Original Pintail Photos

    My recollection is that we started doing these models about Spring of '66.  Phil Edwards and 
David Nuuhiwa were the first two of the best surfers in those days to come out with specially
designed signature models. The company that I worked for wanted to follow suit and seeing how
I was at the top of my game, I was picked out of all those guys on the surf team to have a model
named after me...quite an honor since there were a lot of top guys riding on the team at that time.
Just about every shape that was being ridden in those days was a square tail. I was asked what
type of shape I thought would be best for riding Malibu and RinCon. I suggested a pintail since
that was what I had honed my skills on when I was riding my 9’ 2” balsa pintai in the late 50’s.
The first run in spring-summer of 1966 had three redwood stringers. In spring and summer of
1967 we changed the outside stringers to balsa wood to make them a bit lighter. The 3rd run in
the summer of 1968 had high density colored foam offset stringers with black glue. The fins
during the first half of this 3 year period were the yellow-gold glass fins with the black pin line
around the fin's edge and set in about one inch. During the last period of this pintail's history we
simply reversed the look of the fin by making them a black glass fin with a yellow pin line. I've
always maintained that those late 60's signature models represented a fine tuning in longboard
design. They had gone from the flat rocker, bulky round rail design of the early 60's to the
thinner egg rail, more rocker and, in the case of the Mike Hynson model, a narrower, swept back
fin similar to fins that are used today. I don't rememberthe exact numbers but I do remember that
at the peak of the original Classic 60’s production, we were cranking out 10 to 15 of those pintails
a week! These numbers varied, of course, depending on the season. This went on for the better
part of three years. But it was right in the middle of our 3rd summer. Bob McTavish had been to
the U.S. with his revolutionary shorter Aussie "V" bottom. By the end of the summer of 1968,
the longboard era as we knew it was history. Just about everybody in surfing immediately went,
or were eventually pressured into taking up short boarding. There were a couple of us die-hards
that stayed on our longboards. I kept riding my original 10 foot pintail right on up to the late 70's.
I never did do the short board thing. I also contend that when our modern longboard era that came back around 1989 to 1990, that
the traditional shapes that we see today simply had started up where it left off in the late 60's. The
materials are different. . . blanks and resins are lighter. But that has been a problem with some
older guys who want a board made the way they were made before. It's hard to get it exactly
right mainly because of the materials. But hand madeshaping and glassing techniques have
stayed pretty much the same, probably because there are still some of the older unsung heroes
still working behind the scenes at the factories. They remember the way it used to bedone. The
template for my current reproduced version came from that original 60s 10 footer that's still
hanging in my garage (the fin template as well). Yes, the rocker is less but I believe that a nice
conservative all around rocker is more functional than those old rockers. I sell quite a few of
those Classic 60s pintails around home. Even some of the local guys here who have gotten
spoiled riding their light weight tri-fins have purchased these 60s pintails. One of the most
common things I hear is that these boards take them back to that swing-turn, cruising-trimming
type of surfing that we enjoyed in the 60's. Every time we went to our favorite shop as kids and
ordered up, we always hoped to get that magic board that would give us a bit of everything. I
really don't know exactly what made these pintails work so well in just about any type of surf
conditions. All I know is thatwe got lucky. And that's what I'm trying to hold on to with this
new version...to come as close as I can to reproduce that "magic" board...only to do it with every
board, if possible.So far, it's working. And you know what they say..."If it ain't broke..." So if you come to California, look me up. I'll show you my original 10 foot, triple redwood
stringer, double 10 oz. Volan pintail. We've just gotta realize that no matter which of all these
original makes and models that we see at a contest or a surf museum...it's all good stuff. And
the memories of having been there and seeing it all happen...WOW! Weren't we blessed to have
lived at one of the most special times ever in surfing. All the riches of the world couldn't pay me
to change a thing. For these experiences themselves are the real riches. Don't you agree?