Friday, 25 April 2008


Beautifully shot & check the alaya barrel ??!

The North Devon Boys ..

A strange bunch seem to hang about above Bideford & here's their leader Mr Simon Skelton , posing with a few of his ply gems ...

Monday, 21 April 2008

Sorry for the silence ..

Sorry to have been away for so long . I was visiting North Devon under cover of a short family break ! I managed to airmat one evening much to the amusement of locals ! I was regarded with curiosity by the locals & then dropped in on !
Whilst visiting Braunton i happened upon that hirsute concertina player himself Mr Simon Skelton who insisted on showing me his new 7' Pink Cedar big wave bellyboard ! I have recorded the tweeded eccentric & his plywood treasures on film & may well post soon .
In the meantime I would just like to say "Whilst I have nothing against people trying to stand up on small wooden planks , this blog is all about bellyboarding PRONE on short bits of ply & not part of the current finless fad ..
& to show that im not against a bit of stand up heres a recent 'found in the attic' bit of UK surf history ...

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Wise Words indeed !

Thanks to Henry for a copy of 'You & Your Surfboard ' by Vernon Bartlett published in the 50's ..
Note the reference to using your Landlady's tea tray !

Tuesday, 8 April 2008


Hows this for the beach in 1966 !
" Now , if we can only get someone to remake those beach balls ...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

New frontiers

John and I are making our way through the fascinating world of bellyboarding and picking up a few choice splinters along the way. I have just been in Australia speaking with the like of Tom Wegener and Derek Hynd about the merits of finless wooden craft in particular wooden bellyboards. Tom considers them to be a potential saviour for all of us frolliking around in the waves, bellyboards expand the range of ridable surf, making the most unlikely conditions stoke-worthy. Derek sums up his feelings best by stating that his goal is to find the ultimate fin-less board and make it out of wood.
On visiting Mr Wegener, he graciously accepted a gift from John of a 1950's Penzance lightweight model, he was so interested in the UK scene and made us up two of his own model boards based around the ancient Hawaiian craft. The 50's Cornish board is on the left whilst the central board is a 5'4" belly board and the larger board to the right is a 7' Alaya/Alaia style board designed for both prone and also stand-up ridng. Both of toms boards go amazingly fast. I have personally ridden the 5' 4"bellyboard several times now and it is such an involved and rewarding experience, over and undertaking those foolish enough to drop in and sliding all the way to the beach with a grin that has produced tan lines in my face.