It's hard to believe it's been 50 years since I shaped my first really successful design: the Noosa '66. Although I'd been shaping since 1962, I mostly shaped what the bosses asked for - Scott Dillon, Bill Wallace, and Hayden Kenny, among several others. Once I was isolated at the thinly-populated Sunshine Coast, and surfing Noosa all the time with great surfers like Reynolds Yater, Bob Cooper, Russell Hughes, and Algie Grud, we developed a unique design that featured a wider, hippie tail with a small 5" pod, and a narrower 17" nose with a parallel mid zone. This design allowed fast pivot turns and cutbacks, quick trimming, and a brilliant noseride in the curl. The design proved successful and influenced many Australian shapers.

To celebrate the design, my son Ben and I ran off to Noosa and hand-shaped twenty accurate copies. Jake and Doc up at Thomas Surfboards kindly threw open their factory doors to us, and we got to work! After securing wide redwood stringers glued into our specially rockers blanks, we templated an original board from 1966, carefully copied the bottom roll and rocker, nailed the fine rails of the time, and slaved away getting these 20 absolutely perfect! The glassing, fastidiously done by Jake Bowery, is all original 10oz Volan - one layer on the bottom and double layered on the deck with a special extra-wide lap, just as we did it in '66. The fin is a full Volan layup, and therefore is kinda milky, just like the originals. The fin is initially attached to the stringer with brass nails, another unique feature from the era. Finally, we had the boards glossed, but back in the day we were always so eager to ride the boards we hardly ever bothered to cut the bead of finish resin off the rails! So for these authentic replicas we actually left the rail bead in place, and finished the rest of the board with a light polish.

We are offering just 20 hand-shaped, signed and numbered perfect replicas of the original Noosa '66, designed and shaped by the same guy, in the same town 50 years later! Pretty unique, huh? I'm proud of them! Check 'em out here.

Bob McTavish

Video & imagery by Lockie Marley