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, 1 November 2012

New York Rod Sumpter and Aussie Bilbo

Here's a couple of boards which have ended up on the other side the the world from where they were made. The first is Jason's nice looking late 60s Design 1 by Rod Sumpter -
 ''I've had the board for a few years and all the people in know said RS only designed the board and didn't shape it, so it came as a bit of a surprise that during the last meet at Lusty RS had a good look at it and said he spent four months in New York shaping for design1. Its a great board that has aged to a lovely colour, the fin is a beauty, and it has that cool surfjet logo above the fin.
If what RS says it is true then that's the forth board I've got shaped by the face of British surfing in the 60's, a very welcome surprise. I wonder where the Union Jack Design1 board from the advert had disappeared to? And will it ever reappear???''
Unlikely - but you never know what will turn up next ! I'm constantly surprised by your emails to see foreign boards from all eras which have been in storage in the UK for decades and are usually in great condition.
Heres some of the best local footage of Rod, from around 1966 by the design of the boards. Nationals contest at Fistral beach, Rod wears the no. 5 vest.

Borrowing Rod Sumpters own Design 1 at Fistral, photo Andy Bennetts. Where is it now ?
Sumpter Surf jet ad .
late 60s
Mick in Australia emailed with photos of this Bilbo which his mate had found there recently.How did it get there ? Most likely brought over by someone emigrating. Very unlikely to have been brought back by an Aussie travelling surfer - the UK was usually around 6 months behind Australia design wise so any new Bilbo of this era would have been pretty outdated on its arrival in Oz.
Its a classic 9'6 Bilbo mal from 1966 with original artwork and their nylon plastic moulded fin ; the board looks a bit narrower than usual . The name Backmann on the stringer doesn't ring any bells shaper-wise so its probably who the board was made for. The board will be staying in Oz.

 Australian surfers at Lorne, mid to late 60s , photo by Rennie Ellis ( this photo is from the same shoot as my title photo at the top ). As you can see from the union jack board, mod fashions and music from the UK were popular and made their way into the surf scene.
Here's a similar age Bilbo which Shaun has found recently in very good condition. Nice deck with the competition stripes which were popular on mals in the 60s.
 'Its 10 feet long made for a man called Bob Booth founder member of the Isle of Wight Surf Club .He had it custom made based on an Amercian Board called the Ugly ;his name was put on the stringer and the cost in 1966 was £38 7s 6d, he put it away in 1970 due to work commitments thinking  one day his kids would use it, but they never did.  This is how I found it before cleaning it, he even has the bill of sale and the postcard to say it ready for collection . Bro at Diplock says who ever shaped it knew what they were doing as he thinks it one of the best of these shapes he has seen.'



  1. Looks good Shaun, did the fin get fixed OK?

  2. The Bilbo has come back home from OZ

  3. Email me at
    I have a Design 1 amazing cond. It. Was my fathers who grew up in Brooklyn, NY.