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 November 2013

Neil Wernham Tris

 The grin says it all. North Devon board magnet (or should I say magnate) Skelly has laid his hands on another Tris with artwork by Neil Wernham . Neil's Tris boards have an appeal to us Brit collectors on a similar level to Martyn Worthington's Hot Buttereds for the Aussies. He was a great artist and worked for one of our best loved labels . The only problem is - theres hardly any of the things out there. Skelly has had three, which doesnt sound much , but thats half of the ones I know about ! One he got was covered in brown spray paint. If anyone else has a mid 70s Tris with good artwork on send in some photos.
Neil came over from NZ and worked over here in the mid 70s, and sprayed some Tris boards in between sanding jobs. He now lives in Raglan and still paints a lot. Like this spray, much of his artwork is inspired by space travel and the Cosmos - and trippy things in general ! This board shape with its narrow rounded nose is typical of what Tris was making in '74/ '75. The quality of finish and attention to detail on these boards is beautiful.

 A few more of the surviving Tris by Neil.

Skelly (not on a Tris) on a nice Devon spot last winter

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Neal Purchase junior , contest surfer turned soul surfer new school/old school style - whatever you call it style is something he definitely has  , hanging out in t and shorts on some beautiful waves, drawing out some beautiful lines.

Monday 25 November 2013

 Thanks to everyone who bidded on the charity auction boards, and especially the winning bidders Rob and Gerard who have raised £176.00  for the Philippines Typhoon appeal ! Cheers guys.
Its a drop in the ocean compared to the massive £50 million the UK government and population have given so far but Im sure it will do its little bit of good.

And still on the subject of ebay auctions - did you see this original UK cinema poster for endless summer come up last week ?
Given that Endless Summer is probably the world's most well known surf movie , this British version with completely different artwork must be incredibly scarce and a collectors dream. And this was shown when a bidding frenzy took it to an eye watering £435 by the end of the auction !

Friday 22 November 2013

Litmus in Ireland

Ireland segment, from "Litmus" from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.
Joel Fitzgerald (Terry's son) on the Emerald Isle from Litmus, 2003 .
Love the section from 1 min 35 , classic Irish lefthander, the music -  I can almost taste the Guinness !

Thursday 21 November 2013

Atlantic and Phil Jays

Colin who now lives in Australia has kindly sent some history on a couple of boards on the blog - which he used to own ! They are the Phil Jay swallowtail (above right) owned by the Gul collection and the raspberry ripple Atlantic (below right) owned by Alex. Happy to say Colin still surfs every day over in Oz , and has  fond memories of surfing back here and hanging round Phil Jay's surf shop in London.-
''Hi Al , I follow you website keenly and was surprised to see a couple of my boards on there.
 Being born in 1958, I grew up in Leytonstone, London and our family went to the IOW at least three times a year, literally every Christmas, Easter and summer holidays every year until I was 20. It was always the IOW! We always stayed at Taylors caravan site eveytime, now Sandhills at Whitecliff Bay.
 I learnt to surf there in the very early 60's on several LILO surfmats, purchased in Sandown and we made regular trips to Compton Bay. I spent all day every day, rain or shine in the sea.

The only surf shop in London during the early 70's was Phil Jay in Wandsworth and so I used to get the tube over there from the East End every holiday and stock up on surf mags and gloat over all the boards. I managed to save up, I think it was £40 and headed to the shop. It was always touch and go if he was going to be there or open!
As you entered the shop, he had the counter on the left inside the door and board racks along the left hand side and on the back wall. There on the back wall was the Atlantic. I took to the shape and colour and bought it. It must have been in 1970/74? I surfed the board in Cornwall, Devon and the Isle of Wight. It even had a trip to Kimmeridge went so well.
 In 1976, I went to UNCW, Bangor North Wales to study Marine Science..the Atlantic went with me. For a period of 1976/79, I surfed the Atlantic at Rhosneiger, Hells Mouth, Abberfraw, the Gower peninsula; every weekend the board was in the ocean.
From the summer of 1976; each and every holiday period after that all year round I worked as a temp lifeguard in Tower Hamlets pools. I saved some money to buy a car and a new board. I had kept up my holiday train journeys to Phil Jay's shop and wanted a "swallow tail". I was torn as I saw a new roundtail Atlantic yet decided on the brand new Phil Jay...6'6" swallow tail. £ 80.00 Armed with a new car, 2 boards and loads of lavender Waxmate and a few bars of the Orange Stuff...surfing became an easy task in Wales and it strengthened my passion.
 The Atlantic got a tiny hole in the hull at Kimmeridge Bay and thats the small clear bump that's there.I filled it with resin from Strand Glass in Ilford. The fin box got damaged at some rocks in Rhosneiger, when a mate ran it aground. I never got the time to repair it as I was studying for finals.
 The Phil Jay was a good board but not a versatile as the Atlantic. The rubber patch on the Phil jay has some history too. I noticed it was mentioned on your blog. My sister ordered and bought me a "Powercord" from the USA. This must have been in 1977/78. We saw the advert in an American Surfer magazine for Control systems in Santa Monica and it took 8 weeks to come over. It was a heavy black cord with a velcro ankle band in red white and blue stripes. The cord was attched by the rubber pad I stuck on the board with Bostik!
 I went to the Middle East forex broking and then down here to Sydney. I saw an advert for GUL, stating that they were looking for 60/70's boards to start a museum. As my parents had retired to the Isle of Wight and taken the boards with them, I thought it a good idea to donate them so that they would survive.   I contacted GUL and they went to my parents home in Bembridge and collected the boards and put them in the museum. GUL thanked me by giving me a couple of GUL mugs...which I still have and use today!
 I still surf every day! Kind regards Colin.
Colin's old Atlantic of St Ives , right , bought from Phil Jay's surf shop, Wandsworth ,see pic below.

And on the Phil Jay tip , heres another of Phil's labels 'Pure Juice' , shaped by Australian Kevin Cross ( Creamed Honey ) who shaped a bit for Phil here and there. This one looks mid 70s and is very colourful ! and in great condition too. Thanks to Jake for sending in the photo.
And still continuing on the Jay tip - although a bit more obscure - this is a classic set of mags which Darren has picked up recently - a  set of Ripples, brought out by Lowestoft Surf Club in the 70s and edited by Neil Watson. Along with them comes British Surfer 5 & 6 , Surfing in GB by Carl Thompson - and a really rare little book about surfboard construction written by St Ives' Charles Williams (Atlantic surfboards ) and Colin Prior . Would like to have a look at this sometime ; apparently it doesnt have photos in but does have hand drawn pictures. Must date from around 1970 . And it was sold from Phil Jay's London shop, as we can see by the stamp.
That Phil Jay gets around.
Thanks to Colin and Darren.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Charity auction boards- please bid

 These two vintage boards are being auctioned on ebay with full proceeds going to the Philippines Typhoon appeal to help get food , water, medicines and shelter to the victims of the disaster. Please help by having a bid or two. The Wavekraft above was featured on the blog back in March 2011 - and is a classic board of its time.
And Crest bellyboards are always sought after - for the Crest .
And for the Wavekraft.
Hope you can help.

Friday 15 November 2013

Bob Warry

 Guernsey surfing legend  Bob Warry has sadly passed away . Bob was a Guernsey champion in 1966, '68 and '71 and maker of  the rare and very interesting Blade surfboards in the early 70s. There is more about Bob's surfing history here - .

Paddle out for Bob held at Vazon bay. Blade surfboards from sheds and garages all around were dusted off and paddled out in his honour.
There is more about Bob on his son Phil's blog - 

Thursday 14 November 2013

London Surf film auction posters

Take a look at these movie posters re-interpreted by some of today's talented graphic designers and artists . They are one off pieces which will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Water Aid , for more posters and details goto -

 Barefoot adventure by Nick Radford (Frootful) - the designer of the Vintage Surf meet posters !
Big Wednesday by David Beckitt
Have Board will Travel by Richard Braham
 Litmus by Droog 79
The Heart and the Sea by Seamouse

Tuesday 12 November 2013

A beautiful Tris

Jean -Pierre in France has recently found this lovely Tris, which has spent its whole life over there. It was originally bought in Biarritz in 1974 at the famous Jo Moraiz surf shop. Its a classic board of the era, probably made around '73 ,with the width high up the board and a long thin tail going into a diamond tail. This was a pretty common design until the swallow tail came into fashion soon after, which was a far more versatile tail design.
This Tris still has the original rubber leash fitting which is rare and nice to see. And on the underside it has a great acid wash with dripped and dragged coloured resin , a look back to the flower power and drug induced late 60s surfboard designs especially in the US. Having said this I'm sure there were still a few 'characters' hanging round the Tris factory in the early 70s. Say no more..

Thanks to Jean Pierre for the photos - its a beaut.

Acid wash John Conway from similar era, from Darrens collection. Another beauty.
Jo Moraiz surf school on the beach at Biarritz, mid 60s

Friday 8 November 2013

Friendly Bear longboard by Bob Head !

 Well its happened - after quite a few years of wondering if I'd ever see a Friendly Bear malibu - here one is ! It has been in the same ownership since the 60s along with a later Bilbo longboard , and they have both been stored in a garage rafters, out of reach and covered with dust. This is their first glimpse of daylight for years.
A Friendly Bear is an iconic board - especially for Newquay surfers - because it marks the very beginning of Malibu manufacture in the town. We are back in 1963 or '64 , and the shaper is of course Bob Head , and the 'factory' a disused chicken shack at Mawgan Porth. The only other longboard maker in the town is Bill Bailey , and slightly later Fred Bickers - all legendary names from the roots of Newquay surfing.
 The board features a wide hardwood stringer for strength , coarse weave fibreglass ,which also covers the large ply d fin , and a small, basic and hardly legible logo, possibly made from letraset type letters put on tissue paper and glassed over. The easiest part of the logo to read is 'Friendly Bear Surfboards' and I think it includes Bob's name and address there too. Bob may have got the blank from Bill, who had started blowing his own in a caravan in Redruth (!) with varying degrees of success.
 Bob arrived from Australia in April 1962 to work the beaches around Newquay with fellow Aussie lifeguards from Avalon SLSC - Ian Tiley, John Campbell and Warren Mitchell. Bob and John had brought their boards with them , and were happy to see that Cornwall offered a good variety of empty waves.
But the local surfing bug was growing, and in 1963 Bob (and independently Bill Bailey) decided to make some boards to meet the growing demand . Bill's label was called Bailey Malibu boards and Bob's was Friendly Bear. Bob like Bill hadn't made boards before but sensed a good opportunity to make some cash. He relied on his years of experience surfing in Oz and his own Australian board to help him shape.
At this time Bob, and Hawaiian/American Jack Lydgate were the best surfers in Newquay, idolised by a generation of teenagers and gremmies who took up the sport .Bob was a powerful paddler, and stylish surfer with strong carving turns .
Before long , Bob would get together with Bill Bailey , Freddie Blight and Doug Wilson to start our most famous label of the 60s -  Bilbo surfboards , which started production in early 1965 - and the rest is history !
Just think - when this board was made there may only have been 20 or 30 logo'd malibus made in Britain , mabye even less !

 Bill Bailey, Doug Wilson  and Bob Head ,September 1962, Mawgan Porth

Another Tris from the tip

 Another nice Tris rescued from the tip. This is the fourth Tris saved from there in the last few years, and like most of the others its far too good to throw away. The underside has a few scrapes but the deck is perfect, and its a nice Hillsey shape from around 1981 with double flyers , and an unusually raked back fin.
I must sound like a regular Stig of the dump , but its not got that bad - theres an outlet near me that sells stuff rescued from there. Dimensions are 6'3 x 19 3/4.
Up in Devon the surfing museum has recently got a couple of beauties which were bound for the tip ,  the Bill Bailey longboard and Bickers paipo.

 The cat approves

Monday 4 November 2013


 The good thing about old surfing stuff is that most people put hardly any value on it. Its not unknown for decent boards to be sold at car boot sales for £5 - £10 because they are 'out dated' , dinged or just plain dirty. So if youre there at the right time and place you can score a good find. Boards are still being taken to the tip too - some incredibly rare and important.
This Tiki was a recent buy off ebay - not the easiest place to get a bargain , but it does happen. This one was £75 buy it now, so i went for it, partly because the shape looked pretty interesting, and also because it was a looker . Ive always been a sucker for a nice green tint, and the airbrushing and parrot logo are classic too.
 The seller said he got it in Wales in 1969, which would make it a very progressive board for the time. It has no clumsy s-deck which is a big bonus ; its light, thin and wide and looks a blast so Im looking forward to taking it out. The fin is definitely late 60s/ 1970 era , one of those Australian made slotted finboxes - copied from Waveset fins made in the US from around 1968. The build quality of the board is really beautiful ,and its still in great condition. No shapers name though. Dimensions are 6'8 x 22 x 2 1/4.

Wave Eater 1 logo

Waveset adjustable fin
Funny little decal of a long nosed surfer about to get eaten . Ring any bells ? 
 Tiki factory, early 70s
1972 ad
Tiki Surf shop 1975
Simon emailed me photos of a recent bargain - this early Gul wetsuit in amazingly good condition. I doubt if its even been worn and its a proper museum piece.-
''It cost me £20 in an antiques shop in Dorchester today and the girl I paid just said "it's a bit cold to wear that at the moment" I said nothing and just grinned from ear to ear! What a find! I'm still grinning :-))''
Gul used this logo from the late 60s to the early 70s, and this suit is likely to be from c.1971/2. Interesting red areas on the legs to try to prevent knee wear . The suit looks pretty well made and well though out; and I bet it was quite warm too. Thanks to Simon for the photos


One of Gul's earliest beaver tail suits