I was walking in New York today and saw this contraption. If I ever swap collecting surfboards with collecting cars I'll have to build myself one for the shed.
..............I think I'll stick to collecting sticks.
After a decade of living in shoebox sized apartments with piles of boards clogging up hall ways, stair wells and bedrooms I've finally moved to a house with a dedicated surfboard shed. I can not describe the pure joy of being able to get my hands on all my 'ladies' at once and the pleasure in knowing that they are not getting twisted or crushed when they are stored all over town under friends houses and in the rafters of random garages. The other night I just left the light on in the shed and the door open and stared at all that history from the balcony with a beer. Am I weird?
Below is a 6'0" single fly swallow tail Bennett twin fin shaped by Russell Head at Bennett in Brookvale. Despite the dodgy repair on the tail done by me the board has maintained an almost mirror finish glass job over its great spray. A technique I am yet to master and have had a lot of trouble finding out how to achieve. I would appreciate any advice on how to get a high gloss finish on my restorations. Do I thin down the gloss coat with acetone or styrene and do I apply it with a brush? Do I polish it with boat polish?
Russell shaped some of the first twin fins in Australia after the design was introduced to Bennett by visiting US shaper Tom Hoye in 1970 according to Surfsearch
(Appropriately this board now belongs to my good friend Huw Bennett.)
I went to visit my good friend Christian in Singapore recently. He and his brother have opened a beach front bar on the island of Sentosa. The beach is beautiful, the girls go crazy and the boys are working hard and living like Kings!
The beach you see is artificial with the sand having been brought in from Indonesia. The island in the background is built over a steel frame with rocks and trees dropped on top. Imagine the left hander that would peel around the point if this island faced the swell.
It begs the question, if they can do this in Singapore why haven't we got dozens of perfect man made points all over the world? I've been re-reading surfing magazines from the 80's where we were promised wave pools with 6 ft barrels and artificial reef on every beach with a closeout by the year 2000.
I really enjoy reading your blog. I just saw this on TV about a father/daughter team that are building artificial reefs. You might enjoy it.
The recent Hawaiian Islands Vintage surf Auction saw record prices including 5 boards that sold in excess of US$20,000. My passion is for Lightning Bolt twin fins like the board second from the left.
The good news is our collections are gradually incresing in value.
The bad news is the chance of us finding pieces of surf history in garage sales for $15 is getting smaller and smaller. For me the fun part is finding and riding these boards, not owning or selling them.
The good news if your willing to hunt around there are still good boards out there at reasonable prices. Like this bolt twin fin below that was for sale on Craigslist for $300.
The bad news is people are finding these boards and selling them for up to US$2500 like the bolt twinny below for sale near Dana Point.
Now I'm no martyr. I've found boards for $15 at Taree cash converters that i've sold for over $900. I can see that my finds are going to become more and more rare but at least these boards are not ending up as land fill and will live on hopefully to be shared with all of us.
I'm a fan of innovation. I'm a fan of invention. I'm a fan of the FCS concept. I like the idea of being able to change fins and travel with my boards packed tightly and efficiently. But since FCS introduced the MR twin fin series I have broken or lost 4 fins from 4 sets. The first 2 were the black carbon fibre fins that they no longer run for obvious reasons. These stiff and brittle fins just snapped straight off at the base in average size surf conditions. The next fin I lost was one of the expensive fibre glass laminate performance glass fins that snapped straight out of their plastic fin box converter that I had set up in an old Bruce Jones twinny. Today I lost one of the glass flex fins. Today's was the most upsetting and at the same time the most forgivable.
The story goes as follows, after watching a low pressure system intensify last night over the North Island of New Zealand (on TV not in person) I packed the car for a super early. I drove an hour south in the pitch darkness and was pretty stoked to be the first one out at a place I call 'Da Nang'.
I got 4 long 5ft lefts before I felt that familiar sensation of one of those piece of shit FCS twin fin fins shaping off at the base while during a bottom turn. This time it cracked the casing and tore out some foam and glass which meant at least it tried to hang on for a while. So I ask-
Dear Mr Fin. C. System,
I am a loyal repeat customer. But I need to know, why can't you make a set of twin fins to support 100kgs thru a basic bottom turn?
Have you never been surfing your self on a twin fin? Do you, like so many city bound plastic pop out surfers only surf 6'1" Chinese made thrusters in mushy surf under 3ft?
How is it that a technology used to stick a skeg to a surfboard in the 60's is more effective and longer lasting than that which you now employ.
On your web site you state that these Glass Flex fins were 'developed with chemical engineers'. Can I assume that these chemical engineers more often work with pheudo ephedrine and other precursor chemicals used in the production of 'Ice'?
You state you tested a number of materials with C. Brewer Co. I refute this and say you were obviously working at A. Brewery Co' when these twin fins were developed.
In future, when working on new products, please consider us, the massive army of wide fin based, 2 finned, 1 tonne surfboard riders who just want to go surfing on a nice 30 year old board.
The Board Collector.
One more from the collection. A very clean condition Peter Daniell's shaped 6'0" diamond tail, channel bottom twin fin from 1982. Daniell's is one of Australia's most experienced and productive shapers who is still pumping out cutting edge shapes today. This board is so nice even I'm stuck for words. A glorious wide tail set up with lots of lift and speed, 2 relatively small fins that make it nice and loose but a little skatey. What a lovely simple spray. This board is just such a neat package.
but we could have been brothers. I found these shots on Flickr.
I don't know Mike Klein but I surely share his taste in boards.
I don't know Mike Klein but I surely share his taste in boards.
Adam from the US sent me these pics of an amazingly rare 7'1" 1975 Gerry Lopez Lighting Bolt single fin shaped by Mickey Munoz with this incredible fish tail. The stringer is signed Munoz and dated 75 and has a serial number 8932. I wonder what the theory was behind this design. It's unlike the crew a Bolt to push a concept that didn't work. I don't know how this tail was meant to turn as I imagine it would create a lot of drag when you dug the rail in to make a bottom turn and I'm guessing the guys in the glassing bay didn't much like it either.
Craig from Gisborne, NZ sent me these pics of his late period Energy thruster designed and shaped by Simon Anderson.
It features a marvelous experimental innovation now common on many long boards, the nose channel. I've only seen this once before, on a Glen Winton shaped twin fin, except the Winton board the channel goes all the way from nose to tail. The other unique feature of Craig's board is the crooked tail fin, designed for turning left perhaps? I wonder what Simon called his nose channel invention, maybe the 'Nostril'. I'll be sure to ask him.
I'm pleased to share with you my 6'1" rounded pin tail Hot Stuff thruster, shaped by NZ legend Al Bryne on the Gold Coast in the early 80's.Its nearly at the end of its life but its one enduring feature is its beautiful deck spray, comon on HS boards of the period. The history of HS shapers is well documented but who skillfully wielded the air brush is unknown to me.
Hot Stuff Surfboards began at Currumbin in the late 70's with Gill Glover in the Shaping Bay and John Allen in the glassing room. My favorite 80's surfers Chappy Jennings and Gary “Kong” Elkerton signed up in ‘81. By ‘82 Kong had joined the rest of the HS crew Rabbit and AB surfing the west peak at Sunset. Derrick Doerner became Hot Stuff's Hawaiian connection, building special rack’s that kept “AB”s classic bottom curves proportionately stable between Hawaiian seasons.
This board is not worth much. Not much to anyone but me.....