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, 22 September 2012

1970 Bilbo and OM

A couple of interesting boards from around 1970 , when the shortboard revolution was taking board design to new levels of performance. Problem was in the UK - only the best surfers could surf them ; so by the early 70s board lengths crept back up again, ruling out the need for the cumbersome s-deck. This board in its lovely full purple tint is a Bilbo recently bought by Alex. Its one of their early s-decks , early because of the old fin box and large 60s fin , which was replaced by Bilbo's slimmer fins and adjustable boxes by around 1970/ 71. It also uses the Bilbo logo from '66/'67 which is a bit unusual for a later board. Perhaps it was a custom order and the guy preferred the old logo . The board is 6'6 x 23 and pretty light. They got quite a bit shorter than this, mainly in the 5'10 to 6'2 range.Thanks to Alex for the photos.

This is an early Bilbo ad from January 1966, must have been mabye their first in a national magazine. The mag choice is a bit strange though, Queen magazine was geared towards the womens market and was a fashion , beauty and travel magazine ; so the Bilbo ad is next to bra and wig adverts !

This is a very unusual and pretty experimental OM ; as you can see its wafer thin , kind of an s-deck but with no nose kick; the bottom is super flat. It must have about as much foam as a big spoon. So who made this radical sled ? For me, it points towards a guy who was working with Bilbo in the late 60s who went off to do his own thing in the 70s - Pete McAllum. In 1972 early Ocean magic ads were calling the label just 'OM' , so it seems to make sense that this is an early and experimental ocean magic made around 1970/71, possibly as one of Pete's personal riders, trying different designs out to see what worked. All part of evolution.
If anyone knows more about this board let us know, cheers to Paul for the photos.



  1. Purple S Deck
    This board was bought in Wales by Stuart Mathews.
    Stuart was Chairman for the BSA through the 70's into the 80's
    Stuarts passion was riding tidal bore's,The Seven (4.16KM), River Mersey and the Qiantang River China.

  2. Hey Al - where did you get that image of OM surfboards (bolingey farm, st mawgan) - is the original still around?

  3. hi plappers, those were ads that ran in surf insight magazine 1972 - '73 . Nice bit of artwork and text isnt it