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

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Ted Deerhurst team bolt singlefin

There are various reasons why we buy old boards. Some people buy them to ride, others to remind them of their youth, others because they look good , and others to preserve a piece of history. This board solidly fits into the last category - a board shaped and surfed on the north shore by one of our legendary surfing figures 'Lord' Ted Deerhurst , aka the 11th Earl of Coventry. When I was alerted to this board on Craigslist in Honolulu Hawaii, I never imagined it would make its way back to the UK because of the huge cost of shipping etc. But Alex Williams had a moment of inspiration - a friend was going over there to do a paddleboard race and - just mabye - he could pick it up for him.

And that's how it happened - the board is now residing in Devon and Alex is pieceing together a bit of its history.

Luckily Alex has friends who may have seen the board first hand -
''I had a talk with Steve Daniel yesterday, when he Nigel Semmens, Graham Nile and PJ went to Hawaii in 1976. Ted was over there having boards shaped for him by Tom Parrish
(One of these is owned by the Museum of British Surfing) . Ted was also being taught how to shape by Tom Parrish. Steve tells me when they went to pick up the bolt, looking at it made him shudder! as that was, he thinks the board that Ted was riding when they were in Hawaii. Hence there being no shapers name on it. The words "the open door" along the stringer where the shapers name would normally be, was around the time of Rabbits article "busting down the door" So Ted must have seen this as a new open era of surfing in Hawaii.''

Dating this board exactly is hard. My humble opinion thinks the board is later - mabye 78/79 because I don't think I've seen that team Bolt logo before then - but I could be wrong !
The board dimensions are 7'4 x 19 x 3 - likely to be his Sunset board. Thanks to Alex- and well done for preserving a great piece of history.

If the board was from '79 that was probably Ted's most successful year in his career. He reached the semi final of the Jose Cuervo Classic (previously Smirnoff) at 10 to 12 ft Sunset beach, and arrived there by knocking out Cheyne Horan and Michael Tomson. He lost his chance to score well in the semis due to a heavy wipe out.

Also that year in the World cup teams event he hooked up with Mark Richards to form a Commonwealth team and came up against the star Hawaiian team of Michael Ho and Buzzy Kerbox. Ted and Mark won, Ted turning on some brilliant surfing when most people were just expecting him to be overshadowed by Mark. They eventually went down to overall winners the East coast US team , but Ted earned a lot of respect and friendships through his north shore performances that year.

'the open door'


Ted's Bolt team mates. Not bad for a surfer from Coventry !

Ted starring in an ad for his Excalibur label, mid 80s. Is she countess material ??

This is another of Ted's personal boards, a 6'2 Hawaiian Bolt shaped by Bill Barnfield with Union Jack bolt logo. This was found at an English rubbish dump in bad condition and has been beautifully restored.

The board before resto - interesting to see the 'Lightning Bolt Great Britain' logo , suggesting that Ted had use of the label in the UK by then.


  1. Whoa! It was an exciting post. I like the entire surfboard and I find it all fantastic. Thank you for sharing and keep posting.

    Charles A

  2. glad you liked it Charles.
    If anyone else has one of Ted's old boards please send in some photos / stories.

  3. Wish I did and shouldn't be too difficult to find one - I went to South Africa with Ted in 1978, I took 1 board he took 10. However I do have the Subaru Brat pickup that's behind Ted in the Excalibur ad! (Not that actual one you understand). Well done Alex!

  4. Well Tim there might be a few around. Bolt shapers Parrish and Barnfield apparently made him quite a lot. But they probably stayed in Hawaii and became kids learner boards until they snapped ?! Nice pickup though