THE DILLON

Scotty Dillon was a great surf traveller in the fifties, hitting California and Hawaii before anyone. When he got home to Bondi he got into making Balsa boards with his mate Noel Ward. Ward and Dillon. A very early almost forgotten label. This was in the late fifties, the "pig" era, named by Californian Dale Velzy for the fat tail, narrow nose template that he observed as real pigs ran through a crush while getting loaded on a truck to the abattoir. True story.

Well, Scotty had learned of the early foam experiments of Dave Sweet, Hobie Alter, and Grubby Clark in California, so he set to having a go. Now, expanding a foam blank is akin to a slow-motion explosion over a ten minute period. An unstoppable force as liquids turn to gases and create cells in the gelling resins. Like other Aussie board makers at the time, he put together a mould of welded steel framing with a Fibreglass form about an inch thick inside. Mix the chemicals, pour into the mould, close the lid and..... horror! Two minutes later the lid is bulging up and groaning. "Quick Noel, grab that prop!" Scott slammed the four by four between the moulds lid and the roof bearer. One more minute and the mould is tearing and splitting, and the whole roof is forced up at least a foot. The creaking, groaning and ripping noises are horrific!

Finally, the expansion ceases, and the boys are left with a mess of iron and glass and foam, and an irate landlord who boots them out.

Scott moves to Brookvale and starts again, with a stronger mould this time. that's when I started working for him, first as a sander, then shaping in a few months.

This board I shaped in Bondi at the Deus board swap 18 months ago is in dedication to that event, the blowing the roof off at Bondi. The shape is pure fifties, the fin same old Queensland maple, and the gel coat finishing techniques are exactly what Scott was doing at the time. The heavy pigment gel coats were to hide the mass of holes in those early foam blanks!

Amazing guy, Scotty Dillon.     

Bob

Photo's by

Thomas Walk

Lockie Marley

Doug Andrew 

Jack Eden