Honolua Bay, Mid-60's

 
 
 
Nostalgia is usually a collection of selective memories...so it's easy to go off the rails looking at old images of Honolua Bay with 4 or 5 surfers in the water.

Then again, sometimes we're reminded that things may have indeed been cooler back in the day.

John Peck, as cool as it gets...





Stringerless Sunday

This is a stringerless Steve Lis fish, said to be a personal. 
5'2'' x 20.75'' x 2.5''

While technically not a displacement hull, fishes are a close cousin.

It's hard to spot stringerless Lis boards, as a lot of them were glassed with opaque earth tones...




Here's a couple that are indeed stringerless...


And Cher Pendarvis with what appears to be a stringerless fish in the early 70's...


Concave Rear Deck Rails


I just made that name up...but whatever you call it, it's a concept worth pursuing.

The first hull shaper I knew who tried this was Tony Staples, back in the mid-70's. He shaped a conventional hull, with a little extra thickness in the back 1/3 of the deck. Then he scooped out the deck along the rear rails, creating super thin, flexy rails with a sharp dome deck.

The above board is a Mandala 1 + 2 hull. I have no idea the dimensions, I just saw it the other day and wanted to share it.

Dale Velzy: Master Shaper, Master Of Irony

Dale Velzy's "Pig" shape was developed in the mid-50s. It was originally crafted in solid balsa and glass...

 

When boards weighed upwards of 50 pounds, the light/flicky ride quality of a board with the wide point back and a narrow nose was a quantum leap forward in terms of maneuverability.

28 pound foam longboards appeared a few years later. Quick turning became a function of light weight, rather than shape.  And noses began to widen...

 
 
Dewey Weber, tossing around lightweight, full nosed foamies.


During the transition era, shorter and lighter boards allowed the wide point to move forward -- and noses to fill out -- while still maintaining maneuverability. That trend was taken to the Nth degree by this Greenough-designed Keyo, built in 1968...


Apparently, Velzy never got the memo! He clashed with convention and pushed the pig concept to it's absolute limit.  Huntington Beach, 1969...
 

By the early 80's, maneuver-oriented surfboard designers finally embraced Velzy's pulled-in nose concept...


...and it's been mainstream shortboard thinking for over 35 years ...



Ironic Epilogue: How the hell did the no-nose pig design emanate from a guy with a schnoz the size of Cyrano de Bergerac ???
:)    :)    :)


Velo Fin, 2001


Jonny posted an Instagram shot of a Velo replica I made back in 2001. This is a build sequence of the fin...


75 layers of 6 0z. flat weave volan cloth. You can see the fin's final outline etched into the panel.



Three hours of grinding later, the foiled fin.



The fin glassed onto the spoon. 


 
 Finished board.

Early Media Rumblings

In the spring of 1968, before the shortboard had hit US shores with any force, American manufacturers were dipping their toes in the water with early offerings that were shorter than the norm.

Hobie broke the ice with the Corky Carroll Mini Model. It was mixed in with two long pintails (Corky Carroll and Gary Propper), and a couple of longboard signature models (Joyce Hoffman and Gary Propper) that now featured V in the tail...


Harbour continued to push their thin, lightweight Rapier longboard model...alongside a shorter V Bottom with the same name. (The V Bottom was anything but a stubby!)


Gordon and Smith went so far as to provide sizing charts tracking the projected decline of board lengths over the next year...


How long ago was that?  The heaviest imaginable surfer in the G&S paradigm was ... 185 pounds!

From Surf Sister And Jonny: Instagram



"Surf Sister and Jonny" sound like depression-era bank robbers from Malibu.

But, in reality, they're a couple of surfers anchoring an effort -- on behalf of Displacementia -- to take us into the 21st century in full trim...



That's right, we're now on Instagram... 

 Even the Rincon locals are stoked !!!

Queens Hot Curl Action

 Eugene Kaipiko, Queens. Mid-50s. Photo, Clarence Maki.

For all of our focus on fins...finless Hot Curl surfing may be the purest for of hull surfing there is!

Stringerless Sunday

 

Obviously, any board can beak in half. But this "before and after" sequence of Nat Young in Hawaii in 1967 reveals an often-reinforced truth...stringerless boards are more prone to breakage.

In the case of Nat's board, the structure of the deep V stiffened the back half to the point where it shifted the flex forward, resulting in the broken nose...


Mark Martinson on the North Shore, with a beautiful Harbour stringerless pintail. Same result...


Even in small So Cal surf, the fate of these lively beasts is often carved in foam before they hit the water. Sooner or later...


Someone once told me* that boards work best just before they break. If that's true, then stringerless boards just hasten the process. Are they worth the hassle? Yes...but you need to go into the relationship knowing that a nasty breakup is inevitable!


* (I don't remember if it was Tony Staples or KP, but I'm pretty sure it was a goofy foot.)