One of the advantages of our father working at G.M.H. was the opportunity to purchase a holden fleet car with very low km’s. These would come up almost yearly and brother Phil, our banker, was always quick to make a purchase. On this sedan pictured he even commissioned a black vinyl roof, a highly prized accessory back in the 70’s. Boot space was a priority for Phil when he purchased a couple of Monaro’s later in the70’s. When the first generation twin fins surfaced he made a 4ft 11 inch board which just fitted in the boot.
Of the 4 surfboards displayed there was one that was outstanding and unfortunately it wasn’t my blue full rounded square tail. The chocolate one was 5ft 10 inches long and for its time featured a radical nose to tail concave, a chimed rail that ran from the centre to the nose which in turn resulted in a sharp rail from nose to tail. The bevel has a similar effect to a rail that’s rolled off the bottom but has to be surfed with more care.This board also had less nose lift and at the time was lightening fast, well suited to Phil’s speed demon approach with his feet set closer together than most other surfers. His stance was miles removed from the almost poo stance that became popular on the West coast.
For me there’s one very clear image of Phil surfing this board. It was a late Thursday afternoon session 1971-ish in solid 6 to 8ft waves at Sorrento out the back (to this day the best I have ever seen it firing). I had just come in and glancing back at the Ocean saw Phil standing fully upright in this hideous barrel. It was so big and open there wasn’t the hint of a crouch in his 6ft frame. Ted, the Parkis and Jeff Coker were all ripping it up but The brother definitely had the wave of the day on that chocolate freak thing. Ted and I slept in the car park that nite watching the sun set over a magic sandbank and hoping for a repeat morning session. We awoke to a violent storm with rain pelting into the back of Ted’s wagon soaking our sleeping bags before we realised and by daylight those great waves were just a memory.