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 28 February 2013

Some cold barrels at Porthleven this week. Filmed by Mike Newman from Penzance

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Williams of St Ives longboard

 Oliver in Aquitane, France has sent in photos of a rare St Ives longboard. Williams boards were one of the first makers of malibus in the UK, started in late 1963 / 1964, and made from Keith Slocombes small factory at Lelant ; Williams predates Bilbo and Bickers, and were made when St Ives was the main surfing centre in Cornwall. The label was started by brothers James and Peter -George Williams ; their brother Charles started Atlantic a few years later ( circa 1967 ?)
 This board is a nice pig shape from around 1965/6 . The address of Surfers store St Ives features on the logo - this was Keith Slocombe's shop, and the first proper surf shop in the UK, opened in 1963. The shop sold its own brand longboards from Keith Slocombe's factory, and Williams boards.
 Unfortunately this board is not in original state,which is a real shame as its the first one that come up for sale in ages, and I've only seen a small handful of others. The fin is a replacement and the yellow resin coat is a later addition probably to hide repairs.

 Surfers store in St Ives 1960s

Early surf comp in St Ives 1965 or 66
'Surfers store' longboard, probably made by Keith Slocombe circa 1964

Lovely Williams from the Gul collection

Saturday 23 February 2013

Flying Fish by Mick Harlott

Jake found this board at a local auction, a Flying Fish swallowtail from the mid 70s made from an imported Bennet foam blank. I have only had one Flying Fish on the blog before, from Chris' collection. I didnt know much about them, but luckily Ched Chatten left a comment-
''The flying fish board was made by a guy called Mick (the Fish) ,a friend or known to Tris Cokes and John Minetta of Tris surfboards Porthtowan. Made around 1973-75 '' . Mick the fish turns out to be Mick Harlott, a local character from the 'badlands' who made Flying Fish and then Tin Mine designs surfboards. Jake grew up in the area and as a grom remembers seeing Mick around . This board uses some of Micks trademark colours and also rail channels which he liked. Its nice to find out about one of the more obscure Cornish labels, does anyone else have more info on it ?

Very unique looking fin , and rail channels
Thanks to Jake for the photos

Thursday 21 February 2013

Good waves , good music; Santa Cruz surfing in the old days 1973-4

Who said there's no surf in Britain ?

Back in the mid 60s the international image of surfing in Britain was a bit of a joke ;surfers riding the worlds smallest waves and even turning to river riding. Today its well known that we have some world class reefs and big waves spots, and on its day some of the best beach breaks too. 
Henry has sent in some articles from 1963/4 written by Aussie travelling surfers for Aussie mags Surfing World and Surfabout, reporting that surprise surprise, if you visit outside july/ august then there are decent waves pumping in all through the year. And back then there were strong surfer communities too.
Surfabout vol.2 no.10 ( 1964 ?) Written by visiting surfer Roy Giles. Like most visitors he comments on the big tides and cold water, and the hardy and enthusiastic local surfers. Surfing centres are reported as St Ives and Newquay (and Jersey) , and the known board makers are Bob Head and Bill Bailey in Newquay, and Keith Slocombe in St Ives. Photos are of surfers at Porthmeor St Ives.

Surfing World july 1964. Written by Ian Wilson. Another article based in Newquay, although reporting that main surf spots in 1964 were the north coasts of Cornwall and Devon ,and the Channel Islands. Malibus first arrived in 1961, and in Newquay in early 1962 with a travelling surfer. Bob and Bill are reported as being high quality board builders in the town, with demand exceeding supply. Malibu riders hadnt broken free yet from the confines of the Surf Life saving assoc. , but that would be soon. And importantly for Aussie readers - there were no sharks ! apart from the harmless baskers.

Surfing World 1963 .Written by Aussie travelling surfer Peter Troy (who became european surfing champion in 1963, despite being Australian ) , he did loads of travelling all through the 60s and 70s. He reports that Jersey has good but limited surf, and the jersey surfers are a welcoming bunch who are being repressed by the local council who is threatening to ban surfing from Jersey beaches because of threat to bathers. Same old story.
Some Surfing World and Surfabout covers from the 60s

Thanks to Henry for the articles

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Cornish perfection at Porthtowan tonight, photo Alex Callister
history repeats itself, Tyson Greenaway ,late 90s ,same spot. Photo Alex Williams . (Ive taken this from a framed photo hence the reflections)

Monday 18 February 2013

Newquay tourist brochure 1960s

 A Newquay tourist leaflet from between 1967 and 68 cashing in on the town's new identity as 'surf city UK' . Its all boards, bikinis and blue skies .
Funny thing is malibu surfers were treated like aliens in the early 60s in Newquay by the older residents , and malibu riding was banned on some beaches for being a dangerous hazard to other beach users ie tourists.
As soon as the town council and all the guest house owners saw how much money surfing could bring to the town their attitude completely changed ! Hence this brochure, bringing the Californian lifestyle to little old Cornwall.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Bob Rudland's mid 60s paipo

 Bob Rudland`s “ Wavemaster “ Paipo Board
Bob first surfed in the early `60`s with Bob Groves and Bill Davies, learned to make boards with them around Gosport & Lee-on-Solent in Hants, then made other boards including this body board in 1965 at his Bath, Somerset home.      “ I had a little flat beside the railway line in Bathwick, and my landlady lived downstairs. Any boards I made were shaped and glassed etc. on the landing . Despite this, somehow I never got thrown out ! “
At the time the only boards apart from Malibus were plywood bellyboards. Bob says “ I wanted something to ride that I could catch a green wave with, using a pair of fins.  We were aware of Paipo boards in Hawaii from the magazines we had imported but had never seen one, so this is my own design.”
It`s quite heavy, but pretty robust with a thick stringer and a laminated hardwood/softwood tailblock.
The fin is a pure resin moulding from a pattern Bob made himself, with no fibreglass cloth in it . “ Because of this it snapped off near the base. Tony  ground the base and bottom of the fin flat and glassed the two back together just recently, so it`s left the fin about an inch shorter but it`s still original, and that`s the main thing .”
Bob kept the board for 48 years before parting with it recently . “ Henry made me an offer for it, I didn`t argue or send it to Ebay as it`s important to us old guys that someone who appreciates our stuff gets it. The only thing I requested was that if it`s displayed it`s got my name with it .”
Henry`s now loaning it to Alex Williams and Al Lindsay, to go on display in the   “ Endless Summer 2 “  exhibition which will be on throughout the summer at Truro museum.                                                                                                                              It`s believed to be the earliest GB Paipo board .

( New photos : Ace surf photographer Alex Williams. Article and old photos : Tony Cope. )

Tony Cope, Bob Rudland , two girls and the paipo, North Devon mid 60s
Bob (left) with Bill Davies, Cornwall early 60s with unfortunate fin attachment. photo Bob Groves

To check out some other 60s paipos go to -
 Greg Noll d fin paipo
Weber performer twin fin

Friday 15 February 2013

Brits at the world champs 1978 South Africa

This is another previously unseen  reel of film that Jono has had digitised at considerable expense, so thanks to him for doing this. Jono has a site about the history of skateboarding in Swansea  - . These reels of film were donated to him by Ron Williams who shot them in the late 70s . Jono says -

'' Another friend of Con's was Ron Williams who now lives in Australia, originally from Pothcawl Ron had filmed the local surf scene in the 70s but had also filmed Con skating too. Best of all the films had survived and Ron was more than willing to send them over to be used in Over Ply Wood. I couldn't believe my luck, film of 70s skating in Swansea and as it turns out in London, Cornwall and Europe too !
Not only was there plenty of 70s skateboarding on the 4 x 400ft reels of film there was a ton of surfing too.The film shown is the South Africa trip .Loads of the actual surfing but also beach shots of the UK team members, a parade through the town of all the competing teams ,evidence of apartheid with signs on the beach for whites only ...this was before everyone really started to take notice of the crimes taking place in South Africa and the international boycotts started to gain mainstream acceptance. So a historic piece on many levels.
Thanks again to Ron Williams for his films and Mark Knights for a great job on digitising them. More clips to follow soon .''

The 1978 Worlds held in East London were very successful for the British team - captain Pete Jones, with Nigel Semmens, Steve Daniel, Ted Deerhurst, Colin Wilson and Bobby Male. All the team made it through to the quarter finals except Ted. Nigel came 8th overall, and team  GB came third, all in solid conditions so a great result !
The film begins with a free surf at Jeffreys bay which was actually just after the contest, when Nigel, Colin , Ted and Steve gunned it along the coast to get some waves at the famous big right, and scored.
Then theres the contest footage, the opening procession with the British team, and two pimped up orange ford cortinas ? Then the contest begins, in decent waves; im not sure who is surfing but its likely that Ron is filming mostly the British guys . Steve Daniel can be seen in a classic Union Jack wetsuit - still got it Steve ??
In all a classic piece of film and historically important, cheers to Ron and Jono.

Ted Deerhurst at the '78 South African contest. The stripy tent and pimped Cortina can both be seen on the film.
'there was a time when you might have needed your sabre '

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Thursday 7 February 2013

Welsh rarebits

 Here's a couple of early 70s Welsh nuggets, both made by well known figures in the Welsh surf scene , but at the same time rare boards that don't crop up often. Although they were made in the same years the designs couldn't be more different , the long and graceful versus the short and stumpy. This was the state of the surf industry at the time, and the long and graceful won through as a design and was surfed right through the 70s in the UK until short and stumpy returned in the shape of the MR twin fin in the late 70s and thruster in the 80s.
 The singlefin is by Dave Friar, made for his surf shop in the Mumbles south of Swansea. Dave came to Wales from Newquay via Bilbo, and set up on his own when Bilbo folded. He has become a Welsh legend since then, supplying boards and kit to the fast growing South Wales surf scene since the late 60s.
This singlefin has a diamond tail, which was pretty popular in the early 70s before the swallow tail kicked in. Its a quality board, light and fast, well suited to Gower reefs. And if the reefs weren't exciting enough its got a suicide leash, one of those elastic bungee jobs which brings the board back at light speed.

 The twin fin is a Chateau '41 made in Canton, Cardiff by Alan Williams in 1971/2 . Any UK first generation twin fin is really rare and these especially, and its only the third '41 I've seen, all twin fins.
It was Tony's board from new. He was at Aberystrwyth uni and a friend from Cardiff came back with one. Tony tried it at Aber and then had this one made. Overall around 6 ft x 22 ins at middle and 14 1/2 inches wide at the slab tail. Tony decided on a cheeky artwork of Mutley with a Chateau 41 twin fin of his own. He surfed if for four years and since then its hardly seen the water, so he decided to sell it on after owning it for 41 years.
This board is much more refined than my other earlier Chateau 41 made for Tim Jones, which is very thick at the tail. This one is wafer thin in comparison, with down rails and mellow s deck, nice and light and actually feels pretty surfable. The fins are quite small but seem adequate enough since the rails are hard. I guess Alan Williams was copying foreign import twin fins like the early 70s Bings and Webers which were available over here in small numbers - and expensive. It should go fast in a straight line, turning may be less easy. Alan became well known for his Williams longboards in the 80s and 90s. Why he chose the name Chateau '41 I have no idea. Mabye his board factory was very grand, or maybe it was a dump and he had a bit of Welsh sarcasm ?!

Tony has sent some more history on the Chateau '41 -
'' The boards most notable achievement probably with not much help from me was to enter the first ever British Universities Surf Championship in March 1972. It was held at Whitesands Bay Pembrokeshire . The heats were on Saturday but it was so blown out at Whitesands so we moved north to a little beach called Newquay which was a little sheltered. I was fortunate enough to get through and on Sunday the semi and final were held at Whitesands but still very windy. I plodded around in the soup a bit and made it through to the final. The good surfers tried to get outside to catch some half decent waves but the incoming was relentless and most hardly got any rides.

The waves were reforming further in and I managed to get some rides. The only guy to really get outside was a Welsh surfer I believe called Peter Jones. He walked round a rocky point to get past the surf and turned his board upside down and launched in. He came first, I came second and a young promising surfer called Roger Mansfield came third I believe. I think he was then British champion.

I was given a 2 inch high cup which sadly I no longer have.

( Quite by chance I saw this report of Tony's performance in Surf Insight no 1 from 1972 . So the winner was Tigger, not PJ , and Roger was 4th . I have sent this photo on to Tony )

Another memory for me was going to Lahinch in Ireland a year after the Europen championships I believe in 1973/4. See  for a cine film of the 1972 Euro Surf in Ireland .
We also surfed down on the Dingle peninsula where I saw what appeared to be a very early windsurf board. I looked at it and thought that will never catch on.Still you can't be right all the time.
I moved to north Wales from south London in 1974 and apart fom a few outings on trips back to Aberystwyth I didn't surf a lot more but got quite seriously involved in club and county squash which took a lot of time.The board moved with me several times with the hope that I might use it but sadly did not.
I learnt to surf at Aberystwyth where there are some surprisingly good waves and lived at Borth virtually on the beach for 2 and a half years.I could wake up in the morning check the swell from my bedroom window and work out where best to go. Then I would check out which lectures to skip.
There was quite an active surf club there although coming from London i had no idea what it was.
Suffice it to say when a pretty girl asked me if I was going to the surf club social during freshers weekend I duly went along. She ended up with a blonde surfer guy ( third year) and I ended up going surfing to Borth the next day on a 12 foot resue board that I could not carry but it got me hooked. I kept surfing throughout the term and made a wetsuit from a company called Aquaequipment. they sent you a sheet of neoprene and a pattern and tin of glue.

Let me know how the board works. I wasn't great but enjoyed it .''

 The Chateau '41 fins are actually purple fibreglass, so need sanded and reset to get them back to former glory.

For some previously unseen film footage of Welsh surfing ( Welsh nationals  ?) in the 70s check out -  

Its shot by Ron 'Milk 'Williams in and out of the water and is at a surf comp in Llangennith in the late 70s . You may know more faces than me but Pete Jones is one obvious one.

 British surfers on a trip to Ireland in 1971 with a full quiver of that years' twin fins. Eric Peters, Tom Watson-Bell, John Parkin and Gary Russell. photo Pete Bounds.
Chateau '41 rider Tim Jones