Norfleet-Surfers Union

This guy bought by a 5’11" 80’s style short board and ask me if I could get some information about this board. The board has no signature or shaper information on it. It does have a big “Norfleet” logo along with logos that say Surfers Union. On the bottom is a Logo with says “Special Edition SU 85 Turbo” down the stringer is a logo that says "933 RT Turbo. The cool thing about this board is the use of single to double concave and the bent turbo style glassed on fins. It has a thumb tail with two sets on wings one forward and one aft of the front fins. O.K. Chip I know you want a picture, which would be nice, but I didn’t have my camera with me…jim

Hey Tuna

You can’t post stuff like this without a camera…

It’s just not fair on Chip…

At least draw a picture and scan it!!!

Surfers Union was a shop in Lavallette NJ during the '70s and '80s. This board sounds very similar to one that I have. I’ll check it out when I have time to dig it out. How it got to your neck of the woods is anyones guess.

Come to think of it, they also had a shop somewhere in Florida in the '80s.

I checked the one that I have in storage. Mine says 944 turbo RT. It also has the special edition 85 lam, and it’s a quad with the curved fins. Thinking back now Surfers Union was first opened in Lavallette around 1970-1971 by Dennis Doyle. Dennis went to college in California at the time and I believe he won the U S championships in Huntington around 1970. He later sold the shop to Peter Poe sometime in the mid '70s. It was Poe that had the two shops and had the boards made.

P Poe owned a Porche, thats where idea for the 944 933 turbo ect. names came from. The boards where most likely built at the Channin glass shop for SU in the early to mid 80’s. Probably shaped by Rick Hamon of Rusty fame. If there is color on them theres a good chance I sprayed them. The “turbo” fins are bowed fins that where foiled from fin sheets that where laid up on cylindrical surfaces to create the curve. They where made at the Fins Unlimited shop next door to Channin.

Hey guys regarding Surfers Union and Peter Poe. Peter bought the small store from Dennis Doyles father Al. They owned the store for 3 years before Peter bought it. After about 5 years Peter opened the 5000sqft. store across the street and which set the bar for the large surf shop concept. He diversified into more boards, clothing, waterski equipment, scuba, tennis.During the winter he added snow ski equipment and ski appareal. Gary Cimchowski managed the store for about 12 years before they parted company because Peter wanted to close the store during the winter and Gary did not want to buy the business. The 911, 933 and 944 Turbo designs were inspired by Poe's Porche. They were made at Channins. and shaped by Rick Hamon and Jim Hovdy. the spray jobs where mostly done by Sam Cody.. I hope this may clear up any confusion on these matters. Respectfully, Yours in Surfing 

Peter J. Poe

The SU Kid 

Sam wasn’t at Channin during that time (early to mid 80’s), he was working at G&S. He was at G&S till the early 90’s. He didn’t work again at Channin till 2002, when I left to go work for Stewart. Bill Minard shaped the first few of the “Porsche” boards, but left Channin shortly there after over pay issues. Even though Tony was charging for extras like wings, swallows, and channel bottoms to the customer, Tony didn’t feel that the shaper should get paid for doing them. That’s when Rick got the job. It didn’t take long for Rick to be paid for the extras.


Yes, your 100% correct, Bill Minard did shape the boards. Must have been a senior moment, of a brain cell that was lost in the 80's. Thanks for keeping my facts correct.

Peter J. Poe

If I remember correctly, we built the Porsche boards for 3 or 4 years. Tony said that you had closed the New Jersey store and had moved to Florida.

Sam now works for Bing/Calvani in the former Channin factory. It’s good to know that some of us old guys are still doing it.

Here’s a entry on Bings blog on Sam:  Scroll down a bit on the page to see it.


I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage, your bio does not give your name, whom do I have the pleasure of blogging with? Yes, my wife and I have lived in Florida since 1983, then move her full-time 16 years ago. I spoke with Tony last year and try to keep intouch with him. I have spoken to Sam's wife Karen a few weeks ago on Skype. As you might know Sam is computer challenged, so I'm wanting to talk with him on the phone. I spoke with Balsa Bill Yerkes the other day and we talk for about an hour about the GOOD old days. Tell me more about yourself.



Pete…here’s you and Tony in a Body Glove ad from 1973.

Last time I saw Sam was at Sacred Craft last fall in San Diego. He was kinda between jobs. Channin had closed it’s doors and Bing hadn’t yet taken over the facility. He was hopeful that he would be hired on by Bing, which eventually did happen.

I recently heard that Bing’s shop has been really busy with lot’s of orders. That’s a good thing since the industry has been in a long slump because of the recession.

As far as myself, I’ve been in the industry since 1978. I started at Surfings New Image as a polisher, left to go to art school for a while, started painting boards at SNI in 1980 and got hired at Channin in 1982. I worked at Channin 'till the beginning of 2002. During that time I also worked at West Coast Glassing/ Laminating, Pacific Sailboard Works, Pacific Surf Glass. I’ve been working for Stewart since 2002.

I don’t feel comfortable posting my real name in a public forum. If you want to know that, PM me. 

That picture SammyA posted of you and Tony, as it’s obvious to us, that’s not Tony Channin. Who is that?

Here’s a relatively recent photo of Mr. Channin from Tom Takaos Cadamaran site:

That’s Tony Giordano in the ad.

i still have a half dozen SU boards i ride to this day, my father was friends with Pete and still says his boards were the best hes ever ridden and i agree as well. along with his boards were a few robin prodonavitch and a gary proper. i remember Pete would always send me home with bags and bags of stickers when i was younger.

Otter, sounds like I knew your Dad well back in the day.. I would love to know who he was. If you don't want to say in this forum, email me at

Thanks for the kind comments.

Pete, isn’t it ironic that you are now into realestate and your old shop is now a realty office.  It seems that Lavallette just can’t support more surf shops.  Once upon a time there were three or four shops within a mile, and now just one or two.

Atomized-----Thanks for that picture and the link.  Hope he is enjoying himself in retirement.   An icon like Clark, Velzy, Yater etc. etc.   In fact;  all those "coke bottle" tint Yaters back there in the rack.  Thanks for sharing guys.