Tuesday, 15 September 2009


There's a good story behind this one... My friend Al spotted this board up a creek being used as some sort of rubbish shute. We went back and left our number with the lady at the house, offering money but heard nothing. Plans were hatched in the pub and word spread of it whereabouts, with all sorts of stealth mission ideas unravelling, but nothing materialised. Then one day I get a call from some bloke saying he'll take £50 for it. 'Righto' says I, and grab my keys. On my way out Al returns, telling me he'd just been back there with an offer. So he goes to pick up what had become a whispered legend of a board, leaving me at home sulking (Al already had a mint Bilbo log so I was jealous, but he had found the thing in the first place). One sprog, and 15 more vintage boards later (forcing me out of the house), Al calls up to say the board is for sale. I oblige despite repeated haggling attempts - the same old routine with Al's car boot profit margins. Al now has a blog showcasing his collection of vintage boards. Have a butchers here
The board is ridiculously heavy. I think it dates to around '67 with the template and fin shape - I'm surprised the thing floats, but I love the momentum you gain with the weight. I fixed the board up and surfed it for the first time the morning after the book launch of Michael Fordham's The Book of Surfing (for which I illustrated a number of spreads). The whole crew was there and it seemed like a fitting time for the maiden voyage. I'm hanging on for a big day to see how well the pintail holds in...

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