pods for primates : a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900
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the catalogue #346

1967  Keyo  Vee Bottom  8 ft 4''  Stringerless, The Virgin, Shaped by Neil Purchase 

MANUFACTURER: Keyo Surfboards 19 Sydnenham Road Brookvale Sydney
SHAPER: Neil Purchase
DESIGN: Vee Bottom
DESIGNERS: Neil Purchase (Bob McTavish - Midget Farrelly)

Stringerless foam blank, Volan glass. 
Length :
ft  4 inches L2:
Width :
Wide Point :
 -ve 3
Nose :
Tail :
Thickness :
 3  1/4
Pod :
Nose Lift :
Tail Lift :
Weight :
Volume :
Chamfered Pod :


Nose: rounded, with post production multi-coloured wedge repair.
Tail:  chamfered rounded square
Deck: flat, with long chamfer to the tail.
Bottom:  light round - deep vee
Rails: 50/50 egg
Rocker: light - medium

11 1/2 inch x 9 inch base x 12 inch span @ 9 1/2 inches
Laminated Fibreglass

Deck: Small Keyo heart in maroon - probably cut from a larger decal.
Deck: Virgin  - pencil  on pod, incorporating the decal.
Deck: Clear 
Bottom: Originally black resin gel.

Nose repair and remnant of original black decor
on the bottom.

Right :Tail.

Vee bottom at the tail.

All board dimensions and images courtesy of David Bell, with many thanks.

David prepared a booklet with the images reproduced in this entry, detailing the board dimensions and copies of various of book and magazine articles revelant to the history of thie vee bottom design.
His booklet cover image is reproduced to the right.

In 2000 Manly surfing enthusiast, David Bell, purchased what was obviously a late 1960s vee bottom surfboard, although at the time it was completely covered in blue house paint.
He subsequently had the paint (and, regrettably, other colour decor) professionally removed which revealed at the tail a small Keyo (Surfboards) decal incorporated into a pencil script identifying the board as the "Virgin".
In his initial attempts to determine the provenance, Manly surf memorabilia expert Mick Mock directed David to a 1998 Tracks magazine profile of Manly surfer David "Baddy" Treloar by Derek Hynd.

Hynd reported:

"He left Balgowlah High at 16 and took on the role of shit-kicker at Keyo Surfboards.
These were the innovative days of the McTavish Plastic Machine, and Baddie saw it all unfold.
The way he tells it, an unsung Keyo worker played a heavy role in its development.
'Like me, Neil Purchase was a shit kicker, 8 till 4, no time off to surf.
He made the first vee-bottom short board, a stringerless 7'4".
It had a black bottom and a clear deck.
Neil made it from scratch.
He called it "The Virgin".
The big names used to work around the surf, and Ted (Spencer) took it for a surf at Long Reef, then (Bob) McTavish and (Kevin) Platt rode it.' "

- Hynd, Derek: Surfers in History - David Treloar
Tracks magazine, December 1988, page 28.

Treloar's recollections were not completely accurate - the board held by David Bell is in fact 8 ft 4'' long, a much more reasonable size for the period.

Extended accreditation:
Illustrating the complex and ad hoc nature of research, in June 2010 I was contacted by Andrew Kidman in regard to a board design by Rod Ball and during our phone conversation I mentioned my current project was revising the history of  transition boards during 1967.
Andrew noted that he had some material that I may find interesting and posted a booklet compiled by David Bell that contained his photographs and dimensions of the Virgin and copies of several relevant magazine and book articles, including the Tracks' article quoted above.
Therefore, thanks to David Bell, Mick Mock, Andrew Kidman, Derek Hynd and David Treloar.
Neal Purchase's naming of the board probably indictes it was the first surfboard he shaped, at least at the Keyo factory.
For an extended history of the development of vee bottom boards see:
history: a period of transition 1967-1968
Between February  and November 1967 intensive competition between Sydney manufacturers and their stable of surfer/shapers (primarily Midget Farrelly (Surfboards), Palm Beach and Bob McTavish at Keyo Surfboards, Brookvale) saw length reduce from 9 ft to 7ft. inches
Reduction in length was a major step forwards in performance with a tighter turning arc.
This saw a concentration on the tail area to improve turning....
- the widepoint was moved back, and in some cases emphasised.
- deep vee panels in the bottom
- wide planning tail, in many cases with a chamfered tail to adjust water flow.
- Greenough style flex fins were standard and fin placement was advanced towards the back foot
The nose was now only two steps away (not four), and nose riding was not overlooked...
- the nose retained a wide round profile, and sometimes featured a concave
Volume lost by length reduction was offset by increasing width and the deep vee tail and many top surfers continued to kneel paddle, although average surfers could only paddle these boards prone.
- the use of deck patches is common
- many boards continued with a stringerless blank.
Rocker was slightly increased, with a bit more nose lift.
Rails retained the standard 50/50 egg thin rail.
Standard Greenough style fins got finer and longer, in experimentation with extreme flex. Some fins snapped above the base, many show warp or twist.
Colour was mostly clear, with decor restricted to decals, volan overlaps and patches.
Resin pinlines or pannels were rare, Pigment/tint rarer.
Usually only one decal, placed on the deck, at either sweet spot.
Decals were larger, more colourful and psychedelic/art deco in design, for example George Rice circle.

Other Vee Bottoms :
#26  1967   Gordon and Smith,  Vee Bottom 7 ft 7"
#168 1967   George Rice, Vee bottom 9ft
#3   1968   WM, V-bottom 8 ft 3"
Other Keyo Surfboards

Neil Purchase riding The Virgin, 1967.



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