More Stoked by Bob McTavish

Stu Nettle
The Depth Test

Bob McTavish writes like he speaks. Short, rapid fire sentences are often interspersed with one word exclamatories. Understand? Cool! So if you have a penchant for stripped back prose this may be the book for you. Of course it'd help if you also possessed a healthy curiousity for Australian surf history or a taste for surf nostalgia.

Bob's first book was called Stoked and was a terribly popular release. Calling this one More Stoked may have the cynics sniggering, and, truth be told, it does have a faint whiff of franchising, but it certainly ain't Stoked Part 2.

Bob straightens that out early in the piece; where Stoked concerned itself with the shortboard revolution, More Stoked is a broader affair. It's closer to a biography, covering Bob's life from early schooling in Brisbane, to teenage vagabond in Sydney, sensing the coming changes while shaping at Alexandria Headland, to his infatuation with Lennox Head.

There's much more in between and, for this reader at least, it's the bits in between that make the best reading: the candid drug use, growing interest in religion, and influential figures who entered and left his life. The stuff you'd otherwise only read in someone's diary. Call me a voyeur but that's what makes More Stoked a worthy read. 

Interestingly More Stoked ends around 1980 before Bob got into his experiments with alternative manufacture and materials, and that is a whole 'nother story in itself. Not sure what he's gonna call that book when it comes out, though I could have a good guess.

Comments

z-man's picture
z-man's picture
z-man commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 7:12pm

At Deus Ex Machina - Canggu, Bali - Bob took a break and we discussed places we'd surfed and fins/drag coefficient. One of the nicest people I've met!

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stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 7:01pm

Here you go, Z-Man and Bob Mac


z-man's picture
z-man's picture
z-man commented Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 at 7:15pm

Mil gracias Stu! Can you form a clinic at Swellnet re 'How to post photo/s for dummies' ?

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blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 25 Oct 2013 at 8:25am

I have never met him but I had several of his boards. One of my first was an 8'6" Keyo with a red foam stringer, made just before he did the Plastic Machine. Later had a couple of Bennett's in the 7ft range. They were great boards and he had a huge influence on design right through that period. Of course later he went over to the dark side which might be forgiveable but was still disappointing for someone who, in different circumstances, could have continued to be a major influence.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 25 Oct 2013 at 12:02pm

Despite his part in the longboard renaissance Bob stayed on the cutting edge when it came to materials and manufactiring processes. Pro Circuit Boards, epoxies, Surf Tech, he kept his mind fresh with ideas.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 25 Oct 2013 at 2:13pm

He always had a creative approach to things and never stood still. It would be interesting to find out why he swung so heavily to longboards. Last time the subject came up it was suggested he needed to boost his business and that was about the only available option. If you look back to what he was writing in the Plastic Machine era, it is hard to reconcile that with going back to the boards that predated it. He was talking about vertical attack and breaking out from the straight line.....and ended up selling boards that, sorry Bob, were pretty much intended to go in a straight line!

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od commented Friday, 25 Oct 2013 at 2:28pm

Interesting thoughts, with an uncomfortable amount of truth in them. He may have been a great designer/innovator but that talent didn't transfer to his business skills (no offence if you are reading this Bob!) As I understand McTavish took a bath with Pro Circuit Boards and Surf Tech's. He doesn't even own the McTavish name anymore! That's right, McTavish Surfboards is owned by someone else and he is an 'ambassador'. He sold the rights.

Now if someone is going to sell the rights to their own name then that tells me he was in dire financial straits, and therefore the decisions made should be seen in that light. Feeding the family comes before retaining your reputation.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 25 Oct 2013 at 2:59pm

ABC radio interview with Richard fidler- mctavish avail to listen on their site.about an hour long
by memory it cover his bankruptcy and his religion [Jehovah ]

ol55's picture
ol55's picture
ol55 commented Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 at 11:16am

Bob didn't sell his name to get out of trouble with pro circuit..

he sold it to Cornish in the seventies for pennies.... who called it in, in the late nineties when Bob was making boards at Maddogs....just made Warren mad..

Enemies became friends overnight for a dollar. or two..

Bob made longboards after Pro Circuit as it was the only thing left for him to do..