Mystery board.

Michael wrote to me with pics of a board he found abandoned in a church equipment room. He was told to make it ‘disappear’. The board had been spray painted white all over, and after much elbow grease, revealed this lovely 1985 Triad Hawaiian Underground shaped by John Orlando.

Inspired by his find I was motived to bid on this early 80’s tri fin that has been painted blue. I know it’s a long shot, but the outline and tail looks remarkably similar to an early 80’s Energy thruster.
What do you think??
Uncle Keith has gone to pick it up for me so I’m yet to see it in the flesh.
How should I remove the house paint with damaging the fiberglass??

I havent seen the board yet but this is what I'm dreaming it looks like under the paint.


  1. Great Job on cleaning it up! Looks Awesome!

  2. I may have some info:

    1) There was one board (similar planshape) that I rehab-ed back in 1983 (Los Angeles). I was a Junior in high school, and a pair of Senior-classmen had a board they wanted fixed up to sell. It was sun-yellowed, water-stained yellow, dinged-up all over, clear resin, with a Rip Curl decal under the glass on the deck. Wanting to impress them, I took on the challenge, pro’ly for beer and/or social recognition. After I got it all cleaned and sealed up, they wanted me to paint it…paint? Okaaayyyy…so I sprayed the whole thing white, then did the bottom and rails in red, then a fluro-green fog from the rail-line into the deck (I ripped-off the color scheme from a wicked, but-too-short McCoy LazorZap I saw at ValSurf/Studio City). There’s no way that paint job lasted for even a Summer but, maybe, somebody just kept repainting it/selling it/etc. Couldn’t be the same one, could it? In “My World,” either Nothing Works” or “Everything Works (Weirdly),” so I wouldn’t be *that* surprised.

    2) Yes, I’d be cautious/clueless about stripping paint off of a petroleum-based subsurface as well. The really heavy-duty-stuff 1) is no longer available in California (enviro-laws) and, 2) would likely melt this “Mystery” into just a “Mess.” If You’re comfortable playing Chemist, try brake fluid or “Goof-Off” on a small spot on a non-essential board (as if You’d have any…). I’ve seen brake fluid blister-up paint pretty good, and is neutralized with water, but might eat resin. I’ve used “Goof-Off” to remove relatively fresh paint, leaving the older, established paint somewhat alone. Worst case: maybe sand-sand-sand with 120 grit over a large area and just deeply-meditate what level(s) are “Paint” and which ones become “Resin.”

    Let me know if You start seeing “R-I-P_C-U-R-L” ghosting out from the deck…Interesting…


  3. The Triad board you show there was shaped by Mike Casey on Oahu. That's his signature block on the bottom.
    I've stripped down a couple of boards that were painted before with a harsh paint stripper that came in a can like mineral spirits, but was actually called "Airline paint stripper"...the shit was super toxic, had to wear gloves & a respirator but it worked. Had to work fast with it though, doing 2 foot sections at a time with a rag & scraper... rinsing it off quickly afterwards so that it wouldn't damage the fiberglass. You can try mineral spirits first, all depends on what kind of paint was used. Either was, protect yourself and don't breathe the fumes.
    I hope all's going good for you and the Family...much aloha from Big Island,