Evolution of the Thruster (logos)

Gavin is a dedicated collector from the wave rich north coast of New South Wales. He has sent me the pics below of a small but interesting part of his collection that focuses on Simon Anderson Thrusters, post Energy surfboards label, and before his current S surfboards label. Simon tells great stories in his book Thrust about this 'wilderness' period when he went out of Vogue with the surf industry after Energy and, among other adventures including finishing pre-shapes at Insight, made it through by pulling hell stints in Japan smashing out a up to 15 boards a day, seven days a week and living on a diet of fresh swordfish and kiren beer in his one room apartment and watching Japanese sumo wrestling on TV. Later he took some good advice and refocused his shaping career under the S label that is still thriving with test pilots like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and the late Andy Irons.

A board from the period immediately after Energy.

A little latter and a little more refined shape.

A US made Nectar Thruster that currently on the boat. 

A South African made Country Rhythms Thruster

and a later 80's pre "S" label thruster featuring the return of the Energy label.

40th anniversary of the Bonzer. Part 1

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Bonzer this year Tim from Kona took his whole collection of Campbell Brother Bonzer designs to the rim of a volcano and sacrificed a live goat in honour of Malcolm and Duncan.
He didn't sacrifice a goat but he damn nearly killed himself trucking 3 dozen beautiful boards up a bumpy volcanic road in time to catch the sunset. Then he had to get home pack a bag and get to Oahu for the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction on 2 hours sleep. A dedicated man and an inspiration to me.

Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. Part 4- Meeting Ben Aipa.

A highlight for me appraising at the Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction was getting a chance to get up close and personal with two vintage 80's Ben Aipa shaped boards brought in by the son of the original owner. While we were actually looking at the the boards, Ben Apia showed up and came over to review his handy work. They were two very unique shapes, like high performance long boards scaled down to short board dimensions.

The red tri fin had 3 fin boxes and a small swallow tail and was 3 1/2 inches thick.

The blue twin fin was a rounded pin and had a double concave through the tail.

'Here's one I prepared earlier'

Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. Part 3- Encounter with Duke Boyd.

Duke Boyd was the founder of Hang Ten and one of the main players in the Lightning Bolt brand, two of the most iconic surf wear brands of all time that together laid the foundations for what is today a $30 billion industry.
I got to meet Duke at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction and chat with him about an intriguing item from the Sydney Surf Auction of Vintage Surfboards and Memorabilia from a few years back.
The story goes that someone found a manila folder at the Gymea rubbish tip containing the original license agreement for Lightning Bolt board shorts and walk shorts in Australia, an agreement that would have a huge impact on the look of Australian beaches. The part I loved was the contracts contained naive hand drawn sketches by Duke Boyd including this one with notes that read-
Cord & Denim walk short.
This is the current happening style in walk shorts.
I tried a different approach- mixing denim and corduroy, tone on tone.
It would sell.

Duke was so fascinated by my story he momentarily looked up from his newspaper he was reading.

Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. Part 2

The crowd stands to applaud the winning bidder for the 1920 John Kelly Red wood plank that just sold for US$41,000.

Needless to say, it wasn't me

Going Vertical - Hawaii

I arrived in Hawaii in time to make it to Hawaii International Film Festival's screening of 'Going Vertical' that was part of the Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. Going Vertical is the  story of the epic search for surfing’s great truth of who really started the Shortboard Revolution. It explores whether it was the Hawaiians with their proud Polynesian tradition, or the Californians, who continue to be the commercial machine of modern surfing. It asks, was it the brainchild of Australian surfing legend and surfboard designer Bob McTavish, collaborating with American expat, George Greenough on the remote beaches of Australia? 
Neither the Australian's nor the American's come off well in the movie. The Australian's come of as insecure and arrogant and the Americans as some what belligerent. The highlight of the film for me was the analogy posed by former Surfer editor, Sam George that the short board revolution was like the Punk Rock movement in England in 1977. No one band invented it, but it wouldn't have happened without both the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Certainly there would have been no short board revolution without both Dick Brewer and Bob Mcavish mowing foam on opposite sides of the planet at the same time.

My first shock of the evening came when I looked to my right to see Da Bull and his wife sitting down beside me. I had never seen Greg Noll in the flesh before and he is quite an imposing figure.

The second shock came when after 2 hours of watching Dick and Bob bitch about each other on screen they each took to the stage and embraced in what could have been the first time in many decades.

Bob McTavish at Noosa with the 1948 holden 
1966 by John Witzig

After the screening I got a chance to speak with the legendary Dick Brewer about teaching Mark Richards to shape and his use of 3 and 4 fins, specifically the small trailer fins like those below. A true innovator and genius, to use his own words.

Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction. Part 1

It was an honor and a privilege to be invited by Randy Rarrick to be an appraiser at today's Hawaiian Island Vintage Surf Auction along side Dan and Tim from Kona. It was just so exciting to see a dusty board bag come through the door with the silhouette of something I recognized. Let me share with you a selection of the wonderful craft I got to appraise and some of the great people I got to meet.

The appraiser at work.

My first board of the day. An Owl Chapman shaped Dick Brewer label swallow tail single fin.

Tim looking over an 80's Surfers Alliance long board with truly mad spray.

A Russel Kim shaped Lightning Bolt swallow tail single fin.

Dan has a close look at the Ben Apia single fin.

The curious owner and his Rich Park single fin.

The original owner with his custom 1971 Chris Gardner shaped Lightning Bolt single fin.

An original Barry Kanaiaupuni Bolt in need of a bit of love and restoration.

An 80's Blue Man thruster with great spray top and bottom.

An absolutely mint Local Motion single fin that belonged to this guys late brother in law. He thought it was worth about $100. I set him straight.

Lots of long boards came through this year. Just when we thought the supply was drying up a whole new load came out of the wood work.

A 1970 G&S single fin from San Diego.

A wheelbarrow load of Surfline Hawaii's and T&C that had seen better days.

A beautiful Bill Barnsfeild bolt

A labeless Glen Minamari tri fin with great spray.

and many more. What fun!