Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’re going back to one of the most interesting eras in all of surfboard design: the famous Transition Era of the late 1960s. The Shred Sledz editorial staff — i.e., me — lives and surfs in California, and as a result, the blog has a tendency to focus on the Golden State. But I love Australia, and I leap at any opportunity to write up great vintage Aussie surfboards. Today’s post features some cross-Pacific collaboration in the form of a Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom model that was likely shaped between late 1968 and early 1969.
The G&S Farrelly V Bottom pictured above was originally listed for sale on Craigslist in North Carolina, although the listing has since been taken down. I wrote an earlier post on the Farrelly V Bottom, which you can find here. In retrospect, the post was a bit confusing, as it included examples of both the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom (identical to the one featured on this post), as well as the G&S Farrelly Stringlerless, which are in fact two distinct models.
Luckily, Geoff Cater of the incomparable Surf Research — which is a must read — was able to share some more info on the development of Farrelly’s boards. (Check out Surf Research’s entry on Midget Farrelly for a thorough history on the Australian and his designs.)
The Gordon & Smith Farrelly Stringerless model came first in around 1966. Frankly, this date surprised me — I had expected the board to be produced starting around the later part of the decade.
The Stringerless model was succeeded by the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom, which is the board pictured here. The logo at the top of the page is a giveaway that this is a Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom, and not a Farrelly Stringerless. The logo is actually a take on the original Farrelly Surfboards logo, with a tweak whereby Farrelly’s Palm Beach address is replaced with the “Gordon & Smith Surfboards USA” text.
Back in Australia, the board was also known as the Speed Squaretail, and I believe it was produced under Farrelly’s own surfboard label, versus the Gordon & Smith brand.
As for the Gordon & Smith Farrelly V Bottom featured here, the board measures in at 8’4″, and it has a W.A.V.E. Set fin box. Thankfully the seller included some nice photos in the listing, which clearly show the vee bottom as well as the chunky dimensions of the tail. The asking price was $1,500, and sadly there’s no way of telling the sale price.
Thanks to Geoff Cater for info on this awesome Transition Era board, and don’t forget to visit Surf Research.