Skip to main content

Seventies Stick

1387 600x146 1

So out of the blue we got an email from a viewer that had an old board he was looking to sell.
The last thing we need is another board, so we told him to put it on Craigslist and if it didn’t sell
we’d talk about buying it.

7137 422x600 1

It didn’t, and we did.
So we decided to do a little research on the origins of this beauty.

The guy we bought it from, Bill Poehler, got it from Dave Johnson at his shop out by the
airport in the mid seventies. He had never ridden anything but a longboard before. In fact,
he was on the Wardy surf team in the sixties and one of his balsa boards hangs today in
the Beach House Hall of Fame.

9128 600x406 1

Turns out Bill didn’t much care for the way a shorter board felt. He surfed it at Campus
Point, out at the Pastures, now called Ellwood Mesa, Haskells, Rincon and Refugio. The
board was fast and quick compared to the 9’9″ balsa Wardy he was used to riding,
but didn’t float him well, so it went into the rafters and was soon forgotten.

3196 532x476 1

This is what caught our eye. The unusual fin and the classic leash.

A group of his friends were trying out different fins to see if they would make the boards more stable
and this was one they tried from the windsurfing arena. He thinks he probably got it from a friend who
let him try it and it just became part of the board as we moved on to windsurfing in the 80’s.

6145 600x223 1

These things sparked our curiosity as well.
A classic Dave Johnson logo and of course that interesting piece of foliage glassed
on to the deck. So we decided to take it to the source to get some more info.

1391 482x600 1

As always, Dave was more than willing to take a short break from shaping and
check out a relic from his past.

5172 600x444 1

The memories came flooding back and Dave let loose with several classic tales of the
Golden Years and his early days of shaping. We need to do a page on this dude’s history in Goleta,
but he won’t stop shaping long enough for us to do it!
Still going strong.

7140 600x255 1

This was one of Dave’s first logos. It was done by Jack Meyer.
Meyer went on to be a very successful airbrush artist and also doing boards for lots of  local
shapers like Al Merrick and Spindrift.

6145 600x223 1 1

The leaf was an expression of identity and of the lifestyle at that moment in time…
….plus it was a cool gimmick. …..still is, in fact.

8134 514x400 1

The leash.
Dave remembers selling these at his board shop in I.V.
The red white and blue had to be from the bicentennial craze of ’76.
These were the full bungee strap eye poppers that soon evolved into the leash we know today.

5174 600x168 1

And the hand written signature of the shaper.

3195 600x339 1
3195 600x339 2

But as for the fin, Dave suggested we talk to Chuck Ames.
We did, and Chuck had a good laugh. He said definitely after market,
eighties windsurf inspired. Cool looking, but function value= zero.
Unless you were a sea grass collector.

6146 328x457 1

Overall, Dave was stoked, and says he still makes this shape for guys today.
Thanks Dave for taking time out for this and thanks for still shaping quality boards.
Support Dave and get a real custom shaped board made right here in Goleta.
Click Here for Progressive Surfboards.