As well as being passionate about surfing and surf art, we also have a passion for vintage surfboards (ok, I say 'we', but it's only really one of us).
It all started back in the mid-90s, when I picked up an old Team Bilbo twin fin in a Cancer Research charity shop in Southampton for less than £5. I didn't realise at the time that it would lead me to spending all my money on vintage boards later in life! That Bilbo travelled to the South of France (the generally flat Mediterranean, sadly) for a number of years, where I learned the basics of surfing in 2-3 foot stormy wind chop, before returning back to the UK for a gentle restoration with CJ in Newquay.
My first ever surfboard, a now vintage 'Bilbo' team board. Pic taken prior to some major restoration work!
One of my favourite boards in my collection has to be a Creamed Honey single fin, shaped in North Devon back in the early-mid 1970s, numbered 133. I picked it up in Plymouth from someone who thought it was only 4-5 years old, understandable given that it looks like it's only been ridden a handful of times. The original owner had suffered a knee injury which had forced him to give up surfing, so he sold the board to a relative beginner, who then sold it on to me. Having been after a Creamed Honey for a while, it's fair to say I couldn't hand the money over quickly enough! It has a stunning red and blue resin swirl glass job with a glassed in wooden fin.
'Creamed Honey' resin swirl
I now have something like 25 vintage boards in my collection, and they all mean something different to me whether it's the artwork, shape, or the story of how I acquired each one. There have been many more that have slipped through my grasp via eBay auctions or slow responses to adverts online.
A cool old leash bridge on a 'Tris' single fin. This was one method for attaching your leash prior to the introduction of leash plugs!
We're always on the look out for vintage boards to add to the collection, so drop us a line if you have anything hiding in your shed or garage! You're looking for a board which has a glassed in fin, it may be quite yellowed, probably bigger and heavier than your average modern surfboard and perhaps a glassed on leash bridge like the one pictured above. If you think you've got something, give us a shout!
In the meantime, you can spot our love for all things vintage-surf in our 'Classics' collection of surf prints, which features two of the most iconic images from decades gone by and re-imagines them in our Single Fin style!