Silver Surfer / by Nathan Judd

Mona Vale, a summer Sunday, 1977, the EH station wagon was packed, the expectant mum in the passenger seat, the mint 7’0’’ gun was tied to the roof racks with nylon cord, the hint of frangipani on the evening breeze.

7 hours later pulling into the moonscape of bitumen car park of irremediably solid orange brick flats, the morning awaited- crisp white shirt, plaid pants, 9 – 4:59 public service decades commenced.

A vision of how this degraded gun found its way into my hands via the Canberra institution that was Revolve. The board bears the scars of south coast rock shelves, and following ignominious retirement to the garage, paint from a childhood pantomime and disregarded in a spring clean.


Despite its spongy rails, dinged and stressed deck  and dirty silver enamel etc, the flyers and fineness of the rails caught my eye. Home it awaited my wife’s nail polish remover (acetone) , revealing a highlighter yellow deck and providence mid nose- a slowly revealed, designed and shaped by Terry Fitzgerald, Hot Buttered!


Terry’s boards represented the cutting edge of big and small wave high performance surfing, art meets design, evolution revolution. Fitzgerald, via Morning of Earth fame, is captured surfing fast and styling like a bullfighter off the bottom at Pipe, Sunset- his board designs and inventiveness had international  influence.


A truism that any board that survived the era wasn’t any good, pointed to this being a reasonable example as it had survived but only just. A refurbishment now planned - retain the patina of history, remove the silver enamel, replace the carbog, new rovings for the wobbly fin drilled to take the first of the legrope cords.   A new gloss coat to seal it all up. Soon she’ll feel the water, the line in on the curl and the speed of an open face. Watch this space.