I would give 10 new surfboards.....

Gavin sent me some pics of his recent acquisition.
An original Mark Richard's Team Bolt twin fin shaped by Mark in 1983, complete with Victory Wetsuits sponsor decal.
This board is as rare as a bottle of 1942 Bordeau from the south of France when the Nazis were plundering the cellars and driving tanks across the vineyards. In 1983 Mark was at the height of battle with Cheyne travelling the world on tour and hardly shaping at all. And like the 1942 wine, I regard the year 1983 the premium vintage for twin fins.
Sure it could do with a little fixing up, but I would swap 10 new boards for this piece of design history.

Stimulus package.

If it was your birthday and you were going to a famous Fijian reefbreak for a week and you a have 30kg baggage allowance that meant you could bring one vintage surfboard with you to explore a revolutionary design of the past (with removable fins) would you choose....

A) Local Knowledge. 6'5 channel bottom single fin pin tail. To get deep in the tube, like those at Kirra, for which it was designed.
B) Sky. 6'0" Bob Mc Tavish shaped single fly swallow tail twin fin. To fly down the line sweeping and carving like Joe Engle riding Nias for the first time.
C) Bing. Lotus model single fin pin tail. A cooperative design between Bing and Dick Brewer, built for powerful surf and tube-riding.
D) Bing. 6'0" diamond tail bonzer bottom (extreme single to double concave) single fin. Designed by the Campbell Brothers. A board built for speed and drive.

A) 16
B) 12
C) 10
D) 9

1975 to 1985- From back row left to right........

My friend Mark came to visit me from LA and forced me to pull some of the boards out of the shed and lay them out in the drive. Seeing how many boards I have needlessly acquired made me feel a little embarrassed and self conscious, like when your mum pulls your box of Penthouse magazines out from under your bed and stands there and says 'what's the meaning of all this then!"

Mc Greigor, thruster with jet fins. AU
Hot Stuff, Al Bryne shaped single fin pin tail. AU
Bryne, Tom Carroll model square tail thruster. AU
Jackson, Lim Parkinson shaped rail channel thruster. AU
Section 8 twin fin. AU
Jet , twin fin. AU
Hot Stuff, single fin pin tail. AU
Bryne, Tom Carroll model rounded pin tail thruster. AU
Wave Crest Hawaii stinger single fin shaped by Doug Bell. AU
Channel Islands Al Merrick designed Doug Bell shaped thruster. AU
Country Style Angourie twin fin. AU
KC, Greg Trotter shaped twin fin. AU
Local Knowledge tripple fly swallow tail twin fin. AU
Canyon big wave tri fin shaped by Rusty Rreisendorfer. US
Bruce Jones, twin fin. US
KC, Greg Trotter shaped thruster. AU
Sky, Bob Mc Tavish shaped twin fin. AU
Hot Butterred, Terry Fitzgerald shaped Drifta. AU
Emerald, Jim Banks twin fin. AU
Bryning Spear, Al Byrne shaped extreme channel bottom gun. AU
Glen Winton, Glen Winton shaped quad. AU
Hot Stuff, extreme channel bottom gun. AU
Free Flight, Col Smith shaped channel bottom pin tail single fin. AU
Jackson, Jim Parkinson shaped twin fin. AU
Mark Richards, Bob Margrets shaped bat tail twin fin. AU
Strapper, turbo fin thruster. AU
Bryne, T&C clinker bottom twin fin shaped for Vince Klyne. AU
Energy, Simon Anderson shaped twin fin. AU
Emerald, twin fin shaped by Steve Griffihs. AU
T&C, Nev Hyman shaped, square tail thruster. AU
Energy, thruster. AU
T&C, thruster shaped for Kingsley Looker. AU
Energy, thruster shaped by Scott Beggs.AU
Energy, thruster, AU
Energy, single fin shaped by Simon Anderson. AU
Energy, thruster. AU
Star, channel bottom single fin shaped by Alan Bean. AU
Hot Stuff, Al Byrne shaped single fin. AU
Mark Richards, stinger. AU
Hot Buttered, Greg Webber shaped thruster. AU
Mark Richards, Bob Margrets shaped twin fin. AU
Sun Dancer, twinzer / quad. AU
Nirvana, Glen Winton shaped flex fin twin fin. AU
Energy, Simon Anderson shaped for Simon Anderson, single fin. AU
Bruce Jones, twin fin. US
Rip Curl, Wayne Lynch designed Bill Shrosbree shaped thruster. US
Lightning Bolt, Bill Barnsfeild shaped twin fin. US
Lightning Bolt, Tom Eberly shaped twin fin. US
Lighting Bolt, twin fin. AU
Lightning Bolt, Stuart Cadden shaped twin fin. AU
Lighting Bolt, twin fin. AU
G&S, highlighter single fin shaped by Greg Solnes. AU
Lightning Bolt, Ken Bradshaw shaped single fin. US
McCoy, Lazor Zap shaped by Geoff McCoy. AU
McCoy, Tri Zap shaped by Geoff McCoy. AU
Sky, single fin, shaped by Robert Fenech. AU
Byrne, clinker twin fin. AU
Hot Dot, thruster shaped by Grant Miller. AU
Daniell, twin fin shaped by Peter Daniell. AU

Spunk Record's CEO.

Aaron from Spunk Records, Australia's best alternative record label, and I took some time out of the office this week to do some 'research'. He on a new Ben McTavish shaped quad (above) and me on a 32 year old Bob Mc Tavish shaped twin fin (below).

Nat's Nat and the Cat in the Hat

I first learnt to surf at Collaroy on Sydney's northern beaches in the mid 70's where Robert "Nat" Young was King. He went on to write a book, Nat Young's History of Surfing where he himself pretty much declared himself the King of all the surfing universe. I spent my teenage years reading that book cover to cover dozens of times, so my heart skipped a beat when I found this board in the back yard of a junk shop for $15 a few years ago. To be fair, Nat did win the World Surfboard Championship in San Diego in 1966, the first person to win the title who was not a resident of the host country. He went on to become one of the most influential players of the modern era.
According to Surf Research This board was probably shaped by Paul Holmes. The design was heavily influenced by Joey Cabell of Hawaii. This design features a compressed pintail gun template, 2nd phase concave bottom, soft box rails with a hard edge, large nose lift and, its most beautiful feature, a small Greenough single fin made from a combination wood and fibreglass laminates.
The board looks grey green on the bottom, but is in fact bright blue, the gloss coat having browned with age.
Of course I just LOVE the nude lady in the ferns rice paper transfer. The epitome of 70's cool.

Photo : Bruce Channon

Photo : Albert Falzon

Reno Abellira's Sunset gun.

Robbi wrote-

Attached are some pics of my Reno Sunset Gun. I would love to get it restored but think it would be too difficult and best left as is.
Reno sold this to me on one of his trips down under for the circuits back. He said it didnt go as well as he had hoped and I am not surprised.
Too straight in the tail. Reno made lots of boards for me and I loved the smoothness of them. I had one of the first stingers ever in Aust and rode it in a Coke trial at South Avalon.
It was stored for ages at Aloha while I tried to get Greg Clough to copy it. Never happened and it was 'lost'
I still have a newish Reno from his last trip down here.
He is a difficult item to deal with these days...ha but I love his boards!

Haven't we met before....?

As soon as the auction ended I remembered.......
Surfabout 1982, Dee Why Point, ditching school.
Dane Kealoa surfing against Derek Hynd. The Pearl City decal gives it away.

The road less travelled Part 2.

I have been lamenting the power of the internet, with its bouys, swell maps, and on-line surf guides, and they way it can create instant crowds at spots that used to require trial and error and local knowledge to score on their day.
But sometimes the low is so far away, in this case off the north east tip of New Zealand, that it dosent show up on the swell charts and only experiance and the ability to read the low presure systems on the weather map can tell you a place is gonna be on.

Just me and the guy in the white helmet whose getting worked in the foreground and 4-6ft of a new 'un-predicted' Mother's Day swell hitting the reef.

Where are they now Part 3.

I recently stumbled upon the JET twin fin that Gary Green's was given as a prize for winning Pro-Junior at Scott Dillion's Surf Museum on the North Coast. Winning the Pro-Junior was the first sign of big things to come from the 80's best free surfer.