Who is the father of Compsand?

With all due respect to RF and the sailboard guys, GY was doing compsand years before Hoyle stepped his first mast.

I agree. But where or why did GY get the idea. From God in a dream? Walking through a stadium swap meet looking at the lacquered coated coconut bra’s. Maybe building a model airplane kit as a youth?

To me it is a silly question, because compsanding anything is a natural progression for a human designer or builder. That is to say making something lighter and stronger. For instance I had never heard of GY until 5 or 6 years ago.

Now that is only a testimony to my ignorance, but none the less I was influence by compsanders( mostly aeronautical engineers and sailboard makers, holding composite helicopter parts) down the same path starting in 1979.

Now was GY an influence locally or was he a mentor to many, writing the four gospels of the compsand bible? Was he one to hold his cards close to his chest or simply just a genius way before his time?

Now the henry ford of compsands is hands down randy french. You have and a few others have recognized such about randy and that’s why your brute honesty makes us all take a real close look at what we do. It is totally natural to find a better way to do things. There is not much in what we do that already hasn’t been thought of, or tried. But there are only a few who push it and apply it and then offer it to the masses. You are in this category and you are very humble about this influence you have. I know about you because I read the police blotters( actually RR resin) but your new wmd thread is very revolutionary. I look forward to reading it carefully when I get a chance in oreder to understand it better.

On my mission of spreading the compsand gospel I will now say GY is the father of this special art. Thank you for not taking away the inarguable influence of RF also. For too long the blasphemers, nay sayers and haters of RF, ST and compsands will be proved wrong by history.

Hi John, thanks…

Yeah, I moonlight as a Journo…or did, one time. I really enjoyed talking with Dick. I enjoy the viewpoints of some older folks, on any topic…

I find the topic very interesting., and while I go with Simmons as the “Father” I like the side-notes.

The Morey one makes sense on purely conceptual terms, but Boogie boards…no, thats just not cool…

Greg:- I omitted Gary Young because I was’nt re-iterating the obvious. Morey is not so obvious…

Huie:- I know, I know…If you think of Dick claiming some adolescent stroke of surfboard shaping Genius, the dates don’t stack up. Age 13 in 1956…

BUT…I asked more questions of Dick and the Styro ply composite claim…The Interview points not to him putting his hand up alone, but rather a “We”…his grommy mates and the older Fibreglass engineer.

In relation to a beach-side youth in Sydney and the local Surf-Life-Saving Clubs, this all works out too…The long, heavy hollow “Toothpick” paddleboards ala Tom Blake, that were common, were cumbersome and dangerous for the kids.

Dick and his mates made what was known as a “Kook-box” (Hi Joel, you Kook!!) in the simplest way possible:- Saw out an outline in EPS, clamp and glue some tapered ply profiles to the sides, hotwire along those as guides then glue ply to top and bottom. No deck roll, no rail profile…In fact, no skilled shaping as we know it, just foam replacing the bulkheads and struts of a hollow board.

I shaped my first board at age 12…so I think its do-able…

As I say, I just find it interesting…I’m not here to make a big deal of it.

EPS pre-dates PU as a surfboard foam core.

The Boards Simmons made had skins and, I assume, Polyester outer Lam… He could’nt glass straight EPS for reasons we all know…

So then picture this:- The previous efforts using Resin and fibreglass would have most surely been a solid balsa shape. Too easy, nice strong finish. Then this amazingly light “Styrofoam” turned up one day, (Probably nicked from the shipyards…) so Dale or Hap or someone shapes it…(Just put some more vaseline on the lens…) Incredibly light!! Then they go to laminate it…

OH NO - meltdown!!!

So which foam gets the nod if its EPS v’s PU in 1956?

If EPS had its match with EPOXY before PU/PE turned up, history may have been VERY different.

History can be fun…I should teach grade school…


theres an old guy in dunedin whos been doing them a really long time

his name is skip something orother, at least 20 odd years or more

perimeter stringers are shear clamps

they go back past noahs ark

composite is mud adobe hut in africa

pinhead invented the word i think

sabs told me to run with it and register it as a trademark but they wouldnt let me because the office did a search and found it already in use on bloody swaylocks

so had to settle with compsand.com

i have to say bob simmons

but it was really bert and randy and gary that made it what it is today as a surfboard

but goudgeon brothers where a big part for sure

sorry, I just got it. (I’m a little slow on the uptake)

good one.

I was worried I was the only one laughing…

It wasn’t Pinhead, just another Aussie abreviation.

Why say too much when you don’t have to…just like the tech, speaks for itself.


As an FYI, EPS had it’s match with epoxy, certainly by 1958, because I saw shaped ‘‘styrofoam’’ Hobie blanks that were coated with epoxy and sanded, prior to glassing with polyester resin. Otherwise, they would have dissolved when the poly’ was applied.

i thought it was either wildy or pinhead

was it you greg?

Interesting Bill…

Sealed but not laminated with Epoxy. Yes, its the very same way Bennett makes paddleboards to this day. Fair enough…


dick van st… was born with a squeegee in his hand

hit the floor flat footed grabbed a planer

and walked out the delivery room into

the adjacent shaping room

set to work on three balsa blanks,

that he finished before dinner…


I could be wrong

but on some topics

it is not worth considering.

styrofoam was a week later.

simmons took naps.

I think the higher cost of epoxy, and the familiarity and existing use of poly’ drove the direction of the technology. Poly’ was ‘’ the devil they knew’', epoxy was ‘‘the devil they didn’t know.’’ At that stage lam resin was not yet in use on surfboards. EVERYTHING was done with glossing resin only, which presented certain challenges, as you might imagine.

Even if it was, it doesn’t matter. We all knew this tech was going to eventually take off, and typing out ‘composite sandwich’ on every reference took too long. It needed shortening. (FYI, I hate abreviated initials, IMHO it’s even more lazy than abreviations FCOL!)

It’s great that guys were making composite (composite: source;dictionary.com = ‘made up of disparate or separate parts or elements’) boards all those years ago. I’m pretty sure all of them were trying to do what we are all doing now, that is, make a better board.

Would any of them want to be called the ‘father’? I probably doubt it.

Would they be proud, and maybe blown away a bit, by the more up-to-date adaptations of what they were doing all those years ago? For sure, at least I would hope so.

As far as I know, Paul is the one who took the name (abreviation?) and turned it into what is now becoming a recognisable business name. So is he the ‘father’ of ‘compsand’?

My ‘‘vote’’ goes to Simmons. When you take away all the qualifiers such as ‘‘modern’’ or ‘‘true’’ or ''Henry Ford",

and just look at who did it first, Simmons stands alone.

GY came out of boat builing, specifically west system boat building. He’s pretty well known in the underground of surf/sail board building. He was just so far ahead no one really got it until years later.


GY came out of boat builing, specifically west system boat building. He’s pretty well known in the underground of surf/sail board building. He was just so far ahead no one really got it until years later.


Gregg Young on the first form laminated wood veneer sailboard. Named ‘Gordo’. Sans sail, but with the old “windsurfer” mast box and daggerboard slot, it was 10’ – 6” long with an Expanded PolyStyrene - EPS - foam core. Pretty light when built, it got heavier from the foam soaking water. 1979, Lake Mendocino.

Hi Josh OT

I got a copy of the film ‘believe’ a while ago, DVS is a legend, a real character.

It must have been fun interviewing him.


As far as I know, Paul is the one who took the name (abreviation?) and turned it into what is now becoming a recognisable business name. So is he the ‘father’ of ‘compsand’?


lol greg , not that its gunna do me any good… ill still be flat broke.

ive been religously behind this movement from the day i read berts post

compsand.com was started by doug and I with the intent to use it as a marketing umbrella for cottage industry that subscribe to the guidelines as set out in our manifesto

it is a co operative and a registered trademark owned by 7 people

the logo is available to small manufacturers to label there goods and advertize them through the website(so to be upgraded)

the cost of using the label is between 2 to 5% and covers the admin cost of the site

only products bearing this official logo wil be endorsed by the co operative members as a “compsand” product. and gaurantees standards and ethics as set out by the manifesto

because the co op owns the domain, its is in our best interest to not get worked up about other people running with our baby. Basically anyone that uses it (to describe a method/technique or in reference to )is advertizing the site

so its all good :slight_smile:

but we be pretty pissed if someone tried to “brand” their boards with the word, and even if they did its already registered in 3 countrys.

any trade enquirys regarding use of the logo to “brand” goods please PM me

there are benefits , we have archives of r and d, information,testing,videos, photographs and 3 years of in the water testing by at least 15 experienced builders.

plus at least 3 major unreleased “high volume” manufacturing techniques that go above and beyond whats currently available (other then COIL that is)

and on top of that a soon to be released CMS website with shopping cart facility and gallery/forum

i have a handout on how finacial transactions will be handles and what membership entails

Hey Paul, good luck to the whole deal. Good things can grow from humble beginnings. Gotta start somewhere.

Good on ya for giving some kind encouragement Greg!

You guys for sure understand how much work goes into making these things happen…

I’m in awe of how much effort Paul has invested in it all. and Doug, and all the other crew who have contributed over the years

Whoever does deserve the title for inventing the tech, I gotta say thankyou…

The options are limitless, so many different materials, combinations and methods, makes for a really interesting project.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget actually getting to ride killer boards!

I’m a heavy footed as a surfer, compsands make me feel like i’ve taken off my ankle weights

Mr Compsand.