Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2019 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

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Rare early 70s Tris Bonzer, acid wash and twin fin

Here are some more boards from Bill's collection, this time a lovely and varied trio made by Tris surfboards in Cornwall in the early 70s . These are all very interesting, rare and unusual Tris boards. This first one must date to around 1972/3 ,7ft long with acid wash, beautiful matching colour rainbow fin and narrow square tail with full length down rails. Shaped by Tris Cokes. Definitely one of their early ones, as the down or hard rails didnt last long, and the unusual narrow squared off tail looks early and in need of a swallow tail . The large logo is one of the favourites in old British boards, with a beautiful design by Keith Flack.
Great acid wash bottom using the same resin colours that made up the fin. Acid wash Tris boards are rare.

Another great rarity is this 7'4 bonzer with concaves. The Campbell brothers first invented Bonzers in 1970 - one of the first tri fin boards ; and by 1972 they were experimenting with concaves . This Tris was probably made after seeing one of the Campbell concave bonzers in a surfing mag ; so the Tris must date from late '72 or '73. Bonzers had the twin keel fins forward of the centre fin, and its a design that has successfully lasted in various forms over four decades !
To find a British bonzer from this era is like rocking horse sh1t . Tris made at least two , but whereabouts of others is not known , John Conway experimented with similar designs, and Jeff Townsley made some boards with the triangular twin keels. These were really just experiments and the boards didnt catch on over here.

Malcolm Campbell's 6'3 bonzer with concaves and wooden centre fin, 1972.

Another Tris bonzer from the early 70s, undergoing 'testing' .Does this board still exist ??
John Conway bonzer with similar concaves.
Yet another rare one is this 1st generation 5'10 twin fin from '71ish. This was made before the In Natural Flow logo and Keith Flack logo. The early tris logo can just be made out faintly on the nose. It is so feint that I didnt see the logo when I checked this board out at a local auction years ago, so let it slip through my fingers. Damn ! I think it only went for around £30 back then.
These early twin fins were very short lived, hard to surf and soon overtaken by longer sleeker singlefin boards with diamond , pin and swallow tails.

You can just see the logo in red pigment which has faded. It would originally have been similar to the logo on the sign below
thanks to Bil for sharing his boards and Johnny for the old Tris photos


  1. That twin fin is very similar to my Conway twin fin with its shape and size and fin shape! I'll ask tris if he remembers them!

  2. Amazing picture of surfboards. Color combination that you have used for making surfboards is great.

  3. Hi i think i have the other tris bonzer! Its 6'10 and id say not mint but excellent condition.