Monday, 26 January 2015

Bringing Back The Bonzer


1970 was the birth of the Bonzer.

The Bonzer is the archetype of the modern surfboard. It was the first tri-fin surfboard (Dec. 1970). Although unbeknownst to them, others were working on a three fin design of there own. There was a big difference between the two fin setups. They had half moon shaped side fins placed behind the centre fin, and their keel shaped side fins were placed forward of the centre fin. Almost four decades of success for the Bonzer, and almost three for the Thruster, they have demonstrated the archetypal nature of our original design concept.


The Campbell Bros

hp-system (1)

There are two main characteristics that establish the Bonzer as an archetype.
  • Our establishment of the triangular arrangement of the three fins, with side fins placed forward of the center fin. The side fins were placed 10 1/2” to 12” from the tail and 1 1/2” to 1 3/8” from the rail. They were also towed in toward the nose at what has become the standard angle
  • Our design and development of the single to double concave (double through the fin area) bottom. This bottom contour was designed to work in conjunction with the fins to organize the water flow through the tail area.




Gordon & Smith

bonza gordon and smith




                  Wreck Bay 20th January 2015

                  Finally some decent waves to get this board into, so after arriving at 6am and finding 20 + guys out already on the peak  in a solid 4ft east swell and drizzle ring rain to match , I jumped off the point at Learners which had no frothing riders on it and surfed my heart out for the next 3 hours , enjoying 100 metre long walls with a inside bowl section. This was a perfect test for this new board and I am very pleased with the end results. I had been riding my surf mat the previous 2 weeks while letting the new one cure, so when taking off on my first wave ,


                  I was so stoked how the board drove off the bottom with no wobble , I could feel that large rear fin and side keels pushing cleanly through the turn and back off the top with no slip or slide.


                  Don't get me wrong , this is NOT a replacement of modern design, and I would have been surfing more vertically with a modern Tri Fin set up , but that's not what I am after and its the ‘FEEL ‘of what I am riding that counts…and this board feels ‘fricking awsome!’ It has way more volume of foam towards the nose than what I am normally riding and way less rocker and nose lift as well, but not once did it feel like pearling on the takeoff and the extra foam at the front made the long paddle back to the point a breeze. Mick copied this design from a 1975 Chris Crozier designed kneeboard ,  keeping with the same Venturi channels , glassed in keels and rear fin setup



                  10 “ fin box compared to the original 14 “ , and a broader based rear fin over the more narrow fin and whipper kneeboard fin that was popular back in the 70’s





                  As you can see in the above pictures, Mick did a great job keeping to the original concept and design from 1975, with the channels not quite as deep with his modern version. I have ridden this board since in smaller conditions and find it now a great all round fun board , plenty of buoyancy and volume to help compete against the modern mal riding surfer and when in big surf, it flies , such a enjoyable all round board. This board has a full gloss finish, carbon fibre deck patch and the most import thing is canted  ‘glassed in keels ‘ and not those little plastic ‘D’ fins, set in with a FCS plug setup , that you see advertised around by other manufacturers , its nearly becoming a lost art to get a custom , hand shaped board nowadays, with most manufacturers having to compete against the cheap imported boards from overseas.


                  The dimensions are 5’ 9” x 22 3/4 x 2 3/8 , with a rounded square tail and venturi channels starting half way down from the nose and down between the keels and fins. I have a few comments about the position and size of the fin and can point out that I surf off my tail more so  as you can see in the following  pictures and videos. I have recently edited a lot of converted Super 8 video from the 70’s and one big thing I noticed is that most kneeboarders back then were kneeling at least 6 “ further forward than we do now days , so what might have been the norm back then in fin position etc., it does not apply to the way I surf in 2015 , but duly noted for al those who like living in the past .


                  As you can see that I am wearing a helmet with a Go Pro attached, and below is the vision from the water, and as you can see how  crowded the main Peak was and why I don't bother on days like this with the crowd when I can paddle over to the point and get waves to myself!

                  crowded from adam williams on Vimeo.

                  mackie designs bonzer kneeboard from adam williams on Vimeo.

                  Slideshow of pictures taken from the shore by Eric Bridges, many thanks mate for standing in the low light and rain with a umbrella for 3 + hours and saving our gear from being washed away on the beach.

                  Marcus Hague


                  Marcus paddled out to battle the crowds as I was coming in and had quick word with him and saw his first wave, which he got smoked on.The crowd was getting real bad by now with over 40+ guys in the water, they were even starting to head over to me on the point. He lasted about 6 waves and came in, we must have past another 10 guys on the track walking in!










                  Small but Fun


                  bonza morning from adam williams on Vimeo.

                  After all the hassles ducking and weaving holiday crowds and dawn break surfs, I wandered down to my favourite local reef not expecting much in wave size and could not believe that it was small , empty and super clean warm water. I was tripping more on how clear the water was, and when taking off watching the weed and reef through the wave face as I rode across the face. It lasted for a hour before another surfer  showed up and with him entering the water I made a exit to the beach!


                  By 8 am everyone woke up and started to arrive by the car load, it was not that big or even pumping, but still they marched down the track and into the line up. Makes me appreciate getting up early and actually having a look and not relying on what the latest internet forecast has predicted.


                  What a Bonza Morning!!




                  JEREMIAH JOHNSON - REALLY ALL OF US (BalconyTV)

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