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

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Don Fardon - Im alive, a 1969 floorfiller from youngblood records, picked up at the carboot this morning. So very 60s

Friday, 27 September 2013

Keith Paull and the Bing Foil

By Tony Cope and Chris Jones

TC : Keith Paull had been in the top flight of Aus surfing for a few years prior to their 1968 surf championships in Sydney. After a week of differing conditions, on the last day it went flat everywhere, then by some freak circumstance Long Reef Bombora suddenly produced a bumpy & dangerous 10` wave. After many wipeouts and a lot of swimming by everyone, KP finally beat Nat, Midget, Drouyn & Spencer, etc.  He then left Peter Clarke surfboards and went to CAL where he joined Bing and shaped a board they called ` The Foil` , which dominated surfing  around the world for the next 3 years.

( KP & his Foil at Cote des Basques, Sept 1968 )
Out went the v-bottomed stubbies, in came elliptical boards, pointed noses and round tails, with high rails at the nose and low ones at the tail. Bing got KP a motorhome and sent him on a long trip up and down the Californian coast to show the US where surfing was at ( longboards were still the norm ) while they launched a publicity campaign and made Foils as fast as possible. Then KP came to Europe.

CJ : I was paddling out at Great Western when I first saw him, carving the place up and sending spray everywhere ! Had no idea who he was until we talked, when he came across as a real good guy .

TC : I spent an hour or more talking to him at Porthtowan. He was quite small but a very powerful guy, with sun-bleached hair, & he was remarkably clean, neat and tidy; nothing like the usual image of a surfer at that time !

CJ : I got him a room in Newquay at my Mum`s place , until he left for France.

TC : He wasn`t lucky in our contests , probably due to the poor waves. At Porthtowan he lost to Rod ( who was still on his longboard ) in big slop;  and in Jersey the waves were tiny , so we only saw his incredible ability in free surfing .

KP in the Porthtowan slop 1968

CJ : Yeah, I was paddling out behind him in Newquay one time and as he paddled up the face of a wave he just stood up, twisted the board sideways and dropped in . I`d never seen that done before !

(Nat Young demonstrating the paddle out take-off in a small shore break.)

TC : He had the original Foil with him, with it`s green bottom, plain deck , and pinstripes running inside the cut-off line at the rails. That board was the subject of hundreds of photos by everyone ! We measured it up, then made similar ones at Westcoast.

CJ : I was a copier too and, as I was chief shaper at Bilbo, we soon had them on sale there .

TC : Bing Copeland told me last year that he called that 1st board of Keith`s the `Aussie Foil` . By 1970 they had a narrower version of it called the ` Maui Foil` , which Rolf Aurness (CAL) used to win the worlds in Oz that year.

( Richard Gregory`s Maui Foil )

CJ : I was there ! Great memories ………. we ( GB ) won the team paddleboard race, thanks mainly to Rod who was a phenomenal paddler.

TC : After a couple of months here in `68, KP left to meet Greg MacGillivray & Jim Freeman in Biarritz to film ` Waves of Change ` with Mark Martinson, Billy Hamilton and others. 

( L-R : KP and his Foil, Hamilton and his V-bottom, Martinson and his Harbour board )

( A time-warp in Guethary, Fr., Sept `68 : Hamilton looking a photo of Nat on his V - bottom taken 9 months earlier in Hawaii , while below his and Mark`s old boards sit beside KP`s green next-generation Foil . ) 

When they tried KP`s board they were amazed with it`s performance , prompting Mark to send the full spec. to his sponsor Harbour , who soon produced similar shapes, and shipped one to Europe for him .

 ( Mark`s letter to Rich Harbour and the finished foil-type board )

 Most CAL boards became Foil - types too : Weber, G&S, Morey-Pope and others all jumped on the bandwagon.

( G&S foil-type board )

( Wayne Lynch`s board )

CJ : The Aussies used boards under 6` long at the `70 worlds in Victoria, but Rolf Aurness beat them on his near -7` Foil so it was still the best board, after 3 years of evolution .

TC : Sadly, this story hasn`t got a happy ending as KP got heavily into drugs in the early 70`s and stopped surfing completely. By 1975 he had lost the plot totally, turning up at an Oz contest where his (now) bizarre behavior was noted and reported in the surf mags. By the 90`s he couldn`t even recognise his old surf friends, and later died ( 2004 ) in an Oz hostel . The Aurness family had problems too . By 1976 both Rolf`s mum and sister had fatally overdosed , and he stopped surfing and withdrew to the family home on the Hollister Ranch . A few years ago he was a part-time drug councillor, living in Santa Monica .

Both Keith and Rolf will always be associated with their brilliant and very short surfing careers, and the amazing years of the Bing Foil, an iconic board which had such a profound effect on world surfing.

Many thanks to Tony and Chris for putting this together, raking their memories and finding the relevant old adverts. Its great to get this stuff down so we can all read it.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Surf sailing 1973

Check this clip from Hal Jepsen's classic 'A Sea for Yourself' from 1973 . Next time you get dropped in on just be thankful its not by a catamaran. Potential carnage in the line up !
A Sea for yourself has a great soundtrack too, available back then on double lp produced by Rural records. Both tracks on this clip are by Dennis Dragon, and one of his best is Soul Teacher at 3:06 mins. check it out for some tight drumming and loose piano.

Gordon & Smith Fibreflex restorations

Written by Mark Mayers

’In 1964 Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith began using a combination of maple wood and fibreglass reinforced epoxy to create what is generally considered to be the first laminated skateboard deck. As the 1960s came to a close skate decks featured multiple colour designs and more closely resembled surfboards in both look and material than they did at the start of the decade.’’
 I’ve been collecting and restoring vintage 1970s FibreFlexes for a couple of years. I have fond memories of these decks, having owned one back in 1977 when I was a kid. I remember skating it so hard that it eventually broke in half! Skateboards, like surfboards, by their very nature are meant to be used until they are eventually broken or destroyed, but today any surviving vintage skateboard in good condition will fetch big money on Ebay. 
 The rarest one I own is a FibreFlex Hotdog model. Dennis Allgeier, a fellow collector in the States, who incidentally has the only other Hotdog model known to have survived helped me identify it. He also kindly sent me some of his reproduction decals to finish of the restoration. This deck dates from around 1975 and it originally had the 3-hole truck drill pattern, but it was badly re-drilled at some point to fit 4-hole trucks. These were filled and the nose and tail were rebuilt with fibreglass. The deck was then sanded, lacquered, polished and replacement rubber grip tape applied. 
 The Hotdog deck is pretty small by todays standards. It’s 23-3/4” long and 5-3/4” at its widest point. The deck is maple/epoxy sandwidged between 2 layers of bow tuff fibreglass (which is the same material used in crossbow construction) and is completely flat with a dove tail. I’ve set it up with NOS (New Old Stock) Precision trucks, homemade cork risers and Power Paw wheels.

Before restoration-

 and after ....

Skateboarder mag Oct. 1976
 G&S advert from the 
summer of 75 (vol 2, issue 1) Skateboarder magazine. In the vol 2 issue 3 Skateboarder it’s referred to as the 24” Hotdog model.
: This is the only other known surviving FibreFlex Hotdog model owned by fellow collector Dennis Allgeier in the States.

My second completed restoration is a FibreFlex Freestyle model from around 1978. This board was lightly used, then stored in a barn for 30 odd years. As a result, the inner ply was almost completely destroyed by woodworm, but both layers of Bow tuff were left intact. The only remedy was to split the deck in half and remove all the dead wood. The next stage was to replace with new wood and fibreglass it back together while carefully re-creating the slight kicktail. 
The deck was trimmed to its original shape, then lightly sanded, lacquered and polished. The decal on the deck is original, as is the glitter grip tape. The dimensions are 28-3/4’’ x 6-1/2’’ and it’s set up with the old 4-hole pattern Tracker Midtrack reissues, NOS gel risers and Road Rider 4 reissues.

Before restoration

 And after -

I have 2 other FibreFlexes I’m currently restoring/finding parts for: a 28’’ Pro Slalom model and a 25’’ FibreFlex Kicktail model. To see these and more of my completed restorations, go to:

G&S rider Huck Andress circa '78.

Mark at Holywell Bay skate park, early 80s.
Thanks very much to Mark for sharing his Fibreflex passion with us, and showing the amazing results he is getting in his restorations of beat up old boards. Mark has contributed to the blog in the past, mainly with photos of him growing up surfing in west Cornwall in the late 70s and early 80s. Cheers Mark !

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bilbo pennant

Mid 60s stomper by Them (Van Morrison)
Mid 60s scooter aerial pennant by Bilbo surfboards

Thursday, 19 September 2013

John Hall swallowtail 'with wings'

Just when I thought I had seen everything here's a John Hall which is completely out there !
This is an all original shape from probably around 1974. The wings or side fins (or whatever you want to call them) remind me a bit of the early bonzer fins. They flow as an extension of the wide swallowtail, biting deep on big turns and holding into the face on steep waves. Mabye.  But how well would this design surf ?. I hoped John might give an insight as to the thoughts behind and results of this experiment - and luckily through Alex I got his reply . It was a fairly relaxed reply , along the lines of :- hey it was the 70s someone had to do this shit !
So that was it - an experiment for the hell of it , to see what happened if the fins were on the rails . It seems funny now but back then there was all sorts of weird stuff going on which didnt make it to mass production.  John says , the fins migrated around to the bottom after a very short time and became the keel fish .  Experiments with fins went on all though the 60s and 70s with loads of crazy designs ( Surf research Australia is a good site to see fins through the ages ).
It seems a miracle that some owner of this board didnt decide to cut off the wings; but it looks like the board has hardly been surfed (which mabye speaks volumes) and is a well preserved piece of history now.
John was born in Sydney, Australia and came over to England in his early twenties, first setting up business with fellow Aussie Kevin Cross to make Kejo surfboards in Devon. John made many boards all through the 70s for many different labels .Many boards don't carry his name so you may unknowingly have a John Hall or two in your collection. Labels he worked for include- Tiki, Graham Nile, John Hall (obviously) ,Conway, Newwave, Circle One (Jeff Townsley was another experimenter), Chapter and even a couple of seasons at Creamed Honey with Kevin Cross again. ''I adapted my shaping so in the end we had trouble telling them apart'' at Creamed Honey.

Thanks to Tim for these photos

 1978, Atlantic Surfer magazine

 Wings on a Circle one shaped by Jeff Townsley ( was John hanging around at the time ?) from Alex's collection.
 Keel fins on a Circle one again from the same era. Really interesting board this from Jay's collection.