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, 19 September 2013

John Hall swallowtail 'with wings'

Just when I thought I had seen everything here's a John Hall which is completely out there !
This is an all original shape from probably around 1974. The wings or side fins (or whatever you want to call them) remind me a bit of the early bonzer fins. They flow as an extension of the wide swallowtail, biting deep on big turns and holding into the face on steep waves. Mabye.  But how well would this design surf ?. I hoped John might give an insight as to the thoughts behind and results of this experiment - and luckily through Alex I got his reply . It was a fairly relaxed reply , along the lines of :- hey it was the 70s someone had to do this shit !
So that was it - an experiment for the hell of it , to see what happened if the fins were on the rails . It seems funny now but back then there was all sorts of weird stuff going on which didnt make it to mass production.  John says , the fins migrated around to the bottom after a very short time and became the keel fish .  Experiments with fins went on all though the 60s and 70s with loads of crazy designs ( Surf research Australia is a good site to see fins through the ages ).
It seems a miracle that some owner of this board didnt decide to cut off the wings; but it looks like the board has hardly been surfed (which mabye speaks volumes) and is a well preserved piece of history now.
John was born in Sydney, Australia and came over to England in his early twenties, first setting up business with fellow Aussie Kevin Cross to make Kejo surfboards in Devon. John made many boards all through the 70s for many different labels .Many boards don't carry his name so you may unknowingly have a John Hall or two in your collection. Labels he worked for include- Tiki, Graham Nile, John Hall (obviously) ,Conway, Newwave, Circle One (Jeff Townsley was another experimenter), Chapter and even a couple of seasons at Creamed Honey with Kevin Cross again. ''I adapted my shaping so in the end we had trouble telling them apart'' at Creamed Honey.

Thanks to Tim for these photos

 1978, Atlantic Surfer magazine

 Wings on a Circle one shaped by Jeff Townsley ( was John hanging around at the time ?) from Alex's collection.
 Keel fins on a Circle one again from the same era. Really interesting board this from Jay's collection.


  1. Clearly this section was made for me - the wackier the better I say!!

  2. Didn`t know JH made boards with Roger Lyndon . Must have been for Rog`s elusive CELTIC boards ?