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

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Quo Vadis surfboards (Tris in Lacanau, France)

Thanks to Jean-Pierre for sending in photos of his beautiful Quo Vadis singlefin. Quo Vadis were essentially Tris surfboards, but made in France. How did this come about ?
Well the story goes that in 1978 Philip O'Loughlin, an Australian living in Lacanau-Ocean ordered a batch of boards from Tris surfboards (at that time Johnny Manetta and Chops Lascalles were heading Tris as Tris Cokes had sold up his share) . Philip owned Lacanau's first surf shop Lacanau Lou, which had ran from approx 1973 I think. UK boards had a very good reputation in France.
Philip wanted around 70-80 boards and arranged for the Tris guys to come down and shape at Lacanau, supplying all the materials and equipment in a factory converted from an abbatoir nicknamed 'The Ranch' . Chops and Johnny shaped, and Teep sanded, finished and made fins . Chops, although a great surfer , had not got a lot of shaping under his belt at this point, but these French boards were a good opportunity to improve his skills under the watchful eye of Johnny.
Jean Pierre has also written abou Quo Vadis on his French surf blog -

''Chops, Philipe and myself named the boards Quo Vadis, Latin for 'where are you going' and I designed this beautiful flowing broad s shape with the words Quo Vadis on it. It became quite sought after. In fact, Chops and myself carried on using the logo when we got back to England.''
''The surfboards looked absolutely stunning in the new showroom in Lacanau-Ocean .It was very French, very avant garde ;all polished glass and steel,  with rows of the beautiful Quo Vadis surfboards. I was quite proud of that trip'' From 'Looking for something to find'' by Johnny Manetta, which makes a good read with lots of great Cornish surf history.
Lacanau Lou , trade show? with Quo Vadis board/ boards on the rack. Late 70s
Johnny Manetta at the factory/ showroom with a lovely Quo Vadis
Quo Vadis swallow tail, owned by Jean Pierre's friend Gerard in Lacanau.

It seems the Quo Vadis mainly had ply fins

Beautiful boards in the stylish French showroom
Factory at the Ranch, Johnny and Teep
Tris crew on a French surf trip, early 70s.
 Chops back in Cornwall with some S boards , photos by John Conway, 1978/9


  1. Steffan got very excited about these boards on his last trip over! I wonder if any collectors over here have one? I've never seen one before!

  2. i dont think any have made it to the uk, but i could be wrong !