World's most famous obscure surfboards 5- Red tint Lightning Bolt pin tail single fin. Part 2


I've uncovered another impressive photo of Laura Blears Ching, younger sister of Jimmy Blears, who won title of Hawaii's number one amateur female surfer, won the women's division in 1972 Makaha Invitational surfing competition, became only female to compete in the Smirnoff men's championship in 1973 and won title of world's number one lady surfer.
Once again, surfing nude, without wax or leg rope, at a North Shore Hawaiian reef break, allegedly  pipe, on her famous red Lightning Bolt single fin. 
Her photos are some of the most re-blogged surfing photos on the Internet, making her red bolt one of the most famous surfboards in the world.


“As a little girl, I used to surf against the boys, because there were no girl surfers,” she says in a recent interview.  When not on boards, Laura, before she was ten, paddled in canoes and rode on catamarans. 
“As little kids, we helped the beach boys when they needed an extra paddler. They didn’t even have to say Laura and Carol. They just waved their hands and we jumped in. It was just a way of life,” she said.
Encouraged to surf by her father, Lord James Blears, known to beach boys as Tally Ho, Laura entered her first competition at 12. She lost. 
“I ended up being asked by surfing legend Fred Hemmings to enter my very first contest for money. My brother Jimmy was a finalist in that very first pro contest,” she recalled.
Laura was an alternate, but the next year she was a real participant. 
“It was billed as ‘325 men and Laura.’ That was the advertising. I beat one guy in my heat, but I never advanced. And I never ended up on the circuit,” she said.  Against women, however, she had at least ten wins.
“When you are on the board, you forget about everything,” Laura noted. To be a surfer “requires desire, a love of swimming and the ocean, and balance and agility. If you want to do it, you can do it. It is such a good feeling to be able to dance on the waves. 
“My Dad used to surf 365 day a year, with surf or without surf. He didn’t just practice when there was surf. You have to do it a lot. You just have to keep practicing.”

Dana Point Part 1


I thought it was time to stop being and observer and start being a participant.
So got the team together and we pulled down a dusty selection of twin fins from the racks and cleaned them up in preparation of showing and sharing at the recent Longboard Collectors Club meet in Dana Point.









Blue Bird



A big 'ol pick up truck is a must have Californian surf accessory if you are to properly enjoy a west coast summer.
I was lucky enough to be offered this 1971 Chevrolet C10 at a very reasonable price that is perfect for my needs.
Part of its appeal lies in that Chevy's are slightly exotic in my books, the brand having never been built or formally distributed in Australia by GM. 
Its also very difficult to get a pink slip in Australia (a roadworthy certificate) if there is any evidence of structural rust. So there is something a little taboo about driving a rusty truck with holes in it. Then there is the gun rack on the rear window which makes me feel like I'm a character in a Neil Young song.
But the best part of driving a big pick up truck is what they call 'tail gating'. Pulling up right the edge of the sand, dropping the hatch and having a BBQ in the back of your own truck right on the beach.



Cardiff reef is the perfect spot for longboarding and tailgating.

My son named the truck 'Blue Bird' so I thought I would turn it into a homage to Bob McTavish


Cardiff, not often this uncrowded when theres waves.




A 40 year 350 Chev V8 can still do 120k on the freeway
 




I have alway loved the sun shining thru some fins on the window sill....
...so I turned the gun rack into a fin rack


It feels like driving a rusty toy Tonka truck.


'Tail gating' California style


Op twin fin


I'm pleased to share with you my recently acquired (birthday present to self) 6'2" by 19" 1/4 single flyer swallow tail Ocean Pacific twin fin shaped by Mauricio Gill in 2004 for the then Op Creative Director
This board is neither collectible, valuable or historically important but it does have the following points in its favor. 
1) Its a 6'2" twin fin, my weapon of choice. 
2) Its high polished gloss black. 
3) It has never been ridden (the leg rope plug was still taped up). 
4) It has 2 big Op labels under the glass and Op boards have always looked cool. 
Ocean Pacific was originally started by John Smith in the 1960's as a true surfboard brand. Smith designed the original trademark and label for his surfboards, which he sold out of his shop North (San Diego) County Ding Repair shop in Leucadia. He sold the Ocean Pacific label to Don Hansen of Hansen Surf Shop in Encinitas. In 1972, Jim Jenks acquired the name from Hansen and the Ocean Pacific apparel line was created and things slowly spiraled down hill from there, except for the fact that they continued to produce beautiful high quality surfboards, many of them airbrushed by Bill Stewart and Jack Meyers, for use as in store displays.






Op continued to be involved in some important chapters in surf culture through the 80's and 90's such as their ongoing support of Tom Curren despite the fact they were no longer a credible surf brand and their hosting of my all time favorite pro surfing comps, the 1986 Op Pro at Huntington beach California and the 1986 Op Pro at Bondi.


Allegedly it was a couple of girls taking off their tops that caused the riots at the Op Pro in Huntington. Strangely the Op Pro at Bondi the same year had topless girls walking around through the crowds and posing with the pros without causing any such violence.

photo of Shaun Tompson and friends by Chris Stroth

Timpone twin fin


Here we have my partially restored, 1981, 6'3", single fly, swallow tail, vee bottom, Timpone twin fin with color work done by M.Townsend. Jeff Timpone began his shaping career in a Laguna Beach garage in 1968. He began working at Russell Surfboards in Newport Beach in 1971 along side JP and Shawn Stussy before opening Timpone Surfboards in Huntington Beach in 1980 around the same time Shawn also left to start Stussy. 

I took it for a ride on a bumpy, windy day at Swami's. Thinking that the added length and width would help smooth out the chop. As expected, the volume made paddling a breeze and it caught waves with ease. It was quick and loose but if I had my feet out of position slightly it would slide out due to the wide tail area.
Then again, only a bad workman blames his tools....










Big 'ol beak that allows a lot of foam to be carried up to the nose area.
This allows for excellent wave catching ability and ease of paddling.
The little man insisted I use his new 'cotton curtain tie' leash system.



Wide fin base with extreme, long raked tip.


Shawn Stussy, Jeff Timpone & Paul Huessenstamm
"Hey Damion,  Yeah Shawn Stussy shaped for Russell from the mid 70's through the early 80's.  He even had some influence on the current Russell logo we use. (look close at the S and you can see it).  He made shirts under his own logo like most other shapers did and after a surfboard trade show he sold way more shirts than surfboards he decided to pursue his clothing line."
Stay stoked JP- Owner , Russell Surfboards