Hull Mythbusters #3

(Wayne Parkes)

"Boards with flat rocker and a displacement bottom resist pearling."

Confirmed!




Tim Lynch Followup ...

A couple of people have emailed and asked me about Tim Lynch and his boards. So, I thought I would elaborate...

As I implied in the previous post, Tim Lynch was -- from a hull rider's perspective -- the best low-railer surfer in the world outside of Nat Young and Michael Petersen. (Again, this is just my opinion.)

I was working at Gordon and Smith down in San Diego during the early 70's, and got to see Tim's boards and surfing first hand. If you have even a smidgen of appreciation for hull surfing, you wouldn't believe how good Tim was. He was a big guy -- with big feet -- and stood in the middle of his board and carved the whole thing over on it's rail like the bottom was completely round and the fin was a foot up. Except the board was dead flat and the fin was set back on the tail. WTF???

I took some 8mm movies of Tim surfing out at the Cliffs, and later showed them to a bunch of "up north" hull surfers. "WHO THE FUCK IS THAT???" everyone screamed in unison after about 15 seconds.


Tim often said that he loved the way Frye/Staples Eggs surfed, but couldn't get them to work himself. So...he wanted something that worked for him, but surfed along the lines of an egg.

John Holly was shaping at G&S at the time, and was developing a swallow tailed single fin with a fuller outline than most contemporary boards. This was at the height of the pulled tail, needle nose "Island Gun" phase...
 

The board John came up with -- inspired by the Lis Fish -- was eventually called the "Summer Fish" by G&S, and Tim took to it like a duck to water.

Here are a couple of John Holly Summer Fishes, from 1976, made under his Seagull label...


It actually makes sense that Tim would find his voice on a board derived from the Lis Fish. The Fish is probably the closest thing to hull surfing practiced on a flat bottom board... 
 
Jeff Ching

Steve Lis

...and the boards Tim rode came directly from the Fish, albeit with a single fin. 

I was so blown away with Tim's surfing that I spent a couple of years, off and on, fiddling with the type of boards he rode...trying to replicate what I had seen in the water. To no avail, I'm afraid...

As I recall, Tim used a solid glass Brewer template fin, set back near the tail. His boards were generally 6'10'' long, 21" wide, with a 16" nose and a 14" tail. I forget what the swallow width and depth was. The decks and bottoms were flat. Very "blocky." Maybe a bit of V in the back. When he rode them, they looked 6" to 8" shorter...in part because he was a big guy, in part because he would sink the entire board when he turned.

Tim only had moderate success as a mainstream contest surfer, and my guess is that, a) he was never that into it, and b) his lines were too powerful and drawn out to garner the attention of judges. Their loss was our gain!


Mr. John Holly, today, cutting out a board with that familiar nose curve...



-- Paul Gross

Hull Mythbusters #2 ...

(Tim Lynch)

"Only Nat Young and Michael Petersen could properly carve a down railer."

Busted!


--Paul Gross

Margo Godfrey and the Hansen Hull Legacy...

 

Looking at pro surfing these days -- men's or women's -- it's hard to imagine that a top tier surfer would ride a flat rocker, rolled bottomed hull...with the fin set over a foot up from the tail!

But that was the case back in 1968, when Margo Godfrey (Oberg) won the World Contest in Puerto Rico with a board, and riding style, that any hull surfer would appreciate...

 

Footage of Margo riding that board can be found at this link. Click on the video on the upper left.

She's riding her 20" wide Hansen hull at the the :26 second mark. (Not sure of the length.) All the trimming and turning is done from the middle of the board...very cool stuff.

Also, at the :40 second mark, you can see Reno with a fin-up mini gun!

Hansen didn't have an uber-progressive image, but they were building some really nice hulls back in the day.



Check out this transition era Hansen Pintail. The board is crude by today's standards, but the Cardiff crew understood small wave hull fin placement...




Most California builders didn't...



Rusty Miller carving on a Hansen hull...



And how about these bitchin' big wave hulls Mike Doyle and Rusty Miller rode at Sunset in 1969 !



Another forgotten memory is Gerry Lopez's involvement with Hansen around '69. He was building and riding S-Deck hulls sporting the Hansen label...




Here's Horacio De Seixas with a restored transition era Hansen gun...




Getting back to Margo's board...I don't know who shaped it, but Kurt Ledterman was in the bay when it was built, and directed a lot of the design's nuances. Kurt had genuine respect for women's surfing. He and Margo remained good friends for many years to come.

Kurt was a stout surfer, with enormous style and wave knowledge. He flourished on D fin longboards...and continued to ride them during the 10-plus years when they were completely out of fashion.

Sadly, we lost Kurt earlier this year. Obits here and here.

(This is Kurt in a bad mood...)

(Three guesses why Kurt's nickname was "Archie" down at The Shores!)



--- Paul Gross