Tuesday, 27 May 2014
But this board is later, more refined and would handle a lot better on a wave . The rails are solid wood and rounded, with a bit of down rail , and the deck and underside are long sheets of ply. Its a well made board and was nicely finished with a strong deck ; it must have taken many man hours to produce ! But now it needs some tlc, as all the varnish is peeling and the rails need a bit of repair .
Im thinking that this board must have been made in the late 60s or 70s . The finbox and leash plug look mid / late 70s but they may have been retrofitted . The board has gone through a few alterations and repairs . Longboards from the 70s are very rare, as it was out of fashion then. Perhaps if you wanted a longboard in the 70s you had to make it yourself ! And thats what this guy did , probably in Cornwall since it was found here . It looks like it had a solid wood fin, early 70s style but it has been broken off. The board dimensions are 8'10 x 23 . An interesting and unusual board. It has a rudimentary screw drain plug near the nose; I think the drain plug could originally have been where the leash plug is now.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Crab Island showroom circa '83. Photo by Alex Williams.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
This is one of those find of a lifetime boards, which amazingly enough had been in an attic in a Jersey house for decades, wrapped in an old blanket !!
Tim who owns the board wants to find out how it got over to Jersey .He says - '' I wish I had some details of how it came to be on this little island many miles from where it was made. I'm still hoping to find the family of the gentleman who owned it and find out about him. It turned up in a loft of an old gentleman who had passed away. His family were in the island clearing his house and a gas fitter was there to turn the gas off as there was no one in the house and it was going to be sold. The board was lying on the stairs and the gas fitter asked what they planned on doing with it. The family member said that none of them was interested in it and he could have it. He said that he couldn't take it but he would give them £20 and they accepted. He then contacted a surf shop to try and sell it and they contacted Jeremy who told myself and another friend Bob about an old wooden board for sale .
We talked and decided to go and see it and try and buy it together and ride it . The guy was asking £2000 and said that he had researched on the Internet and he needed new scuba diving gear . We were amazed when we saw it and tried to find out where he got it from but he wouldn't give us any information . It was orange and had fluff stuck to it from being in a loft wrapped in a blanket but in perfect condition. The guy had a bad attitude and when we told him it should be in the local museum he wasn't interested and just wanted to get as much money as possible. We couldn't pay his price and didn't like his attitude so left. Jeremy got in touch with the local museum but they weren't really interested in purchasing the board .
The following year out of the blue the guy rang Jeremy in a panic saying that his dog had taken a bite out of the board and he needed to sell it. It was my 40th year and my wife wanted to buy me something special for my birthday so after discussion with Jeremy and Bob they agreed that I could try and buy it. Jeremy and I went back to see the board and the dog had taken a small bite from right next to the PH logo. We tried again to find out where it came from but he still didn't want to tell us and I told him that if his dog continued to chew it that it would be worthless . I offered him just over a quarter of what he originally wanted and he accepted.
I took it home and carefully cleaned it up and a friend grafted a small piece of balsa into the tail. It hangs on my wall and my wife has instructions to donate it to the local museum when I die . From talking to people we think the gentleman was a doctor and a keen photographer who lived in California for a short time in the 1940's before returning to Jersey . The plan is to contact his family and find out how he got it to jersey and if he rode it here. I'm hoping that they might have some photographs but that is wishful thinking. I am also hoping to ride it one day and if I do I will document it and contact you.''
The board after restoration, pride of place in Tim's house , and below when he had just found it. You can see the marks in the varnish from it being wrapped in a blanket for so long. And the next photo during restoration with turps.
Tim and Jeremy with the board in Jersey
Pacific Systems Homes was a huge company , America's largest home builder producing ready cut houses / prefabs on a large factory site in Los Angeles.
One of the owners of the company was William Butte, whose son Meyers became hooked on surfing in Hawaii in the 20s - and saw his father's factory as the perfect place to start a Californian surfboard company - since all the tools and machines needed were already on site . So in a small corner of the factory Swastika surfboards emerged , the first mass produced surfboards, made from redwood , balsa and pine strips.
Like with Tim's board, the main part of the boards were balsa for lightweight , with stronger rails and nose from redwood. The boards proved very popular with Californian surfers, and even sold well in Hawaii such was their quality of build. A typical board of the 30s was 10 ft x 23 ins. .
The Swastika is an ancient symbol which means good fortune ; however when the good meaning of the symbol was destroyed forever by Hitler and the Nazi party , Meyers Butte renamed the boards Waikiki in around 1938 to avoid controversy . So Tim's board is 1938 at the earliest .
Thursday, 1 May 2014
Ever since I watched Freeride (about 40 times) I have quite fancied having a bolt , but never wanted to pay the prices or the shipping from the US, so was lucky to get this one. After restoration it should be much improved . Dims are 6'8 x 19 ; BK was famous for riding super narrow boards ( as narrow as 17 inches) at Sunset from the late 60s through the 70s .If Lopez was Mr Pipe, BK was Mr Sunset , and his Bolts are pretty rare and sought after. This one has an unusual brown tint on the deck, red pinline , white tinted rails and bottom and a lovely glassed in fin . Date for the board must be around 1974 ? since it has an early leash plug and glass in fin rather than finbox. It is signed by Barry by the logo and has a copyright c below the logo (this may be because other board companies were copying the bolt logo and cashing in on Bolt's success.)
BK and Hendrix, from "Fluid Drive" from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.