Jim Phillips Surfboards Hawaii AAA

Nalu

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2021
231
1,399
Gualala, CA
I went down a rabbit hole to see if I could find any contemporaneous ads about the Model A or AAA in SURFER mags, but Surfboards Hawaii didn't advertise as much in print as other brands back then. The only mention of the Model A that I could find was in Volume 8, Number 2 (May 1967):

"Designer: John Price -1966- for all-around high-performance small wave. Cost: 9'6" $165.00. Leading rider: Pete Johnson / Sidney Maddon. Design Theory: lightweight flexible nose with concave bottom, thin semi-knifed rails, decks of tail hollowed out with 1/8 rounded bottom. This board combines extreme maneuverability, plus noseriding ability. The noseriding ability comes from the concave 17 1/2" bending nose with sharp rails. This combines the lift of a concave with edge control of a sharp rail. Noseriding ability is furthered by the straightness of the rocker when the board bends. The board will bend approximately 1" when you are on the nose, making a 4' long planning surface on the nose. The maneuverability is based on the light weight (approx. 26 pounds) of the board. The thin rails and rounded tail make the board turn easier."
 

Zenzen

Active Member
Dec 9, 2021
52
156
Japan
I went down a rabbit hole to see if I could find any contemporaneous ads about the Model A or AAA in SURFER mags, but Surfboards Hawaii didn't advertise as much in print as other brands back then. The only mention of the Model A that I could find was in Volume 8, Number 2 (May 1967):

"Designer: John Price -1966- for all-around high-performance small wave. Cost: 9'6" $165.00. Leading rider: Pete Johnson / Sidney Maddon. Design Theory: lightweight flexible nose with concave bottom, thin semi-knifed rails, decks of tail hollowed out with 1/8 rounded bottom. This board combines extreme maneuverability, plus noseriding ability. The noseriding ability comes from the concave 17 1/2" bending nose with sharp rails. This combines the lift of a concave with edge control of a sharp rail. Noseriding ability is furthered by the straightness of the rocker when the board bends. The board will bend approximately 1" when you are on the nose, making a 4' long planning surface on the nose. The maneuverability is based on the light weight (approx. 26 pounds) of the board. The thin rails and rounded tail make the board turn easier."
Thanks Nalu, that's a pretty detailed write up on it's performance specs. I really appreciate you taking the time to look it up and post it - much appreciated!
 

Zenzen

Active Member
Dec 9, 2021
52
156
Japan
The only other details I can specifically remember is that I took it down to Mexico, surfed a point break for a couple days and got it “dialed”. Because the rolled bottom all the way through the tail it wasn’t the best turning board, but if you surf a board enough you can figure it out.
But I never had anymore sessions as good as those in Baja, and trying to bottom turn it backside was difficult, so I didn’t end up keeping it.
But, take all this with a grain of salt: just one person’s experience with one particular board. I’d assume a modern version would have some modern sensibilities built into the board, and just the weight difference between a vintage board and modern one, and the fin options you’d have, would probably make a world of difference.
Thanks Ben, really appreciate the info!!!
 

surfore

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2004
568
298
USA California
Surfboards Hawaii was producing this model out of their factory in Encinitas where the Paloma Theater is now. John Price, Ed Wright, Al Merrick, Dennis Dobransky were all shaping there.

Besides the unique stringer glue up, the Model A, a square tail and the AAA, a pin or rounded pin tail - both feature a step deck and a dish nose concave.

Jim built the masters for all the “CA” SBH models such as the Model A, The AAA, Stylist I, Stylist II, and the SBH Noserider. These were amongst the heavyweight models of the “I’m not worthy” boards by the heavies in the early/mid 1990’s like the Velzy’s, Yater’s, Hynson’s, Hap Jacobs, Harbour’s, Takayama’s, etc… that you’d see at The Longboard Grotto, Just Longboards, SanO Surfboards, Santa Cruzin’, Beach House, Malibu’s Surf Shop, Longboard House, etc…
 
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Sax-son

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2019
1,761
2,233
High Sierras, CA
I went down a rabbit hole to see if I could find any contemporaneous ads about the Model A or AAA in SURFER mags, but Surfboards Hawaii didn't advertise as much in print as other brands back then. The only mention of the Model A that I could find was in Volume 8, Number 2 (May 1967):

"Designer: John Price -1966- for all-around high-performance small wave. Cost: 9'6" $165.00. Leading rider: Pete Johnson / Sidney Maddon. Design Theory: lightweight flexible nose with concave bottom, thin semi-knifed rails, decks of tail hollowed out with 1/8 rounded bottom. This board combines extreme maneuverability, plus noseriding ability. The noseriding ability comes from the concave 17 1/2" bending nose with sharp rails. This combines the lift of a concave with edge control of a sharp rail. Noseriding ability is furthered by the straightness of the rocker when the board bends. The board will bend approximately 1" when you are on the nose, making a 4' long planning surface on the nose. The maneuverability is based on the light weight (approx. 26 pounds) of the board. The thin rails and rounded tail make the board turn easier."
A $165.00 for a board was big dough for a board back then. Roughly $1500.00 in today's money, but certainly not out of line compared to today's prices. They were not that heavily advertised from my memory, but those that owned them gave them high regards.
 

CaptJAQ

New Member
Nov 13, 2011
4
8
Near DC
A good friend of mine had a vintage Model A, before someone nicked it from his yard... :mad:

I loved the design, so I stole most of the features when I had this board made in 1995. I knew a guy who used to be a glasser on the North Shore for Country Surfboards, and had this board made. He contracted a shaper named James Turnbull (JT) to shape it for me. I designed the rising sun color scheme, which turned out amazing, but somewhat hides the three stringer setup. So basically, this is a modernized Model A, with a bit of Bing Pipeliner/Peck Penetrator thrown in. (pulling in/narrowing) the nose and tail. This board has been my main squeeze since then. I've ridden it in everything from 1' slop to DOH hurricane surf (all East Coast). It is a magical board. Being a Hawaiian shape, it has rocker throughout, so it's not a wave hog, but in big surf, the rail fits really nicely into the pocket. Yes, the nose will flex when you get up there. I think that may be a combination of the stringers AND the step deck.

Here's a link to a Swaylocks thread that dives into JT a bit:

I'm looking to replace/retire this one soon. So we'll see what I come up with next. Hope it's as good as this one!

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