DNA #001213

1 comment:

PG said...

A couple of subjective observations regarding the two V-Bottoms in this sequence, which was shot in December, 1967 at Honolua Bay.

Nat's board had dead straight bottom rocker in the back 4 feet of the board -- which is really radical for a 9'0'' board -- while McTavish's board had some tail lift shaped into it.

It's obvious looking at this footage that Nat's board cruises more comfortably through long sections and around white water, while McTavish's board is a bit more of a struggle. Bob has to trim forward more often to counterbalance the tail lift, while Nat hangs back on the tail and directs the power from a more stable platform...which ultimately is the direction mainstream surfing has taken in the ensuing 45 years.

That said, McTavish's performance is awesome, given the equipment.

Also, Nat's board had a higher aspect ratio, being 9'0'' x 22", as opposed to McTavish's 8'6'' x 23" wide board. So, Nat's board had a more natural affinity for running down the line.

These observations relate only to this particular surf session. In smaller wave conditions, McTavish's board was reportedly much easier/better to surf. Neither board was well suited to most North Shore conditions.

Both guys rode incredibly well in Hawaii that season, given the embryonic nature of their boards. The Hawaiians surfing in this sequence (notably Buddy Boy and RB)show how far advanced Nat and Bob were...at that moment in time. Of course, the Hawaiians caught and surpassed everyone else in a matter of months with the Mini-Gun design, which was a much better design direction for Hawaii.

It's also interesting that not only did these two world class surfers have the balls to show up in Hawaii with wide backed V-Bottoms, but both boards were stringerless! Not the stuff of conventional wisdom, that's for sure. Nat's board broke in Hawaii early on, and you can clearly see where it was repaired.

I wasn't there, of course. These are just observations based on information from those who were...and from what's clearly visable from watching the footage.