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

Monday, 12 August 2013

Noseriding history

 With the advent of surfboard wax in the 1950`s and 60`s , surfers discovered they could move around on their Malibu boards, to the tail to turn them, or to the nose to pick up speed and beat collapsing sections. They then discovered it was fun ( and looked cool ) to stand right at the tip of a board and hang toes – or even heels - over it .

One of the most stylish modern noseriders, Joel Tudor 

The points and reefs of California , many of them with regularly-peeling medium-speed waves, were found to be perfect for noseriding for long distances, whereas most other parts of the world including GB had only short sections of waves suitable for it. Consequently USA surfers tended to pursue noseriding as an art in itself, while the rest of the world saw it as only one part of the ride which included turns, climbing and dropping, and a host of other manoeuvres.

Lance Carson, 'the man' at Malibu 1967
Front 25% of a noseriding comp. board marked out for the judges.

 These two styles met head to head at the World Championships in San Diego in 1966. The contest was billed as a showdown between Nat Young (AUS) with his all-wave performance, and David Nuuhiwa (CAL) with his supreme noseriding ability. Sadly David hadn`t read the script, and crashed out on only the second day. The CAL member of the international judging panel gave David 20 points out of 20 for one noseride, the other judges didn`t.

 Nuuhiwa`s moves are performed by Joe Aaron (above) on David`s original 1967 concave-nosed BING board . Even his soul-arch and skeg-first takeoff are there .) Nat quickly accumulated so many points that by the semis he couldn`t be beaten. To save a massive anticlimax for the thousands watching, he stayed on and surfed the final – and won that too. In their national surf magazines the US howled in anger, then decided to carry on noseriding, while the Aussies developed short boards and a whole bag of moves to do on them .
 Nuuhiwa at Huntington pier - wearing a late 60s (mandatory) crash helmet !
                                                       1967 Bing noserider
                                                         Nuuhiwa boardshorts ad
 The following 12 months showed more developments in US noseriding . Since 1965 they had held professional noseriding contests, where stopwatches timed each competitor`s actual length of time on the tip . In 1967 Bob Purvey averaged over 10 secs per noseride on his CON `UGLY` board at the`67 Ventura noseriding contest .

Con Ugly
 Board developments increased your nose time : deeper concaves under the nose ( see BING advert ), wide front sections on the board ( Con `Ugly`), side fins on your skeg to haul the tail down & force the nose up ( several products on sale ), the nose shaped like an aircraft wing to create lift under it ( Morey-Pope), or the back end of the board slotted to force water over the top of it (Holmesy), holding the tail down and pushing the nose up.
                                 Big concave under the nose of Nuuhiwa's Bing
                                   Noseriding wings for your skeg !

                Holmsey Sidewinder, designed especially for noseriding

 In 1968 the US finally moved on from it`s noseriding obsession . Suddenly short boards were acceptable, " SURFER " mag.readers voted Nat Young the best surfer anywhere, Lynch was 7th, Midget 8th, McTavish 14th. The longboard revival in the 80`s started the trends of today, where longboards and noseriding are cool again, and exist validly alongside 6` thrusters and aerials.
Written by Tony Cope 5/8/2013.
                                                Bing team rider, Saunton last year

Thanks to Tony for this look back at the role noseriding played in 60s surfing, and how the Aussies broke away from it to go into a whole new realm of performance surfing , which put US surfing on the back foot for a while. Here in the UK we seem to have followed the Aussies lead in the late 60s with many transitional and experimental shapes made here. All part of the rich tapestry of board designs over the years.


  1. Nice feature, love the spray to make you noseride better..!

  2. thanks Rebecca !
    Does anyone remember having a 60s UK longboard with a big nose concave ?

  3. I do Al,
    Borrowed Atlantic, didn't work....but perhaps I was rubbish! The Nuuhiwa lightweight ad though,WOW, took me straight back to the grem I was, the smell of a new Surfer mag (brought from the USA and loaned to about 10 other kids), that Eurostyle font and those sunny Californian photos, even St Ives seemed pale in comparison!

  4. One important aspect that has never been written about and has been missed for decades is the tail design of the Bing David Nuuhiwa Noseriding model. The bottom of the tail section just before the fin and flowing to the tail block is a "bellied" shape with more surface area than the deck of the tail section over the fin area to the tail block thus making the tail section a upside down aircraft wing shape which actually pulls the tail downwards when in use in conjunction with the tail rocker. This has been overlooked so long I though I would bring it up and to this day no one has mimicked what worked on this vintage model noseriding surfboard.
    Mike Cates, Carlsbad, CA.