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

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Tigger Newling bonzer

This very rare Tigger Newling bonzer turned up on ebay last week and went for a big price, reflecting its importance and rarity. Only a few British manufacturers tried their hand at the Campbell brothers' design - tigger, John Conway and Tris are ones I have seen, not sure if any others were made in the 70s. Tigger says he only made a few of these, ten at most. One was for Keith Beddoe which he surfed for two winters at Anchor point and reported it as the best board he had surfed.
This board has the impossible triangle logo so dates to 1973-5. It unusually has three playing cards , all kings, under the glass . Tigger says -' I used to like putting weird stuff under the glass. I dont know if the board was specifically shaped for someone but if it was the cards could be a clue'.
Tigger's fin setup is a variant on the Campbell design, with side fins which resemble rounded keel fins. Tigger has cut up one of his logos to put his name on the fins, and the other part of the logo has gone under the paying cards. A very interesting board !

After a period 'in exile' from Cornwall working in a recording studio in London, then studying Building at Bristol Polytechnic, I gave up all pretence at getting trained for a 'proper' job and returned to the bohemian life of surfboard building and competitive surfing. This time I hit the jackpot, winning the 1973 British Championships convincingly on one of my own shapes. I was riding a 6'6" x19" rounded pintail I had shaped, and it performed perfectly in the big, hollow waves at Freshwater West in Pembroke. The board sported a new logo I designed: 'Tigger Newling Surfboards' surrounding an impossible triangle graphic, signalling a new phase in my surfboard building. Leaving my dad's greenhouse behind I set up a new factory on St Merryn Airfield - a disused World War II airbase owned by Bob Partridge, a local farmer. St Merryn Airfield was a ghost  town which other local board makers like Space Gypsy and Fluid Juice would discover too in later years.  Bob was an easy going landlord, but his hobby was flying and after surviving several terrifying landings on the broken tarmac runway I quickly learnt to politely turn down his invitations to join him for a few 'circuits and bumps' in his light plane. My 'Tigger Newling Surfboards' phase ended when I left Cornwall in January 1975 to take up an invitation to compete in the Hang Ten American Pro at Sunset Beach in Hawaii. I nearly missed my flight after spending 20 minutes trying to fit my 8 foot big wave board inside a London Cab on my way to Heathrow.

Tigger at Porthleven 1975, photo Dave Weight

 Above and below - bonzers made by Tris surfboards.

Bing Campbell bonzer fins

Bing bonzer ad, Surfer mag 1974 .Shapes by Mike Eaton.

Another interesting Tigger board which surfaced recently, shaped by him for his little brother Mike, around 1970. This board is currently being restored.


  1. Great boards! Cant wait to see them in the flesh! Never tried surfing a bonzer!
    One day I will own a tigger board!

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  3. Awesome! passed this on to the Campbells and Guy Pendwarden…cheers!

  4. What a innovative design. i like the board how much the price is? For three years I have been riding lonboards for beginners