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

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Jolly Good by Tigger Newling

 You may have seen this Jolly Good on ebay last week. It caused a bidding surge of which I havent seen the like for a couple of years. I guess we can put this down to - 1. The importance of Tigger in 70s British surfing. 2. The rarity of Jolly Good (it only lasted 2 years). 3. The quality and artwork. and 4. a few guys with a lot of spare cash.
The eventual winner Shaun has sent in some nice photos of it. Its signed Tig May '76 , and would have been shaped by him and then glassed and finished by the guys at Tris surfboards - that was the jolly good deal. I guess by that stage Tig just wanted to shape and surf, and not get involved with the time consuming  glassing and sanding and finishing of boards. Tigger does however recollect making this board - '' I remember the UFO lightning board. Can vividly remember doing the lotus flower crossbow deck design myself - it was on tissue paper laminated under the glass. Nancy Dinmore from Maui probably did the flying saucer spray art.''
Tig also says ''the price seems high - but it is some validation of the creativity that went into it I suppose - the shape and design were very 'custom' .''

 Shaun says the last owner bought it 2nd hand in Perranporth in 1980.
 Tigger at the Jolly Good factory at St Merryn
 Quiver of JG's with Nancy Dinmore sprays.
 Tigger at Porthleven 1976 on a Jolly Good
 Another version of the logo, inspired by the Beano
 Interesting photo which was forwarded on recently by Alex - it shows Richard Harris of Newton Abbot with his Tig 6'6 bought new for £42 (more because of the colour !) from the Newling garage shop at their house in Treyarnon around 1970 (when Tig was away in Australia for the world championships).
The white board is a 9'7 pop out bought from the Newlings at Treyarnon around 1966. Was one of the boards Richard had been hiring since '64; they were selling it for their milkman and it was the first pop out ever made in Britain.
 Richard, Will and Dad at Harlyn, a year or two later , same two boards on the roof plus Dad's Bilbo. Original fin of pop out visible next to the slim Greenough inspired fin of the Tig.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

60s & 70s skateboards

I was lucky to find this Cosmic skateboard in my local 2nd hand shop. Cosmic, based in Penzance, were big producers of surf leashes through the 70s. The skateboards are pretty rare, and this one is probably mid 70s. Someone has customised it with a little Garfield -'ramp cat' .

1977 Surf magazine

                                       Chris Ash, at Paignton in 1966 .
Roving reporter and interviewer Tony Cope recently went to visit South Devon surfer Chris Ash. Chris and his friends surfed all over in the 60s but Saunton was their regular spot. Chris has some great photos from the 60s, including these ones of him skateboarding -
 Below - Chris & friends used to stop at Milehill, Cornwall, in 1966 on the way back to Devon after surf trips . Those with skateboards would go all the way down it, those without had to drive the cars down & pick them up .Back in those days there wasn't much traffic ! Their boards were either Hobie imports ( Bilbo & Bob Groves sold them ) or homemade jobs.

Chris says- 'the first skateboards we made were homemade decks. I think Paul Blackwell got the trucks from the US as he worked in a sports shop in Torquay. Our first proper skateboards came from Bilbo and my last skateboard came from Biarritz in 1968. ' Chris still has them but probably skates a bit less these days.
John `Flipper` Stacey at Saunton Hill, N Devon, in 1969. Flip later formed Chapter Surfboards with Merv Beard . Now lives in the Midlands .
In 1968 they went off to Biarritz & on to Portugal , finding these `Roll Surf`skateboards ( made in Hossegor, Fr. ) on the way. Back then there were about 15 francs to the pound, so the skateboards only cost a few quid.
So who was the first commercial skateboard maker in Europe ? Apparently the French got there before us says Guilhem, making Midonn in 63/64 and Kamikaze. The first boards to hit France were probably US Makaha imports with clay wheels in early 60s. Bilbo started producing boards in 1965 , with a Bilbo deck and wheels by Hobie.

 Tony Cope  - ''a still shot from a Standard 8 film shot by Bob Groves when he was selling Hobie skateboards, mid-60`s .One Sunday AM he took Bill Davies & I to the Tricorn multi-storey car park in Portsmouth & filmed while we skated down 4 ramps and levels, ducked under a barrier & shot out into the road . Some very surprised motorists managed to avoid us while they got their first sight of skateboarding in GB.''
mid 60s Hobie skateboard ad. The wooden decked model was the one we got in the UK.
Rare Bilbo skateboard 'how to skate' brochure sold with their boards, and below is Gavin's original Bilbo skateboard, from around 1967.

Graham Looker at the slope, Towan beach Newquay mid - late 60s. Probably on a Bilbo ?
Thanks to everyone for the photos

a busy late 70s day at Watergate bay with Nigel Semmens, Steve Daniel, Lenny Ingram and others, shot by Neil Watson.

Surf contest and skateboarding, California mid 60s. RIP Donald Takayama.
Graham Rosewarne at St Ives - photo by Robbie Walker
Graham has emailed with memories of the first skateboards in St Ives -
''Thanks for posting those great B/W skateboarding photos. I was a 15 yr old St Ives gremmy in 1966 and I can remember a mate of mine “borrowing” his sisters roller skates and selling me one for half a crown (small fortune & a rip off)!
We cobbled together 2 skateboards using some half inch marine ply for decks, I supplied the Pop and Op Art paintjobs using Humbrol enamel.

The first proper trucks we could get hold of had wheels that resembled stone rather than rubber, they skidded like crazy and quite frankly scared me. Finally got hold of some great quality trucks from a place in Camborne that had wheels with real grip (I’m sorry I can’t remember the manufacturers), a whole gang of us would spend Saturdays at Porthgwidden car park practising moves and making ramps from old bellyboards!''

Monday 15 October 2012

 The British summer - 30s style. Above 'tow in surfing' painted by Charles Pears in 1932 , before Essex girls started wearing really thick make-up
 Frank Sherwin

Space Gypsy by Rumpelstiltskin

 Finding any Space Gypsy is an event, with them being so rare ; but this one is especially interesting because it could have been Danny Garland's personal board (mabye ...). I bought it off Ally, who owned it for 20 years and picked it up in South Wales. Ally says Danny was seeing a girl in that area for a while and so would come up to surf the Mumbles etc. So there could be a link there.
Also , usually Space Gypsies are 'designed and shaped by Danny Garland' but this one is by 'Rumpelstilskin' out of the fairy story, mabye his nickname or something, and the sort of thing you might put your own board for a laugh if it wasnt going to be a stock board. The board is also very narrow for the time, less than 19 inches wide and a dimension Danny favoured in juicy waves. It also has beautiful custom artwork, afterburner spray and custom fin, all repeating the Rumpelstiltskin name and 'space is the place' hand drawn decals, which is also the name of a track by way out jazz musician Sun Ra from the early 70s. All this leans towards it being quite a special Space Gypsy. Its 6'8 x 18 1/2 x 3 .

 The board was made in 1977 at the old airbase, St Merryn ( where Fluid Juice are today ). Space Gypsy were Danny Garland designer and shaper , and Chris Evans glasser and finisher. Chris was from Angelsey and before had made his own Wasp surfboards there. Danny was a talented surfer and favoured the breaks of Constantine and nearby reefs, ie Tigger Newling country. Danny's shaping began while working for Bob Cooper in Coff's harbour, Australia in the mid 70s , where guys liked what he was doing for Bob and ordered some custom boards from Danny - the first Space Gypsys. When he came back home he set up at the old Outer limits factory near Watergate bay and was making Space Gypsys over here. He would spend summers at Watergate and later St Merryn making boards, and winters abroad - this must have lasted two or three years because in the late 70s he took off abroad and has been mostly abroad ever since , living in quite a few countries. He was shaping twin fins under his own label in the U.S. for a while in the early 80s. Stories abound about him but I'm not going to get into them here. I guess the term is local legend !

 This board is featured in the Space Gypsy ad in Surf magazine summer 1977. Its on the floor in front of Danny Garland.

Beautiful hand drawn and coloured dragon, signed Rumpelstiltskin again . Thanks to Paul for pointing out its  from a Roger Dean artwork below from his book Dragons dream of 1975. It would have been traced from the book, coloured and then glassed over.

  rocket thrusters , necessary on any space ship
 Custom made fin for the board, also by Rumpelstiltskin
 Surf, 1976

The board has a flat deck with a trianglar profile to the rails, rounded at the rail. Ally said this was so more drugs could be packed in the centre of the board ha ha..

 Danny shaping, Atlantic surfer no.2 late 70s.