the catalogue #356
Nat Young Surf
ft 5" Shaped by Nat Young
MANUFACTURER: Nat Young Surf
Design Mona Vale
DESIGN: Nat Pin tail
DESIGNER: Nat Young/Joey Cabell
Fibreglassed foam blank, 1/4"
redwood stringer, pigment laminate, r/h plug.
||6ft 3 1/2''
Wide Point :
Nose Lift :
Tail Lift :
Bottom: very subtle
concave, flat, then slight vee before
Rails: chunky down rail
with tucked/breakaway edge
7 1/2' x 6 1/2" base x 9
1/4'' span @ 7 inches .
This is unlikely to be the original fin, see Comments.
An example of Nat's standard laminated Greenough Stage IV fin is
Board from the Bill and Kerrie Martin
collection, with thanks.
The board was purchased by Kerrie for $10
at a garage sale in North Nowra, about 1999.
Images and dimensions 26th December
At some point, possibly not long after purchase, the board has
suffered serious damage, as evidenced by the extensive repairs
to the nose.
This damage could have been inflicted by
the board falling from the roof of a car, and these repairs may
have also included the replacement of the fin.
Two early pintail design precedents
were shaped for Nat Young by Harold Iggy at Weber Surfboards for
the Hawaiian winter of 1968-1969 and ridden to 5th place in that
year's Duke Kahanamoku Contest.
The two boards had identical large sun
decals on the deck.
The following winter (1969-1970):
"We ended up in Hanalei Bay and
got to witness Joey Cabell surf Hanalei at 18 to 20 feet.
I stood on the deck of the
Princeton Hotel and watched him, 800 metres off- shore on the
board that he'd shaped himself called "White Ghost", 9- foot
6-inches long with down rails tucked under to an edge and a
completely flat bottom.
It was a memorable experience
indeed, and for the next few years Joey was to be my hero and
guiding light as far as equipment was concerned.
The Smirnoff contest kicked off
at Makaha Beach in the last week of November (1969)and I was using a beautiful
8-foot 6-inch down-rail gun inspired by Cabell, with a 9-foot
board as backup.
With no surfboard company to
appease I'd got Cabell's shaper Steve Teau to shape both of
the boards before I left Kauai."
-Young: Nat's Nat (1998) page
In early 1971, Nat Young had relocated
to a rural acreage outside Byron Bay on the NSW North Coast where
" turned the property's old
farm-machinery shed into a surfboard factory, building the
glassing stands myself and, with Garth Murphy's help, a
It was really satisfying building
boards at home; I did everything myself and there were always
plenty of orders, what with sales to a growing number of local
friends and Ray Richards, from Newcastle, who asked me to make
boards for his shop whenever I had time between custom orders.
I modelled them on the board I
was riding at that time, a scaled-down version of those Cabell
had been surfing in Kauai; 7-foot long by 201/2 inches wide, a
double-ended pintail with soft, low rails tucked under to an
I coloured them all in soft
pastels and used very small pivot fins, as with that design I
found that I didn't need to use much fin at all, the drive
coming from the bottom shape and low rails.
Over the course of twelve months
I kept reducing the fin size until I'd got it down to only
7-inches deep and 3-inches wide at the base.
I believe that this period in
Byron was the best I've surfed in my life."
-Young: Nat's Nat (1998) page
It was at this time that the footage of
Nat at Broken Head was shot by Alby Falzon for inclusion in The
Morning of the Earth, see below.
The design featured a compressed
pintailgun template, 2nd phase concave bottom, soft box rails with
a hard edge, large nose lift and a small Greenough single fin.
The early models Byron Bay models
usually featured grey/blue pigment laminate and this was continued
when the boards were initially manufactured for Bennett Surfboards
Later Sydney models, first at Bennetts
and later at Nat's Mona Vale factory, had sprayed blanks.
While the early models often had, as on
this example, one of several large Oriental decals (see
below), by the mid-1970s this was replaced by a large naked female
and floral illustration, see #151
These design was manufactured,
virtually unchanged until 1981, thereafter it was reconfigured by
inverting the position of the wide point, widening the tail and
installing a tri-fin set up.
See Nat Young Tri fin # 57
OTHER NAT YOUNG BOARDS
Tri fins (1981): # 57 #
- images below.
COMMENTS : Replacement board
1. Falzon, Albert and
Murphy, Garth (Photographers) :"Nat and His Boards and His
Tracks magazine October 1971,
Note Pintail and Squaretail
2. Nat Young : ''Ten Years
in the Planning''
Surfing World magazine Vol 26
#4 1978 pages 24 - 26
Photos by Bruce Channon, image below.
Book of Surfing page 64.
Fundamentals pages 100 - 101.
Same text as # 1. above. Includes
reprint of Pintail/Backhand photograph in Magazines # 1, noted
Extensive references and
photographs, note pages 228 to 236.
1. Alby Falzon: The
of the Earth, 1972.
While MOTE is packed
with an incredible amount of high quality surfing performances,
the sequence featuring Nat Young (in his regulation red
boardshorts/longsleeve vest) at Broken Head, NSW, is arguably the
In extremely fast breaking waves, Nat
fails to make his first two when he attempts to speed trim though
Subsequently, he is more successful by
forgoing the straight line approach and rides at the curl speed by
maintaining a series of fluid turns whereby the board is
constantly accelerating coming out of the top turns.
This effectively was the ultimate
expression of McTavish's Break Out From
the Straight Line Theory, formulated in late
See Source Documents: "LADIES
GENTLEMEN AND CHILDREN OF THE SUN.."
Through the 1970s
this approach would typify shortboard surfing, with
straight-line surfing generally confined to riding deep in the
Towards the end
of the 1970s, South African Shaun Tomson extended performance
levels by advancing the method whereby he was "turning
inside the tube", see Bill Delany's Free Ride
2. Alby Falzon: Crystal
Nat in California on green 8 ft Pat
Morgan Surfboard (three circles decal) with a long base keel fin.
3. David Sumpter: On Any Morning, 1974
Nat Young in Bali and 1972 Coke
Contest, Fairy Bower.
4. Nat Young: Fall Line, 1979
Victoria with Wayne Lynch.
Nat Young with
Square Tail, circa 1971
Photograph : Alby Falzon
Geoff Cater (2013) : #356 Nat Young Pintail,