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dick brewer's big wave design history, 1989 

Lust in the Dust

An Era of Big-Wave Equipment Evolution
by Dick Brewer

Brewer, Dick: Lust in the Dust -An Era of Big-Wave Equipment Evolution.
Surfer Magazine
Vol 30 No. 10,  1989, page 105.

The modern big-wave board design - consisting of a foiled shape, low rails in the tail, and single or multiple fins - came from Bob Simmons.
By 1957 Wally Froiseth and Woody Brown had smoothed the design, reduced the area in the tail and developed the pin-tail.
Froiseth and George Downing proved the design at Makaha.
Joe Quigg and Pat Curren were the artisan boat builders of surfing.
Quigg represented the lightweight, soft- edge school.
Pat was noted for his hard-edged, flat-bottom boards.
When Curren visited me at Surfboards Hawaii in Haleiwa during 1963, he had a 9'4" full gun, an 8'4" semi-gun 3" thick, and a 4'6" twin-fin kneeboard.
All these boards were ahead of their time.
In 1965 John Peck introduced the low rail nose on a small-wave board.
In 1966 Mike Doyle introduced the low rail nose and tail on the 10'5" gun he won the Duke contest on.
In 1967 Gary Chapman rode Sunset Beach on a 9'7" Brewer, then an 8'6".
Barry Kanaiaupuni rode Chapman's boards, and said, "This is what's happening-R.B.. small guns."
This was six months before Nat Young and Bob McTavish would show up with their 9' deep vee- tankers.
The Brewer team traveled from Oahu to Maui, then to Kauai to be creative.
With Reno Abellira, Gerry Lopez, the Chapman brothers, Jock Sutherland, Joey Cabell, Jimmy Lucas, Jackie Eberly and Mike Hynson, it was quite a scene when they showed up at the beach.
The tri-fin was invented by myself and Reno Abellira in 1969, after working with David Nuuhiwa at Greek Surfboards, where he designed the first fish.
By 1972, unable to get publicity for my tri-fin work, I shelved development until a later date.
Simon Anderson finally showed us where to put the fins in 1979.
In 1970 Terry Fitzgerald and I thinned out the tail, boxed the rails and came up with the beginnings of the modem big base fin.
In late 1971 I shaped the first modern foiled surfboard blanks for Clark Foam: the 7'4", the 8'1" and the
Today, the leading exponent of the kick-tail/kick-nose school of surfing in Hawaii is Pat Rawson.
In California it's Gary Linden.
This rocker is an extension of what Herbie Fletcher and I did at Hobie's in 1965.
We had Sandy Banks glue up blanks that had totally flat bottom rockers in the middle, with a super kick-nose and super kick- tail, and a Camel deck.
Joyce Hoffman rode one of these - "the Batman board" - successfully in competition.
Technically, my Waimea guns are the same as 10 years ago.
However, small changes have given us more bite and maneuverability.
Working with Owl Chapman, I have used test riders Roger Erickson, Darrick Doerner and Ace Cool to produce a new Super-Gun.
The result is the new Clark Foam 10'9" Brewer Blank.
The tri-fin dominates up to 15'.
Above 15', as tails get narrower, the single-fin becomes more efficient.
Roger Erickson is now riding a slot-fin on his Waimea board, exactly like the fin on my sailboard.
Tbe slot ehminates spin-outs and helps maneuverability.

Brewer, Dick: Lust in the Dust -An Era of Big-Wave Equipment Evolution.
.Surfer Magazine
Vol 30 No. 10  October 1989, page 105.
Image Top : Owl Chapman, Waimea Bay.
Photograph : Jeff Hornbaker


home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2007) : Dick Brewer: Big-Wave Equipment Evolution, 1989.
http://www.surfresearch.com.au/1989_Brewer_Lust_inthe Dust_Surfer_Oct_v30n10p105.html