Aquatek mini by Bill Bailey

Heres an Aquatek mini made by Bill at his farm near Perranporth in around 1984. Bill as we all know was one of the forefathers of British surfing, joint creator of Bilbo , which he left in 1970 to follow his own path. He took a break from producing boards and worked as an aircraft engineer through the 70s before taking up shaping again in the early 80s.
Bill was a strong headed individual who liked to do things his way, which sometimes went against the flow of surfing trends. Because of this his boards are often a really interesting mix of different ages of board design. He liked to produce a board himself all the way through from blowing his own foam through to the final polish. This board measures 6 ft x 21 1/4 x 2 3/4, and has the unusual mix of the stringerless blank, 80s needle nose, early 70s singlefin ( Bilbo old stock ) and a wide round tail with soft rails. A bit of a retrospective hybrid ?
It looks like Bill got someone else in to do the spray on this one - colour dsign by Chris Pusey.
Bill was aware that board fashions of the day were often international and not best suited for British waves or the average British surfer, so he made boards with more volume and width and less bottom curve to make up for the British conditions. In today's board market where many shapers look back to retro templates and some short boards are hitting 3 inches of thickness , Bill's ideas seem to be proven.
Bill polishing a board next to his van. The mal and kneeboard were his personal boards. Thanks to Neil Watson for the photos, taken on Bill's farm in 1984.
Blowing foam
Bill enjoyed pistol shooting, and his privacy.

More Tarp Photos

Tomo and Jake getting double-shacked at Almond Reef.

James stretching to give the high five tube

Photos: Liz Root

Why I don’t teach surfing anymore…

I’ve seen the light. I’ve been sharing my passion with people for several years. Last Friday at Praa Sands I saw the fruits of my labours…
More than 100 people out on a Friday afternoon in September in waist high surf.

mellow wave

Tris fish at Sennen.There are some good old UK surf photos on the Mellowwave website with some unusual boards, take a look in the surf galleries.
Two Creamed Honey rocket fishes 1975

Adios Amigos

Dave and Nathan fly to Japan today!

Because Dave won't be in town, shop coverage might be a bit spotty at times.

In order to make up for the inconvenience, we're offering you 20% off online store sales, the entire duration of their trip.

So from today until October 9th, enter the promo code "JAPAN" to receive 20% off all your online store purchases.

Until then, sayonara!

OM and Circle One

As a busy photographer Mike Newman of Ocean Image finds himself in all sorts of places on shoots, and being in Cornwall he often comes into contact with bits of surfing history. Here's a couple from quite a few old boards he's seen recently, including mine. Here's one I'd be very happy to look after - a lovely Ocean Magic stinger single fin from around 1976, probably made in the early Redruth factory . Its either by Pete McAllum or its an early Nigel Semmens - not sure which. An early one either way, may have been leashless originally. Its owned by Mike's friend who has had it in the garage for years.
Nigel at Porthleven 1978
Mike spotted this mid 70s Circle One while on a shoot at a workshop in Pool. Really good condition and looks like its still in use. A nice looking board probably by Jeff Townsley.

Wood and tints

You just have to love the combination of hand foiled ply fins and resin tints. Thanks to the fish bringing back these two great skills and some art to surfboards.

Hidden Wood from France

A couple of French guys building Alaia's and having them decorated by some great local artists. A couple of them travelled through Australia in the last couple of years. Tristan worked at Classic Malibu at Noosa and Paul worked for Dan MacDonald here on the Gold Coast. It is a small world. A number of guys who have visited these shores recently have ended up in France and working together. Sergio Gomez worked with Roger Hall in New Zealand and now has his own set up in France.Great to see them working together as they are all very talented artists , shapers and surfers.

So if you would like to check them out :

Split Peaks

Here's a shot of Taylor and Gully splitting a peak at Doheny.

Photo: Jake Zylstra

Speaking of splitting peaks at Doheny, King Rat and Andy Nieblas finished 1st and 2nd respectively at the Dale Velzy Contest at Doho on Saturday.

Happy 15th Gully!!!

Today is Gulliver's 15th birthday. If you see him, offer him a high-five, and he'll probably give you back a turkey.

European Fish Fry 2010

Marco who was at the Alley Fish Fry this year has just sent me a link to this short piece of film of the first European Fish Fry in Italy.

" I'm stoked about how surfers and shapers answered to the callout and I'm really glad to be there. Many people from all around Europe (France, Spain, UK, Portugal) and also from USA and Japan. Great those Italians pro shapers or simple back yard builders who have brought their boards. Lots of good stuff on the green grass and we all enjoyed the full day with Great people. Chris Christenson, Rich Pavel, Robin Kegal, Rob, Casey, Mick and much more. Simply wonderful. And when the wind begun to blow hard we sit and had a big BBQ on the sheltered beach. What's better?!?!? ;-)
Surf was great on Sunday morning with chest to head high barrels at the Northern pier in Forte dei Marmi. That's my home spot.

Rich decides together with Michele of Ola Surfboards to hand shape a few board for selected customers and it is suppose to be a great deal for both. "

Great to see the support from Rich Pavel who is willing to travel the world and promote the fish. He has been down here for all 4 Alley Fish Fry's.It's guys like him who give there time and energy that make these things happen. He is a great guy and a legend shaper.Chris Christensen also came down to the first Alley Fish Fry

Paul Jensen class in Japan

Paul Jensen with Nobby who helped organise the course prior to Paul's arrival.Nobby has been to the two events here in Australia and met Paul at the first Wooden surfboard Day 2009.

Paul course comes with notes and a CD of information to take home.

Nobby sent me these shots with a few notes... "Paul held work shop in Japan from Sept 20 to 24 and he set out for Australia to hold next workshop yesterday.13 participants made own wooden surfboards and they will make more in own local area from local wood."

" Paul spread culture of modern wooden surfboards throughout Japan!!! I was very impressed Paul with the quality of his skill, knowledge and wisdom."

"In Japan, he was bedeviled by language barriers all the time but he was doggedly persistent and always polite for participants and me (sorry for that Paul…).
I look up to Paul as a teacher of wooden surfboards and a better way of life… "

A big thank you to Nobby and his friend for getting this all together and helping spread the skills needed to build wooden surfboards with Paul's course.I know from my own experience it is no small task pulling this all together and having all the gear and space required to make it happen. So my hat goes off to you Nobby. And thanks to Paul as well.