Midget, 1969

We don't think of Midget Farrelly as a risk taker. In fact, it's easy to conclude that he was conservative to a fault.

Check out this photo...

It's the North Shore, and there's plenty of swell. Now look at that fin. It's small. It's upright. And it's set well forward. I don't care how narrow that board is, this set-up is pure rail control!

Transition Within The Transition

Somewhere around 1968 or '69, the super-wide double ender V-Bottoms that Lynch was riding gave way to more pulled in outlines, along with dropped rails in the back. The film Evolution documents much of his progress, although the message is lost in Witzig's fuzzy narrative. But if you study the film, it's all there.

Subtlety: A Hull Fundamental

One of the many drawbacks of hulls and hull surfing -- at least in terms of the mass surf market -- is the subtlety in its DNA.

To the untrained eye, both these bottoms look round. But to anyone who's inclined to really look, it's obvious that the top board features a blended tri-plane, while the bottom board is truly "round."

That same distinction applies to how they would feel in the water. An uninitiated rider couldn't tell the difference, but the aficionado certainly would.

Of course, neither bottom shape is "right," they're just two different branches on the same tree of design.

Two Liddles and a Greenough

I think this shot was take in Ventura in 2006.

The two Liddle roundtails were new at the time

The Greenough Spoon was one of a batch of about 8 that I made in 2001. Most of them had the "official" Greenough color work...which is just taped off spray paint. 


But a couple of them were left clear, and you can see all the work that went into George's design. Well over 100 hours, and that's if you knew what you were doing!


 The fin alone was a two day project...


I don't believe that anyone build hulls that were truer to George's vision than Liddle did. Greg's boards weren't "copies" of George's boards by any means. They were carefully engineered to translate the example that George gave us in the water into a standup form. There were a number of shapers who took a crack at it, but, in my opinion, Greg nailed it.

From Florian

Hi Paul and Spence,

Just wanted to tell you how much I love the new 8'8'' Squash Nose V.

I rode it so far a handful of times in small 2-3+ surf. It paddles and catches waves like a much longer board. All in all it is a really easy surfboard, much more friendly than the deep vee.

I rode it with three different fins so far. The 9.75 wilderness was steering the board too much so I put in the 10’ velzy fin with a narrower base. This was a slight improvement but the fin was still too dominant. The 9.5 phd fin (pictured on the right) seemed the best choice, the fin disappeared while riding yet still having enough drive. I ride it 11” up.

All in all a super fun small wave board, kind of like riding a scooter, it is so easy and comfortable.

And it does bank over pretty easy, maybe the squash nose really helps!


The Duke, 1967

This is a great shot taken by Tim McCullough at The Duke Invitational Contest in 1967.

This lineup of surfers is remarkably diverse...

From Left to right: Fred Hemmings, unidentified (probably George Downing...who else would get Dora's attention?), Mickey Dora, Paul Strauch, Eddie Aikau, Ricky Grigg, Corky Carroll, Jock Sutherland, with Mike Doyle waxing up in the front. These were the finalists. Bob McTavish, the contestant of note from our perspective, had been eliminated earlier...but only after changing surfing forever in the process.

In the face of today's totally homogenized contest rosters, this is amazing. (Any pic with Dora and Corky in the same place at the same time is amazing!)