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, January 26, 2013

Grove - affectionately known as Grover

In order to gain entry to the course i did at uni in my 20's, i was required to complete a pre-entry type course. During this course i made a great friend named Cameron who i would then be going on to study with for the next 4 years were we successful (we were by the way). He worked for a tyre company fitting tyres and would often go off-site to fit tyres to trucks.
After completing the pre-entry course we began our 4 year degree and it couldn't have begun any better. Cameron and i met up on our first day and it was somewhere in the first couple of weeks (i think) that he told me that he found a couple of old boards when he was out fitting truck tyres. He had asked about them and the guys gave them to him. He described one as a longboard with a big sharktooth-type fin and the other as a nice board that was missing the fin. Cameron told me that he was keeping them for me til i could come out to his place to pick them up (he travelled by train for an hour to get to Newcastle Uni).
From what i can remember it took a little while for me to get there for a great dinner of Apricot Chicken made by his lovely wife and when i laid eyes on the boards in the shed i was stoked. The longer board i'll talk about in a future post apart from saying that they were both used as signs once. The big blue early 60's longboard had "Pipeline Bistro" spraypainted on the bottom and the other board (the subject of this post) had "Kahuna" spraypainted on the deck with black spray paint.
The shorter board turned out to be 7'8" in a classic '68-'69 style. My brother and i had already developed a great interest in transition boards and this was a cracker. It was missing the glassed-on fin but apart from that it was in amazing condition with a beautiful yellow colour to the deck and a bright orangey-red bottom and rails. The label is Grove from Brookvale in Sydney and it had a great roll in the bottom with a full nose outline drawing back to a nice pin.
I wound up deciding on having a box put in a month or so later and i still remember some of the early surfs on it for me. I had a great session on it in small Crescent Head during that winter with only a few of us out.
Just recently, new year's eve i think, had a great session on it at Nobbys Reef when we had a solid S swell which surprised everyone in the water i think. I hadn't realised how much swell there was until already out there and i had started thinking i should have ridden a different board when i lost it on my first steeper take-off and had to swim halfway in for it. By the end of the second wave i caught i had no regrets on board selection. It flows so smoothly and was so easy to draw great lines on. i had such a good time riding this board.
Grove holds a special place in our heart here and every time i ride it or think about it i remember Cameron and how grateful i am for a gift that was much more than he probably realised. 

After having this board for over 10 years, i only recently bothered to remove all of the "Kahuna paint".
After riding it last week.

This board is really flat and paddles very well. Nice roll in the bottom too.

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...