Flying Saucer sighting!!!

6′ 6″ by 21 1/4″ computer cut pre-shape for the Flying Saucer

I have spoken in earlier posts about it being a golden era in board design. There has never been a better time in history for the surfer or consumer to end up with a great board suited to their ability and local surf conditions. That said… there has also never been a more confusing time to buy the right board. Shapers all over the world are now offering such a wide range of choice in their models, usually with whacky names!!! In a lot of cases, the boards are very much the same, just with a different name. I have really tried hard to keep separation, and points of difference in my model range. On my website I break them down into Retro models, Modern Twins, Thrusters, Longboards, Fish and Guns. I am probably equally guilty of having too many models, but I pride myself on the fact that they all have genuine differences are address varying needs and conditions.

Anyway…here I go…a new model with a whacky name!!   The Flying Saucer has arrived!!!

6’6″ computerised pre-shape in finished form

I have always been fascinated with the debate as to whether flying saucers and aliens are real or not. I think it is a cool name, and Chris Totterman from Foam, has again come up with some amazing art for the decal.

Art by Chris Totterman / Foam… Twin fin Flying Saucer !!

This model was inspired by a board Geoff McCoy made for me in the early 70’s. During my teenage years, I rode Geoff’s boards, and spent my school holidays living with him in Sydney, surfing Narrabeen early and late, and watching him shape. The 1st board I got from Geoff was a 5’8″ single fin double -ender with a round nose and tail. For the era, it had a massive nose flip, and an S deck, which gave it the appearance of having a ‘camel hump’ in the centre of the deck. It also had a dead flat bottom with no tail rocker at all!!! I am not describing it in the most flattering terms, but at the time, it was the state-of-the-art in surfboard design. The plan-shape was a really beautiful constant curve.

5’11” by 20 1/4″ Pre-shape showing grooves from the cutter and nose tab

The memory of this outline has always been quite strong in my mind, and with the popularity of hybrid and alternate equipment today, strangely an outline such as this from the 70’s is now quite contemporary

I didn’t have a template that was anything like this outline. All my templates have pointy noses, even the  McCoy template that Geoff gave me when I first started shaping. After much experimentation, with my old templates from the 70’s, I managed to re-create something that I thought was reasonably close. To get the round nose and the round tail, I used some pieces of a round pin template, and then hand-joined the lines with a pencil. The outline I drew on the blank was actually quite rough …a lot of it ‘sketch style’.

Original shaping notes for the first Flying Saucer

I cleaned it up in the shaping process by eyeballing the curve. I shaped the original board to be computer mapped as a rounded square, so that I would have the option to finish the pre-cuts with a variety of tail shapes in the future. It is worth pointing out, that if I had shaped the original model as a round tail, then the pre-shape would not have had the area on the tail block for a custom order with a round square. The original board is shown finished in green spray at the end of the post.

Outline of the tail, drawn on with pencil to be cut out with a handsaw.

Finished shape in tail with my hand-drawn tail template

My mission was to marry this outline with more modern shortboard characteristics. I have used a low rocker with a single to double concave bottom. I have carried the thickness up into the nose tip, which combined with the fuller round nose, gives it great paddle power. The narrower tail combined with the double concave gives it superior responsiveness and aggressive turning characteristics.

Double bump wing round tail outline 5’11” by 20 1/4″ by 2 1/2″

A lot of people are trying to simplify these days. They don’t want to have both a ‘normal ‘ board and a fish. So in a way this is a ‘quiver killer’. The fuller nose gives it some fish-like characteristics for small surf and the narrower tail will enable you to sink it so that it works in a 5′ – 6′ wave.

Finished shape showing double wing round tail

Our standard tail is a round tail, but it is available as a double wing round tail, or a rounded square. Stock fin set-up is tri-fin, but we can do 5 sets of plugs, so you can ride it as a Quad or Tri. It would even work as a single fin.


Finished outline on the 5’11” showing constant clean curves.

The first finished ‘Saucer before it was machine mapped. 6’6″ by 21 1/2″ by 2 3/4″

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