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

Friday, 17 February 2012

Wake surfboard mid 60s

Hans in Holland ( who had the Silva Yates on the blog a few months ago ) sent in photos of this board he's recently bought and wondered if it was English.

''Maybe you can help me with this other board I bought last year. It's also a longboard but it doesn't show any names on the stringer, only a large sticker saying: The Wake-Surfboards. On top there's a small sticker that has been partially peeled off saying....made in England....istma....! This small sticker looks like it's from the 80's so it might not be original referring to the
board's age. I bought this board from Go Klap (one of the dutch surfing pioneers in the late 60's), who bought it second hand around 1972 on a sailingboatvenue in the village of Veere, in the province of Zeeland in the southwest of the Netherlands.
To give you some more clues I'll send you a few more pictures in following e-mails!
I have no intention of selling this one as it has been an important board in our Dutch surfing heritage. But I would be really interested to find out more about it's history!''

It would be an important find if it was a British made board, since I've never heard of them before. It looks to have been made in the mid 60s by the shape and fin. The label doesn't give much away apart from that 'Wake surfboards' is an unusual name , and also theres a patent no. ....why would a standard surfboard have a patent no. ??

Anyway I asked Pete Robinson about this and luckily he had one almost identical, and had worked out that its an American board actually designed for Wake surfing behind a speedboat ! Hence the patent no. to protect the new design and use; and the patent no. can be traced to California. Wake surfing was finding popularity in the US in the mid 60s both as a novelty for regular surfers, and a lifeline for landlocked would be surfers who had a lake nearby. Wake surfing is still popular today on little trick boards. The design of wake longboards back then differed in that they were a bit narrower and had more volume at the rails ;but could obviously be surfed in waves too as shown by Go Klap the pioneering Dutch surfer who owned it since 1972. A board which was made for the lakes of the US but found its way onto the waves of Holland - another board with an unusual history, and a mystery solved.

On both sides of the fin there's stickers too, both of dutch descent, one is a
sticker from the Holland Surfing Association and the other one is a sticker of
Holland's first surfshop "Go Klap Surferhuis" founded in 1972.

Rod Sumpter wake surfing near Padstow, Cornwall in 1966, long before it became Padstein . He's on a Bilbo popout longboard with cloth panel.

mid 60s


One of the oldest pioneers of dutch surfing is Jan Willem Coenraads Nederveen who, as a little boy, was already fascinated by the sea spending his summerdays on hollow kneeboards at the beach of Zandvoort between 1930-1934. But it took a long time before surfing in Holland really started to 'look' like surfing!

In 1963 dutchman and waterman Nico 'Niek' Dekkers got hold of some footage of surfing in Hawaii. Niek lived around the Castricum area in Noord Holland and spend his summer holidays mostly on the dutch isles in the north being centered in the Waddenzee. Seeing the footage of Hawaii he couldn't help but thinking that on rare days similar lines of waves would wash up on the coastlines of the dutch isles, allthough being much smaller ofcourse and immediately he started making his own experimental hollow wooden surfboard. His first attempt on building a board was a failure as after having spend 6 weeks on the dutch isle of Vlieland during the next summer, he still had not managed to stand up. Short after that trip he took to his garage in winter and made a better model which was succesfully launched the next spring in front of the coastline near Noordwijk. This model consisted of three parts that he had to bolt together, but was pretty easy to carry around that way.

At that same time more watermen picked up the idea of "surfing"while being members of one of the many sailingclubs that were located right at the dutch beaches. In the middle of the sixties Pioneer Jan Willem Coenraads Nederveen happened to have a son that went by the same name as his father, the only difference being the old guy was called senior and the young fellow was called junior. Both were members of the sailingclub in Noordwijk where young dutchmen Jan van der Kamp en Reinier Scholten introduced the sport of surfing as they and their families had just returned from living abroad (Australia-Bondi Beach) for many years. Junior had found a surfboard lying around at Hotel Noordzee under a roof in the back of the garden and as soon as he got his hands on it his new friends Jan and Reinier were keen to help him out learning how to surf.

At that same time Rob Cillekens, dutchman from the fishingtown of Katwijk, returned home from his service in the navy, was really keen on learning how to surf after he had seen surfers surfing the Atlantic Coast of Northern Spain and France while sailing into port over there. Soon he got his hands on a Barland board from France, that he got off some guys at the sailingclub and ever since he and JW Coenraads Nederveen junior were inseparable, being united by senior who chased Rob around town on his moped after he noticed the surfboard on his roofrack. "You have to come to our house", I want you to meet my son, we are surfing too!!!"

To finish this brief history we end up at my hometown of Scheveningen. Originally a fishingtown for more than 750 years, Scheveningen has grown out to be the most popular beachdestination in Holland for both tourists, sailors and watersport enthusiasts like surfers, wind-and kitesurfers.

Around 1968-1969 a travelling dutch tourist was seen playing around on a Bob Harbour surfboard that he had brought with him from his travels abroad. The people at the sailingclub in Scheveningen offered him to keep his board in a rack at their club so he wouldn't have to carry it around the whole time. Members of the sailingclub had never seen anything like that before and when they noticed the travelling tourist wasn't coming back anymore to pick up his board they took their chance of giving it a try themselves. Those guys were Go Klap, Jaap van der Toorn, Hans Schotten and Albert van Garderen. They didn't have a clue but were hooked immediately and definitely needed someone to help them learn how to surf.

On the southern stretch of beach in Scheveningen (Duindorp), north and south being divided by the entrance to the harbour, Arie Verbaan and Gerrit Spaans, had picked up building their first boards together after having seen footage of guys surfing. Soon after they had seen these images of people surfing they thought that this same thing would very well be possible right in front of their doorstep at the southern stretch of beach. Soon they met the guys from Noordwijk who had travelled down the coast looking for good places to surf and soon after that the whole group met up with eachother after Arie Verbaan had met Go Klap, who had told him that he and his friends from the sailingclub were in desperate need of some surf instruction which was soon after delivered by the Jan van der Kamp and Reinier Scholten who had spend their youth growing up in Australia.

As there was a total lack of materials the dutch surfpioneers started out by copying Barland boards from France. Gerrit Spaans went on surftrip to Bude in the UK and took home a real surfboard.
But even before that Go Klap did most of the pioneering as he bought his first board from Tiki who were having a little market stall at a boat show in the UK. The same year went back to the UK as he sailed to England by catamaran, hopped on a train to the guys at Tiki and bought about 6 blanks, a roll of fibreglass and a big jar of resin, hopped on the train back and sailed back to Holland.
In the bedroom of his appartment in Scheveningen he started shaping his first surfboards for his friends and soon after he started selling surf and skatematerials from his appartment after which in 1973 he opened up the first real surfshop in Scheveningen Holland.

Second and third generation surfers in Holland were mostly youngsters who at first started out as skateboarders but soon after also picked up surfing. Among these were guys (and a few girls) like
Reinout Vlaanderen, Fonger Broersma, Karin Hack, Chris Pronk, Sandor de Kluizenaar, Arend Slot, Frank van Baarsel (SA), John Duyndam, Rien de Jager, Dick Weisz, Bjorn Mulder (SA) and many many more in the years that followed like Viktor vand der Kleij, John van Haaften, Erik and Robert de Roode (who grew up in California and re-introduced hotdogging in later years), Rik, Jurjen and Tamar Uiterwijk, Ruud Zwaan, Dennis Paalvast, Tom Spaans and Kees Vrolijk...and from there the list goed on and on....

Nowadays there's being surfed all along the dutch coastline and my guess is that there's probably about 10.000 people surfing.


  1. The fin and tail shape (and patent..) Give the game away.
    What a great history Hans has documented, a great read, excellent post, thanks Al + Hans

  2. cheers Bluey, yes it was good to learn about Dutch surfing, hopefully Hans can send in some photos too