Monday, 27 January 2014
This was a surprise to me, since I was expecting it to be made by Carwyn's regular shaper Craig Hughes , but this one is signed Nigel Semmens ! It has Carwyn's laminates, an airbrushed Alder logo and copies the spray of Carwyn's favoured board of the time , as does the 2 1/2 fin set up .
I can't confirm it was Carwyn's personal board and havent seen this one in any of his old photos so I presume its a Carwyn Alder model (numbered no. 2 by Nigel) , similar to the one on the blog last month.
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
You would think that a work of art like this that has had countless hours put in to its creation would be looked after and treasured !? But unfortunately not , its had some really poor repairs and has had deck plugs put in for tow board loops. The fact its an early epoxy board makes it harder to repair well, and the years have taken their toll.
Back when it was new around 1984 this was a wonder board, a revolution, and Lightwave were the first company making surfboards out of epoxy in the world (borrowed from the boatbuilding industry) . It was sold as much stronger yet much lighter than other boards of the time. But rather than taking over the market, these epoxy boards died a death by the late 80s (a few decades later epoxy would again hit the market ).
They designed a new foam, which resembled polystyrene and was much lighter than standard blanks ; so they could use the weight saving to make the outer shell much more durable. Epoxy resins did the job, which were pretty bombproof and didn't pressure dent. The new foam also didn't suck up water so any dings that happened wouldn't bog the board down so badly.
When you read all this its surprising they weren't a big success.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
I think the Horizon boards were made somewhere on the outskirts of St Ives ; Tim had been shaping boards since the mid 70s with Pete and Kid Phillips (formerly worked at Atlantic). It must have been a relatively small label since I havent seen any ads for it in the surf mags of the day.
This is a pretty standard shape for the time, and has good build quality and finish. I wish it had the original fins as whoever put these ones in had a shocker.
Tim is now a successful businessman in St Ives and owns property along the waterfront including the Sloop inn.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Monday, 6 January 2014
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Here are a couple of classic Bilbos . First up is this standard longboard from 1967 or 68, near to the last longboards Bilbo made before the board lengths began to get chopped. This board is one owner from new ! and has the owners initials on the underside so must have been custom made for him. These boards are pretty heavy but still nice to surf and always put a smile on your face in small surf. The nylon plastic fin would originally been red but it goes this pinky colour with age. The bungee leash was not a good idea !
Nice competition stripes on the deck and thick single balsa stringer . A classic Bilbo of the era and still looks in good nick and watertight.
And here's a rare , and rather more battered find . Pulled from a hedge by Andy some years ago , a 1968 Bilbo v- bottom by Chris Jones. V bottoms were around for such a short period of time (between longboard era and the Bing foil design) that they are very scarce now, and its even harder to find British ones. Most were copied straight from the boards of Aussie or South African surfers visiting England or France.
''Looks like one of the Bilbo's made in May 1968, when South African Trevor Espey and mates arrived in Newquay with stubbies. Until then I think Bilbo made only longboards. A very small window this one, because Keith Paull arrived immediately after with his Foil, so Bilbo went from mals to Foils in a few weeks. If so, there aren't many of these around.'' Tony Cope
And while we're on the subject of Bilbos , here's a classic photo of Jonty Henshall taken in 1979 with his Rhosneiger surf crew and two Bilbos. Jonty has lived in Cornwall a long time but grew up surfing the waves of Anglesey in North Wales - much the same as I did fifteen years later. Back in Jonty's day there werent many local surfers to learn from so they just had to work it out themselves.
Jonty (left) is keen to know if his boards are still out there ! Since his brother sold them while he was off travelling. -
''The boards were 2 Bilbo transitional era, one about 7'6" clear MP style squash tail, with orange gloss in the fin area, the other was a more unusual 8' ish round pin, clear bottom, orange gloss deck. Both had glass stringers, greenough 4A style box fins, and western logos. I have attached a pic from 1979 of us with the boards. I assume they were made by CJ around 70?''
Since the boards are still pretty long they must date from around 1970 as Jonty says. Some classic wetsuits there too !
If anyone has info on the boards let us know.