We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines . Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive
It looks like a great atmosphere at this late season surf meet organised by Pierre in Hossegor, Oct 6th. A sunny afternoon under the trees near the lake, beer and music, boards and old friends. Thanks to Stephane for the photos.
There were 80 boards and 20 of them were UK made - five of these were Stephane's own boards.
The English /Jersey table - Chapter, 2 Tiki and 2 Freedom.
Two Ocean Magic singlefins , one by Pete, one by Nigel.
Bilbo made for France
Thanks to Stephane for the photos. Good to see the French vintage scene going strong !
Below - France in 1968.
The Endless summer exhibition in Truro is having an intruigingly named 'Surfposium' this saturday, which will include talks, a film show and other events.
The run down for the day is -
11-noon Surf fashion and style - with historian Julie Ripley. free
12 noon - meet the lenders.
2.30-3.30 - The Cornish Surfing Tribe - talk by Roger Mansfield . free
3.30 - 3.45 - Presentation of photography competition prizes.
6 - 7.30 -Surf films talk with Mark Kermode - sold out.
Some photos of the Surfposium by Alex Williams. Above- Julie Ripley talk
Gwyn Haslock with her trophies and bathing suits
Bob Rudland with a paipo he made in 1965
Roger Mansfield talk . The photo is of Roger when he was a gremmie
Hi Alasdair, Will the real Rumpelstiltskin please stand up! Thanks for putting up the site - its great to see the old boards and logo's. The green Space Gypsy surfboard by Rumpelstiltskin was made by me - Chris Evans. It was one of the ﬁrst boards I shaped whilst serving a wild apprenticeship with Danny Garland, in the
summer of 1976.
I was making the board for myself, so tried to make it pretty with the hand drawn decals and ﬂames. The ﬁn
was a foam ﬁberglass sandwich to save weight. However I was worried about how it would go with such thin
rails, so Danny kindly let me put it in with a consignment of stock boards, and I shaped myself a 'Stinger'
The art was ripped off from a Roger Dean album cover - traced off with ink onto some acid free tissue paper. I learned a lot from Danny that year and we had a crazy summer.
We travelled to france together in 1977 and stayed with Gerard Dabbadie. I had met Gerard when competing in the European Surfing Championships at Hosseger, France as a junior in 1975. Gerard was a great surfer and he and his family were very kind to me. He had been making his Superfrog boards for a while and was happy to have Danny shape a few at his factory. I am pretty sure the Superfrog shaped by Danny on your site is one of the boards we made then. I think I finished it working with Gerard after Danny had gone back to England.
Superfrog - shaped by Danny , finished by Chris .
I stayed on at Gerards folks place for a while and his Dad gave me a great great deal on the rent. In return for accommodation in my own little villa (with a Solex plus board racks to ride), I had to make six surfboards for his Dad to use as hire boards. I was stoked to have the practice with shaping without the pressure of a custom order, and had a great time pootling around on the Solex surfing the beachbreaks.
The following summer I began making 'Wasp' surfboards in North Wales, where I had grown up surﬁng the
Tim DʼMel (the only other kid surﬁng in Rhosneiger back then) designed and drew up the logo for me.
He was studying graphics at the time, and nowadays lives in Sydney and produces TV commercials for
high proﬁle clients. I designed a shape called the 'Atlantic Seed', a double wing round pin, with concave 'V'
in the tail, shaped slightly longer and wider than average for the time, to compensate for the sloppy waves
that we usually surfed in.
Tim D'Mel with Space Gypsy stinger, left, and Chris Evans with Wasp 'Atlantic Seed' right
(This Space Gypsy stinger came up on ebay a couple of years ago. The seller was in Anglesey so it must be Tim D'Mel's old board.)
My shaping room was an old pig sty and glassing was done in a spare bedroom in my ﬂat! When the
family living upstairs started getting respiratory problems they got the local council onto me and that
was the end of that.
Sequence of Chris on the 'Atlantic Seed 'at Broadbeach, Rhosneiger - Anglesey 1977
In 1978 I moved the business down to Cornwall and set up my workshop in an old stone farm building near Padstow.
These were my 'halcyon days', living in an old wooden gypsy caravan just behind the dunes at
Constantine beach. Surﬁng the reef, getting around on an old honda 90 'noddy bike' and living my dream
of shaping boards
Wasp Coca Cola
There were no long blanks available for Dibbsey's mal, so an extra bit of foam was glued on to the tail ,joined where the fin sits
One of my own boards by the old gypsy caravan.
Wasp twin keel kneeboard
Neil Llewelyn with Wasp quiver
A Wasp for Mike Conlan (champion surfer and entrepreneur)
The years I spent surﬁng and partying with the local crew around St. Merryn were the best of times.
Winters were spent traveling south through Europe, Morocco and the Canary Islands. Eventually
Thatcher's England got too damn cold, so I headed off to Australia in 1981.
These photos are of the last board I made in St. Merryn in 1980. This was the board I brought to Oz in 1981.
It started life as a single ﬁn rounded pintail, but a few leash pulls inspired me to cut it down to a rounded
square tail and a thruster ﬁn set up. As you can see its had a hard life.
Me waxing up on arrival to the Gold Coast 1981
This is the round pin board I was riding in the last
summer I spent in Cornwall. The wasp painting was
done by Dave 'Sprout' with ink and acrylics directly
onto the board before the gloss coat. 'Sprout' is still a
productive artist living around St.Merryn.
I sold this board to James Ewart just before I left Cornwall. I had been stoked with the way the board
went - it was lightweight for its day and had a shorter, wider ﬁn than the one pictured.
Although I used the same templates, the board I made to bring to Oz was built heavier and thicker, and
was never as good as the board I sold to James.
26 years later I travelled back to England for the ﬁrst time. James had been in touch by email and told
me he still had my old 'Wasp'. It had been in storage for years and was now on display at the Trevone
Head Backpackers Hostel. Unfortunately James was out of the country at the time, but said I could go
and pick the board up.
In one amazing day I travelled down to Cornwall, retrieved my board, and was helped out by Adrian at
'Fluid Juice' with a new ﬁn. Adrian still had my old sanding racks outside his factory! That afternoon I
looked up my old mate Ritchie Manniﬁeld and went for a surf at 'Booby's' on the old 'Wasp'. It was like
going back in time, not much had changed around Constantine in all those years, as it is a Heritage
area. Later that day, we visited 'Sprout' who had painted the wasp. He was living above our old pub 'The
Farmers Arms', and he was busy painting a landscape. The day ended perfectly in an old Cornish pub
where we were joined by another old local, Dave Bruce, for Cuban cigars and lashings of real ale. On
my way back to Australia I surfed the 'Wasp' in Sri Lanka and occasionally still take it out for a spin here.
The old Wasp in Sri Lanka
Australia has been good to me - had a career here for a while as a graphic artist, working mostly in the
surf wear industry peaking with Billabong in the mid 90's
These days I live on the border of QLD and NSW mostly surﬁng the northern NSW coast with
occasional surfaris overseas. Still interested in shaping, but lean more towards sculpture and playing
cronky old blues on a slide guitar. Cheers - evo
A highlight of my surfing career, going for a surf with Mark Richards at Cloudbreak, mid 90s
Recent foam sculpture for the TV series
ʻIʼm a celebrity get me outta here, which
is ﬁlmed near to where I live.
Thanks so much to Chris for taking the time and effort to share his stories and photos, and especially unmasking the mysterious Rumpelstiltskin ! Now we all know about Wasp surfboards it would be good to find one ; mabye a nice rounded pin or moontail kneeboard . Chris is youre ever back in the UK you're welcome to have your first surf on the Rumpelstiltskin - if you want to !
Does anyone know anything about Freedom's Family surfboards ? There was one up for sale a few months ago which I thought was a one off, until Ross sent photos of his blue one below. So they seem to be an active label producing boards in the early 70s , using Bilbo fin systems . The Bilbo connection may hint that Freedom's Family were produced in Cornwall ; but not definitely. The Bilbo fin in the green board looks like old stock from the late 60s.
Was the label a tax dodge for a bigger producer ? Someone out there must know. If anyone is interested in buying the blue board below, email email@example.com for details.
And this is another mystery label - Pauli surfboards . It was recently bought in France by Richard who is a member of the vintage surf club over there. Its a 70s singlefin , and Richard says the previous owner bought it in England in the 80s . I do not know the Pauli label . Anyone ? The board looks pretty gunny so may be a foreign travel board .