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simon anderson

Late 1980
Simon Anderson developes the Thruster design in response to the success of the twin fin 2 in small waves.
Familiar with the Twin fin 1, the Tri fin and Geoff McCoy’s No Nose design, Simon was inspired by a Twin fin 2 with a small stabilizer fin in a rear fin box - designed by Frank Williams/Hot Buttered Surfboards (- Ric Gliddon).
The design was tested extensively, one model taken to Hawaii for the 1980 season but not exposed to the media.
Initially treated with scepticism, Simons's succession of contest victories in 1981 (Bells Beach, Coke Surfabout and Pipeline Masters) emphatically heralded the design’s introduction and by 1986 it had universal market domination.
See Simon Anderson Reflects on a Decade of Shaping Surfboards (Interview)
Surfing World Magazine Volume 30 Number 1, circa May 1981. Pages 16 to 31.

1981 Cue Pro-Junior Contast, Narrabeen,
10 -11th and 17 -18th January
Sixth place to Warren Powell, of Lorne Victoria, riding a Energy Thruster.
Contest report by Nick Carroll (including Warren Powell surfing and board portait photograhs, page 17) in...
TRACKS Magazine, Number, Pages 15 to 18 . March 1981
February 1981

The first design article on Simon Anderson's Thruster appears in
Tracks Magazine,   Number 125  Page 7.1981. See original article...
Nick Carroll : Three Fins ? ? Simon Says ... Thrussttt !

May 1981
The rapid application of Simon Anderson's Thruster design by other top riders and shapers...
Dougal Walker :The Tri-Fin - Did God Mean It To Be?
Tracks Magazine May 1981, Number 128,  Page 16.
With continuing Australian influence, MR - Bronzed Aussies - Cheyne - Rabbit, many US companies were eager to grab a Australian surfer.
In early 1981 Nectar Surfboards signed on Simon Anderson and were immediately 'saddled' with the latest design fad. - the three finned Thruster.
The design was introduced to the US as early as May 1981, and virtually ignored.

Image Right : Cropped from...
Nectar Surfboards Advertisement
Surfing Magazine Volume Number May 1981 page 7
Reprinted in
SURFER Magazine Volume 22 Number 6 June 1981 page 13

Nectar Surfboards Pro - Series
Dean Hollingsworth - Simon Anderson - Greg Mungall
132 E. Cliff
Solana Beach, California 920775
(714) 755-5492

1981 Bell's Beach Contest
Remarkable not only for the largest competition swells since 1965, but also for Simon Anderson's competitve introduction of the Thruster design.
Not only did the board handle the extreme conditions, but Anderson placed first.

Simon Anderson, Huge Saturday (Energy Surfboards, Thruster)
Photograph : Peter Simons
Surfing Magazine Volume 17 Number 9 September 1981 page 35.
For film of this event see David Lourie, Jack McCoy and Dick Hoole's Storm Riders, 1981.

The design had been previously used by Warren Powell at the 1981 Pro-Junior (see sbove), and he also competed at Bells with fellow Lorne surfer, Wayne Lynch, in a "Legends vs. The World" demonstration event.
 Wayne Lynch was impressed enough with the design to immediately order three.
His previous experience with early 1970's Tri Fin designs indicated the potential of Simon's fin setup.
Also note Tinkler Tail comments.
- Notes from Personal Interview  : 10 March 2005.
Film of Wayne Lynch riding one of his Energy Thrusters, see David Lourie, Jack McCoy and Dick Hoole's Storm Riders, 1981.

As an example of the divergency in design at this time, in second place at Bells was Cheyne Horan, riding a McCoy Surfboards' single fin Lazor Zap.

Rip Curl - Born at Bells
The 1981 Bells Contest, A True Classic
Surfing World
July 1981
Volume 30 Number 2 Number 184.

Photos: Aitionn, Channon,Spence
Warren Powell
Nat and Wayne
Peter Harris
Cheyne Horan
Tom Carroll
Nat Young

Cheyne Horan, 2nd place (McCoy Surfboards, Lazor Zap)
Photograph : Peter Wilson
Volume 17 Number 9 September 1981 page 34

Other competitors rode a variety of Twin Fin  (Mark Richards, Shaun Thomson) or sinle fin designs, with a variety of models
Channel Bottom   Shane - Freefight - Col Smith Surfboards
Clinker Bottom  Byrne Surfboards
Drifta  Hot Buttered Surfboards)
Common design features included ...
No-Nose, Egg or Foiled templates; Flyers; Channels;  and many tail variations.
On the large Saturday, many surfers were under-gunned and opted to ride borrowed boards.
A sudden rise in demand for Energy and Hot Buttered Surfboards was noted.
For example, Marc Price from South Africa borrowed an Energy Thruster in preference to his Twin fin models.

Trials semi-finalist and  future World Champion Barton Lynch, had a fine example of big wave backhand surfing when he shared a wave with Wayne Lynch (no relation). 

1st    Simon Anderson
2nd   Cheyne Horan
3rd    Tom Carroll
          Derek Hynd
5th     Mark Richards
          Terry Richardson
          Richard Cram
          Gabe Callaghan
1st.    Bobby Owens
2nd.  Mark Warren
3rd.   Ian Cairns
4th.    Mark Price

Tracks Number 129 1981 June

Back cover of Tracks October 1981

Piping Hot Wetsuits - Power & Performance
Simon Anderson, the winner '81 Bells,
'81 Surfabout surfing in Piping Hot.

Illustrating the effectiveness of his design, Simon's the outside rail fin is clear of the wave while the two other fins are proving excellent control on this Narrabeen (?) wave.
To be picky, the
extra point of stability of the very stylish left arm drag is slightly cheating.

Nat Tri Fin Nat Young’s response to Twin fin 2 success, it featured his standard rail and bottom designs with a No Nose template and two 4" side fins and a larger centre Greenough fin.
Image left :
Simon Anderson, Narrabeen, Coke Contest, 1981.
Cover shot for Surfing Magazine
Volume 17 Number 9 September 1981.
Caption : ''After back to back IPS wins on his revolutionary 3-fin Thruster, Simon Anderson looks to be the man to beat in '81.''
Photograph : Aaron Chang

Surfing World
 v30 n2 1981 n184
Simon Anderson Cover.

Advertisement for Ocean and Earth, 1981.
 Featuring Simon Anderson and Thruster.

Simon Anderson and Thruster, 1981.
Photo by Bruce Channon.

Simon Anderson and Thruster,
Pipeline Contest, December 1981.
Photograph : Aaron Chang
Surfing Magazine March 1984
Volume 20 Number 3 page 118.

Simon Anderson's Thruster for Nectar Surfboards.
Breakout [USA]
April/May 1982 Volume 2, No 6.

Rell Sunn and Nectar Thruster, Taapuna,Tahiti, 1982.
Photo: Jeff Divine

Four Fin development of multi-fin experimentation by Glen Winton following Mark Richard’s Twin fin 2 and Simon Anderson’s Thruster.
Original design created by removing the trailing fin of a five fin board.
Occasionally reprised, most often on Slab knee-boards.

A-Team Sand and Snoboards
Tracks, April 1982, page 10.

Dutchman Joop Nederpelt ... boardsailing on hydrofoils (a Russian invention) is a unique experience.

Peter van Wagensveld:This is Freestyle Windsurfing
Fontana Paperbacks, Great Britain,1982
Photo-text: pages 126-127.

Pro Series epoxy molded board, developed by Bob McTavish from European sailboard technology.
Range of designs (plugs based on several current pro-surfers’ boards) and colours with molded ‘markings’ and/or adhesive ‘decals’.

Fin Plugs alternative design to the long used Banfield fin box, more applicable to the current thinner and lighter shapes.
First models by FCS and AFS.

Mac T: soft rails and deck board with rigid plastic bottom in four models, developed from Morey Boogie technology for the beginner’s market by Bob McTavish.
Other manufacturers produced similar boards.
See Morey-Doyle 1974

Nadine Kahanamoku attends dedication ceremonies for the Duke Kahanamoku Commenorative Park on the northern headland of Freshwater Beach, 26 January.
A gift to the community by Harbord Diggers Club, Warringah Shire Council and Freshwater Life Saving Club, it features a statue of Duke Kahanamoku surrounded by mosaic plaques dedicated to Australian surfing champions.

The Nugget: Geoff McCoy’s No Nose/ Lazer Zap design reprised, this time with standard Thruster fins.

Phazer: Bonzer / Thruster combination by Rusty Priessendorfer (USA)
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Geoff Cater (2000-2022) : History : 1981- Simon Anderson