2 is better than 1, eventually! In the early 70’s (the Twin fin mark) seemingly inspired by San Diego’s Steve Lis and his Fish design failed to stick in mainstream Australian board design despite the flirtation. In hindsight the parallel fin alignment and stubby plan shape were the wrong dynamic. BUT THEN the superstar talent of Mark Richards brought the design elements together while seeking more traction (maneuverability) in smaller waves. Gaining inspiration from Reno Abellira and then seeking expert tuition from the likes of Dick Brewer on plan shape the Twin Fin mark II was born to almost instant success. So much so that Mark won the next 4 World Championships (1979-1982) before his professional retirement, a simply amazing achievement from a man known as fiercely competitive, super talented while also humble and friendly!
1966-1970 Logs go from 10ft to 5ft stubby’s. Seeking improved performance and essentially following kneeboarder George Greenough’s high performance maneuvers back into the Curl every aspect of surfboard design was up for review and radical improvement. The weight, materials, fin/s, rails but most of all length and volume.
Timber turns to Polyurethane Foam 1956-1966 and that’s just the major change there’s also fin advancement, plan shapes, rail profiles, livery and even the decal material.
All timber >1900- 1940’s
As we turned the corner into the 1970’s we went longer again, sleek and fast largely between 6-7ft. In the early decade other than a brief flirt with Twin Fins (the first time which would later be refined and become a revelation) all boards were single fins again, had refined volume and rails with hard edges creating speed, speed, speed!
I call this the room of the year, sounds better than than the room of 69, or does it 🤔? Between the end of 1968 and start of 1970 experimentation was perhaps at its peak with boards reaching the turning point in length reduction coming from 10ft just years before to around 5ft in 1970. Bottoms, fin numbers and rails were all up for review.
- The plywood Malibu or Okanui/Okanohue was the end result of the American Surf Team arriving in Australia for the Melbourne Olympic Surf Carnival which was held at Torquay Victoria in 1956. (See our posts on the Balsa and Toothpick Surfboards) On their arrival the American team appeared on the beach…