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 6 August 2012

Bob Powers longboard

This is a great recent find from Paul, a very rare Bob Powers longboard ;there are only four surviving boards we know of from Bob who was North Devon's first commercial board builder. The board was found floating in a river ten years ago and has been in a garden ever since, so is in great condition considering !!
Like Fred Bickers, Bob Powers was a cabinet maker by trade, and produced boards for a few years in the mid 60's ('64-'67) .He had seen malibu surfing on a summer holiday to Newquay in 1962, where he met Bob Head who was then shaping Friendly Bear surfboards, and took some mental notes on boardbuilding. He then made himself a board back in the Midlands to bring down on his next Newquay holiday.
In 1964 Bob and his family relocated to Mortehoe near Woolacombe and started supplying boards to the small but dedicated North Devon crew. A trade mark of his boards was the one piece stringer and fin, showing his woodworking skills. The boards were covered in coloured gelcoat rather than the usual resin finish.
Much like Bickers, Bob's slow and meticulous construction, and the still limited market for surfboards meant that he reluctantly stopped the business in 1967, going back to cabinet making. But he left a strong legacy, suppying boards to the pioneering surfers of North Devon, and area with a rich wave riding history. Of the 80 boards he made, only a fraction have survived ; so if you've got one tucked away send in some photos.
Bob reunited with the board last week, photo by Pete Robinson. He thinks this is an early board because of the tail thickness, around 1964-5.
Bob with one of his boards, Saunton 1965. Photo from 'the Surfing Tribe'

Bickers and Powers longboards at the Plymouth museum exhibition


  1. Full pigment job as the foam went dark brown ( no light stabiliser ). Many of them were just left brown. Bob`s boards were unique as the stringer was cut out first INCLUDING THE SKEG (fin)- all one piece of wood ! Skeg then foiled & covered in fibreglass.

  2. thats unusual about the one piece fin and stringer, must have been pretty time consuming..

    1. It makes shaping the board much quicker tho`. After you split the blank down the centre & glue in the stringer, you only have to plane the foam down level with the stringer & round the rails to get a shaped blank ! That`s how Groves-Davies ( & me ) shaped boards up `til about 1967 .