Nat Young's J-Bay Special ...


Sea Of Joy (1971) was a cryptic film, to say the least. Even today, the displacement hull cognoscenti have trouble separating the signal from the noise. Super short stubby hulls and early low railers share the lineup, with mixed results on both fronts.

But...the surfers seem willing to try new ideas without fear of failure. Along with some hull-ish surfing in this trailer, at the 1:31 mark there's a shot of Nat Young riding a bizarre down railed blunt at Jeffrey's Bay...

The yellow shape Young is riding is unique by any standard, in any era. Insanely narrow and parallel, with a full nose and what appears to be a soft squaretail of some kind. The board has a flat bottom, and resembles a waterski more than anything else.

Nat's feet are almost as long as the board is wide in the tail area!

He's probably the only person who could have ridden something that radical. It's as if he took one look at the wave at Jeffrey's, and decided to build a board totally committed to getting down the line.

Did Nat Young design the board? Did he build it? Was it a success? Who knows? I've never seen or heard of him riding it anywhere else.

Here's another Sea Of Joy trailer, also with some interesting hull surfing. There's a quick shot of Ted Spencer on a less radical waterski board at the 2:30 mark, followed by a different ride of Nat on that yellow board at 2:35...

2 comments:

tuskedbeast said...

Nat's board seems a bit like the inner section of George's edgeboard.

I'm appreciating your examination of the other experimental designs from this period of time, like the extreme hard edge boards from a few posts ago.
Speaking of which, interesting that hull boards and the kind of surfing they foster have invited so much participation, but as far as I know, noone has commissioned a "Mister X" edge board. Sometimes a board just "looks right", sometimes it looks....
(I wonder if there's any footage of those little hard rail boards anywhere?)

PG said...

I was wondering if anyone would pick up on the similarity between Nat's yellow waterski board and the center section of Greenough's edgeboards.

:)

I'll put together a posting on that subject in the near future.