the best board i've owned was a new bonzer I custom ordered from a surf shop at the foot of Newport Ave. in ocean beach about April 1977. I went in to order the board and the shop attendant asked me what my weight and height was and he told me I would need a 6'8" board and I asked him "You think so?"and he replied "I know so." Turns out that he was knowledgable about bonzers and rode one himself. I've found it very rare for a person to be able to reccomend a board that would improve my surfing ability. People seem to reccomend boards that work good for them or that have positive feedback from team riders. They usually leave me out of the equation. This board improved my surfing. On a scale of 1-10, my surfing went from a 4 to a 6. Even some of the locals were starting to take notice. Anyway the board didn't last long. By the end of the summer, the board was thrashed from what I assume was a light glass job and maybe a light blank. Mike Eaton told me he made what they called disposable boards back in that time period. My friend also had a 6' 6" bonzer that he bought from Pacific Beach surf shop and it too was a great board. I continued riding different bonzers for about 5 years but none of the came close to that original bonzer, so I gave up on them and started riding tri fin eggs which I ride to this very day. My question is, What made those boards so special back then?
Bonzers are still really special boards today.
I have a couple I really like and I am going to try to reproduce the bottom on a board I am planning now. The boards I have are both 5 fin boards. The new one is going to be a three fin and have the long 10" runners.
thanks for the response. 1977 was a long time ago so there is probably a limited number of people who were involved with bonzers back then who can respond
Not that long ago…
I started shaping for Mike Eaton around 1980. The boards had very defined rockers and rail shapes. The outlines were wider, the thickness running thicker than most boards produced today. The “Bonzer” channels were much deeper than today’s.
thanks ace for the info regarding the '77 bonzer. mine was like you said wide and thick and had kind of soft down rails. could you pleases give me the approximate width, thickness rocker and channel depth for a 6' 8".it was the best board and summer Ive had in my 42 years of surfing
We made several different models. Each had varying dimensions. A good quesstimate would be 21" wide 14"-14 1/2" tail 3" thick. The channels were done with an “electric rolling pin” completely by eye. We used what I would describe as a 3 stage rocker. I still like the wider thicker rocker rail stuff. Have abandoned the super deep channels.