More Classic Nomad Surfboards

Just thought I would show pics of these two Nomads I bought on Craigslist this weekend. I was stoked to find them in this condition. Nomad is and was a Florida Icon.My good friend Ron Heavysides shaped these board in the early 1970’s. I may have done the resin pins. I messed around in his factory a few times. Nomad is still in business after all of these years.

Pat Flecky, Sid , Tim Bessel, The Willis Brothers and even to some degree Bradshaw all cut thier teeth at Sunset Surfboards in Encinitas.  Ed Wright was the owner and head shaper Bill Shrobree was also there in the early 70's Ed and Bill most have been good teachers. 

Thanks for the info on Nomad.

 I do think there was another Nomad surfboards in San Diego. it was a short lived lable.  Dennis Murphy was involved doing glass work at that time.

Looks like the typical, ugly little twin fin from the early 70s. I mean, it’s so ugly an outline it’s kind of cool. The logo is very similar to artwork seen on Hobies from that period. Jim Evans or Bill Ogden?




Looks like a signature below right. Can you read it?

Howzit Sammy…yea it’s a little 5’4". Nice “S” deck though. I shaped a lot of these around 1969-71 era. Your comment is interesting about the logo. Seems to me that around that period you could have your company name put in to Existing artwork done by Ogden or someone like him. It was a silk screen company on the West Coast. You could get Tshirts…decals…board logos etc. Seem so me like they used to advertise in the mags.Does that ring a bell? You are an amazing surf historian.

   I went to California with Ron heavysides around 1970 and he may have gotten the logo done on that trip. He went out west every year to see Grubby Clark and find out what was going on in the industry. Sorry for the ramble. It’s just old history.


Sorry…I forgot. I will check out the logo Tomorrow and try read the signature. It’s at my workshop.

That yellow one is just beautiful, bet the red one would be way more fun in some small stuff though…

I found a Hobie ad from early '71.  For the PF IV twin fins. This pic is very small in the ad, but I think you’ll see the similarities in the shape, and logo.

my friend Mike in cocoa beach had/has a red pin-tail Nomad from that same period. that board was super hard to ride.


I have a 70’s MTB from the same time that I still ride. I recetly shipped up to Nova Scotia from Florida. Back in '99 I took it to Robert Strickland (RIP) and asked him if he could make me an updated version of it. he dug through his templates and pulled out one that seemed familiar. it lined up perfectly. He was pretty sure that he’d shaped my MTB back in the mid 70’s.

not sure why those pin tails were so popular in Florida considering how they need good waves. I reckon it’s no different than my 6’4" Quiet Fliet from '96. Damn thing was so narrow and rockered that I don’t think I ever rode a wave on it. traded it in for a Tommy Maus longboard and that was that.


I’ll dig up a photo of my MTB -

I have some great memories of Nomad boards from the early to mid 70s. Lots of my friends rode them. When I went to Mexico in 76, I ended up riding my travelling partner's 6'8'' triple-stringer diamond tail Nomad more than any of my boards. I also had a 7'6'' custom-shaped (I watched!) Greg Loehr from Fox in Melbourne Beach along on that trip, but that's another story...

I remember the Nomad 18" wide “spears”. I think Ron saw them in LaJolla.SId Madden was shaping them in the Reno Abillera mode. I  started shaping them with maxed out “S” deck rocker and Ron did the same. The notorius black trunk Ft. Lauderdale boys started riding them. Really cool to look at but hard to ride. I have a friend  who was a former Nomad Team Rider  that has a super cherry 6’6" example.

I looked closer at the logo on the Twin Fin and I think it’s signed by Ogden.  Hard to see right now. I may polish the board so I can see a bit better. THis has been a fun thread. I sent an email with pictures of the board to Ron but haven’t heard back.

Sid was recognized enough to have a blank made by Clark Foam.  Always thought that was an honor of sorts.

Sid Madden knew how to surf those calif gun style boards. He made a few boards for me in the early 70's when he was shaping at Sunset.  In the early 70's he was a dominate force in the water at Swamis.

Were nomads also made in San Diego? I seem to recall The Nomad logo being made in the same factory as Joint Effort Surfboards.  I do not recall Every one that worked there except Dennis Murphy.

Nomads were made in Ron Heavyside’s factory in Lantana, Florida. He also had a retail shop in Briney Breezes. The factory was pretty big and he had several dealers on the East Coast.They are still in business…now called Nomad Surf and Sport??. Ron still shapes a few. I think his son runs the store now. I think he just has a shaping room. Factory closed down years ago.

Madprofessor, I’d love to see that photo of your MTB. I grew up in Volusia county and they were everywhere! My brother in-law begged me for several years to make him a copy of the double wing rocket pin he had. Never could find a picture so I had to do it from what I could remember of the board.

Sidney Madden is one of the most underated and ignored by the masses shapers of all time history.  Had many close encounters with the man thru friends and a relative of his, but never met the man himself.  Cast an eye on and let a freind use my shed to glass a couple of Syd's shapes in Pismo once in the 80's.  Beautiful shapes.

yea…Sunset Surfboards was the deal for sure. Sid shaped clean boards and was the King of Swamis. I appeared out of nowhere from the east Coast looking for work in board factories. SId took me under his wing and opened up a lot of doors. I shaped a load of boards for Brummet and then went to Hawaii.

    Last time I saw Sid was in the early 70’s on the East Coast.he had been trying to get on the pro golf tour ( I think…memory is fuzzy from that era). Someone said he later went to work for the power company in San Diego and got hurt and retired. I also heard he was back shaping boards  again.

   Back to the Nomads…there was a shop here on Tybee Island GA that sold a LOT of Nomads in the 70’s. I have found 3 and am after another one as we speak. If I get it will post a pic. Long live Swaylocks. I still dig this place after all these years.

It was the ONLY longboard blank in the 70’s, it sucked, the nose was 3 " thick, the stock rocker flat, but was the only game in town, it took 45 minutes to thin out the front half

to which nomad label doe this one belong?

[img_assist|nid=1065243|title=nomad bonzer 7ft 19 3/4|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=33|height=100][img_assist|nid=1065244|title=logo nomad surf designs|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=85][img_assist|nid=1065245|title=bottom of nomad bonzer|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=44|height=100]

Jim’s right about the 9’3’’ blank it took forever, yet still way better that the BJ.  I remember in around 1972 Sid selling boards on the side of the road by the railroad tracks one weekend in Leucadia just north of Beacon’s; bet you would get arrested for that now. Peace and love ruled, and the only thing thicker than the kelp, was the smell of Acapulco Gold wafting through the northwesterlies.

Sid really pissed off Ed Wright when he shaped boards in the factory cut up sunset decals to make Sun Surfboard decals and did the bro deals on the side. Of course Pat Flecky and others were also shaping and selling out the back door. 

 I was living in a funky place right on vulcan Ave across the tracks from La Portal Ave  It was a short walk  passed close to Donald Takayama's  place on La Veta  to Stone Steps.  I might have to get in touch with Dennis Murphy He might recall the Nomads  Murphy was doing the glassing at the time. They were made in the early 70's in Sorrento Valley. I believe the first incarnation was Joint Effort Surfboards. I do not recall the name of the guy who was the owner of the factory what I do recall is he went back to school to become a Chiropractic Dr. I also think Gary McNabb was getting boards glassed there before he started Nectar in Solana Beach.