We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email alasdairlindsay75@gmail.com . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Saturday, 5 February 2011

1982 Mark Richards twin fin







the MR ridden by Grishka Roberts, Surf Scene winter '83.



Sent in by Nick from Newquay, here's a great board with an important history. One of MR's legendary twin fins, shaped by him in 1982, the year he won his fourth consecutive world title. Luckily Nick knows loads of history of the board as he's known it a long time-



'(This has been verified by the legend better known as Chris Jones who was shaping for Tad at the time and shaped thousands of these boards.) This board was THE one Tad bought back to the UK when he got the license to make MR boards at Vitamin Sea back in 1982. It was the very first MR into the UK and the one that all the others came from.

It was surfed by Vit Sea crew members Stuart Bedford Brown and Simon Tucker before being handed to Griska Roberts - his 1983 front cover for Surf Scene made the board famous.

Griska took it to the canaries where he left it in the back of a hire car and the back end of the board melted. It was chucked up into the loft when it got back to the Vitamin Sea factory
in Crantock st. The Vit Sea factory was a place that as a young grom I spent too much time ! Hanging out and watching boards being made and amazing sprays being produced by my mate Sam Jenkins.

A while later perhaps a year Arwyn Davis was in the Canaries and phoned Tad in an emergency to send some replacement MR fins as his had been knocked off and lost on a reef.

Tad went into the loft to dig out the old MR and take the fins off that. The board was having its fins removed by tad with a screw driver when I was hanging out there so I asked him to put some replacement fins on it for me as by then I had moved to London and didn't have a board. Tad said you'll find it hard to surf with the tail like that ...but he did it and sold me the board for £25.

It was surfed for a year or two on my trips down to Cornwall, it surfed fine as it was quite thick and really didn't seem to suffer from the lack of volume in the tail. One day my mum was clearing out the garage trying to make some space and told me she was going to throw it out! I managed to get her to keep hold of it until I next came down.

I took it back to Brighton where I was living at the time, it lived in a shed until Ocean Sports moved to their current shop in Hove. They started putting old boards on the ceiling of the shop so I asked them if they wanted to borrow the old MR. I took the fins off it a few years later when I got Steve Darch at Filf to make me a copy. The copy didn't go too well but it looked nice with those fins on it!

There is stayed finless and hanging from the ceiling for 15 years at Ocean Sports. In 2006 the great man himself Mark Richards visited the shop as part of a Quiksiver Tour and signed it. "Twin Fins Rule" he wrote.

I moved back to Cornwall in 2006, and last year (2010)I decided to bring the board back to Newquay and went to see Chris Jones who used to make MR's at Vit Sea to see if he could save it. He could not believe his eyes !! He has done an amazing job to rebuild the bottom shape complete with "flutes" between the fins and the rail. He even made new foam filled fins from the old 1980's template that he had in a dusty box kept from his days at Vit sea. The nice part of this bit of detail was that the template was taken from the very same board the new fins were being made for 29 years earlier !

The board has just been finished after a year with Chris.

I put a note on my facebook saying to Griska that "his Time Machine awaits" (he is away in Indo) the photo of the board has already been put on his profile with a note to say "Cant wait it looks sick!" ...and I also had Simon Tucker on the phone telling me that this used to be his board ...I had no idea he rode it until then.

My plan is to get these guys together and get them to surf it again .The board is 29 years old exactly (feb 82).

This week I decided that I couldn't wait any longer and waxed the board and took it to the beach - I surfed it ...it was amazing, incredibly fast and loose but held in really well - I was stoked and hooked ! I ride Firewire boards and love the feel, I have got rid of my PU boards as they feel dead - this board had me shrieking on take off as it was just so fast and alive - amazing but everyone who surfed it said that it was a "magic" board and I truly believe it is.

It must have been some sort of prototype as it has not dims on it at all, Chris measured it and its 5.10 x 3 x 20.5. It has a V pretty much from nose to tail and a load of rocker in it cant remember the measurement but it's more like a modern day shortboard than a fish according to C.J.
Here are some shots of the board as you can see the deck has taken a hammering but its all solid and feels fine when you ride it. I cant tell you the stoke I have looking at her knowing what she been through and that shes back in the water charging again ! Its been amazing how many times I have managed to save her from the tip.

I am very proud to own this little bit of UK surfing history.'
A classic little board with a big history, made by a legend, surfed by pros, put away, almost thrown out, and brought back to life to surf another day. Thanks for sharing it Nick and here's to another 30 years.

































Grishka on the MR ,1983/4 Fistral. photo Alex Williams



































from Tube News 1982

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