Had the funnest morning at Merewether last week…surfing my brains out for 3 hours with the hottest young surfers from Newcastle, who are making their impact on the world scene….Craig Anderson, Ryan Callinan, and Jesse Adam.
Tracks magazine is producing a story for an upcoming issue and our local, internationally recognised , red-hot photographer, Bosko, was commissioned to shoot the photos. Actually I think it was Boskos’ idea…he has been talking to me about it for some time.
The angle was everyone had to ride twin fins…and we ended up with about 10 boards on the beach…2 twins from Matt Hoy that he shaped himself and about 8 MR twins of varying vintage. A couple of originals from the 80’s, some 1980 Retro twin models, and some modern Super Twins which have a small stabiliser fin in the tail. Most of the boards were owned by my mate, and former employee, Mick Adam. Mick is a well-known local in the Newcastle area and still rips at the age of 54. My personal boards that I ride were too big for the young surfers.
The surf was great fun, about 4′ – 5′ with a light nor-east onshore wind. …surprisingly there was almost no-one else in the water, which is rare for a day at Merewether. We spent 3 hours surfing, with everyone changing amongst all the boards, while Bosko shot stills and Jay Grant shot film for Craig. Ryan was the most amped. While most of us were still talking on the sand, he had grabbed a board with no legrope, and was already in the water. On the 1st wave the boys were in hysterics…Ryan launched into a massive air…the board went one way, and he went the other!!!
Not surprisingly, everyone was a little tentative on their 1st few waves, as they are used to riding their much narrower thinner thrusters. It didn’t take long for them to get the feel of the twins, and they were all totally ripping. For normal people, going from a thruster to a twin fin can take hours to adapt, as you miss the positive feel of the back fin. The looseness of the twin fin takes time to adapt to and control, but these guys only needed 2 or 3 waves!!!
Even though a lot of the boards we rode were 30 years old, they are still totally relevant today. They went amazingly in the 80’s. Board design has moved ahead dramatically, but the waves haven’t changed and it was inspiring to see how modern pro’s could rip on a design that is part of surfing history.
This board was made some time between 1982 & 1986. It still has the deep-V bottom and all the Retro volume, but I had made the noses a little narrower than they had been in earlier years, and I was experimenting with removing the wings / flyers from the tail to make the tail a little narrower under the back foot and give the board a bit more holding power in bigger surf.
This board is my most popular Retro Twin Fin, of the 3 different Retro Twins I do. It is a copy of the board I won both the Stubbies and Bells events on. It was designed during the pinnacle of the twin fin years, and is my all-time favourite twin fin model. I made this board a few years ago for Mick. He sprayed the art of the shark on the bottom, and glassed it himself. For me I don’t know if it is good or bad karma to have the shark on the bottom!!! Dimensions are 5’10” x 20″ x 2 3/4″
This board would have to be the most unusual looking board I have ever seen…it is actually the front section of my 6’6″ x 19″ thruster and the back third of one of my twin fins. These pieces of broken boards had been laying around at the back of the shop, until Mick got the idea to join them together to make a new MR model called ‘Frankenstein’ !!! The weird thing is it apparently goes insane!!! Everyone who rides it flips out on how fast it is and how easy it is to turn!!! It still does my head in…I just tell them there is no way it can go any good!!! it defies all logic of surfboard design. Mick and Jesse are on the endless quest to have me turn it into a model!!!
I absolutely LOVE my Super Twin!!! It has a modern rocker, single to double concave bottom, twin fin set-up with a small stabiliser fin in the tail. It surfs between a twin fin and a thruster …a little looser feeling than a thruster, but due to the stabiliser fin, a little more hold and drive than a twin fin. I did the color design on the bottom using the very technical process of pouring 4 lines of paint on the foam and squeegeeing it off …it looks sick!!!
Thanks to Bosko for the inspiration and the action shots. Thanks to Mick for loaning the boards. Thanks to Craig, Ryan and Jesse for hanging out and surfing with an old bloke. It was great!!!!