Surf Museum

SHANE STRINGERLESS V-BOTTOM c. 1967—A BRIEF HISTORY

By December 19, 2017 No Comments

The V Bottom is a Convex surfboard bottom design that bisects the rear and/or middle area of the board into two longitudinal panels, popularized by influential Australian board-maker Bob McTavish in 1967.

While others like Midget Farrelly in ‘66 and even Hawaiians Fran Heath and Wally Froiseth applied the principle to the Hot Curl timber Boards in the ‘40’s, it was McTavish who took an aggressive approach to reducing board length, chasing his good friend George Greenough on his Velo spoon back into the Curl. While seeking the balance of speed and maneuverability he was cutting off a foot’ at a time from the length, foiled the fins and aggressively styled the bottoms. It’s was argued the Vee makes turning easier, as the board wants to lean over on one panel or the other. Flat- or concave-bottom boards, however, were later proven faster.

While the vee itself is a design feature, the “vee-bottom board” in surfing vernacular typically refers to the design McTavish came up within 1967: an 8ft (approx) wide-backed, thick-tailed “plastic machine” that opened up the late-’60s shortboard revolution; of which we have an original in The Boarding Office Mooloolaba.

Pictured here is a Shane Surfboards take on the innovation which is on display at The Boarding Office Club Hotel – Nambour, (if only you could feel the bottom contour) which in itself is defined as a Stubby model being just 6’6ft in length so taking additional length off the standard shape for its year of production, 1967 featuring timely, Hippy logos and yet minimalist colour.

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