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, 13 March 2014

Kejo by Kevin Cross and John Hall

That KEJO.......... Alex Williams asked if anyone was bidding for the KEJO on Ebay, and knowing how rare the first GB boards made by Kevin Cross are I thought that it would fetch big money , so went in with Alex 50/50 to win it .
 And that`s when our problems started, because the lady seller`s initial pleasure at our winning £510 bid turned into a phone call the following day to say that she had made a mistake because it was in fact her old dad`s board, and as he hadn`t given her permission to sell it she wanted to keep it. From various phrases she used we smelt a rat.
 It slowly emerged that her dad knew nothing about surfing, but had bought the board for peanuts in a car-boot sale. So why was he not thrilled with the sum we bid ? Then the lady wanted us to agree that we would not tell Ebay what was happening. Much later it emerged that after the auction was over they had received an offer £50 higher than our bid, and wanted to accept that .
 We told her that her greatest worry was not Ebay but legal action as 1) you can`t sell something you don`t own, and 2) we now had a simple contract between us which was enforceable ie., there was an offer to sell, an agreement to buy, and a sum of money involved. The whole process had been on Ebay so there were plenty of witnesses including Ebay themselves. After a few days of talk they reluctantly said we could have the board, but would not divulge the name of the 3rd person . When I picked it up `dad` said he had been furious when he was told it could make more, and he suggested that I was in fact a dealer who had robbed him as I was going to sell it on at a huge profit !

 Anyway, getting on to the board ( at last ) it`s 5`11" x 22 1/2" x 3 3/4" thick - a fat little *** which brought 1970 vividly back to me, as boards got so short from the 9`+ of 1967 that we thought we needed extreme thickness to give them some `float`. This led to the bizarre sight of some very good surfers - and trust me, no-one else could ride them - trying to sit up straight while wave-waiting, then toppling slowly sideways into the water. Kejos are the first boards made by John Hall ( shaper ) and Kevin Cross ( glasser ) after they arrived in N. Devon from Oz in 1970. John went on to shape a lot of Tikis, Kevin to own 3 more labels including Creamed Honey. This looks like one of the earliest Kejos as the seahorse isn`t on the logo yet. It looks like it`s all been drawn by hand with Indian ink on tissue, something which Groves, Fitz and me all did before we finally got them printed. No doubt Kev. Cross can tell us ?
( Actually Kevin has been in touch about this Kejo saying '' that board plan shape was taken off one I made at Clive Barber's shop in South Africa and brought to the UK. It was a great board'' )
 The usual dings & damaged nose and tail will be repaired properly, and the ` paper-jam ` fin restored, as like many others it`s been resin-ed in, this time using grey car filler. The only other Kejo I know of is the slightly later sideslipper owned by Pete Newman , an altogether more sophisticated board in both design and finish . But we are delighted with our board , Alex as he`s a Devonian, and me, part-owning another Kejo 44 years after the first.
 Tony Cope / Alex Williams.

So there we go, thanks to Tony for the words and photos. What looks a relatively modest little board now was at the cutting edge of modern surfboards back then; made by two Aussies who helped keep surfboards in the UK on a par with what was going on in Australia, South Africa and the US.  Kevin and John also went onto shape hundreds of quality boards here mainly for Tiki and Creamed Honey in the 70s - so we have a lot to thank them for.
And also on the subject of ebay bidding - play nice . If you don't win the auction don't go to the darkside of collecting ; respect the other bidders.
Pete Newman's slightly later Kejo Powerboard s-deck , with more professional decals and finish.


  1. Glad you got it Al / Alex . You bid you won - end of . Absolutely f-ing outrageous behaviour by the seller and sadly a very common scenario these days ,

    Sean , Newquay .

  2. hi Sean yes youre right, although it was Tony and Alex who got it not me.
    One of the most common problems on ebay I find when selling is loads of people asking me to end the auction early.

  3. Sorry Al - I thought you had written it . Is the Truro Museum exhibition due to finish / finished . Let me know when I can pick my boards up ,

    cheers ,


  4. hi Sean it finished last week. Your boards are at my house. Let me know if youre down my way soon, otherwise I'll get them up to you. The outer limits looks at home in my lounge !

    1. '"Your boards are at my house" - now that has got me worried . Don't get too attached to them . I'll be in touch .

  5. Thanks for dropping the boards home Al . I do remember the new van now [how could I forget tis a beauty] - the heads a bit west at the moment .