Vintage Surf meet 2018 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2018 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, 29 October 2011

Keo surfboards

Charlie has sent in photos of this Keo which his dad bought in Newquay in around 1972. Keo are probably more well known for producing pop outs from the early 70s, but there were some good custom boards made as well, mainly by guest shapers rather than Stuart Keogh himself. Keogh owned a surf shop in Newquay's Fore st and was based in Newquay and for a while Holywell bay, and he also made moulded kneeboards and ply bellyboards.
This Keo is shaped by Greg Stokes, who doesn't ring a bell with me or a few guys I have asked, so he is most likely to be a travelling surfer from abroad. Google says he's from South Africa and still shapes today - although it might not be the same Greg Stokes. Quite a few of the hot travelling surfers who came through England shaped a few boards to make some money to keep travelling. So this board could be an example of what the South Africans were riding at the time. Wide and rounded it looks a nice flowing shape.

This is Henry's Keo, made in the same period, not sure who shaped it but its probably by a local . Its a popular shape of the time, narrower and with the wide point higher up the board. Nicely made with colour overlays and resin tints, and Australian Barry Bennet foam.

thanks to Charlie and Henry. If anyone remembers Greg Stokes please let me know.

1973 from surf insight


  1. Greg Stokes is alive and well in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. He still surfs (and wins)his division (Legends) at the SA Champs (he did again last year).
    His shapes are the best, at least I can vouch for his longboards, of which I have had a few, the best being a 9'6" green single-fin. It is a real longboard, amazing for tuberiding, nose-stuff and, and... I only rant because Greg is not only a great shaper but a real gentleman. He has some interesting history in board design and shaping which I suspect pre-dates some of the other folks around the world... a story there.
    All the best
    Alan Robb
    South Africa

  2. I agree, Greg would be classed as one of the top board builder, shapers in the surfing world. My own first 3 short boards were built by Greg

  3. hi there. old post new comment. I also bought a 9. longboard in cape town in 2005. Gregg stoke shape. loved it. radical board. it unfortunately snapped couple of years ago. planning on shaping one myself following that board as reference.

  4. Greg Stokes is my Father and he shaped his first surfboard at the age of 13. He is still shaping today! A man of many talents who is a true craftsmen and a legend in the shaping world.

  5. Hi,
    I worked at Keo's back then while travelling from Oz. The South Africans were just leaving Newquay as we arrived and we took over a few of their jobs. I made a Keo over there and brought it back to Oz. It's probably long gone by now. Wayne Barry