Well, Shredderz, they say it’s better late than never, so accept my apologies for today’s Sagas of Shred entry, which appears a full 24 hours or so after its customary slot. But I’ll try and make it up to all eight of you with a gem. Pictured above is an ad that ran in a 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine that helped announce Simon Anderson’s thruster design to the rest of the world. I believe Anderson’s original thrusters were produced in Australia under the Energy Surfboards label. Across the pond, San Diego-based Nectar Surfboards and shaper Gary MacNabb took the reins to distribute Anderson’s revolutionary design.
If you look closely in the ad above, it even looks like Anderson is riding an Energy board, with its clearly identifiable pyramid shaped logo, and not a Nectar shape. The “3 Fin Thruster” logo in the ad looks like a rudimentary version that you’ll find on both Energy and Nectar Simon Anderson examples.
Amazingly, Anderson never made a dime off the thruster design, despite its ubiquity. It’s amazing that over three decades later, the thruster remains the standard fin setup for high performance surfing, although nowadays you see a number of quad fin setups when world tour pros surf places like Pipeline, etc. Matt Biolos of …Lost Surfboards attempted to rectify this a few years ago, pledging to donate $1 per thruster sold to Simon Anderson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Biolos’ good intentions caught on with the rest of the surf industry.
And while Simon Anderson is unlikely to ever make Warren Buffett money off of his design, his influence on the sport is beyond reproach. And surely that means a lot more than having a few extra dollars here and there. (I wouldn’t know, as I am neither rich nor historically significant, but that’s a story for another time.)
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next week with more Sagas of Shred.