Bruce Fowler V8 Lean Machine

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,918
3,648
California
I don't think most V Bottoms from 'the era' were made with hollow waves in mind.

I had always found it hard to fit wide boards in tubes........ hence the Pintailed Pipecleaner approach.

It might be more an issue of width than anything else and the more recent group have been slimmed by about 1/2" on average. The wider plan shape was aimed at delivering more horsepower in gutless surf whereas Midget's original was a stringer less 8'0" that he recalled at about 22" wide. He also designed a uber big hatchet fin "for increased drift".

I will be posting some "eye candy" from the group of stock 'build aheads' I've just finished preparing for the summer season. They range from 5'6" to 8'10" in Single Fin, 2+1, and 4+1 fin configs, some colors, a lot of clears, a few using Isophthalic resin, some with Volan, a couple of Fabric inlays........ I think Midget told me the one he made was in EPS foam...? I would like to do some but haven't had a good glassing resource for those builds as Haakenson quit doing Epoxy last year.

Here's just a few starter pix from my files then I spend the time to take some photos of the new sleds that are ready for shipping.
7.4 V8 Demo.jpg
OWINGS V8 2+1.jpg
RUDY V8 ABSTRACT COLOR WORK.jpg
G.K. 8'0_ V8 DECK VIEW 2020.jpg
BFV8 4+1 Fin Options.jpg
BFV8 blanks.jpg
BFV8 Tail Angle.jpg
BFV8 Tailblock Chamfer.jpg
BFV8 FOR GEOFF K. 2020 PROFILE.jpg
SHAWN BFV8 revised.jpg
 
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Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,918
3,648
California
The V8 V Bottom is an homage to yesteryear's design that hailed from Australia circa 1967-68. The jury is still out as to whether Midget Farrelly or Bob McTavish deserves the lion's share of credit for the design, but as surfboards began to go shorter, Midget was the only competitor to show up with an 8 ft. deep V Bottomed surfboard in the Australia versus Windansea surf contest held in Oz. That board was a stringerless 8 footer around 22" wide that wowed the competition as Midget carved deep rail turns in the soft crumbly surf that day. Nat Young was still riding his favorite board, "Sam," a 9'4' and it wouldn't be until later that McTavish & Nat would be spinning a tale to the "Plastic Fantastic" camera crew citing history that Midget took exception to. Dick Graham's photo of Midget taken at the contest and his account tend to support Farrelly's claim.

Recently Greg Huglin asked our longtime, mutual friend, George Greenough, his recollection on the above subject, to which GG replied "Midget, no contest".

Midget told me he only made ONE which G&S made a model from and they reportedly sold thousands of them esp. on the East Coast & Florida in particular. The design worked exceptionally well in soft one to five foot surf on the East Coast.

McTavish & Nat became immortalized from "Surfer Magazine" photographs of them riding (and spinning out) at Sunset Beach & Honolua Bay, and of course the pseudo history (according to Midget) was largely fueled by the "Plastic Fantastic" movie storyline.

At the end of the day, it is most likely "The Hotcurl" was the first vee bottomed surfboard that attempted to provide more 'directional stability' up until the time Tom Blake attached a rudder aka skeg aka fin on surfboard.

Regardless of the Who, What, When & Where, the "V8 Vee Bottom" is my homage to the short lived early day V Bottoms that were often criticized as "spin out queens" or, even more harshly, the "surfboards that don't work". Yet it was G&S that introduced Midget's design to America, and reportedly sold thousands of them finding that they worked exceptionally well in small soft waves, especially along the Eastern seaboard.

I have taken the design further, updating it while still remaining true to some of the V Bottoms earlier attributes, and even its perceived flaws. This design has a very deep Panel Vee and wide tail that is foiled to allow the rider to stand in a more forward, closer to center turning position while carving on rail. If the rider desires a looser feel, he/she fudges her foot position back a little at a time at which the board will begin to feel much like a smaller more maneuverable counterpart. The extra long center fin box is positioned well forward allowing the surfboard to set the rail deeper into the water while pivot carving.

The "V8" is not a longboard. V8 has its own distinct personality but perhaps is a tiny bit similar to a displacement hull. Control comes from turning closer to center. The distance of the trailing edge of the fin to the nose becomes the board's 'wheelbase'. If the rider stands too far back the board will feel squirrley or even release and spin out. I intentionally designed the board to ride this way so that a higher caliber surfer can play with this feature executing powerslides or even controlled spinouts once he/she learns the "sweet spots" of the board.

"V8's" are wicked fast in small, soft surf. A fun & ideal ride for 1 to 5 foot surf. They can be ordered as a dedicated Single Fin, 2+1 or "4+1" for different riding characteristics. "V8's" have and are being ridden daily all over the world and its cult following is growing among many who already own BF's Plain Jane/V Machines. Open your mind, your ass will follow.
20210402_145134.jpg
CUT BACK.jpg
MIDGET BOARD CLOSE UP 1967.jpg
Midget V Bottom Turn color.jpg
BFV8 6'0%22.jpg
BF SHAPING VIDEO.jpg
Closet 2.jpg
BF.SHAPING.CLOSEUP.jpg
BF SHAPING CLOSEUP .jpg
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,918
3,648
California
A supremely stylish surfer, Midget was the 1st World Champion, & had a competitive record that eclipsed Nat Young's.

He was a grossly underrated Surfboard Designer & Shaper who was ostracized by his constituents because he chose to forego smoking pot & doing drugs.

This resulted in the surfing magazines shunning any accomplishments he made in surfboard design as well as becoming the most prolific surfboard blank manufacturer in Australian history.
I clicked on it & it came up for me...... worth a try...... pretty neat segment.

 
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Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,918
3,648
California
Ha, that 2nd photo freaked me out at first!

I thought what happened to the tail.......... shark chewed it all up?!!!

Then I realized it's just buried in the sand. lol
 

Niau

Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2020
846
1,266
Necarney City
The V8 V Bottom is an homage to yesteryear's design that hailed from Australia circa 1967-68. The jury is still out as to whether Midget Farrelly or Bob McTavish deserves the lion's share of credit for the design, but as surfboards began to go shorter, Midget was the only competitor to show up with an 8 ft. deep V Bottomed surfboard in the Australia versus Windansea surf contest held in Oz. That board was a stringerless 8 footer around 22" wide that wowed the competition as Midget carved deep rail turns in the soft crumbly surf that day. Nat Young was still riding his favorite board, "Sam," a 9'4' and it wouldn't be until later that McTavish & Nat would be spinning a tale to the "Plastic Fantastic" camera crew citing history that Midget took exception to. Dick Graham's photo of Midget taken at the contest and his account tend to support Farrelly's claim.

Recently Greg Huglin asked our longtime, mutual friend, George Greenough, his recollection on the above subject, to which GG replied "Midget, no contest".

Midget told me he only made ONE which G&S made a model from and they reportedly sold thousands of them esp. on the East Coast & Florida in particular. The design worked exceptionally well in soft one to five foot surf on the East Coast.

McTavish & Nat became immortalized from "Surfer Magazine" photographs of them riding (and spinning out) at Sunset Beach & Honolua Bay, and of course the pseudo history (according to Midget) was largely fueled by the "Plastic Fantastic" movie storyline.

At the end of the day, it is most likely "The Hotcurl" was the first vee bottomed surfboard that attempted to provide more 'directional stability' up until the time Tom Blake attached a rudder aka skeg aka fin on surfboard.

Regardless of the Who, What, When & Where, the "V8 Vee Bottom" is my homage to the short lived early day V Bottoms that were often criticized as "spin out queens" or, even more harshly, the "surfboards that don't work". Yet it was G&S that introduced Midget's design to America, and reportedly sold thousands of them finding that they worked exceptionally well in small soft waves, especially along the Eastern seaboard.

I have taken the design further, updating it while still remaining true to some of the V Bottoms earlier attributes, and even its perceived flaws. This design has a very deep Panel Vee and wide tail that is foiled to allow the rider to stand in a more forward, closer to center turning position while carving on rail. If the rider desires a looser feel, he/she fudges her foot position back a little at a time at which the board will begin to feel much like a smaller more maneuverable counterpart. The extra long center fin box is positioned well forward allowing the surfboard to set the rail deeper into the water while pivot carving.

The "V8" is not a longboard. V8 has its own distinct personality but perhaps is a tiny bit similar to a displacement hull. Control comes from turning closer to center. The distance of the trailing edge of the fin to the nose becomes the board's 'wheelbase'. If the rider stands too far back the board will feel squirrley or even release and spin out. I intentionally designed the board to ride this way so that a higher caliber surfer can play with this feature executing powerslides or even controlled spinouts once he/she learns the "sweet spots" of the board.

"V8's" are wicked fast in small, soft surf. A fun & ideal ride for 1 to 5 foot surf. They can be ordered as a dedicated Single Fin, 2+1 or "4+1" for different riding characteristics. "V8's" have and are being ridden daily all over the world and its cult following is growing among many who already own BF's Plain Jane/V Machines. Open your mind, your ass will follow. View attachment 42750 View attachment 42751 View attachment 42752 View attachment 42753
Thanks for this. My ears perk up every time that era is discussed by anyone with some personal connection. So much was happening and most people only had the narrative promoted by the magazines to go on. Never understood how the contribution of someone as talented as Farrelly was dismissed. An all time favorite board was a Challenger Micro Light rounded pintail Vee which I could have/should have kept and ridden much longer, but I succumbed to the marketing buzz that convinced me they were dated. It was years before I had a board that worked as well for me. Much I later acquired a Keyo plastic machine from the original era and it was a beast, with flashes of brilliance I could rarely predict.
Do you make this board in a round pin?
 




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