Friday Flashback: The Harbour Spherical Revolver


The Spherical Revolver was a late 60's hull, manufactured by Harbour Surfboards in Seal Beach.

While the shape seems pretty conventional for the era, the story behind it certainly is not!

After the first wave of Deep V boards were abandoned by the very Australians who pioneered them in 1967...



The next design step for those same, leading edge surfers were hulls with pulled-in tails, and the wide point set much further forward.

 
 
 
 


When Nat Young, Wayne Lynch and Ted Spencer set off to Europe with Paul Witzig to film Evolution in the summer of 1968, their boards were miles ahead of the rest of the world.



That same summer in France, Mac/Free films turned up with Bill Hamilton, Mark Martinson and Keith Paull in tow to shoot Waves of Change.

Needless to say, on numerous occasions both crews ended up at the same break on the same day...and the design gap was painfully obvious to both the Australians and the Americans.

Martinson later said the Australians were cutting back on waves he and Hamilton had trouble making on their V's!

On the right, Hamilton and Martinson with their problematic deep V's. On the left, Keith Paull with a more sophisticated, wide backed roundtail...

 


Here's Martinson spinning out in big, fat surf at La Barre on his wide tailed V ...  

 


 While Hammo, on his Surfboards Hawaii V, is having better luck in smaller beach break ...


 
Australian Keith Paull, on a roundtail double ender, was somewhere in between, performance-wise.

 


The moment of clarity -- from the American point-of-view -- came when Martinson penned a letter to Rich Harbour, describing the board he wanted...a hull based on Nat Young's favorite board that summer in Europe. The same board Nat later rode in the World Contest in Puerto Rico...

 


In what was probably the most sophisticated ad ever to appear in any surf mag, Harbour simply printed Mark's letter along with a picture of the board they built based on his specs...

 


Martinson's letter even included rider trim location on the board, and the new track he wanted to take on a wave...



That yellow hull became the Harbour Spherical Revolver...a transition era classic!

 


2 comments:

KP's Round UP said...

As always, so well said Paul, thanks .

harmless neighborhood eccentric said...

So good, thanks PG