We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email alasdairlindsay75@gmail.com . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Gordon & Smith Fibreflex restorations

Written by Mark Mayers

’In 1964 Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith began using a combination of maple wood and fibreglass reinforced epoxy to create what is generally considered to be the first laminated skateboard deck. As the 1960s came to a close skate decks featured multiple colour designs and more closely resembled surfboards in both look and material than they did at the start of the decade.’’
 I’ve been collecting and restoring vintage 1970s FibreFlexes for a couple of years. I have fond memories of these decks, having owned one back in 1977 when I was a kid. I remember skating it so hard that it eventually broke in half! Skateboards, like surfboards, by their very nature are meant to be used until they are eventually broken or destroyed, but today any surviving vintage skateboard in good condition will fetch big money on Ebay. 
 The rarest one I own is a FibreFlex Hotdog model. Dennis Allgeier, a fellow collector in the States, who incidentally has the only other Hotdog model known to have survived helped me identify it. He also kindly sent me some of his reproduction decals to finish of the restoration. This deck dates from around 1975 and it originally had the 3-hole truck drill pattern, but it was badly re-drilled at some point to fit 4-hole trucks. These were filled and the nose and tail were rebuilt with fibreglass. The deck was then sanded, lacquered, polished and replacement rubber grip tape applied. 
 The Hotdog deck is pretty small by todays standards. It’s 23-3/4” long and 5-3/4” at its widest point. The deck is maple/epoxy sandwidged between 2 layers of bow tuff fibreglass (which is the same material used in crossbow construction) and is completely flat with a dove tail. I’ve set it up with NOS (New Old Stock) Precision trucks, homemade cork risers and Power Paw wheels.

Before restoration-




 and after ....





Skateboarder mag Oct. 1976
 G&S advert from the 
summer of 75 (vol 2, issue 1) Skateboarder magazine. In the vol 2 issue 3 Skateboarder it’s referred to as the 24” Hotdog model.
: This is the only other known surviving FibreFlex Hotdog model owned by fellow collector Dennis Allgeier in the States.

My second completed restoration is a FibreFlex Freestyle model from around 1978. This board was lightly used, then stored in a barn for 30 odd years. As a result, the inner ply was almost completely destroyed by woodworm, but both layers of Bow tuff were left intact. The only remedy was to split the deck in half and remove all the dead wood. The next stage was to replace with new wood and fibreglass it back together while carefully re-creating the slight kicktail. 
The deck was trimmed to its original shape, then lightly sanded, lacquered and polished. The decal on the deck is original, as is the glitter grip tape. The dimensions are 28-3/4’’ x 6-1/2’’ and it’s set up with the old 4-hole pattern Tracker Midtrack reissues, NOS gel risers and Road Rider 4 reissues.

Before restoration



 During
 And after -




I have 2 other FibreFlexes I’m currently restoring/finding parts for: a 28’’ Pro Slalom model and a 25’’ FibreFlex Kicktail model. To see these and more of my completed restorations, go to: http://pinterest.com/markmayers/vintage-skateboards/






G&S rider Huck Andress circa '78.

Mark at Holywell Bay skate park, early 80s.
Thanks very much to Mark for sharing his Fibreflex passion with us, and showing the amazing results he is getting in his restorations of beat up old boards. Mark has contributed to the blog in the past, mainly with photos of him growing up surfing in west Cornwall in the late 70s and early 80s. Cheers Mark !

11 comments:

  1. a great read thanks. Nice work Mark !

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  2. hi mark, i'd love to have a chat with you about restoring fibreflex and how you go about it. i have my original bowlrider mk1 that i've wanted to restore for years but could never find anyone who had restored one. cheers, gavin

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  3. Hi Gavin,
    I'd be happy to help. Drop me an email with some pix if you can:
    mark@markmayers.co.uk

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  4. Your work is amazing! I'm a big fan of these boards. I'm putting together on myself set up the exactly the same way. Dark green 27×6 tracker mids and road rider 4's a super combo. The stability of these boards is very comfertable I'm hoping to start riding again next spring after 35 years. Can't wait!!! Hope it all works out good. Lol Bob

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  5. I am doing my own fibreflex bowlrider resto. Can you tell me what you used to get the shiny gloss finish only I have rubbed mine down with fine 360 grade paper and it now has a matt finish? Cant wait to ride it again just like 77 again.

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  6. For those of you of a certain age check out www.jstech.co.uk/skateboard/
    Enjoy

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  7. I have one of those 3 hole fibreflex g&s boards in almost good condition, how much are they worth.

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  8. I have a G&S FibreFlex Bowlider model in almost perfect condition, just the deck. Does anyone know how much is it worth?

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  9. Hi, I bought my G&S Fiberflex Teamrider in the US in 1978 and has been MY skaetboard in 36 years. I still use it with its orginal Kriptonics and ACS Trucks. My son rides now with me in his longboard.G&S made a fantastic product

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  10. Mark i have a board that I could use help identifying. It has the three hole pattern. Bernard tool trucks with red risers and road rider 4 wheels with sealed bearings. Measures 25"x 6.25" .25" thick.

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