Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !
Free to take part
We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

An early Tiki

Martin sent in these photos of his Tiki singlefin, which I think is the earliest one we've had on the blog. He got it from a garage in North Devon where he now lives. Its an 8ft long transitional teardrop shape with pintail, shaped by Tim Heyland, and the label gives the address as Abergavenny in Wales, which predates their move to Devon. Martin thinks it must be one of the last boards made there before the move, dating it at around 1967.

'It surfs like a dog and with no rocker so it has a tendency to pearl. Still it's a little bit of North Devon surf history and is safely stashed in my shed awaiting renovation.' Looks like the renovations underway by the photos.

In 1967 Tim set up Tiki with Dave Smith, who he had met at a London boat show. They started shaping from a very cheap old wool warehouse in Abergavenny, South Wales. Tim and Dave blew their own foam, making the moulds out of wooden blocks, wedged under the beams of the warehouse. 'The roof would raise two inches under the pressure as the foam blew !' said Tim.

By '68 Tiki had moved to Barnstaple and later Braunton, and were producing Aussie inspired 8 footers with Tiki's own Castle foam. These details of Tiki's early days are taken from Roger Mansfield's 'a Surfing Tribe'.

Tim Heyland, watergate bay 1969

A flying Tiki in those fun pre leash days, Langland 1968. Photos from british surfer.


  1. how strange ,i had a tiki made in abergavenny exactly like this one, 8 ft,same tear drop pattern but yellowe rails and green tear ,red single fin with hole for leash and i was only thinking about it the other day. it was a great board that i surfed when ever it was small and was huge fun especially for pissing of all my mates on their 90s pixie shoe boards that couldnt catch the waves i did on it!i had many memorable late evening summer surfs at three cliffs bay in gower,walking back under the moon light lugging the damn thing a mile home through the dunes.when it got going it used to whistle! i foolishly sold it around abouts 2000 for 20 quid!as the rails where all cracked and in my youthfull wisdom decided that longboards were for old farts and it was past it! went to cardiff as well so i doubt it got used much.oh well ..sure wish i still had it now

  2. sounds like a fun board mate, keep looking out on ebay and one will turn up - not for £20 though I wouldn't think. I'm selling my 60s Tiki which is almost 8ft at the coming surf meet.Al

  3. great to see a board like this still in surfing condition.
    I have a Tiki that i have been surfing for about 12 years here in OZ
    I bought it off an Irish guy who move here with it and also had another board from Cornwall.Big resin stringer thing
    He only sold the Tiki because the tail was broken off ( about 12 inches we thought)
    and the original fin had been reset.
    anyway i grafted a piece from another and then reset the Fin, ended up about 9' 2" and it surfs unreal.
    but after reading some of the History on Tiki this may not be close to original
    Hope to post some photos asap
    and hopefully some of you full on enthusiastic surfing history guys can enlighten me

    Wooodsy from OZ