Bob McTavish

Recently I had the good fortune to be in the Byron Bay area and wanted to see if I was on the right track with my noserider “The Brew”. The mal king Bob Mctavish was my singular focus for obvious reasons and strangely at the time no other manufacturer entered my head (apologies to anyone I may have overlooked). My older brother Peter and I entered the showroom, and were greeted by Dave who was friendly, helpful and even jumped in for a photo. Its always best to be up front rather than snooping around when you’re checking out another manufacturers hardware.


Triggs and Dave showing off the spoons

The McTavish surfboards on display were exquisite quality with a combination of modern designs and retro’s. When it comes to reproductions how could you go past Bob McTavish who was behind so many positive steps forward as inches and feet were stripped off the old logs of the sixties. Trackers, Tear Drops, Spoons and replicas of The fantastic Plastic Machine that Bob and Nat took to Hawaii for “The Makaha” contest were there, brilliantly polished to highlight the skillful use of tints, pigments and well chosen floral fabrics applied by a real pro Billy Maclean, who has 40 years service at McTavish surfboards.


Mctavish noserider


A super classy mal featuring a double paizley pattern courtousey of Billy

Back at the car we were just about to head off to Cooli when I recalled how well Bob had represented us as surfers in the 2 part History of Australian Surfing feature Bombora, when it aired on the ABC (a must view if you missed it). More recently a couple of our good customers were stoked on Bob’s friendly demeanor while sharing some great waves at the pass. I believe there were 2 new boards on the roofracks for the return trip to Vico. Phil knows Bob fairly well but I hadn’t met him personally, so it was a genuine thrill for Pete and I to be invited into the factory and chat with the crew at McTavish.


Early 70’s Tracker

For those young guys whose surfing education may not reach back to the 60’s and 70’s, Bob McTavish was a great surfer, adventurer (read his biography “Stoked”), shaper and innovator. He has been an outstanding spokesperson for surfing and without doubt one of its greatest legends.

One of the nicest characteristics that I observed after a hand shake was Bob’s sense of pride in his team as he introduced us to his Manager and business partner Ben Wallace, (he started out sweeping the floors and now provides that link with computer technology – online sales marketing etc) Billy Maclean the glasser, Monzo the artist and Matt Parmeter his polisher. Bob’s son Ben is doing some shaping and Billy’s boy is learning to glass. Needless to say I was so impressed I was ready to order a custom in Bob’s shaping bay when he inquired how many boards we were making. I added one on to next weeks figure and on the return flight dared to dream of a new shooter with a hint of McTavish magic.



The Privlidged one with the fun loving team at McTavish. Bob, Billy, Ben and Bonzo (Monzo)