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 30 January 2014

Freedom singlefin by Steve Harewood

 I've long been a fan of Freedoms, and here's another lovely one which would be a very nice rider. Its 6'6 x 20 inches ; nice width for a pintail, not too narrow so would go well in our waves, and its also not too thick, probably 2 3/4 . The deck is very flat with hardly any hint of rocker, and the volume goes out right to the rails. Just looking at it I know its going to be fun, and the dark grey tint matches my shed ! It was  made around 1973 ? although I havent quite pinned down when this logo was used until. Its one of my favourite logos of the 70s though and was probably '73.

 Steve Harewood 1972 outside the state of the art Freedom factory . This is Steve's personal board back then, the Quicksilver model , 6'6 x 19 1/2 .

Freedom range from 1972 . The Quicksilver looks very similar to my board.

 Interview about Freedom surfboards with Steve, from Surf Insight mag 1972

Monday 27 January 2014

Carwyn Williams model by Nigel Semmens

Thanks to Lauren for sending in these photos of her Carwyn board, which she bought ten years ago, covered in so much dirt she couldnt even see the make of it. Its come up nice with a bit of tlc.
This was a surprise to me, since I was expecting it to be made by Carwyn's regular shaper Craig Hughes , but this one is signed Nigel Semmens ! It has Carwyn's laminates, an airbrushed Alder logo and copies the spray of Carwyn's favoured board of the time , as does the 2 1/2 fin set up .
I can't confirm it was Carwyn's personal board and havent seen this one in any of his old photos so I presume its a Carwyn Alder model (numbered no. 2 by Nigel) , similar to the one on the blog last month.

Carwyn's preferred 2 1/2 fin set up from around 1983
This is an earlier Semmens decal . No mention of Ocean Magic on the board.

Carwyn early 80s
Classic shots of him in France by Alex Williams, from Surf Scene 1989

Wayne Lynch, the Evolutionist from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.

Thursday 23 January 2014

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

Mesmorising footage of pipe by Eric Sterman using a remote controlled helicopter with camera  . Sounds unlikely but the results are stunning .

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Lightwave quad by Graham Bunt

This is an interesting, if a little worse for wear, quad shaped in north Cornwall (Boscastle way ) by Graeme Bunt. Its got a beautiful wave airbrushed on the deck, and a slightly weird but classicly 80s spray of a spider in its web on the other side, both done by Clyde Beatty.
You would think that a work of art like this that has had countless hours put in to its creation would be looked after and treasured !? But unfortunately not , its had some really poor repairs and has had deck plugs put in for tow board loops. The fact its an early epoxy board makes it harder to repair well, and the years have taken their toll.
Back when it was new around 1984 this was a wonder board, a revolution, and Lightwave were the first company making surfboards out of epoxy in the world  (borrowed from the boatbuilding industry) . It was sold as much stronger yet much lighter than other boards of the time. But rather than taking over the market, these epoxy boards died a death by the late 80s (a few decades later epoxy would again hit the market ).
Clyde was a top Californian surfer and shaper , who surprisingly moved to sleepy north Cornwall in the early 80s. He'd been over here competing in the Newquay pro-am and had enjoyed the laid back vibe and friendliness of Cornwall - a world away from his crowded home of LA . He saw a business opportunity and joined forces with local John Bamford to set up Lightwave surfboards and windsurfers at Boscastle.
They designed a new foam, which resembled polystyrene and was much lighter than standard blanks ; so they could use the weight saving to make the outer shell much more durable. Epoxy resins did the job, which were pretty bombproof and didn't pressure dent. The new foam also didn't suck up water so any dings that happened wouldn't bog the board down so badly.
When you read all this its surprising they weren't a big success.

 In the early 80s you could have hair to match your board !

 Clyde Beatty jr in north Cornwall 1983


Thursday 9 January 2014

Horizon twin fin by Tim Symons - St Ives

 This recent find is pretty interesting for me because its a local make I haven't seen before . Im sure some of the old St Ives locals know a lot about Horizon boards. If you do let me know. This board is shaped by Tim Symons from St Ives ; it originally had 2 1/2 fins glassed in, but someone has since repaired it very badly by roughly glassing in two multifins. Dimensions are 5'8 x 20 1/4 x 2 1/2.
I think the Horizon boards were made somewhere on the outskirts of St Ives ; Tim had been shaping boards since the mid 70s with Pete and Kid Phillips (formerly worked at Atlantic). It must have been a relatively small label since I havent seen any ads for it in the surf mags of the day.
 In 1974 Tim became both English and British junior champion and won Surf magazine's Surfer of the Year award - see below. His local break was Porthmeor but he travelled around to Porthleven, Gwenver , Gwithian and Porthtowan chasing the best waves.
This is a pretty standard shape for the time, and has good build quality and finish. I wish it had the original fins as whoever put these ones in had a shocker.
Tim is now a successful businessman in St Ives and owns property along the waterfront including the Sloop inn.

Surf magazine December 1974

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Mighty French waves at Belharra  from a couple of days ago ! This spot was one of the European stars of the Hercules swell

Monday 6 January 2014

Big Monday

A super sized set hitting whats left of Portreath harbour wall in Cornwall today. Portreath is usually quite sheltered but wasnt escaping the fury of Hercules this morning. Photo by Mike Thomas / Colin Higgs.

And a giant snowman climbing out of the sea at Sennen . Photo by Tony Armstrong.

And Rick 'peg leg' diving for his life under a huge Aggie set ! Photo taken on monday by Richard Davies.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Bilbo longboard and V-bottom

Happy New Year ! Looking forward to classic surfs in 2014. And more time to get in the water.!
Here are a couple of classic Bilbos . First up is this standard longboard from 1967 or 68, near to the last longboards Bilbo made before the board lengths began to get chopped. This board is one owner from new ! and has the owners initials on the underside so must have been custom made for him. These boards are pretty heavy but still nice to surf and always put a smile on your face in small surf. The nylon plastic fin would originally been red but it goes this pinky colour with age. The bungee leash was not a good idea !
Nice competition stripes on the deck and thick single balsa stringer . A classic Bilbo of the era and still looks in good nick and watertight.

And here's a rare , and rather more battered find . Pulled from a hedge by Andy some years ago , a 1968 Bilbo v- bottom by Chris Jones. V bottoms were around for such a short period of time (between longboard era and the Bing foil design) that they are very scarce now, and its even harder to find British ones. Most were copied straight from the boards of Aussie or South African surfers visiting England or France. 
''Looks like one of the Bilbo's made in May 1968, when South African Trevor Espey and mates arrived in Newquay with stubbies. Until then I think Bilbo made only longboards. A very small window this one,  because Keith Paull arrived immediately after with his Foil, so Bilbo went from mals to Foils in a few weeks. If so, there aren't many of these around.'' Tony Cope

And while we're on the subject of Bilbos , here's a classic photo of Jonty Henshall taken in 1979 with his Rhosneiger surf crew and two Bilbos. Jonty has lived in Cornwall a long time but grew up surfing the waves of Anglesey in North Wales - much the same as I did fifteen years later. Back in Jonty's day there werent many local surfers to learn from so they just had to work it out themselves. 
Jonty (left) is keen to know if his boards are still out there ! Since his brother sold them while he was off travelling. -
''The boards were 2 Bilbo transitional era, one about 7'6" clear MP style squash tail, with orange gloss in the fin area, the other was a more unusual 8' ish round pin, clear bottom, orange gloss deck. Both had glass stringers, greenough 4A style box fins, and western logos. I have attached a pic from 1979 of us with the boards. I assume they were made by CJ around 70?''
Since the boards are still pretty long they must date from around 1970 as Jonty says. Some classic wetsuits there too !
If anyone has info on the boards let us know.