Two Early California V Bottoms ...


Here are two V bottoms built in California sometime after the Windansea Surf Club got back from their trip to Australia in 1967...a trip which was famously documented in the film The Fantastic Plastic Machine.

The top board is a G&S shaped by Skip Frye. It reveals a high level of understanding and sophistication. Not overly radical, all the design elements fit together, hand-in-glove...a signature of Frye's work going back to the mid-60's. Obviously, the board's been refurbished with a contemporary fin box.

Below is the deep V by Jacobs. Mike Purpus probably verbalized what he had seen in Australia, and a production shaper manifested it in foam. 

While some of it rings true, it's not nearly as refined as the Frye. This isn't a knock on Purpus...he wasn't a shaper.  The board is a product of a creative process that was as embryonic as the board. (Interjecting a concave nose with a deep V is, to say the least, a flight of fancy!)

That said, the clear layup and minimalist logo are a nice touch...


Bobby Cloutier And The Island Shortboard Revolution ...

 Greg Noll, Eddie Aikau and Bobby Cloutier, Waimea

Bobby at Sunset. Nice track!

 Nat, Bobby, Gary Chapman and BK

 Bobby and Felipe Pomar

 Bobby today, visiting Malibu Shirts in Haleiwa

Charlie Galanto and a first-gen Hawaiian V Bottom

"In late 1967, this board was devised by Charlie with help from close friend and surfing partner Felipe Pomar after seeing Bob McTavish's board at the Duke Invitational.  Charlie applied his own interpretation and within days he put shortboards in production. Charlie, Felipe, and Bobby Cloutier rode them on the North Shore and soon thereafter moved onto miniguns for use in big surf."

That was the caption that accompanied the above shot of Charlie Galanto and his McTavish-inspired shortboard design. Bobby gets a passing mention.

1967 was the year McTavish rode Sunset on a 8'6'' x 23" wide, stringerless V Bottom. When Greenough got back to California from that trip, he exclaimed, "Bobby Cloutier was the only Hawaiian who showed any interest in my spoon or the deep V's!"

So, it's entirely possible that Bobby Cloutier's enthusiasm helped drive the first days of the shortboard in Hawaii.

Of course, when Galanto built his early V's, the Hawaiian minigun was also in speculating, "Who did what, and when?" is moot. But let's give credit where credit is due: Bobby Cloutier was an unsung player in the process.

45 Years Later...

A new Australian first class postage stamp was issued on February 12th, 2013...featuring a transition era bottom turn!

Buddy Boy Kaohe, Back In the Day ...

 Buddy Boy at Pupukea...from the very first issue of Surfer Magazine!

Surfing Maalaea in 1968 on a good looking transition hull.

With Dick Brewer a few years later.

Stringerless Sunday #2 ...


A Shane V bottom from 1968. 7'10'' x 23'' x 3'' .

At first glance, it's just another transition era shape. But upon closer inspection, it reflects a mix of embryonic shortboard extremes brought into balance.

In other words, it'd be a good riding board today!

George Is George ...


...and that's that!