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 31 August 2010

nice suit

Here's a great original 60s floral wetsuit with beavertail. Unfortunately it seems a bit tight for this young lady

Secrets discovery by Steve Harewood

Tommy Bates, Steve Harewood and Barry Jenkins outside the Freedom factory, Jersey.

Secrets Discovery by Steve Harewood

It was a perfect sunny day at the end of May, the air was balmy with the scent of blossom and the light offshore breeze was drifting gently over us.

In those days I, oh yes I - the surfer, the dreamer, the one who was going to conquer all - was stuck in the dreary confines of the National Provincial Bank in the Royal Square in Jersey – a job, I hasten to add, that I took merely to please my mother who, being a caring mother, was naturally concerned about my apparent lack of responsibility (probably due to my preference for surfing). End of month at the bank was always balance day – a late finish – number crunching on an old fashioned adding machine (with grumpy old staff).

At 7 p.m I left the bank almost at screaming point. I was at the Splash by 7.20 (not so much traffic in those days) and wow A SOLID SWELL bouncing off the sea wall and a group of smug surfers sitting around drinking ice cold lagers bragging about how good it had been!!
Fuck, what to do, I needed a surf desperately. Knowing the tide hardly ever hit the sea wall in front of my Dad’s house at Barge Aground and how he regularly belly boarded there on the shore break, I headed there - it wasn’t that suitable for old long boards but hey as I said I was desperate. As I scanned the area I spotted some beautiful left handers peeling about 750m south of the Barge – absolute classic surf – I drove to the now well known car park and gazed in awe but a little apprehensive as it was 8 – 10 ft and also difficult to get a heavy board down the iron ladder (no proper steps in those days).
I drove back to the Splash to find some back up in the form of Tommy Bates, Ivor Stratford and Conrad Coutanche, who although sceptical followed me back. On our arrival there was no hesitation, better than La Barre in Biarritz, we passed the boards to each other from the sea wall and in we went.
The only four out there, we caught insane waves, all to ourselves. I remember to this day a left tube that totally enclosed me, I never made it out, those old boards were not the quickest, but what a great experience!! The swell pumped up and up, it actually got a bit hairy and Conrad went out.
I was paddling out on the right when Ivor, who wasn’t the strongest surfer, caught an outside set which massive and scary, but he caught the rail and his board bounced up and the rail hit him in the belly. He was winded and couldn’t swim (no leashes in those days) so I helped him to the shore and gave up those perfect waves, probably at about the right time as the tide was getting too high even for Secrets – that was when I took that original black and white photo with my trusty Kodak Brownie – proof enough that it was my special place and still is.
We celebrated at High Towers, aka Sands, aka Discovery Bay, with Fred Le Sueur the owner and sunk a fair few beers, whilst swearing a pledge of secrecy and naming our newly discovered surf spot Secrets. For about 7 weeks we had it all to ourselves before my annual holiday to Biarritz which coincided with Wheels Williams from Australia visiting Jersey, who was hero worshipped by most of us for his outstanding ability and knowledge, we were still in our infancy by comparison. Wheels checked the beach from Le Braye to L’Etacq, as someone of his calibre would, and unfortunately found our ‘secret’ place - after that it was no longer a secret! The secret was out but the name I gave it remains to this day.
I did attempt to knock the iron ladder down in those early days to try to prevent anyone else going there but was only partly successful.
Secrets is still my sacred place and I have many glorious mornings there with Peter Painter, James Hick, Peter Trenchard, Blair Talibard, Chris Tucker and the infamous but lovely Chris Fairbairn.
Find me another place as good and I will go!
Secrets is special, is sacred and was first surfed by Steve Harewood.

Monday 30 August 2010

a message from Kevin Cross

I emailed Kevin Cross in Australia a while back to ask him about Silverwings boards and also a bit of history of Creamed Honey, and here's what he said.....

Hi Al........Sorry it's taken a while for me to get back to you. I think your Vintage Surfboard site is great :) It's good to see an interest in the history of surfing in the UK. I certainly had a great time and great waves with good company during my stay in North Devon.

I can help you out with my history during that period. I never actually lived in Cornwall but did pass through there (and returned many times) on my way to North Devon. I did start work as a lifeguard at Woolacombe, and soon started making boards with John Hall, another Aussie travelling with me at the time ( KEJO surfboards ). At the end of that summer and through the winter (which nearly killed me), I started the Creamed Honey business at Braunton. John was then shaping for Tiki down the road. Bruce Palmer arrived that summer and started making his own boards. Bruce and I have been friends ever since, and helped each other out from time to time with materials when they were in short supply.

I continued making Creamed Honey Boards for a couple of years until my factory burnt down, a day before I was due to leave for France with a shipment of boards. Unfortunately, the boards where all in the factory and were lost. Not a good day!!!

After that, I set up a small factory in a shed at Pickwell Manor Farm for a season, and used my own name on the boards. At the end of that summer I returned to Aust and continued making a small number of boards. Around that time I was offered a job with ExxonMobil and decided to use that to supplement my income, I thought for about six months. That job opened many doors for me and I ended up working for XoM for thirty years (that's a bloody long time!!).

The Silver Wings boards were made in the Creamed Honey factory for the guy who had the surf shop at Watergate Bay. He was looking for a line of boards he could sell at a budget price. I'm not sure how many were made (not a lot) before I decided it did not fit well with my desire to make high quality boards. Having said that, as there were only a few made, I'm sure they will become very collectable... (-: His surf shop also stocked Creamed Honey Boards, in fact, the photo on your website of me in the circle of boards on the grass at Watergate Bay, was a delivery to his shop. Most of those boards were shaped by Richard Harvey.

I have never stopped surfing although have returned to riding Mini Mals and Mals that I started on when I was 16. I just love it :) My two older boys are living in Croyde. Nigel is a part owner on Surfing Croyde Bay. At last count, he had seventeen Creamed Honeys in his surf shop. At least one is as it came out of the factory, never had wax on it.....there is a story there!!!. Benn works at the Blue Groove Restaurant. In recent years, I have been able to meet the boys in Bali for some great surf sessions. All good (-:

Anyway, I hope the above is helpful.

Regards Kevin.

Great stuff thanks Kevin, good to hear you're still surfing

Sunday 29 August 2010

wearing a 60s wetsuit

made by Lillywhites of Picadilly from the mid 60s. The collar predates echo beach by a few years !

the cheesy catalogue pose

the flapper

Gul suit, late 60s

Isle of Wight surfers Colin Burgess, John Ainsworth and Roger Backhouse got their suits mail order from Lillywhites

I recently picked up this 60s Lillywhites of Picadilly beavertail wetsuit and decided I had to try it on before it goes to the Surfing Museum. Above and beyond the call of duty mabye but it was acually more comfortable than I thought it would be. There were a few wierd things like you squeak when you walk and its not exactly elasto. Didn't want to pick anything off the floor or I thought the arse might go !But it was bloody hot , must have been a revolution to the surfers who beforehand had been wearing wooly jumpers in the water to keep warm ! The Lillywhites suits were actually for scuba diving but they did the job for surfers and could be bought mail order. The first Gul suits were based on suits like this.

Bilbo stinger singlefin

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but there can't be many Bilbo stingers out there ! When I think of stingers I think Ben Aipa who designed them in '74 and they really became popular in the mid 70s with Mark Richards riding an Aipa quiver in '76/'77. But the Bilbo factory stopped producing in the very early 70s after a devastating fire, so how can we explain the stinger. Was the Bilbo shaper at the cutting edge of board design, or was it a later board using old decals. I'd like to think its the former, the board has great quality, nice pinlining and a lovely eggshell blue tint. It had a swallow tail which is a bit worn away now, and a leash loop rather than a later plug. From Chris' collection.

first surf

It was a proud day for me yesterday as Kitty had her first proper surf, age three and dwarfed by her bodyboard. Her maiden surf spot was Perranuthnoe and she was super stoked, especially with her vintage boogie

Friday 27 August 2010

Chris' place

Popped round to Chris' place today to have a look at what he calls his collection of ugly surfboards. Sure they've got a few dings and dust but it was great having a nose around his boards, which he has leisurely collected over 20+ years. Some of the gems include a Williams log from the St Ives Surfers store, a 1st generation Skewjack twinnie complete with artwork, a Bilbo stinger and a roof full of Bilbo logs. I'll show some of his boards in more detail in the next couple of days. Thanks to Chris for sharing his stuff.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Freedom rider by Steve Harewood

Here's a great little Freedom from Jersey, shaped by Steve Harewood in around '69 or '70 during the shortboard revolution. Its short and stubby, pretty much like the eggs Peterson and others were using in Australia - although they went to extremes with Nat Young riding a 5 1/2 ft board. This board is the Freedom Rider model, also the title of a Traffic song from the same era. It has an s-deck to keep volume up and a huge almost 12 inch Australian variable fin, which seems way too big for the board ! A beautifully made board which has survived well, bought recently from up in the north east. On the fin is the owners name - T Wharam

surf vids

If like me you're stuck in the dark ages still watching ye olde vhs video tapes, you may be interested in these classics. They are surrplus to requirements after I got a load from the car boot sale. Includes two of the best vids of the 70s, 5 Summer stories and Freeride, plus the hot generation by Witzig from the late 60s and Adrift with Joel Tudor. All work fine as far as I know, make me an offer and it could be your lucky day. ps correction Freeride is THE best vid of the 70s

Tuesday 24 August 2010

up north

The waves on Scotland's north shore were first publisized by Kiwi traveller Bob Treeby who wrote an article about them in Surf Insight in 1973. Soon a strong surf scene grew up around these gems. Black and white photos by Alex Williams in 1978 from his book Atlantic Surfers. Above -Steve Daniel.
Paul Bassford

Thurso east

Nigel Semmens 1979 from Atlantic Surfer

Carwyn Williams in his white wetsuit at Brims Ness, 1983, up for the British champs . Photo Pete Bounds

Monday 23 August 2010

Newquay surfrider bellyboard from the 60s, probably a pretty cheap one as it doesn't have any rocker at the nose; nice logo though. The bellyboard world champs is coming up soon at Chapelporth.

Friday 20 August 2010

'baywatch pt 2

A second look at some nice old boards which have been through ebay.

Above Tiki fully restored, below Martin Richard by Martin Geary.


Spirit stinger, never heard of this one, nice butterfly.

Ben Aipa stinger from the US

Bolt by Robery Liddel

80s Freedoms, Bobby Male which resembles an 80s ski jacket, and below by Steve Harewood, echoes of Al Merrick

classic Wave Graffitti