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 29 July 2013

So bad they're good

These mid 70s ads from Bez Newton's Surf magazine are a world away from the professional layouts and super sharp photography of todays surf mags. In some ways they are terribly basic - hand drawn, hand written and some with stencils which resemble a school project rather than a grown up surf mag. The printing is poor quality too, just photocopied sheets , and in some surfing photos its almost impossible to see the surfer !
But there was a reason for this -  British surf mags up to the mid 70s had a very short life spans. Surfing UK lasted 3 issues, British Surfer lasted 6, and Surf Insight lasted 4 . These were high quality mags, two in newspaper format, and British surfer a well laid out and stylish small magazine/ booklet . But these cost money - especially printing and distribution, and to a growing but still relatively small surfing population. Plus there were strong surf clubs - who would buy one copy and pass it round all the members !
Surf by Bez Newton lasted for many years through the 70s, and is a priceless look at what was happening in UK surfing especially between the demise of Surf Insight in '73 and the start of Atlantic Surfer in '78. During these five years Surf was our main mag ; it may not be the best quality (although it improved a lot in '77) but it was produced on a shoestring and kept going when few others could - good on em.
Here are a few classic ads from Surf - so bad they're good  !

How to find Tigger's factory , Aug 1974
Creamed Honey, Dec 1975
Saltburn surf shop,Sept 1974
Freedom surfboards, Sept 1974
Tube surfboards, Aug 1974
Flying Fish surfboards, Penryn ,Aug 1974
Inner Visions surfboards, Dec 1975
Cosmic leashes, Sept 1974
Tiki ,May 1975
Charles Williams surf shop, May 1975

Gul wetsuits, Dec 1974
Tiki, Dec 1974
Wavecraft surfboards, Aug 1974
Tris, Aug 1974
Graham Nile, Aug 1974
Evans board lock 1974
Dec 1974

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Wallace longboard restoration

Thanks to Whippet at Willis surfboards for doing a really nice gentle restoration on this mid 60s Wallace.This board posed a bit of a dilemma - I got it from a guy who had just moved house and found it left in the attic of his new house ! It had not been surfed much and was clean and dry but was very badly scratched all over the brown resin coat ,mostly on the deck, and had a bad repair at the nose.
It obviously needed tidying up and made watertight, and there were two options - either try to polish out the scratches - but this would risk going through the brown resin if not careful - or option two sand it down and do a whole new brown resin coat on both sides .Option two I wasnt keen on as it would lose character and essentially look like a brand new board, plus would be loads of work.
So we went with option one, and it has come out great. 90% of the scratches are gone - all but the very deepest , and the polish has still left the slight undulation of the cloth weave in the surface and kept the original look. A good job, now to get it wet ! God knows when it last caught a wave.

 These old photos show the board when I got it and how bad the scratches were

Haven singlefin

Classic old Haven from Alex's collection, dating from the early 70s. Haven were based in Bude and were sold from the Surf Spot surf shop there. This one is made with Rolow foam, which I think was a local blank maker.
The board has an unusual orange area on the nose, not the sort of design you see a lot of from that era. More like something you might see on some small label custom boards today. It also has a nice green pinline and diamond around the fin - sometimes evidence that a fin has been reset and the repair hidden.
This is possibly one of the earliest Havens I have seen. They were definitely producing in 1973 because they advertise in Surf Insight magazine as 'Styx by Haven' as written below.

Thanks to Alex for the sunny photos !

Thursday 18 July 2013

Jersey in 1976

In 1976 the UK had a long hot summer, and none more so than in Jersey, where the local surfers endured long flat spells (sounds familiar) by getting their skateboards out in the car park of the Le Marquanderie pub, putting out bush fires and surfing small waves, as these old films show. Filmed by Mick Halsted. Click on the white titles top left for a fuller picture
Steve Harewood also made his first windsurfer - a broom handle stuck in a longboard with blankets for sails - strange but true !

Friday 12 July 2013

r.i.p Alan Whicker. Here's a piece he did on beatniks in Newquay in 1960 - 'Hard times in Newquay if youve got long hair '. It shows what a conservative resort Newquay was before the surf boom which brought a lot more long haired youth to the town !

Thursday 11 July 2013

Photos of the Endless Summer 2 show

 Endless Summer 2 at the Royal Cornwall museum is a stunning show, with boards, memorabilia and art from private collections and some classic British 60s and 70s surf films showing on a loop (including great coverage of the 81 Fosters in Newquay by John Adams). The  show has built upon Endless Summer 1 last year with an almost entirely different selection of boards, more memorabilia including Gwyn Haslock's personal 60s suits and trophies, and a new array of waxes, 1960s - 80s. Alex's stunning magazine wall and photos are there, along with paintings by Kurt Jackson.
The quality of the boards is very high, with a lot of Cornish eye candy- sprays, tints and all types of fins and shapes glinting in the spotlights. If you live in the South West and like old boards - visit the show ! !
It's on till 7 March 2014, open mon-sat 10 am - 4.45 pm / under 18s free / adults £5 for a years pass.