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 April 2015

skateboarding in '65

 These great images were taken in New York by Bill Eppridge for a Life magazine article in 1965. Around this time skateboarding was starting to take off in the UK too, initially with American boards like Hobie. Back then skateboarding was a brand new sport, something for surfers to do when the surf was flat , or otherwise a craze for the kids. Like surfing it has lasted through the decades and is for all ages , not just the kids.

 'The skateboard is the most exhilarating and dangerous joyriding device this side of the hot rod . The effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs'  Life magazine 1965

Thanks to Sean

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A film about surfing in East Anglia in the 1970s by the late great Neil Watson, who very sadly passed away last year . Neil was a photographer, writer, editor of Ripple surf mag and a big part of the Anglian surf scene.

Tigger Newling Galactic egg !

Thanks to Simon for sending in photos of his lovely 'Galactic egg' by Tigger Newling ,made when he returned from the world championships in 1970 - the one off logo on the deck done by tigger was influenced by mathematical methods - using links /chains and the shape was elliptical - hence the galactic egg !! 
Side on you can see the mild s deck and down rails, and the Aussie influenced slim fin. Finding an early Tig in good condition is quite hard as there weren't many made and most were surfed hard by him or Constantine locals he sold the boards to.

Below- Tig surfboards ad, 1969,
 Tigger at Guethary , 1968 with a couple of early Tigs
and surfing La Barre , again 1968

Phase 1 Tig Surfboards
Proud to be a backyarder
I started making boards under the label TIG Surfboards, in 1968. It was a real 'backyard' operation.
The short board revolution had just hit, and I was itching to try the new shapes I had seen in Australian surf magazines and films like Paul Witzig's 'Evolution'. Because established local board builders were slow to produce short boards - 'its just a fad that won't last'… and I couldn't afford to buy a new board every other week anyway, I decided to do it myself in my back yard at Treyarnon Bay. My father let me use the greenhouse. So I pulled out his prized tomatoes, and started shaping.
On my own track
The first boards I shaped were 8 foot long,  then as the short board revolution gathered momentum, every board I shaped got shorter than the previous one eventually they ended up around six foot long. At first I copied Bob McTavish's Australian designs: tear drop shaped 'trackers', with deep vee bottoms and big Greenough fins. The boards that Wayne Lynch and Nat Young were then riding. But as soon as I surfed these crude copies I had shaped, I needed to get back in the shaping room and make modifications and refinements to improve them. Soon I was embarked on my own unique design track that was driven by how my designs performed in the water.  Surfboard building was turning out to be my dream job - combining rocket scientist and test pilot!

Recycled prototypes
At first, Tig Surfboards was not a proper job - just a creative hobby. I was just happy to be making new boards for myself and my family. However, thanks to all the keen young local surfers, I kept selling my discarded prototypes at prices that easily covered my costs. Pretty soon I seemed to be surfing with a flotilla of not just family but also a crew of local grommets all happily ripping on my cast-off shapes. Next I was being asked to make boards for older locals and holiday makers, so Tig Surfboards started showing a profit. I bought myself a VW Kombi and headed to Morocco on the proceeds.

The next summer I was busy enough to employ staff: Shaper Roger Land and Laminator Terry Lysaght were both very experienced kiwi board builders who somehow put up with a very green 18 year old boss. One afternoon we posed for our first publicity shot. It was inspired by Pink Floyd's Ummagumma album cover (designed by Hypgnosis). The one where all the band's gear is laid out on a runway. We emptied the greenhouse and laid all the tools and templates out on the lawn along with some boards and a pair of trousers which were so encrusted with resin that they stood up by themselves . The three of us standing there covered in dust - a true start-up cottage industry.
1969 publicity shot

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Vitamin Sea twin fin by Tad Ciastula

Here's a lovely twin fin made in Newquay around '82/'83 , shaped by the founder of Vit Sea Tad Ciastula. Its a very similar shape to what co-shaper at Vit Sea Chris Jones was making at the time. Wide tail, plenty of volume , flat deck and still very lightweight. Dims. are 5'11 x 20 inches , with Terry Fitzgerald model multi fins, and classic star airbrush by Andy Cranston. I bought the board from Graham , who had bought it in the North East ten years ago after seeing an ad in the local paper. After its years up north it has happily returned to Cornwall.

 Tad surfing , above in Tube News 1981, below in Atlantic Surfer 1979

Thursday, 16 April 2015

                       One wave a surf wouldn't be so bad . If your one wave was like this !

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

 Its not often a good collection of boards hits ebay but these are some of the boards which have been for sale in the last few weeks . The owner is concentrating on longboards, good news for shortboard lovers.
Above - Circle One with planet stencils. (this was mine a few years back.)
 Graham Nile
 Freedom by Bobby Male
 Space Gypsy by Danny Garland
 Freedom by Steve Harewood
 Westcoast by Clive Barber
 early 80s Tris
Late 60s Tiki

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The story of Eric & Kneetrembler surfboards

Cast your memories (or your imaginations) back to swinging London in the late 60s- mid 70s. To a small shaping room above a legendary surf shop, where a deicated kneeboarder shaped, a rock star glassed , and an artist of Eagle comics airbrushed a small number of beautiful surfboards and kneeboards called Kneetrembler.
The shaper was Eric Muchmore, the glasser John Povey from the famous band the Pretty Things, the artist Harry Wilson or 'Arry the brush have compressor will travel ! ' and the shop was of course Phil Jay's.

After seeing my blogpost about Andy's Kneetrembler kneeboard and request for info on it, I was stoked to get an email from Eric --
''my name is eric one half of tremblers the other half was Jon Povey, we used to work for phil jay when he was in london. I worked the shop, jon glassed .When we worked for Phil he had got the franchise to make Corky Carroll space-sticks  .After I'd been there a year Phil moved to north devon ,we didn't and the shop was taken over.  We used to help the new guy out, he was called Stan and hadnt surfed much, there was a little room above the shop the size of a shaping room. When i finished work i'd go and shape . Jon being artistic just loved making boards and the prettys gigged a lot at the time.  It started with kneeboards because nobody was making them and I was and still am a" halfman". The name kneetremblers i thought would be apt . The first stand-up was made for my good mate Don which he still has, if that board in the BSM has grass leaf on deck that's dons board(see photos below).
The name of shop stayed the same Jay surf shop. I think we made about six kneeboards and 5 or 6 standups. It got too much working allday  then going up to the shop till 2 or 3 in the morning and Jon was still working with the pretty things then the shop got sold; now the site is flats . We got our blanks from vitium  c . I started surfing in '62 at Perranporth  then Boscombe, then North devon '69 and still surf north devon. There was another surf shop in London at the same time as us it was near Brixton run by the other London boys who now all live in north devon. It was just called Surf shop run by  Paul blacker was Paul Moudy, lan Finley, Jeff Linacker, Jeff Gandhi and Des Patty.''
 John and Eric with their first standup Kneetremblers Inc. made for their friend Don in 1974
 Possibly the same board at the surfing museum surf meet
Eric outside the shop , 'waiting for the surf bus ' . This shows the deck of Don's board, complete with hash leaf.

 John, Eric and Phil with the first Corky Carroll space stick made at Jay's Putney factory . Around 1969.
''if your looking for rare surfboards look out for the Rodney Sumpter model. We got together with Rod to make a board for English wave sadly only two were made - one by Rod and the other by me. My one was first prize  at the southcoast surf contest74 or75? Held at Littlehampton. '' Anyone remember that board or contest ?
 Above - advert from Surf Insight mag, 1972

 Here's an enthusiastic record review on the Pretty Things by Fuz Bleakley , from Surf Insight mag, 1973 . John is on the right in the photo. Eric was in the studio when this album and their earlier lp Parachute were recorded.
Below- the album SF Sorrow by the Pretty things is one of the best of many great psych albums to be made in the UK in the late 60s. John plays sitar, plus percussion and vocals.

 Above - Andy's Kneetrembler new in the Phil Jay surfshop , and below in a similar pose and pride of place today after 40 years of ownership. There is another Kneetrembler on the bottom rack in the shop, and check the poster for Five Summer stories, which Eric still has . The photo was taken around 1975/6

''Here's another Kneetremblers standup ,the reason the fins are so thick the better the foil the better the flow which made the board really quick on takeoff .That's a kestrel airbrush on the bottom.'' The other boards were imports by Weber and Bing.
 The shop in the early 70s with Eric's camper outside. This is what the shop looked like during the kneetrembler era.
 Eric and his early Phil Jay, above and below. This was the earliest Jay logo, late 60s.

Above - on a surf trip to northern Spain with friend Mike, 1970 .Hayden spoon (now in Al's collection - its a small world !) on the roof rack.
  ''I started kneeriding after going to Biarritz with the wrong standup board, no leash and waves 5 times more powerful than English waves so I was swimming alot. Then I got on the spoon and didn't wipe -out so i started kneeriding from there.We saw an article in Surfer mag about Biarritz, thats why we decided to go . The Hayden spoon ,I bought from a flat in earls-court from an Aussie going home ,I think it was £10 . It was a pig to paddle negative buoyancy.''
The same Hayden spoon today , although the fin has got shorter since Eric's day. It is a semi spoon with a rare v bottom from 1967/8.
 Mike proning on the spoon , 1970

 Woke up one morning walked down to the beach 10 to 15 feet glass, Mike took the spoon out i took photos first wave nailed him didn't see him for 10 min or so until he dragged himself up the beach half dead lucky boy.
Eric on the inside wave at Lafetania in 1971 on his Freedom's Family kneeboard shaped by Phil Jay. The kneeboarder out back was American.

 Early days at Porthtowan in 1967 with hire board from Bilbos.
 Early 'kneetremblers' with another hire Bilbo - a bit more battered ! Porthtowan '67

John in Surfer mag in 1969 - at Canver sands.

Big thanks to Eric (better known now as EL) for all his memories and photos ! Kneetrembler was a small production label , but made some great boards and was important as one of the few surfboard factories in London. Looks like they had a great time ! John Povey if youre out there get in touch !