woodward : design retrospective, 1968
trilogy plus one began as a chronology of Western
Two thousand miles from the hub in the summer of '66, the sun was shining on the fair city of Perth and the small waves were lapping Scarboro Beach.
I was out there tearing the place apart on my 10' 2" barge.
All 10' 2" of which I was determined to purchase after reading a certain hard cover surf book written by a certain Scotsman as told by a leading surf personality.
God only knows how many years that board set my surfing career back.
It had beautifully rounded rails that grooved into walls like runners on curtains.
Nat Young, fresh from the World Championships, on an entirely new track with his revolutionary equipment and ideas, held a one man show at Scarboro Beach and shook up the locals considerably.
Although the surf was a sloppy three feet, Young astounded most with his power turns and spider scratching.
However the over-riding feature of his performance was the control he exhibited in every aspect of his surfing.
Control in the turn, on the nose, in the white water.
Page 14Always control, and here he left the locals flat footed.
Young's riding was finesse and so it should have been.
The dedication, the purpose, practice and thought that had created a World Champion were evident here.
the big issue.
Boards were now for surfing and not paddling.
Boards 9' 5" by 2 1/2" !! with wafer thin rails that sliced into the wave face but did not groove.
Boards that were fast, hypersensitive in their response and gave ankle control from the nose.
In fact a revelation - a whole new experience.
SOFT CHINED RAILED
Revolutionary though it seemed at the time this was only the beginning.
Farrelly with his stringerless and softer chines produced a board that was different again from Young's prototype.
Different in its freedom on the water surface.
With its high flotation this board seemed to slip over the water whereas other boards would track-in and groove.
boards first arrived in the west they appeared ugly, and
the opposite of what was 'good surfing.'
Surfers were using the things like water floats and after years of 'pure trim' this concept was a little difficult to swallow.
Yet the months passed and again the results began to pour in.
Such radical improvements in performance by once mediocre surfers were unbelievable.
It seemed that the path to progress was change and remarkably enough it was always positive change.
but by no means final was the Australians returning from
Hawaii with their
vee-bottomed, adapted pin-tails.
Again it was unbelievable how such small modifications in the bottom contour and tail shape could give such fantastic bullet turns and subsequent acceleration; how the pin-tail could affect the flow from section to section; and how the board as a whole was still one beautiful unit capable of meeting all conditions and turning in such exciting performances.
pour in and it seems the new word is 'flex', who knows?
What is important is that all steps forward be assimilated by the surfer so that he may put more into his surfing, and thereby gain a great deal more in return.
is anybody's guess.
However, it is amazing to note the rapidity with which the good word has spread and even more amazing when one realises this has been achieved by the efforts of two or three individuals, who, through the medium of modern mass communications, have made a considerable dent in surfing history to date.
The full impact will be difficult to determine until the World Championships in 1968, and possibly later still.
Volume 1 Number 7