Thursday, 28 February 2013
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Saturday, 23 February 2013
''The flying fish board was made by a guy called Mick (the Fish) ,a friend or known to Tris Cokes and John Minetta of Tris surfboards Porthtowan. Made around 1973-75 '' . Mick the fish turns out to be Mick Harlott, a local character from the 'badlands' who made Flying Fish and then Tin Mine designs surfboards. Jake grew up in the area and as a grom remembers seeing Mick around . This board uses some of Micks trademark colours and also rail channels which he liked. Its nice to find out about one of the more obscure Cornish labels, does anyone else have more info on it ?
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Back in the mid 60s the international image of surfing in Britain was a bit of a joke ;surfers riding the worlds smallest waves and even turning to river riding. Today its well known that we have some world class reefs and big waves spots, and on its day some of the best beach breaks too.
Henry has sent in some articles from 1963/4 written by Aussie travelling surfers for Aussie mags Surfing World and Surfabout, reporting that surprise surprise, if you visit outside july/ august then there are decent waves pumping in all through the year. And back then there were strong surfer communities too.
Surfabout vol.2 no.10 ( 1964 ?) Written by visiting surfer Roy Giles. Like most visitors he comments on the big tides and cold water, and the hardy and enthusiastic local surfers. Surfing centres are reported as St Ives and Newquay (and Jersey) , and the known board makers are Bob Head and Bill Bailey in Newquay, and Keith Slocombe in St Ives. Photos are of surfers at Porthmeor St Ives.
Surfing World july 1964. Written by Ian Wilson. Another article based in Newquay, although reporting that main surf spots in 1964 were the north coasts of Cornwall and Devon ,and the Channel Islands. Malibus first arrived in 1961, and in Newquay in early 1962 with a travelling surfer. Bob and Bill are reported as being high quality board builders in the town, with demand exceeding supply. Malibu riders hadnt broken free yet from the confines of the Surf Life saving assoc. , but that would be soon. And importantly for Aussie readers - there were no sharks ! apart from the harmless baskers.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Monday, 18 February 2013
Funny thing is malibu surfers were treated like aliens in the early 60s in Newquay by the older residents , and malibu riding was banned on some beaches for being a dangerous hazard to other beach users ie tourists.
As soon as the town council and all the guest house owners saw how much money surfing could bring to the town their attitude completely changed ! Hence this brochure, bringing the Californian lifestyle to little old Cornwall.
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Bob Rudland`s “ Wavemaster “ Paipo Board
To check out some other 60s paipos go to - http://www.vintagegregnollsurf.com/bellyboards.html
Bob first surfed in the early `60`s with Bob Groves and Bill Davies, learned to make boards with them around Gosport & Lee-on-Solent in Hants, then made other boards including this body board in 1965 at his Bath, Somerset home. “ I had a little flat beside the railway line in Bathwick, and my landlady lived downstairs. Any boards I made were shaped and glassed etc. on the landing . Despite this, somehow I never got thrown out ! “
At the time the only boards apart from Malibus were plywood bellyboards. Bob says “ I wanted something to ride that I could catch a green wave with, using a pair of fins. We were aware of Paipo boards in Hawaii from the magazines we had imported but had never seen one, so this is my own design.”
It`s quite heavy, but pretty robust with a thick stringer and a laminated hardwood/softwood tailblock.
The fin is a pure resin moulding from a pattern Bob made himself, with no fibreglass cloth in it . “ Because of this it snapped off near the base. Tony ground the base and bottom of the fin flat and glassed the two back together just recently, so it`s left the fin about an inch shorter but it`s still original, and that`s the main thing .”
Bob kept the board for 48 years before parting with it recently . “ Henry made me an offer for it, I didn`t argue or send it to Ebay as it`s important to us old guys that someone who appreciates our stuff gets it. The only thing I requested was that if it`s displayed it`s got my name with it .”
Henry`s now loaning it to Alex Williams and Al Lindsay, to go on display in the “ Endless Summer 2 “ exhibition which will be on throughout the summer at Truro museum. It`s believed to be the earliest GB Paipo board .
( New photos : Ace surf photographer Alex Williams. Article and old photos : Tony Cope. )
To check out some other 60s paipos go to - http://www.vintagegregnollsurf.com/bellyboards.html
Friday, 15 February 2013
This is another previously unseen reel of film that Jono has had digitised at considerable expense, so thanks to him for doing this. Jono has a site about the history of skateboarding in Swansea - www.overplywood.wordpress.com . These reels of film were donated to him by Ron Williams who shot them in the late 70s . Jono says -
'' Another friend of Con's was Ron Williams who now lives in Australia, originally from Pothcawl Ron had filmed the local surf scene in the 70s but had also filmed Con skating too. Best of all the films had survived and Ron was more than willing to send them over to be used in Over Ply Wood. I couldn't believe my luck, film of 70s skating in Swansea and as it turns out in London, Cornwall and Europe too !
Not only was there plenty of 70s skateboarding on the 4 x 400ft reels of film there was a ton of surfing too.The film shown is the South Africa trip .Loads of the actual surfing but also beach shots of the UK team members, a parade through the town of all the competing teams ,evidence of apartheid with signs on the beach for whites only ...this was before everyone really started to take notice of the crimes taking place in South Africa and the international boycotts started to gain mainstream acceptance. So a historic piece on many levels.
Thanks again to Ron Williams for his films and Mark Knights for a great job on digitising them. More clips to follow soon .''
The film begins with a free surf at Jeffreys bay which was actually just after the contest, when Nigel, Colin , Ted and Steve gunned it along the coast to get some waves at the famous big right, and scored.
Then theres the contest footage, the opening procession with the British team, and two pimped up orange ford cortinas ? Then the contest begins, in decent waves; im not sure who is surfing but its likely that Ron is filming mostly the British guys . Steve Daniel can be seen in a classic Union Jack wetsuit - still got it Steve ??
In all a classic piece of film and historically important, cheers to Ron and Jono.
'there was a time when you might have needed your sabre '
Thursday, 7 February 2013
This singlefin has a diamond tail, which was pretty popular in the early 70s before the swallow tail kicked in. Its a quality board, light and fast, well suited to Gower reefs. And if the reefs weren't exciting enough its got a suicide leash, one of those elastic bungee jobs which brings the board back at light speed.
It was Tony's board from new. He was at Aberystrwyth uni and a friend from Cardiff came back with one. Tony tried it at Aber and then had this one made. Overall around 6 ft x 22 ins at middle and 14 1/2 inches wide at the slab tail. Tony decided on a cheeky artwork of Mutley with a Chateau 41 twin fin of his own. He surfed if for four years and since then its hardly seen the water, so he decided to sell it on after owning it for 41 years.
This board is much more refined than my other earlier Chateau 41 made for Tim Jones, which is very thick at the tail. This one is wafer thin in comparison, with down rails and mellow s deck, nice and light and actually feels pretty surfable. The fins are quite small but seem adequate enough since the rails are hard. I guess Alan Williams was copying foreign import twin fins like the early 70s Bings and Webers which were available over here in small numbers - and expensive. It should go fast in a straight line, turning may be less easy. Alan became well known for his Williams longboards in the 80s and 90s. Why he chose the name Chateau '41 I have no idea. Mabye his board factory was very grand, or maybe it was a dump and he had a bit of Welsh sarcasm ?!
Tony has sent some more history on the Chateau '41 -'' The boards most notable achievement probably with not much help from me was to enter the first ever British Universities Surf Championship in March 1972. It was held at Whitesands Bay Pembrokeshire . The heats were on Saturday but it was so blown out at Whitesands so we moved north to a little beach called Newquay which was a little sheltered. I was fortunate enough to get through and on Sunday the semi and final were held at Whitesands but still very windy. I plodded around in the soup a bit and made it through to the final. The good surfers tried to get outside to catch some half decent waves but the incoming was relentless and most hardly got any rides.
The waves were reforming further in and I managed to get some rides. The only guy to really get outside was a Welsh surfer I believe called Peter Jones. He walked round a rocky point to get past the surf and turned his board upside down and launched in. He came first, I came second and a young promising surfer called Roger Mansfield came third I believe. I think he was then British champion.
I was given a 2 inch high cup which sadly I no longer have.
Another memory for me was going to Lahinch in Ireland a year after the Europen championships I believe in 1973/4. See http://vimeo.com/58201891 for a cine film of the 1972 Euro Surf in Ireland .
We also surfed down on the Dingle peninsula where I saw what appeared to be a very early windsurf board. I looked at it and thought that will never catch on.Still you can't be right all the time.
I moved to north Wales from south London in 1974 and apart fom a few outings on trips back to Aberystwyth I didn't surf a lot more but got quite seriously involved in club and county squash which took a lot of time.The board moved with me several times with the hope that I might use it but sadly did not.
I learnt to surf at Aberystwyth where there are some surprisingly good waves and lived at Borth virtually on the beach for 2 and a half years.I could wake up in the morning check the swell from my bedroom window and work out where best to go. Then I would check out which lectures to skip.
There was quite an active surf club there although coming from London i had no idea what it was.
Suffice it to say when a pretty girl asked me if I was going to the surf club social during freshers weekend I duly went along. She ended up with a blonde surfer guy ( third year) and I ended up going surfing to Borth the next day on a 12 foot resue board that I could not carry but it got me hooked. I kept surfing throughout the term and made a wetsuit from a company called Aquaequipment. they sent you a sheet of neoprene and a pattern and tin of glue.
Let me know how the board works. I wasn't great but enjoyed it .''
For some previously unseen film footage of Welsh surfing ( Welsh nationals ?) in the 70s check out -
Its shot by Ron 'Milk 'Williams in and out of the water and is at a surf comp in Llangennith in the late 70s . You may know more faces than me but Pete Jones is one obvious one.
Chateau '41 rider Tim Jones