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terry fitzgerald : designs in metric,  1977. 

Terry Fitzgerald :  Designs in Metric,  1977.
Terry Fitzgerald : Designs in Metric

Number 13, January-February 1977.

This design article is
unique in Mr. Fitzgerald's use of metric dimensions for his quiver and wave size; I have added imperial conversions (in brackets) where applicable.
It is without precedent, or antecedent, no other shaper or manufacturer using metric dimensions in print, including Terry Fitzgerald and Hot Buttered Surfboards, before the turn of the century.
However, the dimensions are sometimes jumbled, for example
my 267 cm is 11" at the nose and 252 mm at the tail.
And more confusingly, the 244 cm. (8 ft) - really it's about a 234 cm (7 ft 8").

In 1973, Fitzgerald wrote:

I've always been a concave addict (right back to an 8'9" that had a concave from nose to tail that I had custom built in 1967), so when the pinwings I was riding started to get stuck in the lip, I went back to an old trick off putting a concave in the pin behind the fin.
You still had rail line, but a vacuum when flat (almost a swallowtail effect) so going rail-to-rail was a damn sight easier.
The vees were always spiraled (rolled and curved), so changing the panels back to concave was an easy feed.

The photograph of the surf-ski rider at Sunset Beach (page 15) is possibly John 'Wheels' Williams or Mike Bennett, see: a history of the surf ski.
Page 33

Peter Simons Photo
Fitz Design

With my boards this year I have tried for a consolidation of my directions, particularly in my guns - few of them are pintails. In previous years I've had different plan-shapes as well as bottom lines.
I've removed the concaves from behind the fins in these guns to stabilise directions in chop - concaves behind v's and fins in small board are great for quick turns, but in guns security is the operative.

I've kept the concaves through the bellies and built my v's out of the concave and then spiralled the v out to flat behind the fin.
It's a relatively old line but proven and successful.
The whole deal is for quick rolled out direction changes, acceleration up the face and then long lip lines or full rail fades back to the bottom.

These lines are obviously on the face arcs, but, if I'm on the tail, pivots and stalls make things spontaneous and exciting. Oh yeah, all the boards have nose v's to open the lip for quick entry and to help shoulder cutbacks.
The lines of the guns are reduced and bent a little more to fit the small board's fin into.
Bottom lines become much more extreme as the boards get smaller.
In the screwdriver the concave is almost 19 mm (0.75") deep where as in the 267 cm its only 6.5 mm (0.25").
I'm still looking and experimenting - I miss the old swallow tail jabs you get with back-foot punches, but it's nice to control a rolling round pin through 180.

Board by board:
1.    267 cm. (8ft 9")This is the necessary Hawaiian "rhino-chaser" as in "big-gun".
It's extremely subtle in its lines and low volumed to keep low in the water and not break loose.
That's the last thing you want at 5 metres (16.5 ft) !
2.    250 cm. (8ft 2.5")This ones thicker than I need but is also softer in the rails.
To hold it down my belly concave is deeper.
It's an "on the water" board.
Goes very fast, is very loose and at 4 metres (13 ft) cooks.
3.    244 cm. (8 ft) Low volume again - really it's about a 234 cm (7 ft 8") but long in length not in lines.
At 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 metres (8 - 11.5 ft) and smooth water it's hot.
Bottom curve is back to subtlety again.
4.    228 cm. (7 ft 5") Bottom lines get heavier with this one but because of the constant curve and low tail area combined with a small wing it handles up to 4 metres.
The low hard rails combined with a softened belly lets it roll at 3.3 metres (11 ft) as well.
Probably the best board I've had for a while.
5.    204 cm. (6 ft 8") My Rocky/NN special.
Because of the double wings and roundpin it rolls up vertical so fast it gave me a fright the first few times.
Used to the swallow tail job I guess.
6.    193 cm. (6 ft 4") Screwdriver one of the easiest small wave trips I've ever been into.
Quick, loose and always take a dogger to Hawaii for the flat days just like shitty Bells or choppy Sydney.

Proportions are really important in a quiver of surfboards.
Basically for every 152 mm (6") in length I'm dropping nose and tail width by 13 mm (0.5") each.
So my 193 cm (6 ft 4") is 14" at the nose and 330 mm (13") at the tail, my 267 cm
(8ft 9") is 11" at the nose and 252 mm (10") at the tail.
All these boards are built for waves anywhere.
Length is only a derivative of wave size.
The 267 cm
(8ft 9") will work at Sunset or Long Reef Bombora, the 228 cm (7 ft 5") has already been to Uluwatu, Honolua Bay and even the ol'Narrabeen.
The 204 cm
(6 ft 8") is my everyday all rounder.
And that's the goal with this batch of shooters: all lines going my way in all the surface conditions a surf-nazi has to launch into to keep the head from bubbling.

Also in this Edition
Page 5

Surfabout 1976
Gerry Lopez, Rory Russell and Rabbit Batholomew share a Narrabeen mushburger.
Page 13
Ian Cairns, Haleiwa?  Photo: Baker/Brady
Page 14 
North Shore Pictorial Photos: Hoole/McCoy   

On any good day it's easy to see why Off The Wall on the
North Shore bears the nickname, Kodak Reef.
On this particular day, though, many of the top photographers
on Jeff Divine's verandah (overlooking Kodak Reef) kept
turning their attention to a surfer riding the rights off Pipeline,
just 100 yards up the beach.
"Who is that guy,'' most of them were saying, until someone
 in the know told then it was none other than visiting
New Zealand champion, Alan Byrne.
Page 15
Shaun Tomson 8ft x 19.5" Lightning Bolt Shaped by Tom Parrish

With the popularity of surf skiis in Australia being so high that
many breaks are "threatened" one place we can't forsee being
overtaken by skiis is Sunset Beach.
This guy was the only surf skier to make it out there this winter,
and although he shredded, we don't expect his performances
to encourage many others.

Number 13
January-February 1977.


Geoff Cater (2020) : Terry Fitzgerald : Designs in Metric, 1977.