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

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Newquay 80s twin fins

Alex has just acquired these two classic Newquay made twin fins, and they were acquired the best way - not through ebay but through old friends and connections who wanted the boards passed on to someone who appreciated them.

The Many Returns is made by Dave Farrow, who still shapes under this label today. This board is an example of the quality short and wide twinnies that were being produced in the surf capital in the early 80s by Many Returns, Ocean Magic, Vitamin Sea and Wavekraft, all successful makers.

Dave started making boards at east Runton with friend Bob Browsall, and then went on to start his Karma label, a few of which can be seen on the Norfolk surfboard collector page here

In 1983 Dave moved to Newquay, working as a shaper/glasser for Hott alongside Newquay legends CJ and Mac. By then he had started his Many Returns label and has been based in Newquay ever since.

Here's another Ocean Magic by twin fin master Nigel Semmens , and the logo says 'european designs' , probably a reminder that Nigel was European champion. This is one of those rare 2 1/2 fin set ups which marks the transition towards the thruster way of thinking, which was the industry standard set up until the retro revival mixed things up again. This is a high performance board of the time, around 1981 or 82, and uses super light Clark foam.

This is an article on Nigel by the late John Conway -

'It is a rare combination of talent when surfing and shaping skills are embodied in one human being. Surfing is 90 percent natural talent; surfer who have to work hard on their style look mechanical. Shaping, on the other hand, is 10 percent natural talent and 90 percent technique. Like any handcraft it has to be learnt.

My first encounter with Nigel was as a young kid. He marched purposefully into my surfboard factory and asked me to shape him a board. He filled in his order form, paid his £5 deposit and left the final details to me. Over the years I have made more than 2,500 boards and I must admit I don't remember many of them, but I do remember the board I made for the young Semmens. I had no small templates at the time so I scaled down a version of my own board. It turned out to be a sweet little shape. I was so stoked I gave it a custom colour job and special showroom polish. Upon completion Nigel picked up his board, paid his £25 balance and the 13- year-old started a love affair with the Atlantic Ocean that would carry him to the very pinnacle of surfing and shaping in Europe.

Nigel took up the sport in 1970 and by 1973 he was on the podium at the English Championships taking second place in the juniors. In 1993 he was again on the podium taking the English Masters title. The many victories in the 20- year span are punctuated with two very special events: winning the European championships title at Thurso, Scotland, in 1981; and the World Amateur championships in France in 1982, Where Nigel finished seventh in the world.

As the twin fin era drew to a close and the thruster made it’s debut, Nigel Semmens was ready, at 25 years of age, to concentrate all his efforts in developing his talent as a shaper, and make Ocean Magic Britain’s leading factory. Under the watchful eye of shaping mentor and master craftsman Peter Mooney McAllum, the NS label kicked off.

Nigel started work in the Ocean Magic factory at 18. He served an apprenticeship with Mooney, and after two years of dust dirt and resin he made it in to the shaping room.

To start with, his influence in the single-fin era came from Richard Harvey. On a trip to Hawaii at the age of 18, he came back with a Ben Aipa stinger that Ben had shaped specially for Nigel. In those days British surfers were dependent on travelling surfers visiting Britain or British team members like Nigel bringing back boards for up-to-date designs. These designs were adapted to British waves. From the moment Nigel channelled his concentration into shaping, Ocean Magic took off, and after a couple of seasons and a move to Newquay it became a professional surfboard factory. In recent years Nigel has worked alongside guest shapers of world renown like Maurice Cole, Wayne Lynch, Greg Brown, Ned McMann, and Jeff Johnson.

In 1987 Ocean Magic opened their retail store in Newquay. For the first time surfers could go and choose from racks full of brand new gleaming NS boards, or place a custom order, in the relaxed atmosphere of a retail environment rather than the ever-busy factory.

In 87 the whole surfing industry in Britain went up a gear and Ocean Magic was there at the forefront. Nigel had always surfed with his team riders, translating their surfing style into the board he shaped for them on an improving performance curve. He recalls that his best relationship with any of his riders was with Randall Davies. They had an understanding that culminated in Ocean Magic’s first financial sponsorship package of any surfer, and this surfer-shaper relationship peaked when Randall won the British title in 1994.

Looking at the list of NS team rider over the years, it’s a who’s who of champions; not just shortboard riders, but seniors, masters, longboarders and groms...... they've all won titles on NS surfboards.'

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