Channel Bottom Surfboards

Surfboards with channels on the bottom (just one channel and more of a concave) were probably first made in the 1950’s by Bob Simmons and Dale Velvy and then again in the 1960’s by Greg Noll, but they first became popluar after Redhead’s Col Smith rode them in Hawaii in 1977. The idea was they moved the water out the back of the board faster and also gave more control with the extra edges.

The first modern channel bottom boards were designed and made by Jim Pollard for Shane Surfboards in 1976. Jim had Newcastle boys Col Smith and Steve Butterworth riding quivers of his rounded 6 channel boards, the first lot Col used at Bells beach with some success.

1976 Jim Pollard rolled channel bottom surfboard used by Col Smith at Bells Beach

Jim Pollard channel bottom 1976

Jim Pollard channel bottom 1976

Col Smith then took a quiver of Jim Pollard’s boards to Hawaii in 1977 and impressed the world with his surfing on them and then they became popular.

Col with Jim Pollard’s boards the night before Col was bound for Hawaii in 1977

Col Smith Hawaii Boards 1977

Col Smith Hawaii Boards 1977

Col riding Pipeline on Jim Pollard Channel Board 1977

Col Smith Tracks Poster 1977

Col Smith Tracks Poster 1977

Col Smith and Jim Pollard celebrate Col’s success riding Jim’s Channel Boards in Hawaii

Col Smithand Jim Pollard

Col Smithand Jim Pollard

Col returned from Hawaii and started working at Redhead with Martin Littlewood now Delta Designs Margaret River and started making boards with 6 channels with harder edges, Martin’s idea was from the Clinker Hulls of wooden boats and how stable they were in the water. Col then worked for a few other manufacturers such as Sam Egan and Free Flight’s Phil Myers and also shaped boards himself at his home.

Col Smith in his shaping bay at Redhead 1979

Col Smith shaping channel boards 1979

Col Smith shaping channel boards 1979

A Martin Littlewood Delta Designs 6 channel around 1981. Note the outside channels are longer

Delta Design Channel 1980

Delta Design Channel 1981

Lots of other shapers then were making boards with channels, notably Alan Bryne who spent a lot of time surfing with Col Smith. Around 1984 Col visited Martin Littlewood in Margaret River and they designed asymetric channel boards based on the windsurfers Martin was making.

Col Smith Asymetric at Margaret River

Col Smith Asymetric at Margaret River

Also noteworthy that around the early 1970’s the Campbell brothers introduced double concaves with three fins on their Bonzer model, the outside fins being a shallow wide base keel design which helped channel water out the back. Around 1981 Simon Anderson developed the Tri fin using 3 fins of similar size. SInce then most boards made have 3 fins and double concaves, but some guys still ride the channel bottom designs.

Col Steve and Al and their contribution to good surfing are now sadly missed, Martin Littlewood and Phil Myers are still making channel bottom boards.

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May/June 2016

Rainbow over Swansea Channel 17/03/2016

Rainbow Over Swansea Channel 17-03-16

Rainbow Over Swansea Channel 17-03-16

A strong swell has been pumping into Newcastle and still continues 5 days later. Redhead beach surfer early 08/06/2016

Redhead Beach 08-06-16

Redhead Beach 08-06-16

Blacksmiths Beach grinding swell lines 08/06/2016

Blacksmiths Beach 08-06-16

Blacksmiths Beach 08-06-16

Blacksmiths Beach – surfer Tony Solaris 08/06/2016

Blacksmiths Beach Tony Solaris 08-06-16

Blacksmiths Beach Tony Solaris 08-06-16

Surfing Culture in Newcastle. This article below (click the link) was published I think in a Newcastle Uni magazine sometime in the late 70’s. I kept a copy as its quite funnny, sorry I don’t know who Duckboy is, the guy who wrote it, a non Novacastrian of course:

Surfing Culture in Newcastle

Arial view of Redhead 1976 from an old slide – Lots of changes in 40 years – no Industrial Estate , no north side housing estate, caravan park in progress, and the second creek before it got dried up.

Redhead arial view from plane 1977

Redhead arial view from plane 1977

A golden start to Mothers Day. Early morning at Redhead Beach 8/5/2016

Redhead Beach gold morning 08-05-16

Redhead Beach gold morning 08-05-16

Mark sent me this photo of this most beautiful colourful fish. This one and a few others were caught from Swansea Channel and released. I identified it as a Yellow-Green Wrasse from the book Australian Sea Fishes and in it states killing such a rare and beautiful animal is hardly excusable. They go through many colour phases when growing up and the males end up a more greeny-blue colour and the females are yellow.

Yellow-green Wrasse

Yellow-green Wrasse

Storm cloud Redhead Beach 1/5/2016 it passed by with only a few lightning flashes and a bit of rain.

Storm cloud Redhead Beach 01-05-16

Storm cloud Redhead Beach 01-05-16

March/April 2016

Fred gave me some footage converted from 8mm film from 1969 of me herbing around on my Bultaco and yes stacking it.

 

Crow on Bultaco 1969

Crow on Bultaco 1969

Crow over the handlebars 1969

Crow over the handlebars 1969

Crow face plant 1969

Crow face plant 1969

Redhead Beach Anzac day message written in the sand 25/04/2016 – Lest We Forget

Redhead Beach message Lest We Forget 25-04-16

Redhead Beach message Lest We Forget 25-04-16

Redhead Beach early morning Anzac day

Redhead beach Anzac morning 25-04-16

Redhead beach Anzac morning 25-04-16

Early morning light show sunrise on a cloudy morning at Redhead Beach 18/4/2016

Redhead Beach sunrise light show 18-04-16

Redhead Beach sunrise light show 18-04-16

My thanks to mate Paul (Rowdy) for taking the photos of me catching a wave on my SUP last week

Crow on SUP April 2016

Crow on SUP April 2016

Crow on SUP 2 April 2016

Crow on SUP 2 April 2016

A nice coloured cloudy sky at sunrise with waiting ships 13/03/2016

Redhead Beach ship in sunrise 13-03-16

Redhead Beach ship in sunrise 13-03-16

Don Howison (AKA Rope Head) surfing Seal Rocks late 60’s.

Don Howison Seal Rocks

Don Howison Seal Rocks

Looks like Don was cranking his turns in the surf just how he did when he raced Speedway a few years later. Don Howison riding for Australia V England at Salty Creek Speedway 1974

Don Howison Salty Creek Speedway

Don Howison Salty Creek Speedway

Don Howison in Australia’s Speedway team V England

Don Howison Australia Speedway rider

Don Howison Australia Speedway rider

Don also rode Speedway in England

Don Howison Speedway 2

Don Howison Speedway 2

One of my favourites songs – Speedway by Morrisey from the album Vauxhall and I

Don was also into riding motor cycle Trials events which got him into some testing situations. Don Howison riding a Beta Techno.

Don Howison Trials

Don Howison Trials

Don Howison riding in the first Trials event at Glenrock in 1970

Don Howison Glenrock Trial

Don Howison Glenrock Trial

Don Howison surfing Frenchmans Reef 2015

Don Howison Frenchmans reef

Don Howison Frenchmans reef

 

Redhead Beach clouds over sunrise 28/2/2016

Redhead sunrise 28-02-16

Redhead sunrise 28-02-16

Redhead Beach bird in the sun 20/2/2016

Redhead sunrise with bird 20-02-16

Redhead sunrise with bird 20-02-16

Redhead Beach foggy sunrise 10/3/2016

Redhead beach sunrise 10-03-15

Redhead beach sunrise 10-03-15

Redhead Beach pink sunrise 11/03/2016

Redhead Beach sunrise 11-03-16

Redhead Beach sunrise 11-03-16

Tiny fish big as my thumbnail 10/03/16

Tiny fish Redhead 10-03-16

Tiny fish Redhead 10-03-16

January/February 2016

Marks Point Marina collapse 11/2/2016. The strong tidal current that moves past this iconic Lake Macquarie foreshore building that housed Milano’s Restaurant has undermined the footings and it has collapsed into the water.

Marks Point Marina collapse 11-02-16

Marks Point Marina collapse 11-02-16

Some bad and wet weather frothed up the surf 16th January 2016

Foam on Redhead Beach 16-01-16

Foam on Redhead Beach 16-01-16

Peacefull early morning colours Redhead Beach 22nd January 2016

Redhead Beach pastel colours 22-01-16

Redhead Beach pastel colours 22-01-16

A couple of old photos from the 70’s

Pinky at the door 1977. Hard to say who freaked who out here.

Pinky at the door 1977

Pinky at the door 1977

Surfers at Redhead 1976 – not the best quality image but documents the 70’s surfers image.

Redhead Surfers 1976

Redhead Surfers 1976

Me with motor bikes. Old mid 60’s Bultaco Matador

Geoff old Bultaco Matador 1971

Geoff old Bultaco Matador 1971

New 1973 6 day trial model Bultaco Matador

Geoff Bultaco Matador 1972

Geoff Bultaco Matador 1972

 

 

November/December 2015

View from SUP Redhead Beach

SUP view Redhead beach

SUP view Redhead beach

View from SUP Redhead Beach

View from SUP Redhead Beach

Surfing at Seal Rocks 1964 – beach site camp site.

Surfing at Seal Rocks 1964

Surfing at Seal Rocks 1964

DIvan in Industrial landscape Wickham 1988

Divan and factories Wickham 1988

Divan and factories Wickham 1988

 

Sup rider in fog Redhead 11/12/2015

Sup in fog Redhead 11-12-15

Sup in fog Redhead 11-12-15

The Tardis landed foggy morning Redhead Beach 11/12/2015.

The Tardis landed Redhead 11-12-15

The Tardis landed Redhead 11-12-15

Clouds over Redhead 26/11/2015

Clouds over Redhead 26-11-15

Clouds over Redhead 26-11-15

 

Caution warning Redhead beach 16/11/2015. Caution: alertness and prudence in a hazardous situation.

Caution Redhead Beach 16-11-12

Caution Redhead Beach 16-11-12

Sea mist Redhead Beach 20/11/2015 Cant see anything else. Early before the start of a red hot day an early cool sea breeze hits the warm land and turns to mist.

Sea Mist Redhead Beach 20-11-15

Sea Mist Redhead Beach 20-11-15

Sam with a barracuda he caught off the rocks 19/11/2015

Sam Barracuda 19-11-15

Sam Barracuda 19-11-15

 

 

October 2015

Beach animals

Sea Snake on Redhead Beach 25/9/2015

Sea Snake Redhead Beach 25-09-15

Sea Snake Redhead Beach 25-09-15

Bluebottle washed up on Redhead Beach 19/10/2015. This is one of the longest stingers I have seen.

Redhead Beach Long stinger Bluebottle 19-10-15

Redhead Beach Long stinger Bluebottle 19-10-15

Regular fast food garbage in Redhead Beach carpark early Sunday morning. The photo was taken from next to the garbage bin.

Redhead Beach Sunday Morning carpark mess 11-10-15

Redhead Beach Sunday Morning carpark mess 11-10-15

September 2015

Blue bottle on Redhead beach 27-09-2015. High winds and rough surf for a week have brought in an early bunch of Bluebottles.

Bluebottle on Redhead beach 27-09-15

Bluebottle on Redhead beach 27-09-15

Redhead Beach 17/9/2015 early morning shades of grey and green

Redhead Beach Clouds 17-09-15

Redhead Beach Clouds 17-09-15

Redhead Beach Second Creek plant life 11/09/2015

Redhead 2nd Creek Plants 11-09-15

Redhead 2nd Creek Plants 11-09-15

Redhead Beach Second Creek 11/09/2015

Redhead 2nd creek 11-09-15

Redhead 2nd creek 11-09-15

Pelican totem pole cloudy day Black Neds Bay

Pelican on Pole Black neds Bay

Pelican on Pole Black neds Bay

Redhead Beach golden sunrise 5/9/2015

Redhead Beach gold sunrise 05-09-15

Redhead Beach gold sunrise 05-09-15

Redhead Beach colourful sunrise 31/7/2015

Redhead beach sunrise 31-07-15

Redhead beach sunrise 31-07-15

Redhead Beach erosion from big seas May 2015

Redhead Beach erosion 15-05-15

Redhead Beach erosion 15-05-15

Redhead Beach Second Creek green after rain

Rehead 2nd Creek 02-02-13

Redhead 2nd Creek 02-02-13

Redhead Beach a bunch of Bluebottles

Bluebottles Redhead Beach 27-08-14

Bluebottles Redhead Beach 27-08-14