Cheyne Horan tells the story of the Lazor Zap.

2SM reporter Brian Walsh interviews Cheyne after the final at Bells
Surfabout was a surfing competition held annually in Sydney, Australia between 1974 and 1991. It was sponsored by Coca Cola and radio station 2SM and hence was called the Coke/2SM Surfabout. The contest was run in late Autumn, after the Bells Beach Classic at Easter.
The contest was taken to Channel 9 in 1978 by 2SM Program Director Barry Chapman who convinced then Director of Sport David Hill that Surfabout would make great television. Surfabout had a waiting period and was mobile so it could go to the best waves on Sydney's northern beaches. 
It also pioneered the man on man format and this added further excitement for spectators and television viewers.
In 1979, down to the round of 16, Sydney went completely flat and showed no signs of improving. With the contest and television program series at risk, Surfabout showed just how mobile a "mobile" contest can be when Chapman and Hill, after discussion with Contest Director Holmes, took the decision a great cost to the sponsors to fly the final 16 contestants, contest officials and television crew 600 miles to big cold waves at Bells Beach for the remaining rounds. Six light aircraft flew over Bells Beach to find a beautiful 8 ft swell lined up off Point Rincon. 

Cheyne Horan was the winner of this never to be repeated spectacular.

Cheyne wrote to say "In the 1979 2SM Coca Cola Surfabout the surf was very small for the first round and with a 10 day waiting period the surf was almost flat every day and the contest was on hold for 8 days, with only 2 days left in the waiting period and no surf on the horizon Contest director Paul Holmes came up with a major coup. Bells was meant to be 8-10 ft the next day so Paul organized to have the whole contest air lifted from Sydney to Bells.
This was unheard of to air lift a whole event chasing the best waves in Australia, so we all flew down to Geelong in very small 10-12 seater planes, about six planes in all.
 The best surfers in the world were met by these big super comfortable buses at this country airport that looked more like a cow field. I remember when we came over the Bells hill and saw the surf for the first time everyone on the bus started screaming and hooting, it was very big as we had just came from flat Narrabeen. My first quarter final was with MR who had just won the Bells contest 2 weeks before and was the favorite to win this event now that it had been moved.
Rip Curl had made me a special wetsuit that went along with the board white, red and yellow, wearing it just made me rise to the occasion, we paddled out and my board went the best ever and surfing super tight and radical with MR doing his patented bottom turn snap, it was a very  close heat, I was able to get a tube ride with open face moves, commentators were calling it 'poetry in motion', when they announced the winner we were both together in the bus and I just couldn’t hold back the excitement and just screamed out with joy.
Next heat was with Simon Anderson, a Bells specialist, who was the favorite to win at Narrabeen and was on fire, the board was like silk, fitting like a glove and feeling like a formula 1 racing car totally tuned. I progressed through this heat and the light was bad and they decided to call it off for the day.
Next day, same thing, the surf was perfect 8-10ft.  Larry Blair was last years winner and was  going for two in a row. He paddled out in a vest...surfed great but froze, it was amazing because Larry wasn’t known for his back side surfing and had he made his backside tube he may well have won two in a row, as history now shows who the winner of the first ever airlifted surf event is. 
I consider this one of my best ever victories.
Geoff McCoy and I were working on trying to stay in one place on the board so there was no lag time between turns also getting the board way over on the rail to get extreme angles on the wave. The design of the spray came from Vic Ford who just after coming back from Hawaii drew it, later I saw James Jones of Hawaii’s surfboards I could see where he got his inspiration. I colored the board yellow rails with red-maroon deck I used these colors and design from the time I was 15 till 19 and would still like to have this design today.
- Aloha Cheyne"

Cheyne at Bells 1979.

The board today. Double wing rounded pin.

Cheyne, Tommy Carrol and Ant Corrigan.

"In the next chapter we will explore is the first of the needle nose Lazor Zaps. 
I have one of the originals.

Ive written stories on 4 boards to share.
The Waimea 5'8,  the World Title board, the one you have and the outside log cabins
board from one of the biggest days ever..
I still have to write the needle nose story from scratch."
Aloha- Cheyne

Many thanks to Laurie and Cheyne.
All photos from the collection of Cheyne Horan.

McCoy Lazor Zap. Part 15. U.S connection continued..

Laurie wrote to say-  "Ive been a subscriber to your site for a few years now and I check out all the updates that come through with great interest as I'm a keen board collector myself with about 300 boards in my collection. 
I've been particularly interested in your latest series on 'The McCoy Lazor Zap'! 
It just so happens that my best mate is Cheyne Horan, and after a little chat with him, we have decided to share with you, and your boardcollector readers, the full history of the 'Lazor Zap' right from the beginning. 
This will include pics of his history making boards that haven't been seen for many years and mind blowing stories personally written by Cheyne about them and the times, the contests and designs. 
To tell you the truth, i was as excited as a "kid in a lollie shop", as I helped him pull out all these old McCoys and photograph them with him, while listening to the story that went with each board. 
He wants to tell it from the very beginning, way back in the 70's through the 80's, 90's and pretty much up till now."

Wow! Stay tuned.

In the mean time Tim from Kona has shared these pics of his amazing Geoff McCoy shaped Californian Zap. 
5' 10 1/2"x 20"x 3" all original (except some repairs to the tail & a couple others on the rails) double "bump" wing swallowtail, competition "texture deck" top, flowing arrows signature McCoy air sprays, overall bottom has a slight rolled "V" from nose to tail, singlefin box with both original McCoy style time-period fins...the 7 1/2" boomerang style long-rake fin & 8 3/4" STAR FIN, concept by Cheyne Horan design by Ben Lexcen out of Sydney, Australia. 
The board is signed on the stringer "McCoy for Chas...California '82" but no serial # on it.

Fin Soup.- Surf Swap.

Deus Venice Surf board Swap meet. 
August 4th, 1001 Venice Blvd, Venice Ca. 
Sell, Swap, Swindle anything that floats. 
Surfboard band battle, pork luau, onsight ding repair by Sherman. 
Long, Short, Finless, Asymetric, Spoons, Surf Mats, Hand Planes, Belly Boards, Hull's, Twinie's, Quads, Single Fins's welcome. Bring your Boards for consignment. 
No New boards only old foam, pre thruster revolution. 

McCoy Lazor Zap. Part 14. U.S connection.

The first vintage surfboard I ever acquired was from a pawn shop in about 1995. The shop had 3 sections, the section up the front was the retail portion where they sold items they owned. The second section held items they had lent money against, but could not sell because the loan period was still valid and the third was a cage in the back yard where they were holding / getting rid of items they couldn't sell that they had acquired through loans that had gone bad or had been paid back and the items had not been collected.
I saw a early 70's Nat Young single fin pin tail with wood laminate fin about to be sent to the rubbish tip and even though I had no real interest in surfing on anything but the latest shape from the current  hottest shaper,  I thought "wait a minute, that's not right....."
I bought the board for about $10 and for the next decade it became a regular habit of mine to 'do a lap' of every pawn shop I passed in my travels and ask to see "the cage" out the back. For the next 5 years or so the average buy price for a vintage surfboard for me was between $15 and $50. 

Although eBay had launched by 1995 I don't have a record of buying anything till 2004. Since then, Craigslist and eBay have changed everything about buying and selling old surfboards, so I felt a little nostalgic when I visited a down town San Diego pawn shop to look at this old U.S built McCoy single  fin from about 1980 / 81. I was able to negotiate a good price because some idiot had filled all the dings and scratches with pink car body filler some time ago but with a little sweat I was able to get it all cleaned up.
Shaped by Tom Watson, to me it clearly has the outline, thickness, double flyers and tail shape of the early Lazor Zap design. It was shaped for Mike Moir surfer and photographer who published the documentary book on the Newport during the innovation period of surfing called 'The Eighties at Echo Beach'. 
This board may not be one of Danny Kwok's competition team McCoy boards but it could well be a close relative.

Older style McCoy laminate that they continued to use in the U.S for some time after Geoff stopped (ran out?) using them in OZ.
Old school Pawn shop.  Just like old times.

I was sad to lose the original Rip Curl sticker that was the same as the ones Cheyne had on his boards at the time but I had a lot of car bog to sand away. 

The deck has the 'comp finsh' raised fibre glass texture. I had a similar finish on my board in 1982, it gave me a rash so bad that it was bleeding.

U.S made, stamp of authenticity 

Photos by Mike Moir

This board isn't in this photo but I have a feeling it wasn't far away.

McCoy Lazor Zap. Part 13.

My good friend brought this recent listing to my attention.
A truly remarkable original example of the design with a sad story attached.
The owner had only recently purchased the board in 1980 when he was involved in a motorcycle accident that kept him out of the water ever since.

I've posted this pic of Cheyne in 1981 before but it bears repeating.

The other amazing posting of late was this incredible Al Merrick shaped comp board built for Tom Curren in 1983. 
It sold for what can only be described as the bargain price of US$1600 considering Channel Islands currently make this model and retail them for about US$800.

What a piece of surf culture history!