I was crammed into Brisbane’s New Farm picture house with 1200 other surf clubbies from all over the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, almost all Brissos, who’d descended on a Wednesday night to catch the first surf movies screened in that town - Bruce Brown’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ and ‘Barefoot Adventure.’ Bruce was magnificent in his white suit, standing on the stage adjacent the screen, working the volume dial on the reel-to-reel music track, strong West-coast Jazz specially written and recorded for Bruce by several leading guys. He would fade the volume as he narrated live over various bits, with his classic dry wit and in-depth observations - 'there's enough power in these Wiamea waves to power a small city’ and ‘The guy you see on the screen right now is generally regarded as the best surfer in the World…. Mr Phil Edwards!’ We were speechless, silent, and in awe as he continued: ‘Phil is actually right here in the theatre with us tonight……’
The surfing on the screen was light years ahead of what we were doing at the time in Queensland. Even the best of us looked clumsy and stumbly compared to Phils style and power, combined with a flair for artistic positions under stressful wave situations. All in all, you'd sum up his appeal as Graceful. Grace under pressure. So powerful, so appealing.
Hobie Surfboards always took the inside front cover of Surfer Magazine, and when the milestone Phil Edwards Model hit that page, it instantly became the worlds finest board available, all shaped personally by the great man. It featured three stringers, elegant Volan cutlaps, and the sweetest rocker ever! Phil said the stringer layout supplied better balance, along the lines of the tightrope walkers pole. Other shapers did variations of Phil’s concept, Mike Hynson, Skip Frye, Midget Farrelly, and Harold Iggy amongst them. All beautiful boards.
Well those epic days are gone, but the elegance, the speed, the power, and most of all the grace live on. When we put together our McTavish Trim Invitational event at Noosa Festival 2016 I shaped a bunch of boards loaded with those great ingredients. What else could we call it but GRACE??! We took inspiration from all those guys, and made it our own through fine tweaking, like narrower stringers, and a more tilted “reverse pixie” fin, and Billy Mclean’s incredible take on the sixties Volan cutlap glassing.
Elegant trim, power, and Grace are back!