in Bali, it was around june 2002 my 2nd trip there of the year when i saw the board standing on 1 of the many boards rental joint racks in kuta. That when i knew i must get this piece of surf history out of the rental mayhem in kuta. I made the rental guys an offer & he accepted it immediately, it was peanuts but guess the guy was happy to get that old yellow single fin that nobody rent out of this bunch & get some 2nd hand thrusters w/ the $$..
It was still in pretty sound condition when i got it, taking into consideration it was used as a rental & under the bali sun 24/7. There was the normal dings on the nose, tails & various areas around the rails but board still felt soild & there no delam of any kind.
I can't find any specs or marking on the board, i measured it around to be 7ft 2' or 7ft 4'. It got a laminated sticker on the top part toward the tail area that said 'Shaped by Tom Eberly' which I googled to be 1 of the lightning bolt shaper in the 70's, there another 'Lightning Bolt Made in HAWAII U.S.A' on the centre back of the board. I dun think it belongs to Gerry Lopez but it probably got left behind for 1 of the kuta locals boys by the visiting Hawaiian Pros surfing Uluwatu & Padangx2 during the late 70's when bali was juz discovered.
This photo, taken by Tom Parrish, circa 1977 shows the backyard of his, Tom Parrish’s, house on the north shore of Oahu. Tom used to shape and store many of the world's best professional surfers boards including Rabbit Bartholomew's, Peter Townend's, Shaun and Micheal Tomson's, Mark Richards, Ian Cairns among others.
They are all mind blowing boards but the only one I can recognize is Petey's powder pink pintail.
Mike from Singapore has sent me these photos of his beautiful late 70's Lighting Bolt single fin pin tail. I wonder who shaped it?
Reno Abellira, Brian Hamilton, Dave Ronk, Paul Akiu, Mark Angell, Barry "BK" Kanaiaupuni, Rory Russell, Bill Barnfield, Ed Angulo, Kingsley Kernosk, Wayne Santos, Wayne Boulanger, Tony Anjo, Russell Kim, Bobby Skallak, Art Cheney, Mike Armstrong, Don Koplien, Davey Smith, Harpo, Gerry Lopez , Kent Smith, Don Koplien, Joe Blair, Cino Magallanes, Mike Smith, Tom Parrish, Robbie Burns, Mickey Muñoz, Bill Stonebreaker, Ed Searfoss, Greg Burt, Tom Nellis, Peter Trombly, Gordon Solomon, John Carper, Bobby Owens, Chuck Vinson, Roy Stamm, Cowan Chang, Tom Parrish, Steve Walden, Bill Stonebreaker, Tom Eberly, Randy Rarick, Craig Wilson.....
He tells me he's ridden it in Bali. Geez, you'd need to Ulu to be 10ft to get this girl going. Thinking about it makes me jealous and scared at the same time.
Vikki has sent me these photos of a nice late 70's semi fish twin fin she picked up recently. She tells me it was shaped locally by a guy named Chop's who owns Beachbeat surfboards in the UK.
The fins are the old US Rainbow fin system and sadly won't take a modern fin box fin or the FCS fin box converter. Note how both plastic fins are the same and have a foil on both sides of the fin, rather than being flat on the inside face.
She is worried the fins may fall out. In my experience the only trouble you'll ever have with a fin box of this age is ever getting the fins out at all.
Bluey wrote to me with some more info....
Peter "Chops" Lascelles, originally comes from Caloundra, settled in UK many years ago. He's the younger brother of Dave Lascelles, who set up Cord Surfboards, with McTavish, Platt, and Greenough on the scene also.
Last time I was in his shop (a couple of years ago) he had a couple of boards that Damian Hurst had sprayed (apparently Hurst wife come from St Agnes and surfs). Chops shaped them and then had his glasser finish them. Ones about to come up for auction in Sotherbys, c.£70,000+, reckon it will go for over £100k, don't think it will ever get wet....
Sadly I knocked the fin out of this beautiful 6'0" x 20" x 2"3/4 single fly swallow tail twin fin shaped by Bob McTavish while surfing Granite Bay in Noosa a little while ago. I lost the original fin and was forced to decide how go about repairing repair it.
My passion is testing different board designs in challenging conditions to see how they really perform when given a chance. So I decided to take the oppotunity to fit fin control plugs instead of replacing the glass on fin so I could take this board away with me on overseas trips in a triple board bag.
I took it to Bali with 2 other boards. As it turned out I rode it the whole time, never even taking the other boards out of the bag.
All the foam in the nose gave it great paddling speed and wave catching ability. The narrow tail really holds in on bigger waves and the large surface area of the fins gave it heaps of speed of the bottom.
I let the locals have a good look at it and they seemed to like the removeable fin too.
Surf-o-Rama: Treasures of Australian Surfing is new newly published celebration of Australian surfing and beach culture by Murry Walding. The book covers Australian surfers, magazines, books, music and features excellent examples of surf craft and paraphernalia.
In the surfboard history section he lists his Top Twenty essential boards for any collection.
These are not boards your gonna find at a garage sale for $15 so I wouldn't call them all essential, but its a nice list to aspire to owning. My top 5 are highlighted in bold.
1. Solid Timber board.
2. Ply board.
3. 16ft toothpick
4. Hollow Ockanui.
5. Keiran balsa Malibu.
6. Scott Dillion gun.
7. Gordon Woods triple stringer 'Island Special'.
8. Hayden longboard.
9. Keyo longboard.
10. George Rice wafer.
11. Bob McTavish Plastic Machine by Keyo.
12. Wayne Lynch International Involvement by John Arnold.
13. Farrelly pintail.
14. George Greenough spoon.
15. Ted Spencer White Kite by Shane.
16. First generation twin fin by Shane.
17. 1970's round pin single fin by McCoy.
18. Hot Buttered Flyer swallow tail with Worthington spray.
19. Mark Richards twin fin.
20. Simon Anderson Energy three fin thruster.