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|