Although slightly off subject for this blog the above photos are more than noteworthy.
The second photo shows complete commitment to a hollow sucking wave, the high line he was chosen, head up, eyes focused on the tube ahead.
He is without doubt, the most accomplished surfer the free world has ever been blessed with as leader.


All time classic innovation period flouro spray, double fly, swallow tail, scoop deck, turbo fin, thruster with futuristic 'computer' style logos....

I trained as an Industrial Designer so my interest in vintage surfboards is in their innovative hydrodynamic design features as much as it is in their history or aesthetics. So I get super excited when I find board with more than one "new" innovation on it. When I say "new" I mean new for 1980 and when I say innovation I mean new idea, good or bad.
Strapper is a surfboard brand from the outskirts of Melbourne of which I know little about. I rang them, they still exist, but don't have a website and the guy on the phone couldn't really help me with much about their history. I'd be really interested to learn more cause there was obviously someone there trying some pretty wacky things in the early 80's.
The first thing to note about this board are its Turbo fins. Curved inwards, for what reason I'm unsure. But it is the Scoop deck concept that is definitely a unique innovation. I've surfed this board and it manages to combine all the disadvantages of the fat rails of a thick board with none of the floatation and all the negatives such as drag and slowness of a thin board with out any of the responsiveness.
6'0", pulled in nose, double flyer, swallow tail, turbo fin, scoop deck thruster.

I just love it!!

Bustin' down the door.

I saw Shaun Thompson's movie 'Bustin Down the Door' about Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholemew, MR, The Bronzed Aussie's, Shaun and his cousin Mike in Hawaii during the 'Free Ride' period and it prompted me to write about my 6'0" Hot Stuff single fin, channel bottom, rounded pin tail designed by Rabbit. A classic little number from the middle of the innovation period and one of the stars of the 1982 Stubbies. Although not technically very innovative at all, its classic simplicity made it the ultimate wave riding tool for the barrelling sand bottom points of the Gold Coast for which it was designed. The photo is of team rider 'Kong' at Kirra.
My freind Aaron took me to Sandon Point on a big day recently. I couldnt get hold of my big wave board so I took this along instead hoping the big clear fin would hold in off the bottom. Sure enough I scored a bomb, I got up, got to the bottom and surprised myself how well a 6'0" handled a long fast drawn out bottom turn on a big barrelling wave. Naturally I got smashed in the pit further down the line. What was I thinking, a 6'0" on an 8" day. At least it only cost me $15 from a store called "Garage Sale In A Shop".

Photo of Sandon Pt from www.sandonpointphotos.com


Here is a sweet little 80's rider of mine. It's a 5'10" McGrigor thruster shaped by Barry King in Brookvale and is in amazing condition for its age. I love its bold colours, pulled in nose, wide mid piont, its soft chimed rails, its double flyers and swallow tail. But the highlight for me is its Simon Anderson designed Jet fins. These were popular for about two minutes in 1982 including the time when Simon surfed on them in the finals of the Stubbies at Burleigh Heads and, I'm told, in Florida where pro surfer / shaper Mike Notary rode them and called them 747's. Sky blue beauties with an white adjustable center fin box. This board is worth nothing and is one of my favorites in the collection.

Black Bolt.

I have an obsession with Lightning Bolt surfboards from the 70's and eighties. The rarer the better. This ones got to be one of the rarest. An all black Tom Eberly (Hawaii) shaped single fly swallow tail twin fin. I spoke to Mark Richards (who shaped for Lightning Bolt for a while and who was a long time Team Bolt rider) about this board an he assured me it was made for advertising purposes only. One like the ad above to be precise from the back cover of Surfer from December 1980. The pics were sent to me a while ago by a fella in California (whose email I have since lost) who was interested in selling it.


Star Fin Systems- The on going dilemma. Part 2.

Lee wrote-
Hey Damion, I sent you a photo of my tris twin fin shaped by chops a while ago and then i lost one of the g&s star fins, unable to find a replacement i have been making a few sets and thought you might like to see them. See photo attached or you can check them out here http://thefinfactory.blogspot.com/
alway love reading your blog mate keep it up.

Cheers, Lee

Star Fin Systems- The on going dilemma. Part 1.

Matt from Florida has been suffering the same pain as many of you who write to me trying to get hold of the rare vintage Star Fin System Fins.
Matt has taken matters into his own hands and has made replicas using a couple of different methods. You can check out a few of his attempts at-
And if you ask him really nicely he might even make you a set. His email is mattlaboone@bellsouth.net

Aloha from Kona!

My friend Tim has sent me pics of his shed and board collection from Hawaii.
He's looking for vintage Bonzers. Keep an eye out for him.

Pigeon-toed Channel Island thruster

Australian made 6'0" Channel Island thruster designed by Al Merrick and shaped by Doug Bell.
I always thought they were a weird looking board with that fat elongated tail and funny single flyer or hip as they call it.
The strangest thing about the board is its fin placement. There is almost no angle on them at all. They stick straight up out of the board and point straight up and down, parallel to the stringer. I haven't ridden it so I'm interested to see how it goes.
There is no question that it worked well for Tom Curren. You can see its a much smoother ride in the video of Curren on his Channel Island Black Beauty vs Occy on his Rusty in the 1986 Rip Curl Bells Beach comp.
To me it looks like Occys board is faster and looser in the conditions.
I wonder who won?
Perhaps I should have asked Occy when I was chatting to him last week.


Tim Orr from Pure Life Surfboards Hawaii sent me these pics of his beautiful Californian Bruce Jones shaped single fly swallow tail twin fin made to promote the 1980 Stubbies Classic. I love the board but I've never understood how Stubbies ever sold in the US. My experience of the product is accurately depicted in the video below, ably narrated by Jermaine from 'Flight of the Conchords'.