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

Thursday 30 September 2010

Aquatek mini by Bill Bailey

Heres an Aquatek mini made by Bill at his farm near Perranporth in around 1984. Bill as we all know was one of the forefathers of British surfing, joint creator of Bilbo , which he left in 1970 to follow his own path. He took a break from producing boards and worked as an aircraft engineer through the 70s before taking up shaping again in the early 80s.
Bill was a strong headed individual who liked to do things his way, which sometimes went against the flow of surfing trends. Because of this his boards are often a really interesting mix of different ages of board design. He liked to produce a board himself all the way through from blowing his own foam through to the final polish. This board measures 6 ft x 21 1/4 x 2 3/4, and has the unusual mix of the stringerless blank, 80s needle nose, early 70s singlefin ( Bilbo old stock ) and a wide round tail with soft rails. A bit of a retrospective hybrid ?
It looks like Bill got someone else in to do the spray on this one - colour dsign by Chris Pusey.
Bill was aware that board fashions of the day were often international and not best suited for British waves or the average British surfer, so he made boards with more volume and width and less bottom curve to make up for the British conditions. In today's board market where many shapers look back to retro templates and some short boards are hitting 3 inches of thickness , Bill's ideas seem to be proven.

Bill polishing a board next to his van. The mal and kneeboard were his personal boards. Thanks to Neil Watson for the photos, taken on Bill's farm in 1984.

Blowing foam

Bill enjoyed pistol shooting, and his privacy.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

mellow wave

Tris fish at Sennen.
There are some good old UK surf photos on the Mellowwave website with some unusual boards, take a look in the surf galleries.
Two Creamed Honey rocket fishes 1975

Tuesday 28 September 2010

OM and Circle One

As a busy photographer Mike Newman of Ocean Image finds himself in all sorts of places on shoots, and being in Cornwall he often comes into contact with bits of surfing history. Here's a couple from quite a few old boards he's seen recently, including mine. Here's one I'd be very happy to look after - a lovely Ocean Magic stinger single fin from around 1976, probably made in the early Redruth factory . Its either by Pete McAllum or its an early Nigel Semmens - not sure which. An early one either way, may have been leashless originally. Its owned by Mike's friend who has had it in the garage for years.

Nigel at Porthleven 1978

Mike spotted this mid 70s Circle One while on a shoot at a workshop in Pool. Really good condition and looks like its still in use. A nice looking board probably by Jeff Townsley.

Sunday 26 September 2010

Carwyn's board

You may have noticed that one of Carwyn Williams' old channeled thrusters is on ebay at the moment. Its from the mid 80s and has the Alder sponsers decals, is 5'11 x 191/2. A bit surfed out but a great piece of history from a Welsh legend. Carwyn turned pro and chased the tour events on a shoestring, often sleeping in his car abroad, and reached his goal of the ASP top 30 in 1988/9 , after a great season including beating world champ Damion Hardman man on man at his beloved Hossegor in 6-8 ft barrels. Devastatingly he was in a bad car crash in 1990 which left his knee severly injured. He made a gritty fight back though and missed out on the top 30 twice by one place over the next few years, which must have been gutting. A classic and popular guy though and our most successful surfer of the period.

late 80s in France, photo by Alex

1983, Thurso. Check out Richard Carter's quad with jet fins, and the classic little 2 1/2 fin Crab Island, plenty of graphics and channels .

Hossegor, 1989, photo by Alex

Thurso, '83

Friday 24 September 2010

Tigger Newling singlefin

We haven't had anything from Tigger for a while so here's a singlefin under his Tig surfboards label from the early 70s. Tigger's home patch was around the Constantine area and he started shaping around age 17, and had a factory at the St Merryn airfield for a while. He won the British title in big waves at Freshwater West in '75 and off the back of that got an invite to the Smirnoff in Hawaii the same year. It was at 12 -15 ft Sunset and his heat was with BK, Rabbit, Hakman and Cairns - unsurprisingly he felt a little out of his depth ! Tigger now lives in Oz and runs a film production company. The board is in the Gul collection.

Tig at Porthleven in '76, photo by Geoff Tydeman. I always thought this photo looked not quite right, then I worked out that being a goofyfoot Tigger was taking this one switch stance - there's confidence for ya.

Pete Jones, Tigger and Bobby Male , 1976 Watergate open

Tigger on his home patch, photos by Alex Williams


Many thanks to Pete for lending his stash of old surf mags, full of old ads and photos for the blog. Pete ran the Tris shop at Porthtowan after Tris left and also imported boards like Natural Art into the UK. His son Darren was also a successful junior, winning the English and GB junior titles and 2nd place in the Euros in the early 80s. Pete remembers having Rabbit and Cheyne Horan over as house guests during the '81 pro am which must have been cool, and Darren drew a rather difficult first heat against Cheyne ! I think Cheyne and Rabbit shared 1st place in the end as the waves disappeared on final day.

Grishka Roberts at Fistral

Thursday 23 September 2010

Attack of the 50 ft woman
The 50ft woman on holiday

surf shops part 2

Heres some more interiors of classic British surf shops - what would you have spent your cash on in the early 80s ?
Stuart Keogh's Newquay surf centre

Darren Frost at the Porthtowan Tris shop

Chapter in Devon

Monday 20 September 2010

Tim Jones' Chateau '41 twin fin

I bought this board from a guy near Port Talbot in Wales, his kids had been learning on it and he wanted to move it on as it was pretty heavy. I jumped at the chance since I didn't have an early twin fin. Was stoked when it arrived, its so different from my other boards - seriously chunky slab of tail, down rails from tail to nose and seemingly inadequate un-canted fins. A slightly mad experiment in board design, and a rare UK (?) survivor of a short lived trend.
I had never heard of Chateau '41 surfboards so asked around; Pete Robinson thought it might be from the Channel Islands, which would make sense with the French name. So I decided to do some detective work - in other words I typed Tim Jones surfboard into google. Anyway it turns out a Tim Jones runs a surf school in Lanzarote and shaped a few boards earlier on in his career. I emailed him on the off chance this might be one of his shapes ; Tim replied the same day -

'Dear Al

Absolutely classic ! I was stunned seeing my old board. Your right I did make boards for years and still design and make some for friend and clients but this was my board bought in 1970 or 71 and it was shaped by Alan Williams under the Ch√Ęteau 41 label in Canton in Cardiff. I was 13 or 14 I think when I got and I know its cost a fortune new… 28 GBP ! Custom and being an arrogant little sod and thinking I was so hot I got him to put my name on the bottom. Alan later went on to make Williams Longboards, but that was way way later.

I sold it for a profit , typical, about 3 years later but I have some photos of me riding it and with it on the beach at Gennith and Woolacombe , I have attached two of them. I think in the one in the wet suit I was 14 and 15 in the other and I do have some shots of it somewhere where its brand new !

It was modeled on Corky Carrols ( http// 4th question down ) twin fin ideas which went out of popularity quite quickly. They had no tilt or cant to the fins so fun as they were they “ tracked “ just got stuck in the one direction sometimes. Check out these related models for the period .

It’s at least 39 years old and here are the obvious questions … how did you get it ? Have you ever surfed it , Do you want to sell it ? I keep the photo of me with it in my wallet… ha cant believe it !! Still riding twin fins !
Best wishes Tim.'

Through the magic of email and a bit of luck the board's history comes back to life, thanks to Tim. And yes I do feel a bit guilty about owning it after reading Tim still has a photo of it in his wallet !

Tim aged 14 & 15 with the board when it was new ,1971 /2