Wednesday, June 30, 2010

sliders with Kris and Reese.

today was one of those days. perfect pig surf. i am getting my board figured out. head dips, cut backs and nose rides. NICE!
kris carlow and reese were laying IT down! here kris is doing a cut back justice. i saw Reese get a SICK nose ride...i was rock dancing trying to hold onto my board...CLASSIC!
check the video!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

lets shred our old water logged boards!

i unlocked "esmeralda" (the board who's function is retarded) today. it was a day with a wee bit of texture. the wind was variable. the face was glassy for my entire session. at times the water had a bit of texture. it was a misty morning. that made the day different than most. i was stoked to finally figure this board out. i am AMAZED at this board's turning and trim holding. VERY NICE!!!
check the video!

early Australian pigs and midget.

david platt sent me this via i am humbled by the fantastic contributions that people from all around this planet are submitting.
"Hi Mike. I was looking for some info on a board I am restoring when I came across these photos. The first photo was taken at Bondi Beach in 1958. The fellow at the far left is Scott Dillon and to his left is Jack "Bluey" Mayes. Originally from Bondi. Scott Dillon was one of Australia’s pioneer big wave surfers and manufactures. He moved his operation from Bondi to Brookvale on Sydney’s Northern beaches in the late 50’s. Brookvale was Sydney’s board building hub during the 60's. With a stable of name surfers and shapers on the roster. The likes of McTavish, Bob Pike, Mick Dooley, Glynn Ritchie and Gordon Merchant to name a few. Scott Dillon surfboards operated right up to 1970. Scott Dillon now resides on the New South Wales North Coast where he has a surf museum.

Bluey Mayes was one of the "last of the hard cutters". He grew up on Bondi beach and was an accomplished cookbox rider during the 40's and early 50's. Bluey was widely regarded as one of Australia’s best surfers in the mid 50’s. He really embraced the new Malibu boards based on the boards the American lifeguards bought to Australia in 1956. Describing the feeling of riding them as ecstasy. Bluey is no longer with us. He passed away in 1997.The second photo was also taken in 1958. The young bloke third from the right in the checked shirt is Midget.

Regards. platty."

Whars them ten dollar pigs ah been hearin bout?

james llewelyn sent me this via
I have been enjoying reading your blog and catching up on all things pig, although i am not a pig man myself i enjoy the taste and smell of bacon. For some reason tonight when reading i thought of a cartoon from an old surfer magazine i had, so i dug through my stash and found this little doodle. If only my mind could remember things that help make some cash or get a bit of action. I dont know if you can make out the writing but it says "Whars them ten dollar pigs ah been hearin bout". I think the magazine is from 68 and back then i hear they couldnt give them away, you would have been in hog heaven. Stay stoked,James
this shit is perfect. i just had such a rad session on my zero dollar pig.

Monday, June 28, 2010

bobby d and john cherry

its entries like this that get me psyched. john mentioned this board when i dropped my velzy off. then he mentioned it again when i picked my board up. i am all the way pumped to know that this blog is worth its weight in salt. here is what bobby d had to say:
Hey Mike, John Cherry and I shaped this 9'7" PIG. The fin is by John Cherry made with Balsa, Agave and Foam. Glassing: 8 oz Volan sanded gloss finish by Micheal Miller. The Pigs Dims: 9'7"x17"x23"x17 3/8"x3". I saw your Velzy Jacobs at his place and brought my template back up there to compare. Without ever seeing that Velzy Jacobs of yours our template ended up being almost identical. The only difference was the wide point, which is 23" and I believe the Velzy was 22.75". Our line has just a lil more curve. Nose and tail measurements were very similar as well. On this board because of the blank I ordered I had to bring the tail in from the template I had been itching to shape a board for years, after seeing the Blackboard model up in Ventura I decided that a Pig would be a great classic board to take a crack at. This is board #1 for me. I'm stoked on how it came out. Hopefully I'll be able to take it out tomorrow! Your blog is gnarly keep it up. Keep the stoke man, Bobby D

Mike, I finally took my pig out on yesterday morning at 15th street in Del Mar. There were some nice waist high peelers coming through. The tide was coming in and the wave was reforming and walling up on the inside. If I had to sum up my first experience on a pig i could do it in two words: Fucken Sick! That board turned like butter and when in trim flew stayed in the critical spot of the wave. Extremely stable. I was surprised with how wide the tail is that I could still do a huge cutback burying the rail and not eat shit. Then I could turn back into the face of the wave and it would get right back in the sweet spot. On my second wave when I got inside it walled up and where normally i would walk up to the nose I just stood there staring for a moment in amazement that this board was keeping right in trim. I'm hooked! Now to talk the wife into letting me get a flexpig from Gene. Take care, Bobby

The asymmetry of Carl Ekstrom

this board reminds me of my bing 2680.
this board is asymmetrical on purpose, where as my bing 2680 is that way due to: "it gets around".
rob from royal surfboards sent this to me.

ps - you may also like this Nelson/Ekstrom I picked up from a guy in OB SD before I left the US. Picked it up for $150 rode it all that summer, and when I brought it in to Channin's to fix it - I was working there for a while - they all blew a nut over it. Again, super fun piggy, with reverse cut fin, and asym tail...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sick sick!

johnny goss sent this to me. CHAD got this sick corky carroll seahorse pig for $140 bucks, fucker swooped in front of me before i new what was happening and told this kid he would buy it! dang missed it! SICK SICK
Kio's Velzy!

barrels and waves

i surfed this morning with my buddy dan. there were some nice waves. i got me a barrel on old 2680. i think i am going to name this board "gertrude" or "consuela".

check the video!

quadrilateral post modern ROYAL!

i got this from rob over at royal: Hello Mr Black, I posted this on the surfer mag forum, and it was suggested that i send it over to your kind self. Its 9'4" x 22 1/2 16 1/2 nose, 16 ish tail wide point at exactly 1/3 its length from tail. Pinched out 50/50s all the way, slight nose concave and rolled bottom. Glassed heavy with 3x6oz deck, 2x6oz bottom and custom 747 fin. My current favourite board. Turns like you want it to, and goes warp factor 10 on the nose. Yeehaaaaaw! Love the blog, and the historical content. but, when are your films going to be available over here in Jolly Ol' Blighty? Kind regards, Rob


Saturday, June 26, 2010

raise your hand if you like to move!

i get by with the help of my friends.

yesterday my buddy dan and i surfed just before the piss wind got it. the day before that smukes saved me.
check the video!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

...brian hilbers, pig discussions...

brian hilbers. fine line surfboards.
i am stoked to know brian. every time i spend time with him, i want to spend more time with him. thank you brian for the passion you bring to wave riding implements. how is this fin brian is developing? when i was at sacred craft the other month or year or whatever... i spoke with brian about pig shapes. he had a magic sam replica under his arm as an arm rest (or was it a son of sam?). it was CLEAN. then i spoke to johnny the other day...and i am hearing murmmers of "the grey ghost". WHAT?!!! anyway, my life is as hectic as hectic can get right now...i ain't shitn YA! but i'll be damned if brian isn't popping in and out of my mind. i have been wanting to get some pictures that honor what MASSIVE contributions he brings to the table.
instead i get this. apparently brian had this up in his rafters. he brought it down recently. i hope to have a go on it soon. how is that fin?
below is the raw transcription from our conversation that contributed to the recent article in SLIDE

Brian Hilbers:

your first pigs, i think I mentioned this...Velzy was making some pig designs. Just post kook box, post finless boards. the guys that were doing the first pigs, were doing this all in balsa. Velzy was still kinda in the quasi kook box style. a pretty flat top, and just rolling the rail. Quigg and Kivlin were also making pig templates out of balsa. They were the first ones to actually start sculpting the boards in the third dimension. In other words like "hulling" it or whatever you want to call it. Theirs had the D fin of corse. Quigg and Kivlin's were going more and more foiled. Yater saw there boards , and that is when he started doing it. From Yater that is where Greenough started doing it , and they got more and more foiled which is where McTavish got it. Where it all started blowing up. Back in the mid fifties. We are back in 1955.

Mike Black

a kook box has its wide point where, and how did it ..its wide point is forward. so how does that wide point shift aft?


that came from some place in the hot curl. ok and i don't know who it was in the hot curls that actually moved the mass back. the whole trip with the hot curls was , it was the first 3d board that didn't have a fin. bare in mind they had to have something that would hold into the water. they weren't pacific homes, they weren't kook box...they weren't Simmon's. Simmon's were virtually kook boxes with a hulled front end. Simmons was playing wiith the bottom, and he was working with the balsa instead of the hollow wood system. Quigg was doing 8'2" to 8'8" in 55 to 56. they were 16" nose 21.5" width 16.5" tail. They were the baby squash. D fins. The wide point was in the middle. The template is curved at the half point. Kivlin got out of pigs and got into making those Malibu races that had the wide point forward again. But Quigg didn't he had the other stuff going on. Hobie Alter's foam blank came from the general design of Velzy's boards back then. Hobie was the first guy to start blowing foam. He got so wrapped up with orders he gave the foam orders to Grubby Clark.


How is that name "Grubby?"


Hobie for some reason made them longer. He went up into the 9's and that is when all of a sudden all the long boards went up into the 9's. But the guys that were doing these first pigs they were all like 8'6" . The movie Gidget has the malibu chips and the Quigg's being ridden, and all the Hobies are up against the wall. They all have opaque resin because the foam was so bad. They are usually white with blue stripes. You see both boards in the same movie. You see the wood and you see the pop out foam. The gidget double is riding a Quigg balsa I believe. Joe Quigg was riding an 8'4" or an 8'8" I believe. To tell you the truth...this is just pure speculation on my part...these boards had a certain amount of mass since they were made out of blasa. Hobie might have gone a bit longer since he was using foam. Try to preserve the mass to keep the glide since foam was so much lighter.

So that is where your pig shape kind of came about. Now as far as what mad them even piggy-er...Gnoll might have had something to do with it, or Velzy might have. When they got longer Velzy might have made them piggy-er. To get like more of the turn.

further words from brian:

We don't know if that fin is what made this board come into my hands, thirty years ago, after a previous twenty in some garage rafters- in other words, that this sled is a discard dog.

But I will say this, known since my last emails: I measured this sled, and the rocker is more generous (so, in my opinion, better) than other contemporaries (1959-1961) that I've checked out. This guy is a whopping 3.8" thick, but the thickness distribution coincides with my pig-outlook very well, as does the side-to-side contour. By the way, outline dimes are 16 3/8 x 22 3/8 x 16 3/8s; sounds like straight 1/2" dimensions, but shaped in a hurry. Fin a whoppin' 11" high by 12" long.
Other things showed up. For one thing, the template is ridiculously similar to my pedigreed 1964 Da Cat; this would make Greg a one-cart pony, with one template to his name and fame ( no surprise to me, if true- I've never held a high opinion of him as either a shaper or a designer), but this conflicts with the urban legend that Mickey was riding Yaters, got turned down by Rennie for a Model, then went to Greg with "his" board- hence a Rennie template Noll model. The differences are superficial- last 12'' of nose and tail only, but those differences do throw a Yater feel- simple tweaks in a basic wood bend template, hence available to anybody? No one knows but them, and I'll bet they'll never tell the truth (not meaning Rennie, rather "Mr Legend" and a dead man). You know anything real here?
By the way, to be fair, I'm really liking the nose and tail of this sled, and cut a fairly pedantic template of this shit- to give you an idea, I've had this thing for over thirty years, and never even considered "looking" at it, design-wise, until now. I fell in love with longboarding in the mid seventies, when NOBODY did it, on a carving spoon, and have ridden virtually nothing else since, longboard wise- narrow pig templates with hull propensities. I learned through feedback on how to make wide-nose hogs, just like I can make a rocking 6'1 elf-shoe- but I don't ride them. So many of my "pigs" could probably ride with a D fin, but I'm a simple soul, and I know they ride better with a Greenough-based foil. At least they way I want to ride them!
What I'm more giggly over is my Joe Quigg- like foils, based on his 8'-8'6 balsa Malibu rides from the mid-fifties.These had considerable contour in the bottom,, and led to Kivlin's stuff, but these had excellent pig templates- hence my attraction for over a dozen years now, until I finally tracked an authie down that I was allowed to scope out, officially. I've been playing with these for over a year, I call them "SYTs", for Sweet Young Things, figuring that they would be tailor-made, beaver-tailed-chick soul sleds. And so far, they are- originally, I started with a beautimous pig template (from Quigg), 16 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 16, at 8'4, and Kenvin-tweaked the bottom to Son-of-Sam like carve and trim vibe, with an almost-spooned nose, and a more "friendly" rocker.
I just re-played with a couple of these cuties: Threw in what I saw , bottom-wise, on the Grey Lady, then bumped up the tail thickness ummph, tweaked the nose rail and flattened the overall rocker, and came up with the SYTP: you guessed it, SYT-Pigs, and I'm gonna hit these up with 3 1/2" up fin boxes, but to be honest, I think they're gonna fly with front-tab 10" Lightweight fins (from Lagging Larry at Fibreglas Fin Co.) better than Ds, but the Rainbow front-tab D will hit tail with this box setup, so it'll be up for grabs.

check this out: the "grey lady"?

Del Surfboard

my buddy greg landers sent me this via he saw this when traveling around new zealand recently Mike, Most the boards my ol' lady and I came across when were in New Zealand were "Shred Town" shortboards, but we stayed at a farm house and the owner had this rad Del Pig that was his as a kid. He said the thing hauls ass, and when he was little, his best friend and him would ride doubles on it for fun. Cheers, Greg

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


i wake up today and wander on down the trail. as i get to the sand i see my buddy tom. it's still pretty early in the morning. he is changing back into his clothes. it made no sense. i asked him why he wasn't still surfing. he simply said "shark." i must have still been asleep, because i asked him to repeat himself. "shark." so i am just standing there with 2680 on my head looking at these beautiful glassy pig perfect peelers peeling by. i inquired further.

he was siting on his board looking at this bird that was floating VERY close to him. just as he was looking at the bird a 5 to 6 foot shark lumbered its way up and bit at the bird. the bird didn't fly away at first. the shark circled the bird then came back for another try. the bird flew away. my buddy paddled in. THE END
now my entire session was filled with that nervous eye looking for movement in the water. i caught some beautiful waves. i had a nice set that bowled so clean. i pulled in and scored a clean barrel. i wasn't even thinking about the shark. ...but you know this bing ...2680... is still new to me. i am figuring out what i can get away with...figuring out where she is sticky, where her acceleration pedal is. well, on this is going to pinch me. i was trying to encourage the board to climb the face, but instead she washed out. i lost my board. and as luck would have it...the fucking thing washes all the way in. i have to swim through the lagoon. it's a high tide. all of a sudden that shark story comes to mind. i am swimming as fast as i can. my heart rate is increasing. i was sure to scream like a baby if i would have accidently bumped a piece of kelp. CLASSIC!
here is a shark experience i had while in fiji: when we were filming for INVASION! we had a stretch in fiji. while in fiji, i was snorkeling and surfing all the time. this one morning i was the only one out at this reef. it was a fair paddle out. nearly a football field length. over about chest deep ultra clear water, until you hit the barrier reef. then it drops to who knows...suffice it to say it gets deep...quickly. as i was surfing i was shocked by the islands beauty. the shear tranquility of everything. it was a perfectly glassy day. not a breath of wind anywhere. it was perfect for this spot. not a huge swell, and plenty of tide. the night before was a fairly busy one for party-ing. i was up early , because there was only a 3 day window for the next 8 or 9 days where the tide was going to be right for the wind pattern. i had been out for about an hour. in that time, the sets would come about every 10 minutes. it was fairly inconsistent. when they came in they were head high or slightly bigger. this spot was hollow. you could back door the right and it would dump you into the cut of the reef..the channel so to speak. i had caught about 6 or so waves. epic barrels. i only wish casanova hadn't had that tropical boil. invasion would have a completely different feel, if some of these fiji sessions could have been filmed. some feeling comes over me, i decide to paddle in and get my snorkel. it was so calm and the water was so clear, it was perfect for snorkeling to. as i was rummaging around for my snorkel gear, i saw a buddy of mine. i told him to get his gear and we'd go for a snorkel. as we were going out... there was this Austrian pole vaulter that caught up with us. he was staying at the same bed and breakfast thing we were at. he joined us as we went for this snorkel. before we got going i laid out a strategy to get to the cut. i didn't want to approach the reef pass straight on. i figured we'd scare any big fish away if they saw us coming straight on. i was hoping to see a turtle or one of these huge grooper type fish. we swim up to the reef cut and peek over the side. it was crazy to see the entire floor moving. there were thousands of fish swimming from the lagoon out to sea. as my eyes were focusing on the thousands of fish, (mind you these fish were probably 20 to 25 feet below us)...i started to see them part. as if they were swimming to avoid something. i knew where all the coral heads were, and there wasn't a coral head where these fish were parting. i am floating out over the reef cut ...the shallow part of the reef was about 10 feet behind me. my buddy and the austrian are strewed about near me. i have no idea if they are seeing what i am seeing. we are floating. it is perfectly silent. the temperature of the water is so felt as if you were just being in emptiness. i am focusing on what is making the fish part. all of a sudden it is clear to me there is a large shark directly underneath me. just as i see it is clearly a shark, the thing rockets toward us. i broke down and straight PANICKED. i turned my back and swam like a mother fucker. we had that foot ball length to get back to the sand. all of us saw this thing. when we got back we looked at some fishing charts. it was determined that it was a tiger. all three of us had this strange bond after that experience.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

humility and honor. SLIDE MAGAZINE

i am humbled and honored by this piece of work. (click on the pictures...they enlarge)

maiden voyage bing 2680 (if there could be such a thing)

nice day for it. on the way down the trail i saw some of my buddies walking up. i had yawn patrolled it today. i kinda wisht I hadn't.
my (new to me) board (thanks hadely!) shreds!!! thank you gene for the blackboard fin. i think its a match made in heaven. i hope to still be getting the fin from adam at bing. i wonder how this board would ride with that fin on it? this board feels great. its just over 9' and 21.75 at it widest spot.
i love sliders point.
check the video!

Monday, June 21, 2010

my neighborhood

i love my neighborhood.

Dean Mueller's Linden Pig!

dean sent these to me via pig's were originally around 8 foot long. this board looks great! Hi There, My name is Dean Mueller. I found your site and I thought I'd let you know I purchased a Pig designed by Gary Linden. It's a one of a kind 7'10" with a a 1.5 inch Rosewood stringer and Volan glass. Just spent my first 2 days on it surfing Short Sands in Oregon. It's one sweet ride. Cheers, Dean Mueller



my buddy phil brought this to my attention recently.
i had forgotten about this movie. my dad took my brother and i to see it when we were young.
as my buddy phil pointed out....all this talk about surfboard design can be found in this youtube clip. exchange the idea of "tank" with "surfboard".

Sunday, June 20, 2010

surf ride

found these pix here