Some of the treasures we’ve unearthed as we start to clean out the storage buildings behind the shop are these old blanks. So far I have found Burfords, Dions, Surfblanks and Clark blanks… all from the 70’s.
When I dragged them out of the garage they were filthy…covered with more than 30 years of dirt… but surprisingly after a quick scrub with water. They are old looking but still in immaculate condition under the skin. Once I cut the skin off with the planer they are still pristine white.
The Clark blanks were brought back as personal luggage on trips to Hawaii… can’t imagine the airlines letting me do that anymore!!
I was shaping all my own boards for Hawaii from 1978 on and we didn’t have the blanks in Australia to make good guns for Hawaii in those days. I would always bring back a few extra, so that’s how they came to be stored. They are like gold now that Clark Blanks is no longer operating.
I also found lots of old templates, and I am totally inspired to marry the old templates with the old blanks and make a collection of one-off Retro boards from the appropriate eras.
The most noticeable thing about these old blanks is that they are really just blocks of foam with a vaguely surfboard shape..the nose and tails are as thick as the centres.. incredibly different to the current generation of close tolerance blanks, which are very close to a finished surfboard.
Darren Burford did an experiment once where he glassed one of their blanks unshaped, and it went great!!! Certainly couldn’t do that with these old ones… there will be bucketloads of foam on the floor when I shape these blanks.