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

Monday 28 February 2011

legends of the lens - Alex Williams

Adrian Philips, Harlyn, '86

Its always a pleasure when Alex sends me one of his emails of his old photos. A true legend of the lens, taking photos of British waves and British surfers since the early 70s. The photos not only record the quality of British surfing at home and abroad, they describe the life of a man who has trekked round the planet having adventures and meeting the leading lights of the surf scene for over 30 years. Not a bad job !
big Guethary, 1977

Brad Hockridge, Jersey 1986

Camping '75

Carwyn's van

Chops 1980

Gabe Davies 1988

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson Hot Generation boards

don't know who this is or where this is but love the photo.

Sunday 27 February 2011


South coast surf
Surfers at Kintyre

Here's a couple more of my paintings with surfers in them; not a lot of my work actually involves surfers but the sea is a constant influence ,almost always there . The painting at the top is based on a hot day at high tide Praa Sands on the south coast, with a surf pad overlooking the peak.
The painting above was done a few years ago when I used to visit my grandparents at Kintyre in Scotland. Had some great surfs there, and the surf scene was so small you used to go looking for someone in the water to surf with. If there was no one in chances were you'd be joined by a seal or an otter.
Had good feedback on my work through the Surfers Path article so thanks to everyone who got in touch, including the Surfing Heritage Foundation in the US and the Museum of British Surfing. I will hopefully be showing a painting with Pete at the surfing Museum in the opening show.

80s 5 Star by Colin Wilson

Classic early 80s twin fin +1 by Colin Wilson. Colin was one of the stand out surfers of West Cornwall in the late 70s/ early 80s. His local spot was Sennen and was a stylish and determined surfer in the heyday of the Skewjack scene. He was a successful comp surfer and won the British title in 1980 and British senior in 1985. He ran 5-star from the late 70s to mid 80s and shaped through the transition from singles to twins, thrusters and the mal revival.
This one is a nice little floaty 5'10x 20 x 2 1/2, with gloss coat , channels and large twin fins, and the option of a third. Made with Clark foam super light.
Colin went on to run the British surfing association for 12 years, a demanding and rewarding job, and was a devoted team manager.

Colin in the mid 70s with a Graham Nile

Friday 25 February 2011

Do you recognise these men ?

An early surf wagon in Ireland, late 60s

Haven singlefin by Roger Adams

So far the only Havens on the blog have been from my collection, so its good to see this one, sent in by landscape photographer Baxter Bradford. Its in great condition and Bax has had it a long time, from the days when he used to hang around Bude surfing and skating on his holidays-

'I can probably add some missing detail about Bude in the 70's and to a lesser extent the early 80's. I used to spend my school holidays there, so whilst an Emmett, I knew a lot of the Bude surfers as my day was ruled by the surf and tide.
My lounge currently sports my Haven 7'1" rounded pin which I bought in 79, shaped by Roger Adams. Coincidentally, my local boozer is 'The Haven' a bar at a Lymington marina. So one way or another it's always haven o'clock in my house.
Dick Willoughby was the 6'4" owner of Surf Spot who started things off (apparently struggling to get in the mini from your blog story), before getting a second premises which became Zuma Jay after he'd been over to the States. His main shaper was Roger Tout who was a great surfer and also lifeguarded at Bude as did most of them. There were a couple of brothers, 'Evil' and Paul who also made boards, the latter opening up a shop along The Stand.
I recall eagerly awaiting each new shipment of T shirts and everyone snapping them up and then wearing them in The Headland or Widemouth Manor.... Eventually mine got worn under the long john wetsuit (remember them?) to stop chafing when paddling. Dick also imported some of the first skateboard trucks/urethane wheels which gave us something to do on Summerleaze car park hill when it was flat .'
Cheers to Bax, who may be having a friday night pint at the Haven as we speak; great board and another different logo.

Surf spot Bude ad in Surf Insight 1973. The name of the game is bullshit. Not the usual sales patter. Havens were sold through the surf spot at £28 a board.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

no surf in London

Back in the late 60s there was a surprising amount of surf action going on in the smoke. Not actual surfing, the thames bore wasn't up to much , but surf suppliers and makers were there to kit out the well heeled inland surfers who could hack it to the coast every weekend. An oasis in a sea of grey concrete was Phil Jay's shop in Wandsworth which stocked his own boards plus an exotic and expensive range of hot foreign sticks like G&S, Weber and Bing.


1969. I used to have one of these Kaikis. I found it covered in car paint in a Falmouth boatyard. It was 7 1/2 foot, s deck and stringerless, and at the time I had no clue where it was made. From what I remember I thought it was Hawaiian and sold it on as it looked like someone had used the underside for target practice.

Tim Harvatt read this post and it brought back some memories of life for a surfer in 70s London -
'I had the misfortune of leaving Pembrokeshire straight from school to work in London for 6 months in the winter of 1974/75 (massive culture shock!). Used to catch the tube to Wandsworth to visit Phil Jays' on the rare occasion that I'd stay in London for the weekend. Bought my first 'state of the art' Gul winter steamer from there (3mm, scoop neck and stitched through) and clearly remember Phil telling me that it didn't matter what shape the boards were that he stocked as long as they matched the colour of the buyers car!

At the same time someone used to show surf films in Chelsea Town Hall on a Thursday night, seem to remember seeing 'Morning of the Earth' there. Spent most weekends driving home to west Wales with a couple of visits to Bournemouth. Also would like to claim that I was the first person to skateboard the 'Broadwalk' in Hyde Park, a few years later a hot spot for London skaters until it was banned.' Tim now sensibly lives in Pembrokshire and is still surfing.

Prowlers Surfing 16/02/11 (Paddle In) from MSW on Vimeo.

more great waves in Ireland

Sunday 20 February 2011

Piran singlefin by Mac

Here's a beautiful mid 70s Piran shaped by Alan Macbride. Mac is a respected Newquay shaper with a long career mowing foam and has actually now retired from shaping full time. He started out with Bilbo in the late 60s, hanging out with contemporaries Chris Jones and Roger Mansfield. In the mid 70s he shaped for Piran at Perranporth,as did Martin Geary , and in the early 80s Newquay label Hott surfboards. In the mid 90s onwards he made Tunnel Vision boards in Newquay, and I remember having two t v thrusters in the late 90s. So its good to see what he was doing in the 70s.
Its a quality piece of work, 6'5x 20 x 2 3/4 ,with delicate pintail and down turned rails. Really nice artwork on the deck, and lots of nice details on the underside. It has a leash loop rather than a plug so I guess that puts it to mid 70s not later. Mac had honed his skills at Bilbo and the quality of finish really shows in this board; look forward to surfing it.

from Atlantic Surfer 1979

Mac with Vince Ward, Newquay 1969

Mac at Watergate for the English champs 1969. He won the paddleboard race. From British Surfer.

Saturday 19 February 2011


Congrats to Wavelength on their 200th issue. The UK's longest running surf mag, it was started 30 years ago by John Conway in Newquay. A great achievement - John would be proud.

Here are Wavelength issues 1 and 2 from Graham's collection - very rare now. The first two issues had an A3 size newspaper format like Tracks, and then went onto magazine format. 1981 and '82.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

today at the site

There were some beautiful peaks coming in at st Ives bay today, with blue sky and offshore wind. Sometimes there's no better place to be than your own back yard.
wave machine Will Gilchrist gets covered up

one day...

Tuesday 15 February 2011

hugh holland

dog day down, 1976
down on the corner ,danny kwock, balboa beach 1975

downtown tricks, burbank 1975

left turn only, orange county 1975

sidewalk surfer, huntington beach 1976
I'm loving these classy mid 70s skate shots by American photographer Hugh Holland. Great compositions, great light and classic images of kids doing what they loved.
Interesting to see the shot of Danny Kwock - Danny worked and surfed for McCoy and was one of the hottest surfers at Newport beach in the echo beach years.