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

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The first Tris

 This historic board is the very first surfboard to have the Tris logo. From when this board was made, in late 69 / early 70 Tris has gone on to become one of our best loved board makes . The board was made by friends Tris Cokes and Johnny Manetta for local surfer Mike Hendy . They got the stringerless blank from Alan MacBride ; Johnny shaped the top half, Tris the bottom half and they met in the middle ! The board is a mild s deck, around 7'3 long and has a beautiful deep red tint on the underside, with artistic flourishes by Johnny making it a striking looking board. The deck has a light green tint on the deck patch, and an attempt at a tie dye pattern made by rolling the cloth and adding pigment . Tie dye was all the rage with the hippies at Porthtowan in those days , and the board was made at a small hut near where the lifesaving club is today.
The logo is hand drawn on toilet paper says Johnny , and has Mike Hendy's initials on it.
The board was made at a point where the evolution of board design was driving along at a fast rate , and boards were getting shorter, wider and thicker , and the twin fin design would soon take off as a design to be tried, but later rejected for slim and longer singlefins which became the standard surfboard design through the mid 70s.

 Johnny still owns and runs Tris surf shop in Porthtowan - and a few years ago a guy came in saying ' ive got a tris in my loft ' ; Johnny couldn't believe his eyes when he saw this first Tris coming round the corner. After he restored it for the owner it was kindly donated back to him to keep at the shop as part of the history of Porthtowan surfing.

 Johnny Manetta and Tris Cokes in the early days of Tris surfboards , around 1970/71 with a Tris twin fin.
Photos of Tris Cokes, courtesy of Johnny Manetta

Porthtowan crew in the early 70s. Johnny 3rd from left , Tris 3rd from right .
Thanks to Johnny and Ryan for the info and photos


  1. I was proud to donate this board back to Johnny, partly as payment for repairing a Williams longboard but really after realising it belonged back in PT. It was in my loft, in Orkney, having been bought for £5 from a friend in Seaton, Devon and moving north with us. Really privileged to be part of this story.