Here is a lovely old Surfrider. It’s very hard to tell quite how old this particular board is as Dick made them for nearly 50 years. He produced more boards than you can shake a stick at. But I believe this to be an 80s one. He was basically making them from the early 1960s (1962 I believe) all the way up until his death in 2010. All made by him, his family and a few others at his tannery in South Molton. The production run of his boards is actually longer than the production run of the original mini! That must make them a classic right?
I can’t imagine it possible that anyone ever made more boards than this guy, so whilst many people seem to think they are super rare and from the 1950s, they are neither. There are tons of them. They are however for some reason the board I like seeing most on a beach being used. They are proper ace.
I have about 40 or 50 different variants of his boards (thanks mainly to Sally Parkin, more on that later in a new post). He made branded ones for lots of shops (Smile and many more). There are lots of different logos, but the one we see here is the most common. Well nearly. The top part of the logo is the same as most of this particular type of Surfrider, but the text is most definitely different to the grand majority. I’m sure there are literally a hand full of nerds who would this notice this (or care). It’s 4 foot in height, just over a foot wide at the top and a smidge over 11 inches at the bottom. This board is 9 millimetres thick, but there were also thinner ones. They were also made with loads of different colour logos including red, white, yellow, green and blue. The remainder of any paint was used to paint his house (so his daughter comically told me).
I love these boards and Dick has to a be a legend to anyone in the UK who likes surfing of any kind. I know Sally Parkin and John Isaac knew Dick well. I didn’t start collecting unill long after he passed. I have met his lovely family and seen where all these boards were made (more on that soon), which was pretty ace. I think every household should have one of these boards. They just feel so British, fun and a bit cheeky.