Thursday, June 24, 2010

...brian hilbers, pig discussions...

brian hilbers. fine line surfboards.
i am stoked to know brian. every time i spend time with him, i want to spend more time with him. thank you brian for the passion you bring to wave riding implements. how is this fin brian is developing? when i was at sacred craft the other month or year or whatever... i spoke with brian about pig shapes. he had a magic sam replica under his arm as an arm rest (or was it a son of sam?). it was CLEAN. then i spoke to johnny the other day...and i am hearing murmmers of "the grey ghost". WHAT?!!! anyway, my life is as hectic as hectic can get right now...i ain't shitn YA! but i'll be damned if brian isn't popping in and out of my mind. i have been wanting to get some pictures that honor what MASSIVE contributions he brings to the table.
instead i get this. apparently brian had this up in his rafters. he brought it down recently. i hope to have a go on it soon. how is that fin?
below is the raw transcription from our conversation that contributed to the recent article in SLIDE

Brian Hilbers:

your first pigs, i think I mentioned this...Velzy was making some pig designs. Just post kook box, post finless boards. the guys that were doing the first pigs, were doing this all in balsa. Velzy was still kinda in the quasi kook box style. a pretty flat top, and just rolling the rail. Quigg and Kivlin were also making pig templates out of balsa. They were the first ones to actually start sculpting the boards in the third dimension. In other words like "hulling" it or whatever you want to call it. Theirs had the D fin of corse. Quigg and Kivlin's were going more and more foiled. Yater saw there boards , and that is when he started doing it. From Yater that is where Greenough started doing it , and they got more and more foiled which is where McTavish got it. Where it all started blowing up. Back in the mid fifties. We are back in 1955.

Mike Black

a kook box has its wide point where, and how did it ..its wide point is forward. so how does that wide point shift aft?


that came from some place in the hot curl. ok and i don't know who it was in the hot curls that actually moved the mass back. the whole trip with the hot curls was , it was the first 3d board that didn't have a fin. bare in mind they had to have something that would hold into the water. they weren't pacific homes, they weren't kook box...they weren't Simmon's. Simmon's were virtually kook boxes with a hulled front end. Simmons was playing wiith the bottom, and he was working with the balsa instead of the hollow wood system. Quigg was doing 8'2" to 8'8" in 55 to 56. they were 16" nose 21.5" width 16.5" tail. They were the baby squash. D fins. The wide point was in the middle. The template is curved at the half point. Kivlin got out of pigs and got into making those Malibu races that had the wide point forward again. But Quigg didn't he had the other stuff going on. Hobie Alter's foam blank came from the general design of Velzy's boards back then. Hobie was the first guy to start blowing foam. He got so wrapped up with orders he gave the foam orders to Grubby Clark.


How is that name "Grubby?"


Hobie for some reason made them longer. He went up into the 9's and that is when all of a sudden all the long boards went up into the 9's. But the guys that were doing these first pigs they were all like 8'6" . The movie Gidget has the malibu chips and the Quigg's being ridden, and all the Hobies are up against the wall. They all have opaque resin because the foam was so bad. They are usually white with blue stripes. You see both boards in the same movie. You see the wood and you see the pop out foam. The gidget double is riding a Quigg balsa I believe. Joe Quigg was riding an 8'4" or an 8'8" I believe. To tell you the truth...this is just pure speculation on my part...these boards had a certain amount of mass since they were made out of blasa. Hobie might have gone a bit longer since he was using foam. Try to preserve the mass to keep the glide since foam was so much lighter.

So that is where your pig shape kind of came about. Now as far as what mad them even piggy-er...Gnoll might have had something to do with it, or Velzy might have. When they got longer Velzy might have made them piggy-er. To get like more of the turn.

further words from brian:

We don't know if that fin is what made this board come into my hands, thirty years ago, after a previous twenty in some garage rafters- in other words, that this sled is a discard dog.

But I will say this, known since my last emails: I measured this sled, and the rocker is more generous (so, in my opinion, better) than other contemporaries (1959-1961) that I've checked out. This guy is a whopping 3.8" thick, but the thickness distribution coincides with my pig-outlook very well, as does the side-to-side contour. By the way, outline dimes are 16 3/8 x 22 3/8 x 16 3/8s; sounds like straight 1/2" dimensions, but shaped in a hurry. Fin a whoppin' 11" high by 12" long.
Other things showed up. For one thing, the template is ridiculously similar to my pedigreed 1964 Da Cat; this would make Greg a one-cart pony, with one template to his name and fame ( no surprise to me, if true- I've never held a high opinion of him as either a shaper or a designer), but this conflicts with the urban legend that Mickey was riding Yaters, got turned down by Rennie for a Model, then went to Greg with "his" board- hence a Rennie template Noll model. The differences are superficial- last 12'' of nose and tail only, but those differences do throw a Yater feel- simple tweaks in a basic wood bend template, hence available to anybody? No one knows but them, and I'll bet they'll never tell the truth (not meaning Rennie, rather "Mr Legend" and a dead man). You know anything real here?
By the way, to be fair, I'm really liking the nose and tail of this sled, and cut a fairly pedantic template of this shit- to give you an idea, I've had this thing for over thirty years, and never even considered "looking" at it, design-wise, until now. I fell in love with longboarding in the mid seventies, when NOBODY did it, on a carving spoon, and have ridden virtually nothing else since, longboard wise- narrow pig templates with hull propensities. I learned through feedback on how to make wide-nose hogs, just like I can make a rocking 6'1 elf-shoe- but I don't ride them. So many of my "pigs" could probably ride with a D fin, but I'm a simple soul, and I know they ride better with a Greenough-based foil. At least they way I want to ride them!
What I'm more giggly over is my Joe Quigg- like foils, based on his 8'-8'6 balsa Malibu rides from the mid-fifties.These had considerable contour in the bottom,, and led to Kivlin's stuff, but these had excellent pig templates- hence my attraction for over a dozen years now, until I finally tracked an authie down that I was allowed to scope out, officially. I've been playing with these for over a year, I call them "SYTs", for Sweet Young Things, figuring that they would be tailor-made, beaver-tailed-chick soul sleds. And so far, they are- originally, I started with a beautimous pig template (from Quigg), 16 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 16, at 8'4, and Kenvin-tweaked the bottom to Son-of-Sam like carve and trim vibe, with an almost-spooned nose, and a more "friendly" rocker.
I just re-played with a couple of these cuties: Threw in what I saw , bottom-wise, on the Grey Lady, then bumped up the tail thickness ummph, tweaked the nose rail and flattened the overall rocker, and came up with the SYTP: you guessed it, SYT-Pigs, and I'm gonna hit these up with 3 1/2" up fin boxes, but to be honest, I think they're gonna fly with front-tab 10" Lightweight fins (from Lagging Larry at Fibreglas Fin Co.) better than Ds, but the Rainbow front-tab D will hit tail with this box setup, so it'll be up for grabs.

check this out: the "grey lady"?

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