Cartop Find #7

OK, there's cool, then there's really cool...

This is a Ron Stoner image from the late 60's, taken in Baja. Looks like a couple of transition era V's, with fins set well forward. Can't tell if they are glass-ons.

This would have been when the highway was freshly paved, I'd say. Don't recognize any of these guys, but this is a poor quality image, so it's hard to tell...

-- Paul Gross

Cartop Find #6

Displacement surfers have known it for decades...hulls on the roof of your car is a chick magnet!

Cartop Find #5 ...

What a great image...the transition within the Transition Era.

A couple of Deep V's, plus some nice roundpins that came next in the evolution.  All with glass-on flex fins.  Plus, the people seem cool as well! What an interesting time it was.

Not sure where this is. Looks like Victoria plates...

-- Paul Gross

Cartop Find #4 ...

Nice hulls...but maybe a bit too much tail rocker ???

-- Paul Gross

You Like A Pulled In Tail on Your Hull, Bro?


BK has already been there, done that...and he got the t-shirt!

-- Paul Gross



Back in the mid-70's, I was out at Cotton's Point on a big south swell riding one of George's old spoons. Corky Carroll was in the water -- surfing very well, as he had that spot totally wired -- and at one point paddled up to me and said, "I made a stand-up one of those things once."

I wasn't sure if I believed him, or even what he meant by "a stand-up one of those things."

Well, this morning, some 40 years later, I stumbled across these three photos. The Hobie stand up spoon is listed at 7'9'' x 20". It further said it was a one-off Corky tried, and that was the end of it.

So, you have to hand to the Cork...he wasn't afraid to try new things!


Followup From Roger Kelly...


"Hi Paul,

That board came up at 2011 Randy Rarick surf auction on Oahu. It was really unique. Dont remember what it went for.

It was in fine shape....could have been a restoration! not sure....with RR one never knows!


---Paul Gross

Cartop Find #3

Back in the late 60's, Huntington Beach had nothing on Oahu when it came to cool clusters of surf shops.

And wouldn't you know it? Even the Islands had their share of interest in displacement hulls back in '69 and '69!

-- Paul Gross

Evolution / Waves Of Change Followup ...

Here's some footage from Waves of Change that shows the wide tailed V Bottoms Mark Martinson and Bill Hamilton took to Europe in 1968...

You can see the tails drifting out in turns, and the general awkwardness of the V's. It also underscores how good those guys were...their boards were a handful to surf and they were still ripping!

Keith Paull's green round tail is noticeably more advanced.

The shot of Martinson at the 1:00 mark is clearly taken at a later date, when he was riding a more tuned in hull with a narrower tail.

Also, Mark trimming forward on his red V at 4:27 reveal his natural instinct to ride a more roundtail style of surfing. Beautiful stuff.

Here's the trailer to Evolution...

Much more consistent surfing by the Australians on their pulled in roundtails during that time frame.

-- Paul Gross

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!


-- Paul Gross

Cartop Find #2

I found this photo on someone's Santa Barbara surfing blog a while back. That's a Wilderness hull on the (matching) Aloha racks, during the heyday of Mike Cundith's displacement phase.  (c.1969)

You have to hand it to the Wilderness crew during that era...they didn't fudge it when it came to nose belly!

-- Paul Gross

More From Florian And His New Pig ...


Hi Paul,

The surf has been really bad, non existent here while the water is still around 74, even in Ventura!
Over a week ago I rode the pig with the finally finished fin at pv cove. Conditions again really marginal, barely breaking with no push or any kind of power. Hard to tell in waves like that, I definitely need to get it in better waves.

I would say it is the easiest to surf with that fin so far, it definitely works. This nice guy named Craig who surfs pv cove every day, he's 70 years old and rides frye gliders, commented on the beautiful board and the handmade fin, but argued that a fin that thick would create way to much drag. I tried to explain it to him to no avail.

I finally told him that Phil Edwards used a thickness to width ratio of 12.5% - while it didn't convince him it at least it silenced him!

No one seems to understand thick foils....


 The original fin, with the thickness built up to around 7/8" with bondo...

This is the new template... 


 This is the modified fin, almost finished. The rubber bands show the flat area behind the thickest part of the fin...

 Here's the finished fin ...

-- Paul Gross