Hobie Bolt

My friend from San Clemente let me have a look at a couple of gems he had hidden away in his shed.
One highlight was this beautiful Californian built Terry Martin shaped red pigment coat Hobie Lightning Bolt stinger. 
He had shown the board to a local guy who had a good look at the details of the board and said 'I've got something for you' and produced a copy of a hand written letter by Gerry Lopez in Hawaii to Mickey (Munoz) and Danny in California. This board could have been a direct result from this very piece of correspondence.

Dear Mickey and Danny,
Howzit all going over there (in California) - good I hope. We've had a super year- lots of boards and good vibes.....all designs have been getting the full workout: besides all our guys here, almost the entire Australian and South African Pro surf teams have been on the lightning Bolt program - riding, testing and lots of theorizing of course. In fact we had 18 finishers on L.B's out of the top 22 placings in all the pro contests (Masters, Duke, Smirnoff and Hang Ten) for the 74' 75' season.

Anyway now that the Hawaiian contest circuit is over and all the big surf has faded- things are returning to a more reasonable state. The spring surf is just starting to show and its almost a relief to have some nice fun and safe 4-6' waves instead of all that scary big stuff. Again the little boards are the focus of our concentration...have a new 6'8" that is unreal - almost forgot what it was like to get loose and hot dog it a little. Dimensions on the this bolt are something like this: 6'-8" x 19 1/2 wide, 13 1/2 nose and 13" tail - fish tail w/ the slightest of wings about 6" up rails, deck and bottom curves and foil are pretty much the same as the last bolt- not really much you can alter in those areas. I think what we do use is still the most functional w/ the emphasis towards speed and maneuverability rather than just one or the other. Seems to paddle rather quickly although the floatation is a little weak w/ the 3 1/8" centre thickness. Also foiling the nose out instead of the fat Brewer nose trip sure allows you more vertical freedom- climbing and dropping is much faster and the whole board just seems more responsive. Still on the narrow base fins like before - 5" base - 8" depth the narrower bases are definitely looser than those fat bases. The slight winger fish tail has more lift w/ the added area and does accelerate quicker than usual tail w/o wings, however it also gets you airborne really fast if your not careful- moving the wings forward seems to alleviate the lifting sensation and acceleration. Rory is riding the same thing, only 6'6" and is literally shredding the waves- covering maximum area at speed- very loose and quick, seems like he's doing 3 turns to my 2- he really likes the wings.

We'll be leaving for Australia in a few weeks for the coca-cola contest with B.K and Reno so next time I write will be from Down Under. You guys look after yourselves and the Bolts.....

Aloha - Gerry.



the letter and the board



Wave riding vehicles

Good surfing has a lot to do with confidence and a great airbrush design can go along way to boosting your confidence and therefore your surfing ability. 
Unlike a stripe painted on a car that will not affect the power out put of the engine, a set of bold stripes painted on a surfboard like this seems to dramatically effect the output of the power in my legs.
Hence, this Bill Frierson shaped 6'1" rounded pin tail WRV twin fin from 1981, seems to go a lot better than its almost identical twinBill Frierson shaped 6'1" channel bottom, swallow tail WRV twin fin without a crazy spray.

My they did do some crazy sprays. photo Surfing 1981

built for the waves of Virginia, this board is fast and loose

Front side top turn

Original star fins, the difficult 2 part metal screw in type.

My vanity got the better of me. 
In an attempt to get some nicer pics of the board in the water I went without leash or booties on this cold winter morning.

Backside bottom turn

Flat through the bottom with slight vee between the fins.

Domed deck with soft rails

Looking back at my backhand turn

twin brothers in every way bar the tails.

Double fly and single fly

White Whale! Part 2.

Gary, the man behind the 'Surf City' exhibition at the Museam of Sydney put me in touch with John, a life long North Narabeen local who own's what he belives is the first ever, over the counter, custom ordered, Energy Thruster. It certainly is a fantisic example of an early Simon Anderson 3 fin design. What makes it unique and dates it from 1981 is the hand cut '3 fin Thruster' stencil. This is the third board that I have now seen with the pre-screen printed decal. 
The first 2 belonged to Energy team riders, The White Whale! Part 1,  and one of them was Simon's personal board that he brought to San Diego's Sacred Craft surfboard show for the celebration of '30 years of the Thruster'. 
Uncle Keith at Sacred Craft- "Hey put that down!!"

Unless Steve Zoeller has any records that date from that period that were saved from the fire that burnt down the original Energy surfboards factory (and the first Thruster surfboard) there may be no way of confirming the story.

John wrote, "It just so happens that I own the first custom “Three Fin Thruster” surfboard made by Simon Anderson, for someone other than himself, which was still very much in its conceptual development phase.
 This particular board, when ordered by myself from Energy Surfboards (Waterloo Street, Narrabeen), was the mechanism that invoked the naming of this model type.
 Hence, the regular “Three Fin Thruster” logo-stencil characteristic of his earlier boards, was in fact hand painted on this board, having not been decided upon beforehand, (the whites in the eyes of the characters ‘R’ are the original drops of pigmented resin – hence, no aging).
 One close friend deserves a mention as he tried Simon's developmental board at North Narrabeen and was the one who encouraged me to go with the Thruster, a then unknown vehicle. My friend, a very very talented surfer, was then sponsored by KC surfboards and the twin fin was the mainstay of surfing for smaller blokes such as us. But, as soon as I stepped on the Thruster, I knew there was no turning back.

One other little fact that might be of interest to you is this. As we know, Simon Anderson is a very humble gentleman and too polite to seek fame, and consequently unlikely to mention that when he was developing the Thruster, he was also experimenting with a QUAD set up too, which from recollection (some 32 years ago - perhaps a tad fuzzy) is near identical to

that seen now. For us onlookers at North Narrabeen, it all seemed too radical and it certainly attracted our attention. But, when I saw the first quads appear, I immediately recalled a vision of Simon one summer afternoon standing on the shoreline with a board that had enough fins for 4 surfboards, which of course invoked thought and discussion as to how it might behave and which resonate again."

Simon Anderson goes to Trestles.

In 1981 Jeff Divine took a photograph of Simon Anderson getting out of the water at lower Trestles after surfing his 3 fin thruster design for the first time in the USA.
Its such an iconic image I have long wanted to pay homage to Jeff, Simon and Gary McNabb of Nectar surfboards who belatedly adopted the license for the design in the US and re-create the historic image.
I can remember the by-line in the magazine saying something like "a curious American inspects Simon Anderson's new 3 fin thruster design".

My first task was to secure (and preserve) a US built Simon Anderson model from 1981.
My friend James came good last last year and I'm now able to share with you my Nectar, Simon Anderson 3 fin thruster design from 1981. Big wide square tail, subtle single hips, lots of foam through the middle. The board measures, 6'3" length, XX nose, XX wide point, XX tail by XX thick. Ironically the board came to me with a smaller centre fin, which goes against the definition of a thruster, which is a board with 3 fins of equal size.

Nice white pigment coat all over.

La Jolla Surf Systems. This board was San Diego born and bred.
Star Fin system centre fin box. Not adjustable and hard to find.
Wide tail with soft single flyers.

With some time to spare on a wednesday and a nice little swell on its way I loaded up the truck and pointed it north towards San Clemente.
With the sun out and my destination in sight the truck started spluttering and died by the side of the road on the 5, right on the bridge over the Trestles lagoon. 

Time to start walking
Dont go anywhere you two
So close but so far.
Blue Bird stuck on the bridge
I climbed the hill and found a hole in the fence that protects the Camp Pendleton Army base. 
I wandered around till I found a gas station. (So much for National Security). 
I didn't have a petrol can, but a nice young solider in uniform helped me out with one.

Thank you soldier, as you were.
I climbed back down the hill, through a different hole in the fence, juiced up the truck and made it to the Trestles car park.

The walk to down to Trestles is always interesting.
You get to see some interesting folk.
And read some interesting philosophy.

the moss covered boulders are a great way to ding a 30 year old surfboard

I got a few rights

and I got a few lefts.

and the board went just as you would expect. 
Pretty much the same as very other 3 fined board made since 1981

I was pretty stoked because I got my picture in honor of Simon, standing right on the same spot as he was in in 1981. 
My 'curious American' wasn't so curious. 
Judging by his expression every board he had seen in his entire life time had at least 3 fins.