Col Smith channel bottom

10 or 12 years ago I just coming to grips with the concept of the concave bottom, single to double concave, the vee and reverse vee. I was just learning the principles and history of the bottom contours of the modern surfboard and I was coming to understand the importance of the channel bottom, more specifically, the input that Col Smith made to our collective knowledge and the influence he had on the boards we ride today by pioneering his full rail channel bottom designs in Australia and Hawaii.
It was around this time I was lucky enough to come across, and regularly surf, an original Free Flight channel bottom single fin pin tail shaped by the same legendary Col Smith.
It was also around this time that I was short on rent and was forced to sell the above board to pay my not very legendary landlord.
It was a necessary but heart breaking decision and one I lived to regret.

Luckily, I was recently able to make amends, finding and buying the twin brother of my original Col Smith (below) for exactly the same money I sold the original (above) for a decade earlier.

It was like the surfboard universe just wanted me to have a CS single fine pin tail channel bottom.


  1. Hey don't forget Murray Bourton, Al Byrne and maybe even Gregg Webb's part in the channel phenomenon.

  2. Aloha My Bruddah; I met Jim Pollard, Colin Smiths shaper(Fluid Foils)@ Sunset Beach, Winter 78/79, he made me 3 boards that worked unreal! I lost contact with him since mid 80's! What happened to Jim, is he still alive? If so let me know? Aloha & Mahalo Pete Toyama (

  3. I have a new Al Byrne thuster channel bottom and its the best board I have ever ridden, super smooth and drivey.
    If only they were easier to make....

  4. Hey Jerry, think you got that arse about, those guys owe Pollard for the channel bottom idea which probably everyone owes Bob Simmons and maybe even the Hawaiians before white fellas heard of surfing aye.

    Pete, hey cuz Does Jim owe you money 'cause rumor is that's why he's gone walkabout?

    Yeah I have an original Pollard too, made in the Shane factory in Brookvale. Shane told me once that all those were shaped by Jim as well.
    Hari Om