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

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Bilbo longboard 1966/7

A nice Bilbo longboard from the Gul collection, from late 1966 or possibly '67 , when things were really taking off for Bilbo. Other longboard makers at the time numbered only a few - including Fred Bickers in Newquay, Atlantic in St Ives, Bob Groves in Lee on Solent and Silva Yates in Jersey .This board is quite unusual because of the greyish cloth on the deck with big overlaps on the underside. Around this time the boards at Bilbo were greatly improving through Rod's input and knowledge of new ideas from the US . The fin on this board was much improved and cutting edge at the time, and replaced Bilbo's 1965/6 d-fins and straight sided fins reminiscent of 80s jet fins . The problem with this new fin though is its made of plastic which becomes brittle over time. I like the wide tail on this one, and blue competition stripes - inspired by race cars - which became the must have on a mid 60s longboard. A very surfable board and built to last - apart from the fin !

Bilbo brochure '65/6

Early days at the Bilbo factory, may '66 . Shows the varied range of shapes and fins .Bilbo soon had a new facory and were producing 40 longboards a week,with Bill Bailey, Bob Head and Chris Jones shaping.

Late 60s. Bilbo team rider Rod Sumpter on cover. Like many sports events back then the main sponser was a tobacco company. The winner probably won a years supply of fags !

Carrying on with the tobacco surfer theme - here's an ad from a UK mag in '73. Mabye he was in the UK championships waiting for a heat ?


  1. And a number of SLSC's at the time were sponsored by Harp Lager!!!

  2. One of the reasons why I like visiting your blog so much is because it has become a daily reference I can use in order to learn new nice stuff. It's like a curiosities box that surprises you over and over again.