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the catalogue #198 

1974      Weber Surfboards (USA)     Bonzer          6 ft 8" 
#198


MANUFACTURE
MANUFACTURER: Weber Surfboards, USA.
SHAPER:
DESIGN:  Bonzer
DESIGNERS: Duncan and Malcom and Campbell (USA)
SPECIFICATIONS

CONSTRUCTION
Fibreglassed foam blank, 1/8" redwood  stringer, spray, fin box. post production r/h plug 

DIMENSIONS
Length :
6
ft
8
inches L2d
Width :
 19 1/4
inches
Wide Point :
 +6
inches
Nose :
 13 1/2
inches
Tail :
 12
inches
Thickness :
  inches
Pod :
7
inches
Nose Lift :
  inches
Tail Lift :
  inches
Weight :
  kilos
Volume :
  litres
Diamond :
+1 1/2
inches  


FEATURES
Nose:  pin
Tail:  diamond
Deck:   flat
Bottom:   single concave at sweet spot , splitting to  deep double concaves in front of the fins to the tail
Rails:  down, soft blocky
Rocker: medium
FINS:
Centre fin box : 8 inch @ 4 1/2''
Centre fin : 7 1/2" x 5 1/2'' base 
Moulded wide base, thick profile, rear fin tab. 

Bonzer / Keel fins :  2 1/2" x 9 1/2'' base @ 9''
 Not toed in, parrallel to stringer.
Tipped out at 45 degrees
Thin, not foiled.
Clear laminated.

#25 McCoy/Brewer fin

DECOR
DECALS:
Deck:   ' WEBER ' blue text with black shadow @ s/spot.
Bottom:
MARKINGS:
Deck: None 
Bottom: 
# 25 McCoy
COLOUR:
Deck
Orignal - Green sprayed rail panels, sprayed blue shell stencil at rear sweet spot.
Restoration - Green over-spray with white stripes.
Bottom:
Orignal - Green sprayed rail panels.
Restoration - Green over-spray with white stripes
NOTES

BOARD HISTORY
Dimensions and photographs Sydney Surf Auction, Mona Vale  Hotel, Sydney, 25 - 26 September 2003
Catalogue No. 123 : " WEBER (USA) Bonzer, 6 ' 6'', 1974 rider, rare collectable, very good nick."
Notes by Mick Mock, PO Box 330 Manly NSW Australia 2095.
Thanks to Mick Mock.
COMMENTS
The board has been extensively repaired and 'restored'.
This is most noticeable in the extreme weight, which would severely limit it's current surfing performance
Since the board has been largely recoloured, I assume the paint covers a multitude of repaired dings.
It is possible that the weight is the result of fully re-glassing the existing board, including filler and gloss coats.
If this was the case, then it is a most unsatisfactory method.
MANUFACTURER HISTORY
Weber Surfboards (USA) : 
Dewey Weber - flambouyant hot-dog surfer of the early 1960's
Noted 1960's design : The Weber Performer with Hatchet fin.
Early 1960's manufacturer, label still operating.
March 1967 Nat Young Ski
DESIGN HISTORY
Original design first shaped in December 1970 by Duncan and Malcom Campbell  (USA) characterized by forward concave leading to double concave each side of the centre fin with two keel- type fins set on the rails (radically toed-in and cambered).
See http://www.bonzer5.com

The bottom design has  similarities with the shape of Rogallo hang gliders, first designed in the late 1940's as a method of recovering returning space capsules by NASA.
F. M. Rogallo predicted in 1949 that "Portable delta wings will give bith to a popular sport"
 - quoted in Desfayes (1974) page 41.
By the early 1970's, hang-gliding was a sport in rapid transition with a large amount of media exposure.

As a sign of the powerful influence of Australia in world surfing at this time, the name Bonzer (also Bonzar, Bonza) is an Australian expression for “excellent”.

In late 1973, the Campbell Brothers lisenced the design to Bing Surfboards for commercial development.
The design then became associated with Bing's head shaper, Mike Eaton, who had played a significant role in the development of the Twin fin 1 in 1970. See image and notes, below.
The Bing models were noted for the wedged Bonzer decal that was laminated on the side fins.

Australian exponents of the design included ...
Peter Townend (Gordon and Smith Surfboards). See image below.
Ian Cairns (Gordon and Smith Surfboards),  rode  a Bonzer to first place, 1973 Smirnoff Contest, Laniäkea , Hawaii and Terry Richardson (Skipp Surfboards). See image below.

Preceeded (contempoary?) by the Tri-fin of 1971, the design had some influence on Simon Anderson's Thruster of 1981.

Further adaptation in 1988, the Phazer - a Stinger/Thruster adaptation ( 3 similar fins with 2 small Bonzer D-Fins) initially credited to Rusty Priessendorfer for Rusty Surfboards (USA).
Later identified as another original design by the Campbell Brothers.
See John Wythe White :Surf Wars :The Bonzar,  June 16, 1999
http://www.honoluluweekly.com/archives/coverstory%201999/6-16-99%20Boards/6-16-99%20Boards.html

See: Cambell Bros. Surfboards: History (July 2011)
http://bonzer5.com/history/timeline/1970-birth-of-the-bonzer/


Mike Eaton of California; responsible for reviving the twin fin. 
Seen here with his 70's brain child 'the bonzer'.

Photograph : Drew Kampion
Nat : History (1983), page 108.

Following legal representation by the Campbell Brothers,
this caption was changed in the second edition (1985) to read...

Mike Eaton of California; responsiblefor reviving the twin fin. 
Seen here with The  Bonzer. 
Designed by Malcolm and Duncan 
Campbell of Oxnard, California.


REFERENCES
OTHER BONZERS
#180 South Coast Surfboards
#221 Cooper Bonzer

MAGAZINES
Articles
1. Jim Neece: The Bonzer
Surfer magazine Vol  14 # 3 September 1973 page 64
See image below.
2. Steve Core: The Bonza
Surfing World Volume18 Number 2. November 1973
3. Mick Mock : Richo's Choice
Deep magazine , No 18 Spring 2000, pages 22 to33
4. John Wythe White: Surf Wars :The Bonzar,  June 16, 1999
http://www.honoluluweekly.com/archives/coverstory%201999/6-16-99%20Boards/6-16-99%20Boards.html
5. Steve Barilotti : Belief System : The Bonzer Saga
The Surfers Journal 2004? Volume 13 No. 2 pages?
Advertising :
BOOKS
Warshaw, (2005) page 73.
CONDITION: 7 - note weight.





Peter Townend and G&S Bonzer, circa 1974.
Nat : Fundamentals (1985) Page 102.

Image left :
Terry Richardson and Skipp Surfboards Bonzer, circa 1975
Photograph : Steven Cooney
Tracks magazine, January 1976 Page 25


Jim Neece : "The Bonzer"
Surfer magazine 
Vol  14 # 3 September 1973 page 64

Plans for F. M. Rogallo's Delta Wing Kite, 
circa 1969.
April 21, 1970  Patent Number 3,507,464 
Filed March 18, 1969.

From 
Desfayes, Jean-Bernard :
Delta - The Hang Gliding Book
Hassener Publishing, Inc.
Drawer B, Newfoundland, N.J. 07435 circa 1974.
Page 30.



surfresearch.com.au
home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2003-2011) : Weber Surfboards Bonzer, 1974.
http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000198.html