In a nutshell...

Words and Pictures is exactly that. Words in the form of a story and Pictures that either back up the story or form the basis of the story.
I love old surfboards, preferably single fins from the late 60's and early 70's, so many of the stories are based around these.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sam knew what he was doing

On Wednesday morning, my brother and i met up for a surf early. we'd surfed on the Monday morning at Newcastle Beach in small waves with great shape and only a few people out. we couldn't believe that there were only about 5 people in the water on such a clean and beautiful morning when it was also the first official day of school holidays. We rode transition boards Monday morning with me on the 7'10 Dale and Trent riding a recent pick-up, a Sam Egan with a pulled in tail and nose at about 7'6. The Dale worked perfectly and the Egan was good although we both thought it could use some bigger walls.
Back to Wednesday morning... I had been watching a few breaks for a little while in the dark waiting for Trent to arrive. it looked quite small and i was bummed that i'd taken my longboard out of the car. when Trent arrived we decided to paddle out on the reef with our Egan transition boards. He was riding the same one as he rode on Monday and i had my purple Egan that is shown on a previous post. we couldn't help but comment on the boards as we got ready and walked down the beach. they are just such great shapes.
almost immediately after paddling out we started getting waves on the inside reef and they had some beautiful walls on them. the boards felt great just cruising through the bottom turn and gliding across the wall sometimes just running a trailing hand along the peeling lip of a section before leaning back on the tail to bring the board back around into the pocket after outrunning it.
gradually though, the waves started to pick up in size and we found ourselves sitting further and further out taking off on bigger and longer walls. it wasn't getting huge or anything but just really beautiful walls of a great size for the boards we were riding. again there seemed to only be a few people around given it was school holidays. we seemed to be getting wave after wave and were loving the times we reunited in the line-up to talk about the waves we had caught and the way the boards were handling them. it was just an incredible morning.
the wind was getting up, everyone in NSW is probably well aware of the winds we have had this week. but the waves were just holding up perfectly and walls we may not have made on a calm day were waiting just long enough for us to make the sections. being goofy-footers we generally prefer going left but some of the peaks were shifting wide from time to time and the rights would line up with a great long wall that was just so much fun to carve and glide on.
it was such an amazing feeling being out on the Egans with no ropes and getting heaps of waves. Sam Egan had the right idea with the shaping of these 2 boards...

the story only improves from there. we were so stoked from this experience that we spoke on the phone a couple of times during the day to revisit the experience and to check if we were both going to meet again the next morning (Thursday). each of us were full of zeal about the possibility of getting a repeat session on Thursday and we found ourselves in the carpark of the reef again that morning. it looked similar to the previous morning when we had been looking so we just suited up and got out there on the Egans again. straight away after entering the water we started getting waves. it was a little bigger than Wednesday and we were full of excitement after our first few waves.
we found that the wind, which was now stronger offshore again than Wednesday morning, was holding waves up on the take-off so we could take off quite late and get plenty of drive through the bottom turn. the Egan boards were in prime form. i can really speak mostly of the purple Egan alone as that is what i rode but Trent was getting some great rides and it was beautiful to watch him climb and fall from the back of the waves each time he went by. it was not a rare thing to get a wave from outside reef, almost at the Bucket, to the shorebreak and almost the sand.
the purple Egan felt as though it had been made for these waves. as the size increased a little and the waves had some slightly faster sections on them, it felt as though the board enjoyed being pushed that bit harder each time. it feels great to wheel it through a hard bottom turn after a fade from the take-off and then to bring it up into a high cutback and then to drop back into the bowl and shoot through the next section. sometimes you could hold back the bottom turn from a later section as the wall came up for a barrelling section and just glide through under the lip.
the whole time we surfed on Thursday morning, there were never more than 4 people in the water at a time, including us. all of whom had a pretty relaxed attitude and all of whom we either know or had seen in the water before a few times and spoken to. it was just a beautiful morning.

to sum it up, Trent and I have been just blown away by these 2 sessions which we needed to help us get over the blues we were experiencing after being away up north and getting some great long waves off the point breaks. we are back in love with our home.

Wednesday morning after we got out. Those are a couple of wider ones with the nice rights reeling off.

While i was waiting for Trent on Thursday morning...

Still waiting for Trent while he used the facilities over there...

Such a beautiful morning.

plenty of wind about

One of the 2 others that were out with us Thursday morning.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

time away

i've just been away with family and friends. i was able to surf some great point waves while away and although they were all rights with just a short and sneaky left, it was very enjoyable.
i surfed with Frank one morning and rode an old Egan longboard from about 1966. it does not have the original fin and there is this huge black one in its place that always draws a comment. one guy saw it the other day and called it the widowmaker. the Egan was so much fun to ride and Frank and i were having a ball trying to link the sections together and make some long rides that we usually could not even imagine.
Trent and Andrew also came up fo a few days and we all surfed a couple of afternoon sessions together.
one morning Trent and i went out at a long point break and took out the Dales. mine is already shown in a previous post and we had both loved this board for years so over the past couple of years Trent has searched for another and wound up picking up 4. one is 7ft, another is 7'6 and i think the other 2 are about 7'8. the 7'6 is great. it has  green resin tint and is the same double ended shape as mine just a little shorter. this is the one he rode with me a few mornings ago.
the waves were small but we were having a ball rising and falling and drawing them round trying to be in the right spot for the rebuilding wall at each new section. some of the best moments were getting consecutive waves and then walking up the beach to the point together ready to paddle out again.
now we are home and we are all a little sad to have to surf short waves, although the extra juice the waves around here produce is always welcome.
unfortunately we all spent the time we had available in the water rather than taking pictures so i have zero action shots to show. i also have zero board shots to show but will try and return later to add one of our Dales together...
spending time with our little family (wife and baby) in such beautiful surrounds was amazing too. i can't wait to do it all again.

These are a couple of Dales. Mine has the red fin. The other is not the green one mentioned but more of a tracker style 7'8 that Trent has.
it was great to spend time with family while we were away.
The roll in the bottom is very similar
The nose curves are very similar too

Thursday, May 19, 2011


When i was in my late teens and early 20's I used to cruise around garage sales chasing old boards. I didn't keep it up as it rarely bore much fruit for me. I know other people used to have success with this method but it hardly ever worked for me...
Anyway, one day when i was about 20 I asked some people at a garage sale if there were any old boards there and they said there weren't but another older lady overheard and said she had one. She said it was her grandson's and that he didn't use it and she'd sell it to me for $20. I was pretty stoked and arranged to meet her that afternoon.
Later that afternoon i arrived at her house and she showed me the board. To be honest i was a bit deflated when i saw it. I had been getting right into s-decks at the time and loved riding them. i was hoping for something like that but i bought it from her nonetheless. it also turned out i went to high school with her grandson...
this board has become an interesting part of our life. I have long joked about this board with my brother and our friends sarcastically speaking of how much we love and are attached to this board. despite all this, my wife and I had it standing in the corner of our sunroom for quite a while which was quite a prominent position.
It's a 6'8 Southernman and i don't know too much about it although on a trip south once i spoke to some guys at Southernman surfshop in Ulladulla and they claimed it had nothing to do with them. It has a set of flyers and almost a rainbow fin (only 2 colours).
i've only ridden it a couple of times and I didn't like it (but i guess i was riding s-decks predominantly back then) at the time. I wonder what conditions it would prefer???

a tail wound

i had this board on ebay in 2008. shortly after this very picture appeared on surfresearch website along with 3 other logo shots i had taken for boards i put on ebay (Pilgrim, Sam Egan by Neal Purchase and i forgot the other...)

it says 6'8 x 19" with the initials KM down near the tail

An interesting nose job...

Monday, May 16, 2011

sometimes i just can't help myself

The problem with picking up old boards is that they usually have injuries that need attention. this takes time and it can be really difficult to see a great shaped board just sitting in the shed awaiting repair when you know it will go off in the water.
in the second half of last year i picked up this board from a guy on the Central Coast. I was immediately stoked with the shape and design but the bottom was in really bad condition. it's an old Sam Egan from about 1969 and is about 7'10. it's a great transitional board - a bit of a double-ender but pulled in a bit gunnier. i have seen some incredible boards from Sam Egan over the years (being around the Newcastle area) and this is definitely one of them.
So, as the title suggests, i couldn't help myself. with a few open wounds and a bit of bubbling and delam, i paddled it out at Nobbys Reef one day. it took a little while to get a wave or two but eventually i found a few great lefts and realised straight away i had made a would i be able to keep off this board long enough to repair the damage now? it has the most beautiful and smooth take-off and just glides right through the sweetest bottom turns. once you are found out wide it feels so amazing just to lean back and feel it drawing right around in a big arc to the chasing foam.
i've had it out there twice now and each time has been so enjoyable. it doesn't have adequate provision for a legrope and suits bigger waves so there's usually a risk of some long swims but i don't know if i'll be able to keep this one dry for long...

classic logo

the damaged bottom

beautiful fin

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

preferential differences

everyone is different really. sometimes i like a board that my brother doesn't. sometimes he likes a board and i don't. I have several boards that i have picked up along the way that i don't like riding and therefore they don't get used. sometimes they don't receive the care and repair that they need either...

this post is to mention a few boards i have around that i don't use. these are the kind of boards i hang onto in case anyone is prepared to swap for something they have but don't like which i might like. i think you get my drift...

i'm hoping to make some more blog entries in the near future about each of these boards and where they came from. they are all available for swaps too if anyone is interested???

Southernman, Neil Marsh, Sky (Gary Timperley), McGrigor, No Name.

Friday, May 6, 2011

seedy green shorts

i have this old pair of bright green 70's style boardies - Platts Surfriders. they have a lovely gold stripe down the side of them and bright white velcro in the fly. this means that when the pants are tight the white velcro is highly visible. very flattering.
Andrew gave me these boardies years ago. i'm not sure why he had them, why he gave them to me, nor why i accepted them. either way, they are sporadically mentioned within our family and friends and we share a laugh.
one night when i was about 24 i decided i would shave my beard off. i have often enjoyed drawing out this process and keeping bits of facial hair for humour's sake. i was at my parents' house and left a dirty moustache with a soul patch or lip goatie or whatever you want to call it. i thought it looked a bit 70's so i grabbed the green boardies and an old Kevin Williams single for a quick photo to show my brother. 
Trent loved it.

would probably have looked better if i was actually outside...

Friday, April 15, 2011


My friend Andrew is a board magnet.
He seems to be constantly picking up classic boards. We have been friends for many years now and have shared and swapped some great boards. A few years ago i took a couple of pictures of him with some boards he had at the time. Some used to be mine and we swapped. There are also a couple that he doesn't have anymore as he gave them away, sold them or swapped them.
The deep red board is a classic. It's a Sea Rider and i borrowed it about 10 or 11 years ago. I remember getting some great waves on that board and really enjoying it. I have since picked up a Sea Rider of my own although i snapped the fin out of it about a year ago and haven't fixed it yet...

The little board with the white deck and yellow rails is a Joe Larkin Ski Free that was shaped by MP and is a great little 5'8" s-deck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I haven't had time to post in a while. now that i am posting i'm using someone else's work. i saw this a few years ago and loved it. it is such a cool little movie. the music matches pretty well too...
these are the sorts of stories i love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

i would have been bummed...

back in about 2004 or 2005 i picked up this yellow board pretty cheap in a recycling centre. it's a Nicol single fin i would say from about the mid 70's. it has a nice template with plenty of area left in the wide pintail. the deck was in pretty good condition although the bottom was a little browned with some decent damage. the fin is a little small considering the board is about 6'10 with plenty of foam in both width and thickness.
i had this board sitting around for quite a while. i took it to school in 2006 and had it hanging in my classroom and would often look at it and think of how it would ride. i always liked the outline of the board and after watching it for a long time in the classroom, i eventually decided to take it home and fix it so i could get it in the water.
it took quite a while to complete the repairs as there is always so many other things that need doing but i finally finished patching it up. again the board sat around as i kept going for boards i knew as reliable not wanting to waste a surf on an unknown board.
i watched that yellow board for a long time.
at one stage i decided that i would see if my friend Craig would be interested in a swap. he had snapped a couple of his old singles and seemed a bit down about it and i thought we might be able to get him back on some boards that suited his surfing. i looked at the yellow Nicol and thought he may have liked it and decided i'd swap it with him. i mentioned a swap to Craig and emailed him a few times but we didn't have time to catch up and he wasn't sure about it all.
one day my friend Andrew visited our house with his family for dinner. he was busting to get into the shed and look at some boards as there were some i had picked up that he hadn't seen yet. he had seen the yellow Nicol before but he asked if he could borrow it after i mentioned it was a potential swap. i said he could borrow it and he thought i should ride it before swapping it anyway.
after a few days i got a message from Andrew telling me he rode the board in some little waves and it was great. he said it trims beautifully, turns easily and paddles like a dream. he wanted to get it back to me so i could use it. i got the board back but it still took a few months to get it to the beach. there have been plenty of boards that Andrew and i felt differently about as we surf differently.
one afternoon after school i drove to the beach to surf with Frank, a long-time friend. there were some waves out at Nobbys Reef so we headed out not expecting too much. i took the yellow Nicol to see how it would feel and the waves turned out to be better than expected. 
the right hand break seemed to be fast but really good and after one good wave on my backhand i was amazed. the yellow board flew. it was so fast down the line and when i leant into a cutback from high on the wave it just drew itself right around to the foam and bounced back. i was raving to Frank about the board and then proceeded to get a few more great waves.
to close the story, the Nicol is now a trusted board and i am so glad i rode it before swapping it and that i have been able to hold onto it. i've already had some great sessions on it.
Andrew at the Cowrie Hole with the Nicol

After a quick swim to retrieve the board


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Slug

Before my friend Andrew moved to Bermagui in January 2002, he sold some of his old boards. I bought a few of them and I happened to be on an s-deck high at the time and was stoked to pick up an old red 5'7 McCoy s-deck that was pretty rough as far as condition went, but it rode beautifully.
I always loved the blue spot around the fin and the well balanced, double-ender template. although it's about 6 or 7 inches shorter than i am it rides really well and for a good period of time i rode it a lot.
I had some great sessions behind the home at Stocko on it when there was a good winter swell running some nice lefts. I had some solid backhand heavers in the harbour on it one Easter and it held on well. I remember riding it at Newcastle Beach and getting some good waves on it one day. Zorro dropped in on me on one of my last waves and i just zipped along behind him with a great perspective on what a fantastic surfer he is on his backhand. I was a little embarrassed by the whistling fin when he looked back probably thinking I was calling him or something.
I discovered a couple of years ago why I caught so many barrels on this board. It doesn't let you in very early and quite often when you take off you really just pull in under the lip. I remember one little hollow off the middle rock at Newcastle in about 2004 that i felt like i sat in for ages before it swallowed me.
My friend Russell swapped with me one day out at Stocko. He's a great surfer but he didn't like the little McCoy cause he thought it was too slow. I was having a ball on it that same session. He called out to me "Luke - this board's a slug!"
such a great board - i'll have to take it out again soon...

that's the blue spot in the bottom corner

great outline

not the best shots but that's the McCoy out at Treach

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Bistro and Grover

In 2002 I started studying teaching and quickly made a good friend in the course who i spent most of my time with at uni. His name was Cameron and he worked fitting trucks with new tyres outside of uni. He knew of my love for old surfboards although he didn't know much about surfboards himself at the time. 
One day he arrived at uni telling me he had picked up a couple of old boards for me. Naturally I was stoked. I wanted to know all about them but he could only say that one was missing a fin and the other was really long with a fin like a shark tooth. He said he found them at a truck depot or something on the Central Coast when he went there to fit new tyres on some trucks. There was a ramp or something going into the shed and they were both under the ramp. He asked if he could have them and the guy said they could.
Apparently they had been used as signs or something at some stage as one had "Pipeline Bistro" written on it and the other "Kahuna".
Cameron lived about 50mins drive from me so I trekked out there one night to pick up the boards and he, his wife Amy and I enjoyed a meal of Apricot Chicken whilst there.
After dinner we went out to the shed and I was blown away. One of the boards was an old longboard from the early to mid 60's which has had the nose modified on a little (maybe a snap that had been fixed) and an old fin that has had the back cut out a little (hence the "shark tooth" shape). The other board was an old 7'8" Grove transitional surfboard from about late '68 early '69. It had a yellow deck with orangy-red rails and bottom and was in fantastic condition apart from the missing fin.
I was stoked and couldn't thank Cameron enough. Shortly after I had a fin-box put into the Grove and started riding it regularly when the waves were small. The Pipeline Bistro, or Bistro for short, was fun to ride but hummed from the fin really loudly on waves and sometimes you could even feel the vibrations through the board.
The Bistro was often pronounced Beast-row mainly due to my friend Russell (mentioned in an earlier post) and his American accent.

Bistro, Gordon, Grove, me

My nephew Jacob after i pushed him into his first ever wave on the Bistro.

Bistro, Gordon, Grove, Trent (my brother)

riding the Bistro on some little ones in 04-05?