Surf Hipster starter pack

Andrew Crockett from Switchfoot has posted this tongue in cheek listing on eBay.
After having narrowly escaped an injury from a bearded hipster on a brand new retro single fin and beaver tail wetsuit this morning in the water at the point I'm now not sure how funny it is.

Team Bolt- Bill Barnsfeild Lightning Bolt twin fin.

It is my aim to ride every one of my vintage boards in the similar conditions for which they were designed, to gauge it performance and validity of the design. To see if the course of the evolution of surfboard design had left a diamond in the margins of history and to keep my surfing FUN.
There would be no point, for instance in test riding a vintage Lopez gun pipeline gun in a 3 foot beach break as the inevitable outcome come would be the assumption that the board is slow and stiff. Put it through a mach 3 bottom turn at a ledging overhead reef break and the judgement would be entirely different.
It is with this in mind that that I have long fantasized about riding my 5'10" Bill Barnsfeild shaped Hawaiian Lightning Bolt single fly swallow tail twin fin at solid Voodoo, since seeing what I remember as Richard Cram riding similar board (same actual board??) on the same left hand reef in the short lived defunct Australian surf magazine 'SURF'. Compared to the other twin fins in the collection the board is very thin and flat with hardly any rocker. I imagine that this is on purpose and the lack of volume would allow the board to hang on in powerful conditions, the racked but fins, shaped just so to mange extreme power and speed, the subtle rocker designed for going flat out.
The day came when Voodoo was doing its thing. Modern logic would dictate  that I should be riding my 6'8" rounded pin tail semi gun but NO. If Crammy could handle voodoo on a 5'10" twin fin than out of respect for the legend I to should have to try to do the same.
A this point I want to quote the beached whale rescuing George Constanza when he said 'the ocean was angry that day my friend'. But it was OK, just nice solid long period south swell, light east nor east winds and a low tide.
I got out there and learned my first lesson. No 5'10" likes a big, sucking, ledging take off.
The picture is amazing to me because it shows the board and my whole body suspended in the lip like a mosquito in amber.
I made a few, got dropped in on by a donkey on a SUP and did a few turns.
Frankly I found the board skittish and unstable and I the whole experience, after getting worked a few too many times on take off just a little bit scary.
I consoled myself with the thought that I had achieved my aim and I went home to find the image of Richard cram to match up with my experience.
Then I realized, I confused a picture of Jim Banks with the picture of Richard Cram in my mind and in fact Crammy was riding the team bolt twinny in at a 4ft beach break, which, to tell the truth, is a far better idea than mine.

Look closely at the wave in the middle. You can see my 'friend' the SUP doing a bottom turn.

Nothing beats a pigment coat.

Suspended like a bug in amber. Over the falls I going.

Not a lot of rocker.

There should be a law........

Deep Vee and magic wings.

Long rake, like a jet fighter.

trying to use the whole rail.

I thought this.....

was this....!

Star Flight. Part 2- the incident with the kneeboard.

Bob Hurley wrote to me about my Star Flight twin fin. 
He tells me that "Larry Jackson and Bill Dinnie from Sunline started the Star Flight label for Lonnie Buhn, a great Huntington Beach surfer and surfboard maker." Bob says that he was "lucky enough to get the chance to help Lonnie out by shaping a few boards there and that those were really great times with really great people."

I was enjoying my 1978 Star Flight twin fin shaped by Larry Jackson recently when I was involved in an ugly incident with an angry kneeboarder that I happened to catch on film.

As I paddled for the peak with the intention of going right the handsome but sneaky cripple comes up on my right flapping and squawking.

As I get to my feet the devious trolley rider uses his rubber wheels to come up on me and grab my rail.

He flipped me off and I fall back in the foam.

the frozen chicken disappears down the line..........

Decades- Martin Potter's T&C twin fin.

"To keep things fresh and challenging, you need to ride different boards."

Dennis shared with me the link to the interesting Red Bull series 'Decades', where they get the original shapers to make reproductions of classic designs and have a boat load of young contemporary surfers test ride and evaluate the features of the design.

Not a bad idea, someone should do a blog like that........

I'm told that this nice example of an 80's T&C was one of Martin Potters personal riders.
Its interesting to note that he did most of his pioneering ariel work on twin fins.

The video has promoted me to share some pics of my 5'10" Hawaiian made T&C 'team' thruster.

I took it for a test run on a cool Californian day. I do love the cliff trails and empty beaches of Socal in winter.

Well that looks like fun.

Nice spray.

Toes on the tail.

Fly boy attempt.

Judging by the color of the water Matin's early 80's arial could have happened somewhere nearby.

the old 1 - 2!

fast and loose as one would expect.

Hipster backlash

Craig wrote to me with a link to this interesting but somewhat confusing Craiglist ad simply listed as 'Vintage Surfboard'

"Craigslist- Vintage Surfboard.
Vintage Surfboards are like vintage computers, and have about the same value and function.
Steve Lis, Takayama, Lopez...?
You are smoking crack, but not as much as anyone who would buy such things. Are you kidding me? Far FAR better boards available now EVERYWHERE for a fraction of the cost, unless of course you are some soulless yuppie hipster who loves surfing so much that they are doing everything in their power to ruin it...
You will never EVER know how beautiful it was before your kind came along - you missed it."

The above, passionate, Craiglist poster seems to be making 2 points worth noting here on this blog.

Point 1) I understand him to say, don't buy an expensive old surfboard to surf on when there are better, more refined, cheaper surfboards readily available today.

Response 1) I have a position on this and it is as follows. It is the very fact that there are so many homogenized, production line surfboards available EVERYWHERE that makes the idea of riding a surfboard created with a pair of human hands 30+ years ago so very appealing to me. Some of the designs may be less refined than today's boards but equally some of the design features of old surfboards may well be functional but may have been overlooked by the mainstream or forced into submission by the overwhelming weight of fashion in surfboard design. The fact that so many functional innovations were cast aside when first revealed has been born out in recent years with contemporary surfers and shapers exploring historical designs with great success. Many of the recent breakthroughs in surf hardware design have come from revisiting ideas from the past rather than pushing forward in a straight line with the current wave of design thinking.

Point 2) He seems to be saying, don't plagiarize surf history for the sake of soulless yuppie fashion. Leave it alone, it was not your time, it was my time and it is very sacred to me.

Response 2) Fair enough....

Brothers Nielsen single fin pin tail.

I'm filled with nostalgia as I share with you my late 70's Gunther Rhon shaped Brothers Neilsen rounded pin tail, 6'4", single fin.
My family regularly holidayed on the Queensland Gold Coast during the 70’s and early 80’s. We would drive the 12 hours from Sydney in one go. Leaving in the dark, I would look forward to the pre-dawn snack of cold toast wrapped in a paper napkin from the Golden Fleece service station north of Newcastle.  
I remember staying at the Pink Poodle motel till the huge multi storey apartment buildings were built. But my fondest memories are of Surfers Paradise main beach, the smell of coconut oil from the pervert with the stray gun, the meter maids, the crochet bikinis and the cavil arcade where the Brothers Neilsen shop stood with its racks of shiny boards.

Product testing selfie. I'm pretty impressed that I got the camera far enough away to get the whole surfboard in the shot.

Late 70's in Surfers Paradise. Reminds me of sun burn and single fins.

The Centre Arcade off Cavil ave. Pebblecrete on the ground and the small of coconut oil in the air.

Alone with my thoughts. The board surfed very well for me. Paddled well and caught waves. The rails are soft and not too tucked under, the rail being on the wide point of the board that gave it soft manageable feel. 

The best job in the world? The tan man was certainly the creepiest guy I had ever seen.

Even rocker and thickness throughout, a really nice board.

Taking the high line on the back hand.

I still love Aussie Chinese food to this day. Pink lemonade with San Chou bow,  honey king prawns, sizzling beef and fried rice.

Timeless logo.

Single fin silhouette.

Late 70's Queensland meter maids made a big impression on a young mind.

Burleigh before the high rise.