Monday, April 5, 2010

Bonzers, Belief and Simon

Found this image on the Campbell Brothers facenook site. I'm not sure why there are no fins. As far as I know, Duncan and Malcolm Campbell have pioneered three to five fins on surfboards since 1970. Maybe it looks more UFOish that way. But the fin is the critical distinguishing feature between their baords and the rest of the planet's.
Image courtesy of Magicseaweed
They call their boards "bonzers", which is Aussie slang for fantastic, excellent. The first time I saw a"bonzer" board was at Coolum, on the Sunshine Coast of Australia around 1976. It was owned by the late Pete Hansen (RIP) my old hitchhiking buddy and I'm still kicking myself for not trying it out. While the rest of us were soul arching on single fins and click clacking on twinnies, Pete was scorching across Laguna Bay and Rainbow Bay on this alien three-finned board with super severe concaves through the tail.
Image courtesy of Magicseaweed
The Campbell Brothers are still making bonzers in a range of shapes and even featured a few in the Malloy Bothers' surf movie, Shelter. Some punters like this Brit below have whole quivers of bonzers.
Image courtesy Cambell Bros
Simon Anderson exposed the Thruster to the world at Bells Beach in Easter 1981. Unlike today where it's about 2 foot and no contest, Bells that year was massive. Simon won that 1981 Bells Contest, the Coke Surfabout and the Pipeline Masters in the same year. Three fins became real popular. And 30 years on, guys like Dean Brady (also a huge natural footer like Anderson) are jamming their thrusters into pits like this.