Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bob McTavish rode a surf mat once.........

............for a month!

Here he is pictured with one of the last longboards he made in 1965. He had laid the fin panel with alternating layers of black and white pigmented resin so as he could follow the foil shape as he was grinding it.

This photo is from a back issue of The Australian Surfer's Journal that I recently received containing George Greenough's scrapbook article which I am intending to scan soon and upload to Issuu where all the other GG articles I have discovered lately reside.

Anyway there is a letter from Bob to George, who were pretty close buddies, as you may well know having basically inspired the shortboard revolution together, and it contains the most interesting information in the following excerpt.

"I have been riding the mattress for a month solid. Sore foot and no board. It is great. Had a few 8 - 10 foot days on it. Up at Seal Rocks it was 10 -12 foot capping on a reef then pushing through a bay and curling for 100 yards. I'd start the drift right at the bottom of the first drop, and hold it for 50 yards. Sometimes right through. Sometimes I'd ride the whole ride backwards for some terrible wipe-outs, though get horribly eaten after getting bounced off in a hairy cross-up. I was riding the mattress soft, and it even pearled sometimes in bouncing stuff. Just clinging on. I wish you'd been there. It was perfect mattress surf. We would have got each other stoked. Went to another place that afternoon and I got one wave from way the hell out in this big rip. Solid 12 foot only one out. The mattress was just flying. Hissing. You know that fantastic sound and feeling. It went for at least a quarter of a mile. Wish you'd been there.
Hope the islands, movie and go-cart are in good shape.
See you sometime. Bob"

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered PG put that article together for George and had that letter in his possession for a number of years.