Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew Model by Neal Purchase Senior

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post comes courtesy of our friends across the pond — no, not England, but the one-time prison colony that is home to canned rum and coke and some of the world’s greatest sand bottom point breaks. Despite the overwhelming focus on Californian and Hawaiian shapers, here at Shred Sledz we couldn’t be bigger fans of Australia.

The board featured here involves some of the most prominent figures in Aussie surf history. First, it is a Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew Model produced by storied Australian marque Hot Stuff. Indulge me while I go on a mini-rant: sadly, we live in a time when the term “rock star” is used to describe talented computer programmers. Rabbit was a rock star because he ripped and looked cool while doing it. Hopefully that settles any debates about the proper usage of the phrase. Anyway, not only is the board below a Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew Model, it was also shaped by Neal Purchase Senior. Purchase’s son, Neal Purchase Junior, is a distinguished shaper in his own right, who has developed the very cool looking Duo twin fin setup. Neal Purchase Senior shaped a board known as the “Virgin” for Keyo Surfboards back in the mid 1960s, which became one of the starting points for the Transition Era and the eventual shortboard revolution that followed. Between Rabbit, Hot Stuff, and Purchase, if you’re looking for Australian surf bloodlines, this board ticks all the boxes!

I can’t get enough of the paint job on the board, whether it’s the gradient along the rails, or the incredible airbrush on the bottom.

Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew Model Neal Purchase Senior 7.jpg
An absolutely gorgeous airbrush done in that inimitable 1970s style (though the board is a thruster, so it’s clearly shaped in the 1980s). There is speculation the artist is Shane Egan, but I was unable to confirm. Pic via Mark Andrew Loh / Facebook

But wait! It gets even better. Apparently the airbrush is a portrait of none other than Burleigh Heads, one of the many dreamy right-hand points located along Queensland’s famed Gold Coast. There’s speculation that the airbrush was done by Shane Egan, but I’m not sure if that’s the case. For a look at some of Egan’s truly far out designs, I highly recommend checking out this blog post! The post in the previous sentence mentions that Shane Egan collaborated with both Neal Purchase Senior and Rabbit Bartholomew.

Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew Model Neal Purchase Senior Signature 1
Neal Purchase Sr’s “NP” initials are visible at the top. It’s unclear what the numbers signify.

There’s a signature on the board, which you can see pictured immediately to the left. If you look closely, you’ll notice it has an “NP” design, which is meant to serve as Neal Purchase Senior’s initials.

The Hot Stuff board also features some numbers on the stringer; I’m less clear on what this signifies. I believe the “510” refers to the length of the board (which measures in at 5’10”), but the “I72” is a mystery.

The Hot Stuff board was for sale, but I’m afraid the crack Shred Sledz editorial team couldn’t get it together in time before the deal closed. Many thank to Mark Loh, who was generous enough to grant permission to write a more in-depth blog post on the board. (Sharp-eyed readers will remember Loh as the owner of the truly stunning 1970s single fin Terry Fitzgerald shaped for Dick Brewer featured a few months ago.)

Von Weirdos has a great example of another Neal Purchase Senior / Hot Stuff Rabbit Bartholomew Model, which you can find here. Finally, see here for the original Facebook post about the board being listed for sale. Thanks again to Mark Loh for sharing!

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