Bing Lotus: A Brilliant Mistake ...


The Bing Lotus was a forward looking transition era shortboard. Much like the hulls that flourished in good surf in later years, the Lotus featured a pulled-in tail, with a full nose and the wide point well above center.

So how did the Lotus come into being?

After the early wide-backed deep V's...

 

...followed by the double-ender small wave hot doggers...

 

...the idea of combining a full outline nose and a narrow tail wasn't on many shaper's radar.

The legend of the Lotus, as it is told, goes something like this...

Someone was riding a Brewer-built Bing Pipeliner and broke the nose off.
 

Rather than repair the now dated longboard, Brewer drew the outline of a full nosed stubby at the front of the now shortened semi-gun. A craftsman peeled the glass off, reshaped the nose conforming to the new template, then reglassed it. Whoever rode the board came back with rave reviews of the hybrid outlined board...and a transition shortboard icon was born.

Round the tail off, and you have the makings of a classic Liddle hull...



More McTavish ...

This 3-shot sequence ran in Surf International Magazine in 1968. Bob McTavish's flare as a surfer, the beautiful color of the water, and the breathless captions made these images iconic at the time...


" Bob McTavish is one of the best of the Australian surfers that are currently leading the sport of surfboard riding into the new realm of total per­formance.  A combination of highly technical boards, and an uncanny insight into the moods of waves, combine to create McTavish the surfer.  In the first of this sequence of three photo­graphs, Mc Tavish carves a long driving turn down the face of the wave."


"After rising high into the curl, as the wave becomes more critical, McTavish drops with the breaking wave to set up the last section of the ride."


"McTavish puts his board into a fantastic turn at the base of the wave. The fin, par­tially clear of the water is clearly visible. The whole side of the board is buried and it is on the rail, more than the fin that he makes the turn."

Mystery V ...


Honolua Bay.  December, 1967.


After a stint on Oahu, the heavy hitters of the shortboard revolution -- Nat Young, Bob McTavish, and George Greenough -- turned up on Maui. The shutter-bug Witzig brothers were there as well, documenting the fermentation.

The stringerless, wide-backed, deep V's of McTavish and Young were sorely out of place on the North Shore...

 

 ...but on Maui, they found clean surf, better suited to their V's eccentric nature...

 

During that legendary, week-long session, Reno Abellira and Dick Brewer were there with longer (but infinitely more refined) semiguns.

Both Nat Young and Reno Abellira broke their respective boards early on. Nat repaired his and soldiered on...

 

..but Reno's longer Brewer pintail was toast, and he called it a session...


The next board that Reno would ride was a first-gen Brewer mini-gun. The shortboard took root in Hawaii, and the revolution was underway on an international level!

But that leaves a burning question....

Who's V-Bottom was this? Clearly not McTavish's or Young's. Maybe one of the Witzig's???