My Dad has been surfing for around 40 years, and the magic board he loved and always talks about and never should have gotten rid of exc… is something I’ve been thinking about getting remade as close as possible as a surprise gift for him one year as like a Christmas/Birthday/Fathers day all in one (and maybe next year too with how much boards cost). I want to get it for him for summer since he is “too old” to surf past 3/2 weather anymore…so time to start thinking about it now. He tried to have it made by a local guy a few years back but it didn’t turn out so great.
I was hoping you smart fellas could give me some information on if this was a standard model of some sort or any information really…so here goes the bits and pieces of information I’ve collected over the years:
It was a Gordon and Smith, I think made in the 70s. It had a sort of fat/wide nose, but not round. It was a shortish board, I think in the upper 6 feet range, maybe even 7’0. The tail shape I’m not sure on. I know for sure that it had a bump/winger. The board he had made has a round tail on it, so this may be what was on the original. What he liked about it: He said you could get up a little further on the nose and it would fly, then you could take a step back and get on the pulled-in tail and do big turns.
I know thats not much information to go on, but any help would be appreciated, just trying to come up with something as close as possible to what he had. I once showed him a piture I found of old G&S boards and he pointed out one that looked like his, so I’m going to try and hunt that picture up.
This seems to be pretty close, but again single-fin. Did they make this type of stuff in a tri fin? Would this design work with 3? The thruster was invented in 1980? Either I have the board build-date wrong or it was a single fin. It definitely could have been made in the 80s, having trouble remembering that one. 80s maybe more likely…
“since he is “too old” to surf past 3/2 weather anymore…”
your pop needs a new wetsuit then…I’m 62, and surfed for 2.5 hours yesterday in 47 degree water in my 5/4/3…no need to let cold stop ya from getting a few…
your Pop’s ‘magic’ board most likely had a wide point forward outline with a flatter tail rocker, which tend to haul ass when you weight/slide forward and head on down the line…the WP pushed up creates a narrower tail, which hold in really well on big carves…sounds a lot like one of my ‘magic’ boards from back in the day, a 6’8 Chuck Vinson single wing pin single fin, full on rocket that could carve up a turkey…lot of ways to recreate your Pop’s ride with WP forward and reduced tail area…if you’re near the San Diego area, why not take a trip with your Dad to Birds Surf Shed, might well find a representation of his magic board hanging up on the wall among the vast collection…
Hey Ken seeing that picture really kicked off a little memory lane for me;
A friend had one he got second hand as a starter board I think 1976 because I remember borrowing it specifically. I was still recovering from a bad broken ankle (pins, screws, plates, etc.) But I was trying to surf my little 5'5" MCG Fish and not doing well because of the injury. He loaned me the board because we were starting to see the first pulse swell from Hurricane Belle. He was happy to stay on the beach!! I'm pretty sure it was a single (big ass fin) I remember it had some kind of fin system...it had little cover plates for the open channel in the box...remember those. The next couple of days were epic hurricane swell waves for Florida and I rode another G&S, big Hawaiian gun that I borrowed from another friend so I may be remembering the wrong fin set up. After that swell I stopped riding small fish boards for many years and opted for longer larger boards after that experience. Oh and I got grounded for a month when my folks found out I was surfing...heh heh...it was worth it!
Actually getting ready to relocate to Santa Cruz (was posted up in Half Moon Bay for 35 years). Our kids have settled down in the bay area, tribe of grandkids growing, so moving closer to family, warmer weather and water, and looking forward to those point/reef breaks in town and north of it.
This looks sort of similar to the one he had made, except lacking the bump in the tail. The one he had made definitely lacks the wide point forward like this has…which seems to be definitely what was on his magic board.
If the wide point wasn't forward of the center I would think the year is wrong. If the board performed as he described to you... seems that the wide point was definitely forward. Maybe that's why he was disappointed in the one he had made. If that element was missing the board would not have reminded him of what he experienced.
Could have been a custom based on the magic I suppose?? I don't remember seeing very many if any winged rounded pins during that time. Now 78-80 things were changing pretty rapidly in that direction, at least where I was on the East Coast. I wonder if that's why it's so hard to find...could have been a very few during that transition period?? I went looking for an MTB double winged rocket fish for my brother in-law a couple of years ago. I couldn't find a picture of it anywhere! I made him one from what I could remember of the boards at that time and he was really happy with it. It wasn't that I have a photographic memory or anything...it's that boards from certain era's have key features and design elements.
Find a shaper who loves re-creating classic boards and I bet they can nail it for you. Someone here might even try to draw it on a CAD program for you. I would but don't know how. I hope you figure it out, that would just be really cool!
"Took care of the wetsuit last year, I’m thinking it has a lot to do with
the pack a day and lifelong construction work. Wish we were in SD
area! East Coast not many places to come across like that… "
tough combo…hopefully he’s put down the cigs by now…if not, his life, his choice even though hard on family who care so much…good reason to get him on a board he is stoked on, will hopefully stoke him up to surf more, which is always a good thing for us elders…The Channel Islands MSF is a modernized wp forward single fin design worth considering for a template…
Yea, I think you are rightm the shaper did not make it quite how it was supposed to be, which is why he was not happy with it. It must have a wide point forward as you guys are saying. I’m not 100% that it had the round tail, but I am 100% on the bump… Some kind of wide point forward and bump… Seems like a weird combination and hard to find pics of! I’m thinking of finding a shaper that used to do G&S boards…hoping to get it right this time.
Yea, the cigs are a bad byproduct of being a construction worker it seems like. But no doubt surfing help combat the ill-effects, all the more reason to get him the board!
It’s a tough call whether or not to go with a modernized version of the board or stick to classic. I’d assume the modern performs better… and no doubt the classic isn’t quite as good as remembered… But it would be cool to get pretty close to the exact thing.