Old Pig Identification - Dual Curved Redwood Stringers

I acquired an old 9’2" pig in really rough shape. It has double 3/4" curved balsa stringers that are joined at the nose and tail and are 4" apart at the middle. I’ve never seen dual curved stringers like this. The board was painted at some point and then coated with resin which was peeiing off.  The fin is missing and the nose block is rotted off.  I’m guessing it’s a late 50’s/early 60’s board. There is a Surfboards by Phil sticker under some resin but on top of the paint so I think that was added well after it was made.  Phil Sauers provided boards for many of the 60’s surf movies. I sanded off most of the paint off and am thinking of making it water tight and just seeing how one of these old heavy pigs ride. Any ideas or comments?     Thanks, Tom

Cool! I recently bought a couple beat up / damaged old 60s pigs (not as bad as yours) & I’m determined to clean them up & get them water worthy & ride a few waves, so I’m in favor! 

Surfboards by Phil were more or less prop boards for the series of gidget/ beach blanket bingo movies back in the day…

Phil Sauers was pretty clever in marketing ideas. He swung deals to have his boards used as props on TV and in movies.

In fact, when they needed more boards than Phil could supply he provided stickers with his logo on them to cover the logos of any boards other than his own. So some of the boards you see onscreen have a Phil logo, but they aren’t one of his.

The curved stringers tell me this is not a Phil at all. I doubt he ever got that elaborate with anything he produced. His boards were fairly plain and generic. Many may have been popouts. Never got a definitive answer on that.

Sammy, I think you hit the nail on the head. I did more sanding and the Phil Logo was on top of paint and under a layer of resin. The paint looked like professional auto paint with grey primer and Phil was also a hot rod guy. Under the paint was lots of patched dings and very heavy glass.  The curved stringers are also redwood not balsa. 

Looks like Phil  took an old beater, put a nice car paint job on, slapped his sticker on it and sent it to the movie lot. I’m tempeted to strip the glass off the see how they made the blank. Maybe the stringers were set in the mold and the foam was poured into the 3 cavities?

Impossible. There is no way to keep stringers in place inside a mold. The liquid foam mix would make them shift around as it expanded and hardened.

The blank was probably cut using a guide to make the curves, then the stringers were glued in.

Much the same as a lot of other pop outs got straight ‘stringers’, typically just thin wood bands shallowly inletted (router cut with a guide) into the surface… Why do it the hard way when the easy way is so easy. 


Following up on Doc’s comment;  Are three of those pics of the deck and one of the bottom?  Because inlaid or routed stringers were usually done on the deck.  Ventura Plastics did the best job on “inlaid” stringer.  Greg Noll and Bing did the best job on cut thru the board stringers.  Easy to lay out and cut.  Hard to assemble and glue up.

Yes, the one photo of the bottom shows the 2 full depth stringers on the nose where the nose block broke or rotted off. Each one is about 3/4" wide and join at the tail and have about 4 1/2" of foam between them at the wide point. I’m tempted to strip the glass off and see if the blank is usable.

Okay, a suggestion.

Short form Oh gawd no

Long form- resist that temptation. It’s good for you, resisting temptation,  it builds character.

You will have noticed that the foam in between the stringers is a different, darker brown under the glass? That’s where water made its way up from the holes/crunches/destruction nose and tail and that foam has rotted for all intents and purposes. It has roughly the strength of  one of those utterly flavorless puffed rice cakes you see when somebody turns vegetarian before they’ve learned how to cook. 

Not especially sure what kind of shape the stringers are in either but it’s unlikely to be good. The blank is, 90% or better odds, unusable. Gephuckt,  Even in the unlikely event it is sort of usable - if it didn’t come apart while you were stripping old glass- , removing the old glass will still take chunks of rotted foam with it that need to be filled or otherwise dealt with. Put some duct tape on one of those horrible rice cakes I mentioned above, get it on there good and then tear it off.  Far better than eating it. And you’ll see what looks like moon craters on the surface of that cake and a fair amount of it stuck to the tape in bits and pieces.

And while said rice cake is probably now tastier with the tape crust, resist that temptation too. Build character. 

And for the time and effort of all that ripping, rending and tearing, you will be stuck with reshaping within an incredibly limited range, filling, reglassing,  you’re still stuck with what wasn’t an especially great shape to begin with or worse, with whatever …thing…you can make from the remains once the  ripped out chunks have been dealt with… .As Rocky said to Bullwinkle, That trick never works

I’ve seen a lot of people try to reshape what lurks beneath some really crap old glass. I’ve never seen it turn out well. 

Blanks are fairly cheap. And they come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, you are not stuck with whatever nightmare remnant this might become. 

If you want to know what those things surf like, okay, take and tape it up so it’s more or less watertight, surf it, take it home ( you won’t be thrilled, they’re called pigs for a very good reason) and remove the tape, let it drain and then hang it on the wall. It has a certain  history, a cinema provenance if you wlll. Impress your friends and especially that surferette that’s been coming around -Makes you all windswept and interesting  to said surferette… 

And that temptation, yeah, go for it. 

doc… worked for me

Doc…thank you for the sage advice. I think I’ll spend my time on more worthy projects and stuff this under the house for someone else to discover 30 years from now.  I don’t think it’s worth the effort to make it water tight and put a fin on it just to see how it rides.  Like you said, probably terrible.   It was kind of cool to figure out what it was after finding the Phils sticker and then the autobody paint.  

Cheers. Tom

Hi Tom,

I think that’s the best thing to do. You hit it nicely with the phrase " I don’t think it’s worth the effort" an idea that a lot of people, with the best of intentions, just don’t get. It’s an interesting old board, but maybe not all that interesting. 

If it was, say, your father’s board at one time, or your first board, or it turns out it really belonged to Annette Funicello and she had it for Beach Blanket Godzilla Versus Mothra , neat, but otherwise, let it be a project for somebody in 2054. Leave them a note, like a time capsule. Direct them to Sways for more- 

At which time I’ll be 100 and even more long-winded and tedious…you have all been warned…

best regards


Just curious what kind of shape is the fin in?  You got any pics of it?

edited to add: never mind, just went back and re-read, “the fin is missing”

might make a good tiki bench for the backyard :slight_smile: