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

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Return of the pig

The pig revival is in full swing now , notably through Geoff McCoy's shapes, but the design, in different guises, has been around for decades.On Tony's recent trip to Oz, his daughter's neighbour brought round his McCoy 5'10  saying 'this single fin pig is the best board I've ever had, it catches everything so easily, and its the fastest and quickest turning thing around'.
This made perfect sense to Tony - '' I have been banging on about Pigs for 50 years, since Deans I made hollow ply ones in 1963, when we were both 18 ( 1st photo above ), and then had an early Bilbo pig in the mid - 60`s ( photo 2 ). Then had another in `67 when Fitz made some at Surfboards Inc. , Woolacombe ( photo 4 Henry`s bargain ), and another in `68 when Fitz made my first S.I. V - bottom stubby ( like McTavish`s - see photo 3 ) . Then Cheyne Horan used them in the 1980`s ( see Al`s Horan board photo 5 ) .
My definition of a pig is a board with its widest point about 1/3 way up from the tail but I've never seen any official rules. In the 60s it just meant a board with its widest point towards the tail, and after that tapering towards the nose, without parallel rails thro the mid section.

 Then, just after 2000, the competition racing windsurf boards suddenly became short and wide, instead of being just narrow surfboards , because they found they were - unbelievably - faster and quicker turning. Then Craig Baird at Surfworld VIC gave me an artlicle on McCoy, some of which is attached below . Seems the swine won`t go away .
As well as being a great competition tool, any average surfer should find them easier to paddle, catch waves with, and be more stable, faster and better turning than any thruster they`ve tried . Whether many UK manufacturers take this up remains doubtful ! ''

Henry has a couple of nice pig's too, with a good connection. His 1970 Tiki pig made by Tim Heyland is one of the most extreme ones I've seen , a really interesting little board with 'wave eater' logo and Zap graphic -a forerunner of Lazor zap ? Probably not ....    Interestingly Tim got the licence for making Pigs from Dewey Weber in the US (Henry also has an original Weber pig see below).
''Weber introduced this board in late 69 (Shea Weber confirmed this to me in 2006, said that either Dewey or Harold Iggy designed it), when boards dramatically dropped in size to sub 6’, think my Weber is 5’8” and the Tiki about the same. Tim Heyland had gone over to USA I believe late 69/possibly early 70’s and got the Licence to produce Weber models over here, as well as Licence for some other makes and surfing accessories. All in the attached Surf Insight article attached (this didn't load, I will get it on eventually - Al)

This huge reduction in board sizes in 1969 was most dramatic in USA, see the movie The Fantastic Plastic Machine (read the book Fantastic Plastic Voyage) when the Windansea team went on a surfing trip to South Pacific / NZ + Oz. Saw what McTavish etc were doing and were blown away by how far advanced the Oz boards were. Went back to USA told the main shapers what was going on / they saw the footage, started to chop feet of the boards, down to 5 feet in some extreme cases. The Pig design never really took off in Oz as they were building longer more function “aggressive” surfing boards. ''
Henry's 5'8 Tiki pig 1970.

and his Weber pig of the same time, very similar boards.

A couple of hogs from my collection. A garage board made in the UK around 1970 with a watered down pig shape, and my modern McCoy which I have always considered a great rider.
Atlantic from 1970/71 made in St Ives ; the photo was sent in today and I thought the plan shape was relevant.

Thanks to Tony Cope and Henry Marfleet for doing all the hard work on this post. Swine fever is going strong.

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