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

Sunday 28 February 2010

Arlene Maltman

This Surf scene from 1984 is the first Britsh mag to feature a female surfer on the cover. The surfer is Jersey's Arlene Maltman, British champ in 1984, although this mag says Arlene is also Europes leading lady. Arlene got a good sponsership deal from British Airways, and was part of a surge of British female talent in the 80s. She still surfs and competes today.
Heres an article from Surfers journal about a guy who found one of Arlene's boards at a dump in the US, and eventually traced her to learn its history .

Arlene, mid 80s

80s thrusters

Heres a mid 80s Crab I sland thruster with a cool spray from Stephane's collection. 6'2 x 19 1/2 made by Pete Crab in Swansea . Check the channels and wave graffiti graphics. Pete started making boards in 1977 and still shapes today.

From Tube news 1985/6 , Glen Winton quad model on the left.

On ebay recently was this classic late 80s thruster by Adrian Phillips of Fluid Juice. Made at St Merryn its a cutting edge board of its time and still looks good with strong colours and not much damage.

From Surf scene 1987

Saturday 27 February 2010

Doug Wilson

I was sorry to hear about Doug Wilson, who has recently passed away after an operation. Doug was an important figure on the early surf scene and became a pioneer of Britains surf industry. Born in Sussex, he came to Cornwall to lifeguard in 1959 and became a surf photographer. He was good friends with Bill Bailey and the two were some of the earliest malibu surfers in Newquay, welcoming and learning from foreign surfing visitors, and often using their boards.
Doug was one of the four founders of the European Surfing company, better known as Bilbo surfboards , and was a successful manager of the shop from 1965, the year Bilbo was born. The shop was the first large scale surf store in the UK or Europe and was a focal point for the Newquay surf scene, even importing the first surf mags into the UK, Surfer magazine from the US.
In 1994 Doug co wrote 'You should have been here yesterday ', an invaluable study on the roots of British surfing.

Top - Doug meets Bruce Brown at Heathrow in 1967 ; Brown was in London for a premiere screening of the Endless Summer.
Above - early surf trip to France, Doug in centre, 1966.

Bill Bailey and Doug at Newquay 1963; the blue board was the first foam model in the UK made by Bob Head.

Friday 26 February 2010

Tigger Newling singlefin

Early 70s singlefin from the talented Tigger Newling , from Alex's collection. It's 6'6 and would have been made around Constantine where Tigger grew up surfing, becoming a local standout and winning the British title in 1973. Alex has a new book coming out about his photos of British surfing from the 70s, and can be contacted at .

Line up for the British championships held in Jersey in 1969. Tigger on the left with a similar board, Pete Jones in the middle.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Warmer surf trip

I'm off very soon on a much needed trip to Fuerte - this is what it was like last time I was there a couple of years ago, pretty epic waves, a perfect long right every wave, heres hoping we might get it again....

Surf trip to Newquay feb 1969

Skating up the hill from watergate bay.
Graham has sent these pics of a surf trip he and some mates made to a very cold Newquay in '69. He said he hardly saw any surfers apart from the vw bus from Devon, and it must have been freezing in an old two piece wettie with no boots or gloves !

Taken from the original Bilbo surf shop.

Here's fistral on a busy day with Grahams 8'4 Bilbo on the right.

Sailors arms was a must in those days.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Cornish surfing in the 1920s & 30s

1920s Perranporth surfers with boards made by the local coffin maker.
British surfing hit its first boom in the 20s and 30s. In between the wars people wanted to enjoy themselves in a healthy way and railways brought huge amounts of visitors to the Cornish and Devon resorts. Manufactured ply boards came in the 20s to meet demand, but many surfers started out with crude flat boards made by a local carpenter or coffin maker. Nigel Oxenden from Jersey was an early standout surfer who rode a 5'6 heavy bellyboard in the 20s and had possibly the first surf leash, tied from a hole in his board to the belt on his bathing suit.
Newquay 1936 , above and below

Unknown, 20s or 30s, probably Cornwall

Friday 12 February 2010


Here's a film of Leven last saturday sent in by Lucy and shot by her other half , . Some nice waves, fat shoulders but grinding on the peak.
enough said .

Wednesday 10 February 2010

South coast bomb

Another nice shot from last weekend, further along the south coast and a similar size to Leven, sent in by Alex Williams. Looks a beauty from here, probably quite scary on the peak .

Heavy Leven

Porthleven didn't look too shabby last saturday - photo by tubewizard

On the belly

The ace of clubs - a new addition to my small but growing collection of old bellyboards. The ace is from the 50s or 60s and has been customised by its owner, as many of them were. Looking forward to having a bellyslide this summer, especially on the hollow one.

Here's an old girl from Jim's collection, a Nymph surfjockey from the 40s era ?

Monday 8 February 2010

Gul museum

Gul have a page on their website about their substantial board collection with some old wetsuits and ads, including this cheeky 70s shot above. Well worth a look .... check it out at

Sunday 7 February 2010

Wavecraft mystery

Daren has sent me photos of his Wavecraft singlefin and wants to know more about it since theres not alot about it online. I too have a mysterious Wavecraft ( not to be confused with Wavekraft of Newquay ) , a 5'2 kneeboard which I found going cheap at my local charity shop. I know of another two Wavecrafts locally but I have a hunch they're from the US, theres no shapers name on mine so that doesn't help. If anyone out there has experience or a good memory please enlighten us.

Here's my kneeboard - its had a hard life but I liked the logo and the keel fins. Obviously had an owner with some spare car filler.

Circle One singlefin

Nice early Circle One 7'4 from 1972 shaped by Jeff Townsley from Alex William's collection. Three years later Alex was doing a story of making a surfboard with Jeff for his College photo project. Jeff started Circle One in 1969 in Exeter, originally tracing shapes from US surf mags and scaling them up; and Circle One is still going strong with Jeff at the helm, based in Newton Abbot. ( )

Jeff Townsley, early days of Circle One

Circle One crew