1983 US made McCoy Lazor Zap

No serious surfboard collection is complete without a Geoff McCoy designed Lazor Zap. One of the most influential and controversial of all of the designs of the innovation period. Yet this must have design is not easy to ride, in Geoff's own words is " To take advantage of the Lazor Zap design you need to be a high level surfer". 
Geoff says "In 1978 I began a design revolution with the introduction of my Lazor Zap concept; with its wide area, thick tail and extremely pointed low resistant nose area this Lazor Zap design revolutionised surfboard design." Indeed Simon Anderson credits Geoff as one of the 5 fathers of the 'Thurster' as he incorporated the 'no nose' and pulled back mid point into his 3 fin design.

This particular example is a US version of the design shaped by Tom Watson in Cosa Mesa in August 1983. 
Beautiful in its simplicity and decoration.

I'm pleased to share with the before and after pics of my US made zap as the original stickers tell as much of a story as does the board.

I was fascinated to read the following statement on the Mc Coy website by Goeff McCoy about the star fin made famous by Cheyne Horan and synonymous with the Lazor zap design- 
"McCoy Ben Lexcen Fin Disclaimer:
This statement is to inform people that the Ben Lexon designed keel fin is in no way my fin of choice. I do not recommend it to be used in any of my Geoff McCoy designed surfboards.
Never have I had any involvement with the design and I certainly have not and do not recommend its use in a surfboard.
The original Lazor Zap fin is a refined Dolphin fin design. In recent years I have developed and recommend my Gull Wing fin.
My Gull Wing has been designed specifically for my wide thick tail single fin boards and has proven itself to be extremely efficient and a very reliable performer in a wide range of wave sizes and conditions.."

MR / RA / Victory & Mango

Mark Richards posted this pic this morning by Brian Bielmann.
"Pipeline Hawaii, mid 80's. Weirdest thing, I'd just arrived in Hawaii and driven out to Haleiwa stopping for a burger for lunch. I grabbed an issue of the latest Free Surf and was flicking through it and discovered this shot of me. 
I was so stoked to see it, its a rare event to get a shot in a surf mag these days. I don't remember the exact year but the board was a 7' 4", 19" wide and 2 3/4" thick. It was a thruster that I had shaped from a Burford blank in Australia. 
The tail had a wing swallow, with a round wing / flyer and the bottom shape was a flat panel fee. Another board I don't have but wish I still did."

Matt's MR.
MR's post prompted me to pull the following pics out.

We can be forgiven for getting over excited when finding an old board bearing a collection of some of the most iconic logos  from the 80's. Especially when this collection of logos belonged MR.
Although I stopped following competitive surfing in 1988 I feel that I can safely predict that no one will ever win more than 4 world titles in a competitive surfing career. 
 Therefore I proclaim Mark Richards to be the greatest surfer of all time!

What?! Kelly from Florida? Who is she?!

MR's designs were as sought after at the times as they are now.
So its no surprise to learn that he and other board makers made many replica's of MR's competition quiver to use as promotional items.

Gav's MR in OZ.

Burt's MR's in US

But what was a lot harder to explain was this crop of Robert August boards that were made with both Victory logo's and Mango logos. I've been lucky enough had a lot of comments and inputs.-

"Hi - I worked for Mango at the time and can tell you that this Mango Logo (above) pre dates this one "Victory Wetsuits / Mango Surfwear team board mystery." Who shaped the boards? i have no idea...though was near the end for Mango. "

"Hi- I recently picked up a Robert August Mango Victory team board, I was cleaning it up today and the same thing no markings of dimensions or shaper or numbers of any kind,the board is pretty solid,has a bright green to bright yellow fade on the top,its 5'9" and is a pretty sleek tri fin....fits right in with my collection......aloha "

"Hey mate, this board might be from lennox, Victory wetsuits was the huge brand in town at the time and Mango was owned by Donnie Munro at the time as well, Mango and victory sponsored LE BA our local boardriding club."

Even Barton Lynch tried to help-

"Not mine mate but I know Mark Richards rode for those companies so could be his. I will forward to him and see what he says, cool?"

Bill's Robert August.
Then Bill wrote about this one-

"Hi- I stumbled across your site and blog while researching a Robert August board I came to own for about the past 20 years. In my research I came across your site and found myself reading and enjoying the photos for hours. Thank you for your efforts - it warms my heart and toes just reading about surfing and the community. I have no way of knowing if I have something of value - or if it is pure junk.  I bought this out of a land locked beach / surf themed bar in Denver Colorado. I was told at the time when they launched the bar they had some big name surfers stop out at the grand opening weekend and dedicate a surf board to the bar for decoration. This board - among others - was suspended from the ceiling of the bar by wire - through three holes drilled through the board itself. When I bought the board it was covered in wax - which I removed - and a few beat up stickers - I also removed to see if there was further damage. I displayed the board in my home as a cool decoration but for the past 15 years it has been in storage here in Minnesota (read Minnesota as cold and land locked AKA miserable). The board is 5 ft 1 inch (a bit shy of 1.6 meters) and is about 18 inches wide (a bit over .5 meters) wide. Can you give me a quick opinion on my Robert August board?"

He did some more home work and tracked down our answer-

"Hi- Mystery solved. I tracked down and reached out via email to the founder of Mango Surfwear, a super nice guy named Don Munro. Don replied sending the email below to fill in the details around the Mango / Victory - Robert August Surfboards. - Bill"

 Hi Bill- My apologises for the delay in replying to your inquiry. There is a very simple explanation.....as the Founder/Owner of Mango Surfwear in 1994 I traveled to the US & negotiated with the owners of Victory Wetsuits to be the USA licensee of the Mango brand! This explains the correlation of the two brands & the connection with Robert August was he was a friend of the VW owners. The board being the size it is it could have been originally used for promotional/display purposes. I hope this solves the mystery for you! 
As a matter of interest how did you track me down?! - Don Munro

And then there was this one-

"Hi, I came across your article about your mystery victory/ mango marked Robert August and figured I'd share this with you. 
Its somewhat a mystery board, built by Bruce Grant and held in his personal collection until recently. I have no other info on it.........."

Bumble bee Bonzer

As someone interested in surfboard design, specifically surfboard design from the mid 70's to the mid 80's naturally I've always been fascinated by the concept of the Bonzer or Bonza as it was called in Australia. Nick Carrol is quoted as saying "The Bonzer is without doubt surfing's greatest example of a surfboard design slipping through the cracks."
So I was super stoked to get the opportunity to get my hands on this unique Malcom Campbell shaped 6'1" 1/2 Bumble Bee Bonzer. 
The Bumble Bee is a replica of one of the shapes that Duncan and Malcom rode between 1973 and 1978 and this board is the first of the modern Bumble Bee's.

photo by Kevin Voegtlin
The Bonzer design is famous for its speed and power through turns. Luckily I got the opportunity whilst I was in California to take it out in some waves that allowed me to properly explore the the different aspects of the design.

Jim Neece :"The Bonzer" Surfer Magazine 1973 from Surfreasearch

The concept of the single to double concave is one that has been proven and universally adopted by modern surfboard designers and manufacturers. But few have pushed the concept to the level embraced by the Campbell Brothers. Forward momentum in all surfboards is generated by the pressure of the water pushing against the moving fin. Theoretically the side bonzer fins simply increase the volume and pressure of the moving water against the fin creating thrust.

Malcom and Duncan with the design in the early 70's

Recently the Bonzer turned 40 years old.

photo by Kevin Voegtlin
You can actually see the amount of forward drive coming out and off the bottom during the bottom turn on this board.

Miguel from Drift approached Malcom with the idea of listing forty notable things to represent the forty years of the Bonzer, he thought it should be easy. When he actually sat down and began to compile the list, he realized how difficult it is to sum up the ‘Bonzer Experience’ in just forty things. 

Our lives truly revolved around the Bonzer. It is connected to nearly everything in our lives.

The word bonzer is Australian slang. It means extraordinary or unique. We originally gave this name to our surfboard design, and now forty years later it has come to accurately describe the life we have been fortunate to live.

The People.

The essence of the Bonzer is people; our mother and father, the people who have influence on us, such as friends, surfers, artists, philosophers, and all the people who have ridden our boards over the last forty years. It is almost impossible to limit to the list to ten. The people listed here represent the building blocks of the Bonzer Experience, and some who have provided us with wisdom and confidence that has helped us stay focused on our mission.

1. Our father

2. Wayne Lynch

3. Robert Moynier, friend and mentor

4. Craig Fineman

5. Davey Miller

6. Mitch Thorsen

7. Buckminster Fuller, inventor and philosopher

8. Krishnamurti, philosopher

9. Peter St. Pierre, owner of Moonlight Glassing

10. Taylor Knox


Duncan and I believe that for forty years the Bonzer has represented an alternative place of performance and philosophy within surfing. Here are ten physical and mental places that have been important to the development of the Bonzer.

11. Oxnard Shores, California

12. Sliverstrand Beach, California

13. Point Mugu Navel Base

14. Australia, the shortboard evolution

15. Hawaii, Pipeline

16. Ventura Surf Shop, Bill Hubina and Stan Fujii

17. Bing Surfboards, Bing Copeland and Mike Eaton

18. Moonlight Glassing

19. Creativity

20. Empathy


Surfboards are pieces of functional art or sculptures, and vehicles of transportation. They enable us to travel across the water on waves of energy produced by the natural forces of the earth. These ten surfboards are special to us. Some of them we have made, and the others have had a big influence on us.

21. Our first longboard in 1966

22. The first board we shaped. We striped down a long board and re-shaped it into a short board and glassed it

23. The first Bonzer, a 5'4"

24. The first Bonzer with the single to double concave, a 5'8" in 1971

25. Wayne Lynch's board in the movie Sea Of Joy

26. Duncan's 6'1" Bonzer with the Captain Beefheart art work on it

27. Jim Pollard's Fluid Foil boards

28. The first Bonzer Light Vehicle, rail concaves influenced by the Fluid foil

29. The first 5 fin Bonzer

30. Duncan's 7'4" Bonzer for Pipeline in 1983


The Bonzer has been at the center of our lives. Events in our lives have influenced the creation and development of the Bonzer, and in turn, the Bonzer has effected the direction of our lives. In many ways the Bonzer and life has been one in the same.

31. Time with mother and father

32. Learning to surf

33. Music

34. Hallucinogenic drugs

35. Meeting Robert Moynier in 1972

36. Meeting Jim Hurtak in 1974

37. Getting married

38. The birth of our children

39. Duncan and his family moving to Hawaii in 1982

40. Being alive to compile this list.

A mid 70's Bumble Bee from Campbell Brothers Surfboards

Jack Johnson riding a Bumble Bee in Hawaii.

A beautiful modern interpretation of the design glassed by the 'Lucky Bastards' in France.

It was my good friend Mike V who took me to this left that truly allowed me to explore the Bonzers capabilities.
Thanks Mike!