Plywood surfing in Barbados, Paul Ryder and Fluff Fairclough, Lee Bartlett.

............The humble single finned board has changed radically over the years

Dave Molesworth.....Peter Jones

A typical board from the seventies, with single fin and plenty of body was fine for paddling and down the line turns but the need was for speed and boards that worked in the wide range of UK conditions. The demand for boards in the 80's was vast and the resulting innovations ranged from twin finned fishes - both wide and short, to longer 4 finners and stingers with wings just forward of the fins.The single fin was out and multiple fins replaced them. Multiple concaves were mellowed into rolled vs and eventually, of course, the three fin thruster prevailed. With it's lift and controlabilty, tight manouevres in the lip were possible and surfing throughout the eighties changed up a gear. Constant rocker/curvature and thinner boards, in the 21/4"region led to the shapes that are with us today.

Cheyne Horan with Ben Lexcen fin - Fosters Surf Championships 1984

Derek Hynde with Quad fin Board 1989

Mat Stephens 1984

During the 1990s there were more equipment changes:Three finned thrusters were here to stay, fins became mass produced from lighter polycarbonate; the gloss coat and the hours of 'wet and drying' that went with it was replaced by spray finishes; grip surfaces started to be used as a replacement for or in addition to wax.

Buying the right equipment is essential as even small changes in the shape can make big changes to your performance.

Shaper- John Purton

Tom Purton with board spray by Tim Page 2005

Lewis Purton with a good range of JP's current shapes


Legends Surf museum, Coffs Harbour, Australia

Surf Legend Scott Dillon at the

Probably the best selection of boards worldwide - currently 120 in total - check out pioneering shapes ; the Duke' s board - a replica, Midget Farrelly's, etc. There are also lots of historical photos and other donated memorabilia. Scott gives a guided tour of the museum giving you all the stories on how surfing became a way of life for generations of Australians, starting way back with the heavy solid redwood boards of the 1930's to the fast slick boards of today. Well worth a visit.