Surfboard Archaeology

American Pickers move over!
Surfboard Archaeology is here!

The hunt for classic Vintage surfboards and memorabilia is larger than ever at Trigger Brothers surfboards. And Friday the 22nd, Paul Trigger and Phil Newman went out to follow up on a phone call Phil Trigger received regarding a rare collection of classic Mals and short boards.

Of all places Paul and I ventured down to suburban Mordialloc where we pulled up into a largely empty industrial estate where we were to meet Peter Chapple an avid surfer and collector. Pulling into the court we received a friendly wave from a chap peering through the front window of his factory gesturing to park out the front of the adjacent roller door.

With anticipation and I must admit a little bit of excitement we waited as Peter cranked open the large roller door. As the door opened I could see a Farrelly twin fin propped up against a packing box along with a Pat Morgan S deck single fin sitting adjacent to it on the factory floor, my heart started to race thinking what other gems might be hidden away in this suburban cave of treasures. As the door fully opened we were greeted by Peter and immediately began to discuss how he had come by some of these boards and what their history entailed. Peter was kind enough to give us a run down on his boards and also a couple of other boards he had been storing for Australian and global godfather of vintage board collectors Carl tanner.

Boards that grabbed Paul and my attention immediately was a beautifully restored Hobie mal that Peter had recently spent many dollars to bring this classic back to life, a real poolroom masterpiece to precious to surf. The Farrelly twin fin was one of great interest with colourful laminate twin fins and a double flyer pintail with a Phil trigger magenta fade on the deck; it was unusual to see a Farrelly twinny as Midget was recognised for his compact single fins in the early to late sixties.

Another unique piece was the hot buttered Tri Fin or maybe early unfluted Bonza, this was shaped by Terry Fitzgerald and definitely preceded the thruster’s era, maybe a prelude to the Tri fin. Other mals that were in pristine condition, but were wrapped in bubble wrap so we couldn’t get a real good look at them, were a Bill Wallace 10ft classic and a Gill Long board sporting a rare raking cooper fin,the cooper fin (pictured) was a drawn out raked fin with quite a bit off area at the base and tip of the fin, a real rare piece and a true joy to find!

Boxed up was a Scott Dillon, that had been made for Peter many years ago, along with a 10ft 6” Scott Dillon in exceptional condition. The last of the long boards was an 11ft Joe Larkin which any serious collector would die for. Other small boards which sparked interest were a Klemm Bell knee board which was made at Gardenvale in the early to late 60’s and a 5ft 11” Kevin Platt single fin which was in terrific condition. A pinny 7’6” Rip Curl gun was hidden under some other boards with a beautiful Barry Bennett 10ft mal painstakingly wrapped up ready for archiving.

Peter although not a really serious collector had an interesting classic collection with some lovely balsa and timber boards, even one signed by Bells Icon Joe Sweeny. The rails on this board were unique, being one of the first timber boards with foam type shaped, soft rounded rails. The 22nd of March saw a unique opportunity for pickers and avid collectors you can see by our pictures and descriptions of the boards, Peter a lover of surfing, had picked his mark when acquiring and restoring these classics. A real credit to himself. We were grateful for this opportunity to view his collection and he indicated his days of collecting were definitely not over if the right board came up for purchase or restoration. He told us of his upcoming surf trip to Mexico with his son in search of some of those Bajah classic points which litter the Mexican USA borderline. The fire never leaves the belly in search of that illusive classic wave and Peter was quite excited about the upcoming trip!

As Peter did not want to part with any of his plethora of boards it was time for these two Surfboard Archaeologists to move on and see where out next vintage surfing find may take us. There is a myriad of surfing history out there, so stay tuned to our new regular Surfing Archaeology section on our website as we stumble across vintage boards and unique collections like Peters which litter old roof space, garages, farmyards and the underside of houses. The Hunt is on!

phil-newman-iconpYours in Picking

Phil Newman TSA