Early 80's Martin Potter Team T&C?

OK, so there I am, I've made it all the way from California to the UK, from London to Braunton in North Devon and I'm finally at the Vintage Surf Meet at the Museum of British Surfing
and I'm on a mission.
I'm there to find and bring home a uniquely British piece of innovation period surf history.
I know what I'm looking for, something bright, something with a Gull or Alder logo, something by Vitamin Sea or Bilbo. Something ridden by Carwyn Williams or other 80's British born pro.
I'm looking for something with a unique connection to Great Britain and 80's surf culture.

I'm standing in the yard, talking to my new mate Crawly, who has just come up to me and said "Hey there, are you that guy who likes 80's boards?". I say "Yes, yes I am" and I've found a new best friend and rival collector.

Then I see it out of the corner of my eye, a skinny young fellow is pulling something bright and green out of a Morris Minor wagon, Mini Cooper or some uniquely British surf vehicle.

I say to Crawly, "are you thinking that could be what I'm thinking that could be?"
 He says, well "Pottz was born in the UK and I think his brother still lives around here".

5'10" swallow tail thruster with T&C Hawaii decals.

Then I see the TEAM decal under the glass and I'm convinced I've stumbled upon one of Martin Potter's early team Town and Country boards that has ended up back in the UK whilst he and his family where still in the process of relocating. It all adds up, the time period, the age of the board, the geographical location on this part of the English coast, the fact that the guy found it in an antique furniture warehouse.
My mission is a success beyond my dreams, not only a unique British connection but an important piece of early 80's global surf culture.

I drive the board back to London, fly it back to the States and get it a message off to Martin Potter in Australia. 
I excitedly wait for a reply to my query.
Damion to Martin Potter:  "Hey Martin, I spotted this board at a swap meet in Braunton, North Devon UK. Could this have been one of yours? cheers, Damion.

Then comes the response I've been waiting for.

Martin Potter: "Nah its not mate! Sorry!"

80's expert, Skelly looking for any identifying marks.
Museum of British Surfing car park.

Martin Potter's air brush spray designs from the early 80's remain some of the most iconic in all surf history.

For a deeper understanding of Pottz the man and the competitor I recommend a read a this excellent piece by Derek Riley for Stab magazine.

McCoy Lazor Zap. Part 19

Cheyne on Zap- Surfing magazine August 1981

Andrew from Victoria wrote to say -
"I love what you are doing on the blog about the McCoy Zaps and getting the info from Cheyne is fantastic!! 
I only collect McCoys & Zaps in particular, so I thought I would share some pics of some boards from my quiver with you"

Vitamin Sea twin fins. Part 2

Tad Ciastula and Chris Jones made some great twin fins during the early 80's under Tads label Vitamin Sea and under licence for Mark Richards and Cheyne Horan.
Here are three fine examples I saw in Braunton, North Devon recently.

Vitamin Sea ad from UK Tube News 1982. pic from www.vintagesurfboardcollectoruk.blogspot.com
UK pro Simon Tucker's Team Vitamin Sea MR twin fin at the Museum of British Surfing.

Original UK MR on display at Surfed Out, Braunton.

Gerry's first G-land pin tail.

Gerry Lopez has been associated with two of the most iconic graphic applications in the history of surfboard design.
First, the Lightning Bolt as seen at Pipeline. 
Second, the all over camo spray as seen at G-Land.
I have often wondered why Gerry committed so heavily to the camouflage pattern for his own label.

Keith was travelling through Newcastle where he got a sneak peak at Peter McCabe's stash of boards. Peter was an early Indo pioneer and Gerry G-land travel partner.

This single fin pin tail above was shaped by Gerry and was one of the first boards he took to G-land. He sprayed it with this camo design so he and Pete could stash the boards in jungle and keep them safe till they could return.

Gerry has stuck to the theme ever since. 

G-land jungle.

Vitamin Sea twin fins.

If you spend some time on Alasdair's blog Vintage Surfboard collector UK you cant help but fall in love with the amazing work that Chris Jones, Tad Ciastula and air brush artist Andy Cranston did in Newquay in the late 70's and early 80's at Vitamin Sea surfboards.
I find it interesting that Vitamin Sea was importing their blanks from Clark foam in the US and using Californian fin control systems when there was such a strong tie between the British and Australian surf scences at the time. Especially as CJ and Tad were making Mark Richards and Cheyne Horan designs under licence. This UK / USA connection makes them even more exotic to me.

I set myself a mission to find and possibly get hold of an original CJ Vitamin Sea twin fin whilst I was in the UK.
I was lucky enough to meet 2 gorgeous CJ twin fin's at the Vintage surf meet in Braunton but I was not able to persuade the owners to let them leave. Like the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, its probably culturally and historically for the best that they remain in England's green and pleasant lands.

Andy Cranston 1981 image from vintagesurfboardcollectoruk.blogspot.com

Chris Jones at Fistral in 1981 image from vintagesurfboardcollectoruk.blogspot.com

UK Vintage Surf Meet.

Whilst in the UK I was lucky enough to make it to the vintage surf meet meet in Braunton organized by Al Lindsay from Vintage Surfboard Collector UK and hosted by Peter Robinson from the Museum of British Surfing.

Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament.- Clark Griswold

London. Walking across town you see the most remarkable sights.

Hyde Park

Buckingham Palace.


The meet was held in Braunton, North Devon.
I was stoked to meet Alasdair from Vintage Surfboard Collector UK and his Hayden spoon.

Creamed Honey collection

Part of Al's collection featuring his Ted Deerhurst Sabre

Britain's most valuable belly board, as ridden by her Royal Highness Queen Elizebeth in 1964.

15 Creamed Honey single fin surfboards from Australia.

You have got to admire Shaun's decication and focus to put together his Creamed Honey collection above.

It seems I wasn't the only one drawing Schroff logos on my boards in the 80's

British classics

Ocean Magic twin fin from the UK

Summercloud bat tail

2 x Nats

Cornish by Peterson

Surfboard registration stickers were still required in the UK as late as 1985