Source Documents
mctavish, shaw & berry  : surfcraft, 1977. 

Craig Leggat : Rodney Ball Surf Design  , 1976.
Craig Leggat : Rodney Ball Surf Design

Number 65, February 1976.

Rodney Ball started manufacturing boards as Rodney Ball Surf Design in 1974.
From 1976 he manufactured Clear Sea Surfboards at 1623 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale, NSW. 2103.
An experienced snow skier,
Ball adapted some elements of snow-ski design into his surfboards.

For a Ski-tail boards, see below.

Also see:

Ski Tail Design by Terry Fitzgerald, crediting Rodney Ball:
Tracks, January 1976.
Ken Horton: "Ski-tail"

Surfing World
, Volume 26 Number 4, p
age 25. Early 1978.
Page 17
Rodney Ball talks to Craig Leggat.

Rod Ball is a surfer, boardbuilder from Manly.
He's 23 years old and has been shaping surfboards for 6 1/2 years.
He paid his dues early to manufacturers like Keyo and Nipper.
Rod's been shaping his own designs for 2 1/2 years now.
He's a competent skier and has incorporated his skiing experience into his Clear Sea surf design.

"I like boards that have a lot of feeling.
A while back I got my hands on one of Glen Richie's concaves and it fell good - really good.
I kept that board for a long while and thought about it a real lot.
Glen's designs have had a huge influence on me.
Well, I made one similar for myself.
That  was 2 years ago.

"Concaves are really fast surf boards.
The first few I made went really fast but they were very hard to turn.
So what I'm doing now is keeping the basic bottom shape but working more on the plan-shapes to get the board looser.
The speed was what first got me into concaves.
I couldn't believe how much faster I was going.
The deepest part of the concave is generally the widest point, and the widest point is generally 4-5" up from halfway.
One hangup about concaves is that they paddle badly.
It's just like a hydrofoil, if they are going slow then they sit low in the water.

If you've got a 1/2" concave then when you're paddling you're paddling on your middle piece not on your edges, so you are a 1/2" lower in the water than a corresponding flat bottomed board.
So when you're getting onto waves that's really working against you, but when you take the drop over the top the board just lifts and starts running on it's rails.
So they are bad to catch waves but I've found they're the quickest boards I've ever had to go down waves, like the entry is really clean once you take off.

"The fin's influenced a lot by Greenough.
Glen inspired me as a shaper whereas Greenough inspired me as a surfer.
If I wasn't surfing concaves I guess I'd be surfing hulls
The idea of flex in surfboards interested me so I got into using long really laid back fins.
I like to use the flex of the fin to offset the stiffness of the board.
I guess what I'm aiming at is a really fast board with no restrictions at all.

"My latest boards have really been influenced by my interest in skiing.
The ski tail was intended to complement the concave and to give me more slide, loosen up the tail of the board.
Skiing is just so fast, it makes surfing seem so slow, well I guess you know that sliding sensation of being able to slide your skis and when you want them to grab you make them grab.
It's something in surfboards I don't think a lot of people can really get, that ability to come through the water push your board and make it slide and when you want it to grab it grabs.
I wanted to be able to push the board at the bottom and hold it and then let it go and flex up into It."

"I like boards that have a lot of feeling."

Page 24                                                                                                          
Consumer Report : Wax and Legrope Survey

Photographs by Simon Chipper                                                                       Page 25

Rodney Ball
Surf Design
5 ft 7"

Shane Ski-tail 
6 ft 9"



Number 65
February 1976.


Geoff Cater (2020) : Craig Leggat : Rod Ball Designs, 1976.