The Polyester King

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Walk into a surfboard factory, any surfboard factory, and the hierarchy is the same. It starts at the top with the head shaper, the guy with his name on the boards, then beneath him is the sander, the glasser, the glue up guys, and towards the bottom is the ding fixer. Levi Jones, however, began his career even lower than the ding fixer - he was the ding fixer’s little brother. 

When Caleb Jones wanted to move up the hierarchy of the Wizstix factory on the NSW Central Coast he brought in his 16-year old kid brother to start fixing dings. Thus did Levi Jones take the first step towards being the best ding fixer in the business, a guy Mark Richards now considers a genius.

But this story is about much more than fixing dings.

The Polyester King and his studio

Levi’s workshop isn't easy to find. After turning off the highway between Sydney and Newcastle, I wound through quiet country backroads, tried to follow the numbering system on the occasional farmhouses, and pulled up where I thought it may be. A collection of shipping containers stood on the lot, perfectly colour-matched to gum leaf green. No surfboard. No sign. But at the back of one shipping container I spied an exhaust duct. It had to be.

Through the open door I see Levi using an orbital sander. He gives a slight nod of the head, kills the power, and lifts his dust mask exposing his bloodnut beard that falls to his chest. Pleasantries exchanged we walk into an adjacent container where four surfboard stands occupy the middle of the room, and along both walls and across the roof are surfboards of varying vintage and condition.

Levi rattles off the merits of each board: some are his personal boards, some are for clients, some of them he found and he’ll fix them up for a sale. All of them are significant in one way or another. “This is Terry Fitzgerald’s personal rider,” says Levi, pulling an early-80s Hot Buttered Drifta off the rack. It’d been snapped just forward of the fin and was mid-repair. 

I recall reading an obituary for that very board penned by Terry Fitz himself; an unequivocal announcement of its death at the hands of eldest son Kye. “Big Red died in a beach break tube,” wrote TF, “on a crisp clear spring morning, with an offshore blowing and nobody out. Kye buried Big Red in a poetic end.”

“Big Red is Dead. Long Live Big Red.”

Long live indeed. “When it’s finished you won’t be able to tell it’s been snapped,” says Levi, who’s a surfboard reanimator. Through divine intervention he brings them back from the afterlife.

Further up the rack is a stubby Outer Island single fin that’s in one piece, but that’s its only redeeming feature. The board is hopelessly discoloured and the deck has a huge delamination patch.

“It’s a rare bird that board,” Mitchell Rae tells me later. “It was made in 1970 at the Palm Beach boathouse, which makes it one of the earliest surviving Outer Islands.”

“I didn’t know what to do with it,” explains Mitchell about how it ended up with Levi, “but I’d been observing his work on Facebook, seeing him do increasingly complex work and I was really impressed. Clearly he was the man for the job.”

Levi learned to mix and fix under the tutelage of Gary ‘The Wiz’ Loveridge at Wizstix, but the Wiz is quick to point out that it was much more than his knowledge that got Levi to where he is today.

“He came in to fix dings,”says the Wiz, “so I showed him all the basics of mixing resin and colour matching, but before long he’d found new ways to do things. Levi just has a flair for it. He’s quicker, more efficient, and he gets better results than anyone.”

“He’s the best ding fixer I’ve ever come across.”

But, as already mentioned, this story is about much more than fixing dings.

Australian surfers are recent students of surf history. Up till the late-90s it was standard practice to toss old surfboards away, maybe hock them off at Cash Converters for a few bucks, or just leave them by the side of the road for the twice-yearly clean up. It was mass genocide. Generations of boards were destroyed, while others were maltreated, many of them historically important.

Maybe they were crucial links in the design timeline, or they had a famous name under the glass, or perhaps they were representative of a bygone era. They were laid to waste by a culture that didn’t care. Cut down, turned brown, left to rot.

The attitude has changed since the turn of the century, and over the last decade Facebook has allowed vintage board collectors to gather and exchange thoughts. Knowledge that would otherwise be lost is shared freely on pages such as the Vintage Surfboard Collectors.

“There’s a wealth of knowledge to be found on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors page,” says Gavin Scott, who’s a regular contributor. “Some of the information that gets shared on there is phenomenal. It’s the only place you can find that depth of history.”

The Vintage Surfboard Collectors page also provided a platform for Levi Jones to display his expanding skill set. For years, before and after shots of Levi’s projects would extract gushing praise, rare glee amongst the social media spite. The page itself isn’t immune to outbursts. Like all niche communities, surfboard collectors follow a byzantine code of ethics and any transgression is put under the social media griller.

“Some collectors just want their old boards to look brand new,” explains Gav. “For them it’s about money or status. But Levi gets it….he gets it.”

Gets what? I ask.

“Look, if you’ve got one of MR’s personal riders, those heel impressions are from MR himself. Those dings, they’re part of the board’s history, all the marks on it.” And it’s not just personal riders, all old boards tell a story, according to Gav. “The history is all that matters, and Levi is maintaining our history.”

Unfortunately not all of Levi’s customers abide by that principle. “Sometimes customers want a complete overhaul of an old board,” says Levi. “Something you wouldn’t really call authentic. Thankfully it’s the minority. There’s a growing recognition that the history matters.”

As we chat, a machine whirrs in the background and the wind blows through the gum trees overhead. Levi is softly spoken, I lean in to hear him, but I can’t catch a phrase he’s saying and ask him to repeat it.

“Kintsugi,” he says a little louder. Now I can hear him but I have to ask for an explanation of the word. “Kintsugi is a Japanese tradition where broken things, pottery for instance, are repaired and they become more beautiful for the repair.” So here I am, sitting barefoot beneath gum trees learning ancient Japanese philosophy from a bloke sporting speed dealers and a nipple-length beard.

Kintsugi, as it happens, rests comfortably alongside Gav’s explanation of maintaining our surfing history: the boards are made waterproof again, but they display the battlescars from their years in service. “Boards are only original once,” says Levi profoundly. He’s wearing a beatific smile as he says it.

This Hot Buttered collaboration, shaped by Brewer, Hawk, Chapman, and Fitzgerald, with Martyn Worthington mural copped the kintsugi treatment. Says Levi: "It would've been easy to do a full re-finish but being a board of high historical significance we retained as much of its originality as possible. A few minor cracks and stressies have been left and only period correct repairs for all the rest of the damage."

Not all the boards Levi works on follow the kintsugi philosophy, some are restored to near new condition, with airbrush sprays to boot. In fact, the machine I can hear in the background is an airbrush being operated by Martyn Worthington. Made famous through his work at Hot Buttered, Martyn’s art inspired a thousand panel van sprays. 

About ten years ago Levi was doing up an old Hot Buttered and on a whim he called Martyn and asked if he could spray it. Martyn had moved away from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and by chance he lived just a few suburbs from Levi. Martyn sprayed that board and the two have collaborated ever since.

Like Levi, Martyn is aware that his input must be sympathetic to the board’s history. He tells me of a recent customer who had an important board but wanted a spray at odds with its age. “It’s the customers board of course, but Levi and I felt we shouldn’t be displacing anything.”

Levi has a kink for old Hot Buttereds, so more than a few times Martyn has come into work and stared at a spray he did when Whitlam was in power and colour television was taking off. “They take me back there,” says Martyn of the emotions that arise seeing his old work again. “I get a pleasant feeling seeing them...for the most part. I wish I could still surf like I did back then!”

He’s also amazed at the way the old boards are still being appreciated, albeit in a different way. Martyn went to art school and views all art through the prism of movements, he speaks of how his 70s psychedelic sprays gave way to new wave and punk-inspired graphics with harsh colour contrasts, and then onwards to 80s optimism with checks and squares. All art can be tied to broader social movements.

The same can be said of the resurrection work he’s doing with Levi. “I think it’s a good thing," says Martyn, “because it’s evolving into something else. Something else is coming from the synthesis of old art and new.” There’s no name for it yet but there’s no shortage of demand for it either.

Colours by Worthington, curves by Jones (with inspiration from Erle Pederson, PT, Mitchell Rae, Greenough, and Rodney Ball)

Solo work by Levi. He shaped it, sprayed, it, and even built those fins.

Perhaps you’re wondering what all this board restoring malarky is about? Oh, it’s riddled with nostalgia, no doubt about it, but there's more to it than that. Amongst board sports, only surfing has customised equipment so our attachment to craft runs deep. Maybe it’s an age thing, I’m not sure, but just as old photos can conjure great memories so to can surfboards, and I struggle to see anything wrong with that.

Meanwhile, speaking of customised...

Aside from the restorations, Levi also does his own shaping work, though his boards are unlike any I’ve ever seen. He shows me a few recent pieces and they more resemble something wheeled out of Ed Roth’s garage then craft to be surfed. One board has curves that are wickedly accentuated, points made lethal, and fins curved like exhaust pipes. Another is a mashup of an Erle Pederson jet bottom and a Peter Townend sting.

Part modernist art, part freeform surfboard compositions, Levi says he “doesn’t think about the outcome in advance but just shapes whatever comes into my head”. Once shaped, the boards are then adorned with Martyn’s kaleidoscopic murals and glossed to a mirror finish. He runs updates of the projects on Facebook. Each one is sold before he’s finished.

"One man's trash..." Destined for landfill, Levi transformed this Nirvana into a board to be treasured

But it’s fixing dings that’s given Levi Jones his notoriety. The gig he began twenty-something years ago and which he got so damn good at that he didn’t bother moving up up the factory hierarchy. No, he went and turned ding fixing into an artform.

Like all artists he works at his own pace. “Some of these boards have been here a few months,” says Levi, before continuing sheepishly. “And some have been here over a year.”

However, Levi’s unhurried pace isn’t a matter of apathy but inspiration. “Every resto requires a unique solution,” explains Levi. “So I think about the boards a lot. I’m always thinking about them, and then when the idea comes and I think I can pull it off then I get to work straight away.”

My favourite board of Levi’s involves a deceptively simple fix. It’s another Mitchell Rae design, though this one was shaped out of the Nirvana factory on the Central Coast. Levi found it on a garbage pile where it was heading to landfill. Fibreglass was hanging off it and the foam was dirt brown. The board was one great big ding.

Levi stripped the glass off and retained all Mitchell’s original contours including persian slipper nose and flex tail, then reglassed it with period decals. It’s fitting that Levi restored the board to a rich yellow lustre. Like an alchemist he took something wretched and worthless and turned it into gold.

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 9:57am

epic

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:06am

State of the art surf writing.

That’s my subscription justified.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:12am

+1

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:15am

Nothing more satisfying than doing what this genius does. I've had a couple of cracks at it myself and the end result put a smile on my dial.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:08pm

I've had a couple of cracks at it and ended up with nothing more than a smoking lump of resin and a bigger mess than I started with.

Like financial matters and electrical cabling, I'm very happy to leave it to the experts.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:20pm

Agree. I’ve virtually ruined good boards with guerrilla board repairs in remote locations. Though the scenario has lent itself to substandard work , there’s no real excuse for a livestock fly embedded in a ding.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 2:17pm

Stu it's easy.
Start small (ding repairs), think big (Levi Jones) and use YouTube. One success is worth all the failures.
You gotta love those smoking lumps though. Not funny when it happens,but worth a chuckle reminiscing about when your resin cup ending up a smoldering wreck.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 6:59pm

Suncure /Sunbake Hardner...fuck the evil toxic MEK shit...solar stuff is to easy...dont listen to the dark colours need MEK to set bullshit
If you have dark tint or whatever use Solar hardner and give it more U.V. with reflection from a mirror..

# Ollie Dousset #
You are my Hero son

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 11:07am

Not 100% convinced re dark tints. I had channels and a grey tinted resin that didn't want to go off even with a mirror. Ended up brushing some mekp on to it.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 2:24pm

hell yes.

I've got an old-ish McCoy....in the winter of 2007 I snapped pretty much my entire quiver and a mate let me pull it out from under his house and take it.

it was more ding than board and I somehow managed to make it watertight and surf it through the rest of the winter.

it ain't pretty though. Would love to have someone like Levi gussy it up.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 6:41pm

Might be more of a forum thread but as a ding fix virgin can you recommend a decent repair kit to start toying with for home repairs?

I have an old board at the back of the rack that I don't mind making mistakes on.

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 6:58am

Mate, don't get a "kit" ... Contact shapers and tell them you want a litre of lam resin and a litre of hot cost resin (sanding resin it has the wax in it), some UV solarcure, a metre of 4oz cloth and some mixed grades of sandpaper.

Then, go to your local cafe or arts supply store and buy some paper cups and paddle pop sticks.

Go to ya hardware store and get some masking tape of various thickness. Thin, medium, wide.

If ya doing small dings while traveling, use those tubes of solar resin stuff. Just take a medium roll of masking tape as well.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 7:49am

Rooftop I agree with the wingnut shopping list. Gives you lots of option to fix a fair few dings and by using the solacure instead of the mekp catalyst you're avoiding fuck ups and poisoning your body. Only one I'd add to that list is a bottle of Brasso from the supermarket - best fibreglass cut and polish product around. Once you've fixed that ding and sanded it back nice and smooth hit the whole board with some Brasso and a buffing pad and she'll shine like new!!!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 9:40am

Brasso! I always wondered how to get that final shine happening. Thanks for the tip!

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 9:57am

That's an option.

There is also 'gloss coat' resin which buffs to a glossy finish.

If you want the shine for looks, great. But, if you want performance, speed, less water tension, well if memory serves it was the racing yacht guys who tested it and then the surf crew adopted it ... Sand only to about a 240grit. Gives that 'pro tech' look and feel... but, you just sand the usual hot cost. Nothing else needed (sorry all you nanotech crew)

Boards on the racks in shops are usually done to about 320grit.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 6:02pm

Cheers fellas. Off I go!

aussieguy's picture
aussieguy's picture
aussieguy commented Saturday, 28 Sep 2019 at 10:16am

rootop, I'd also get yourself some of those disposable dust masks (look after your lungs), eye protection, disposable gloves. All pretty cheap at Bunnings.

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 7:00am

What about the resin between ya toes?

Sticky feet and thongs?

Resin on ya nipple?

Oops, I've said too much.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 10:55am

Ya dog walking through resin, smiling.

Dog hairs in the gloss coat - every glass job needs one.

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 29 Sep 2019 at 11:18am

Rooftop, a litre of acetone for removing resin from between your toes. Trust me when I tell you how annoying it is when your toes stick to your thongs.

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:19am

Second that Blowin, great storytelling Stu.

Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!

yocal's picture
yocal's picture
yocal commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:34am

I picked this gem up off Gumtree for $100 2 weeks ago. Then I did some research on the Shaper, Jeff Timpone and was gifted a new snippet of the rich history of surfing that we all collectively share. There is so much gold in buying pre-loved boards that i'm not sure i'll ever buy new again.

Go deeper Taylor, go deeper!

Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 11:04am

Top write up, Stu! I've had a couple of sentimental boards with difficult sprays fixed by Levi and he does an incredible job. And still cheap too.

Edit: if you're in Newy you can get repairs done from him through Slimes

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:13pm

Yep, it was Slimes that tipped off MR about Levi.

Amazing that in this age of branding and marketing, Levi does precisely zero of either. No company name, no big sign out the front, no logo, or mission statement, yet he's been trusted with some of Oz surfing's most important boards. Classic underground act.

stan1972's picture
stan1972's picture
stan1972 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:33pm

I love reading stories like this. between White Horses and Swellnet no other surf media matters.

wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8 commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:41pm

That board is freakin amazing.

cycd's picture
cycd's picture
cycd commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:48pm

Where is he located ? Workshop etc?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 12:55pm

Probably best to get hold of him through FB, I think. Try the Vintage Surfboard Collectors page.

sanded's picture
sanded's picture
sanded commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 5:14pm

Awesome write up Stu!
He's a humble bloke which does amazing work! I know of collectors which come in to our shop and tell us they are waiting up to 12 months for Levi but happy to wait. "Worth the wait" they say!
He never short cuts and always using the best materials.
He still drops into to see Wiz so either Gary or Slimes to contact him if you cant get him on Facebook.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 2:45pm

I think you've just added another 12 months to his backlog Stu...

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 2:51pm

Another great article Stu. Have you considered a subscription option for those of us who are in NZ and don’t need the web-cams, but would still like to help out financially? More of a donation option I guess.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 4:09pm

We've thought about editorial-only subscription options (or one-offs i.e. a single payment per article), but considering Swellnet Pro subs work out to be 30c per day, it's not really worth the effort for us to introduce an even lower price point.

We do have forecasts for most NZ spots too. 

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 6:39pm

Fair deuce Ben. You guys put together a great website. The best surfing related site on the internet in my opinion. Probably time for me to stop being such a tight-arse and fork out for a subscription aye.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 6:40pm

Thanks Spud! Really appreciate your support mate.

simba's picture
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simba commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 3:57pm

Yes another great story Stu....got to love his passion!

simba

Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt's picture
Phil Jarratt commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 5:12pm

Great piece, Stu, and what a great subject.

Phil Jarratt

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 6:47pm

My goodness, Big Red is to be reforged! Go Levi and go Fitzes!

Great writing again Stu. I've calculated to do the interview you must have driven through Sydney to get there, and then driven through Sydney back to the office - equally impressed by that feat.

Like Levi, I have a thing for the old HB's, and it's been a joy to surf these with my son as he's grown up. You would be pressed to find faster down the line boards, even today, they are that good. Further, you can note the way the single to double concave is put through the board and its vee, and see the same thing on a 1981 Energy thruster - which is a very significant shape beyond the 3 fins. The pinched rails at the flyers on the HBs... incredible. I love the look of Levi's shape.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 7:46pm

Nice call with the Ed "Big Daddy" Roth comparo, both him and Levi are top shelf.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 8:02pm

He created the Batman car too.

I read Tom Wolfe's 'The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby' maybe once every six months. Love every aspect of it, the writer's block, doubting the story as the deadline looms, how that matter-of-fact style led to New Journalism, but more than anything how Wolfe treats 'low art' - hot rod culture - with reverence; placing Ed Roth, George Barris, and Darryl Starbird alongside Renaissance artists.

I kept reflecting on that essay after meeting with Levi. His art, despite being mere surfboards, is of such high quality that it deserves greater accolades than what it will achieve in the surfing world.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 8:22pm

Top level rodders and car guys are something else, where imagination meets sheer ability and also an Aspergers level of focus, commitment and attention to detail.
Again, sounds like Levi's ticking these boxes too.

Also:
"So here I am, sitting barefoot beneath gum trees learning ancient Japanese philosophy from a bloke sporting speed dealers and a nipple-length beard."

Experiences like this certainly keep life fresh and beautiful.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 10:52am

That's so true Andy, and within the car culture you get the amazingly creative rodders, the fellas that want to keep it completely original including the rust, the restorers going for originality eschewing the 2 pak for acrylics, and polishers who can shine depth into the darkest metallic colours. Pretty amazing.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 1:37pm

Love it all from the ultra-original 70s Holden to a '34 coupe with a blown rat.

Still not sure about the recent trend of surface rust all over/ shabby chic or whatever.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 5:14pm

In the VW Combi world it is known as The Rat Look. Been around for a while. How do I know this? My brother has a Combi. Bottomless pit for money that it is.

earthbound's picture
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earthbound commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 8:26am

Functional art Stu - truly the realm of great surfboards, and in this case Levi’s skills to revive beaten favourites.

earthbound

spiggy topes's picture
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spiggy topes commented Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 at 10:57pm

Only Phil Jarratt pre-dates me in hackdom and we both know a great yarn when we read it. Nice work, Stu, it brought back over 50 years of crawling under houses for dusty relics, driving to Newy to buy my first new kneeboard from Ray Richards (who waited at the shop til 7pm for me to arrive from Sydney) and adding that his 15 year old son would be world champ one day. Tripping on Worthington's work then and getting anotheree 35 years later; a $15 a week McMasters farmhouse and stormy sessions that were pure Nirvana, a hundred breaks, a thousand waves and a million dings later, and I still can't get it out of my system. Every great story has a sharp beginning, a meaty middle and a poetic payoff. Be proud and feel lucky Stu, to write with authority so affectionately about something you love.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 12:45am

It's pretty hard for me to add anything that hasn't been said above but I echo those sentiments- Stu, great writing and Levi, you're a wizard.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 7:18am

I am truly gobsmacked as to how Levi can turn something as badly damaged as the landfill-bound-Nirvana into a Hall-Of-Fame wall hanger. It's one thing to fix dings, but this kind of transformation is other-worldly. Bloke has skillz.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 9:24am

Gotta love that restoration, we can re-build it, don't tear it down there's life in it yet vibe.
I've always had a go at doing my own repairs, and to be honest, despite the feeling of self accomplishment at having a go, it really it is a specialized field of expertise.
Those boards pictured above really are works of art.
Get that man an apprentice!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 9:36am

OK, small erratum:

The board shown in the photo captioned, "Colours by Worthington, curves by Jones", was actually sprayed by Levi, not Martyn. So yeah, Levi did the whole thing - talented fucker.

It's been fixed in the text.

mugofsunshine's picture
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mugofsunshine commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 11:03am

Loved it. Thanks Stu.

Graeme Murdoch's picture
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Graeme Murdoch commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 12:36pm

Bloody hell Stu. Top Notch.

Panman's picture
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Panman commented Friday, 27 Sep 2019 at 10:06pm

Big red reforged reminds me of the sword that was broken then reforged in lord of the rings

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 28 Sep 2019 at 10:49am

Anduril, reforged from Narsil. Seems fitting in this context given the skills of the swordsmith and the status of the family, on single fins.

spuddyjack's picture
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spuddyjack commented Tuesday, 1 Oct 2019 at 9:02am

Stu,
Levi is blessed with the muse . . . what a gift!

A really fine and moving piece of surf journalism . . . hope this one's syndicated.

Stay salty

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 15 Oct 2019 at 10:22am

The day I visited Levi and Martyn, this Cooper bonzer was being airbrushed:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2881535405208850&set=pcb.1633248750139296&type=3&theater&ifg=1

Take a look at the before and after pics.