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 plans and specifications : nat's backhand, 1976

Nat's Backhand Board, 1976.
Young, Nat: Nat's Backhand Board.

Number 64, January 1976, page 33.
Photographs by Frank Pithers.
This is a picture of my board for going left or backhand.
It's five to seven years old and is in fact the same one I was riding on those lefts at the beginning of "Morning of the Earth".
I only use it for backhand for as you can see, it's suffered many scars, and in fact I will be making a new one, as I will be shaping at Bennetts
(Surfboards) in Brookvale all summer if any of you are interested in a new stick.

It's a known fact that most good waves go left in Sydney!
At least on the northside and especially in summer when the main swell is from the east.
(Photograph rotated)
My observations mainly apply to natural foots (left foot forward) because the right foot forward surfers seem to stand up differently on a board, putting them at advantage in respect to surfing backhand. (a highly questionable observation)

On your forhand (sic) you are able to follow your curves in both eye and movement.
Each turn on the wave face is anticipated because you can see ahead of you and respond to the wave's variables.
On your backhand you are in a totally different situation.
You don't have eyes in the back of your head so you can't see what the wave is going to do for sure, so you rely on instinct and knowledge.
Just cast your mind back to the last time you plummeted down the face and saw the forehand close out.
Now you can't see where you want to go so you have to blatantly break your track and hope that the wave doesn't do anything you have not predicted.

Most good average surfers can get the board laid up but it's then when they are on a definate (sic) course away from the curl that because they have too much rail in the water, at one time, they have little opportunity of getting back into the line of the wave.

Basically it's the fault of the surfboard because all the shapers subconsciously think of a board for surfing on the forehand, which is a different pressure.
You break your track a lot more surfing backhand and for that reason you can have a much wider tail.
Also you can handle a lot more fin area.
This board has two different fins, one with next to no area as I use on my forehand boards, and one with too much area that was cut down to the one at present.
There are a lot more subtle differences but nothing more I wish to point out here.
I will see you at Bennetts if you are interested.
Nat Young

1. The brief article is devoid of any technical information, more like advertising copy.
2. The contention "right foot forward surfers seem to stand up differently on a board, putting them at advantage in respect to surfing backhand." is very questionable.
The variation in stance and body dimensions between riders appears to be a major impediment to an objective analysis of a surfboard's performance.
3. The design featured asymmetrical down rails, enhanced rocker, a chamfered square tail and small, finely foiled Greenough derived fin.
4. Early Byron Bay models, as seen in Morning of the Earth, circa1971, were commonly glassed in grey/blue/white pigment laminates, see #260.
5. Later models by Bennett's Surfboards (Brookvale) and Nat Young Surf Design (Mona Vale) were more likely  decorated with spray colour and glassed clear.

Also see:
Terry Fitzgerald: Fanger-Ski Tail, 1976.

Nat Young with Pintail, Skydog and Backhand Square Tail, 1971.
Photograph : Alby Falzon  
Tracks, circa 1972.


January 1976
Number 64.

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Geoff Cater (2004-2019)  : : Nat Young Backhand, 1976.