jed noll has a shop here in San Clemente. i went in there to check it out one day. i met steve (a super nice guy and mean shredder) ,who gave Greg my number. Greg honored me with a call back. I was able to speak to Greg at some length regarding pig boards for the SLIDE magazine article i wrote in issue 16 (should be hitting the shelves here in the states this month). below are various quotes of his from the notes I have concerning his contribution to the article:
"here is the way a surfboard works: you make the fucking thing and you put it in the water...if it works , then you have a good board. if it doesn't work, then you don't."
"the evolutionary process is always based on the next step up for the next generation."
"when they combined glass with balsa...it went from the horse and buggy to the Porshe. it was a huge leap, prop planes to jets.....the refinements from that point to where we are today , have been on a scale ...kind of like how man has developed...the scale of improvements after that huge leap are infinitesimal ."below Greg is on the right , Bing Copeland is on the left. "Quigg and Kivlin were at (Dave Rochlen's house) bar b q in Hawaii 2 years ago with Greg. around 5 pm they had some beers. Joe started talking about boards...asking Matt 'do you remember the board i made for so and so?', what is impressive about that is the fact that they can look back from over 50 years ago and talk about specific boards they made and why they made them the way they had. They gave a shit about what makes a board work. Matt Kivlin is reclusive, once Joe started , Matt got into it..that never happens"now i am going to post up my notes for Greg's contributions for the SLIDE article:
Greg Noll said the claim that Munoz was first to ride a pig is "pure bull shit", he seems to think it was some kid named "maggot". when i mention the story that Hap Jacobs claimed it was Munoz and Munoz corroborates this ...greg states: "hap isn't one to lie" but follows it up with "guys in surfing love to take credit for stuff" concerning Munoz.
Around the time Greg was 12 , he remembers the days when Dale was shaping under the Manhattan pier. You could see shavings blowing down the beach when Dale was shaping. Eventually the authorities kicked Dale out from under the pier. Then dale moved his shop up the street a few blocks.
Greg claims that first pig was shaped before Dale moved to venice. Velzy was into coming up with something new. Dale had a wide nosed board with a narrow tail. As Greg recalls, the board was about 10 foot and 19 inch at its widest point... it was a hawaii style board. Greg claims "the glasser fucked up , and put the fin on the nose of the board" . When i mention the contradiction to this claim in the Velzy is Hawk book Greg tells me a story: "about a year before Dale died Dale and I had been having a few beers, Dale told me the fin being glassed on the nose of a wide point forward board was an accident the glasser had made. that stuff in the book must have been his answer when he hadn't been drinking".
According to Greg, the pig board was "a passing fancy because it was unique, then it blew away." after hearing him say this ,I ask him if pig boards were just a passing fancy, then how would you describe the type of board that was being made from 58 - 64 he responds: "the predominant board of 58 - 64 is a clean beach type board that was the same basic board that Velzy was making".
here are a few more quotes :
"board shapers these days don't know why they are doing shit, they shape stuff that others do."
"Velzy had a huge part in the evolutionary process, It all started with Quigg and Kivlin...well it started with Simmons when he put glass on balsa , but Simmons had a handicap, he made a shitty board, when Quigg and Kivlin came back from the islands they had a design, Velzy had the advantage of making a lot of boards, Velzy stepped off the edge and did radical shit. a lot of the stuff was stuff that might of only lasted 2 or 3 boards...but the pig board was one of those boards, that got a following...it went a year or so , but it made a statement."
these pictures are from greg noll's book "the art of the surfboard" by drew kampion.