We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email alasdairlindsay75@gmail.com . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Aquatek mini by Bill Bailey



Heres an Aquatek mini made by Bill at his farm near Perranporth in around 1984. Bill as we all know was one of the forefathers of British surfing, joint creator of Bilbo , which he left in 1970 to follow his own path. He took a break from producing boards and worked as an aircraft engineer through the 70s before taking up shaping again in the early 80s.
Bill was a strong headed individual who liked to do things his way, which sometimes went against the flow of surfing trends. Because of this his boards are often a really interesting mix of different ages of board design. He liked to produce a board himself all the way through from blowing his own foam through to the final polish. This board measures 6 ft x 21 1/4 x 2 3/4, and has the unusual mix of the stringerless blank, 80s needle nose, early 70s singlefin ( Bilbo old stock ) and a wide round tail with soft rails. A bit of a retrospective hybrid ?
It looks like Bill got someone else in to do the spray on this one - colour dsign by Chris Pusey.
Bill was aware that board fashions of the day were often international and not best suited for British waves or the average British surfer, so he made boards with more volume and width and less bottom curve to make up for the British conditions. In today's board market where many shapers look back to retro templates and some short boards are hitting 3 inches of thickness , Bill's ideas seem to be proven.
























Bill polishing a board next to his van. The mal and kneeboard were his personal boards. Thanks to Neil Watson for the photos, taken on Bill's farm in 1984.







Blowing foam








Bill enjoyed pistol shooting, and his privacy.

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