Shaper Peter McCabe, artist Daniel Joyce and the Pig of Steele transform a Col Smith surfboard into a piece of art.
“This was one of Peter “Grub” McCabe’s boards shaped by Col Smith from Narrabeen,” Caves Beach artists Daniel Joyce (@joikart_djd) tells Tracks. “It has been under Grub’s house since the early ’80s. It was a pink and red swallowtail that was buckled and filthy.”
That however didn’t stop Newcastle businessmen Kim Burton from seeing the beauty in it. Burton, through his company Burton Toyota, has sponsored and singlehandedly kept alive the Surfest comps in Newcastle for the last five years. He has also amassed a healthy surfboard collection and when he came across the Col Smith was keen to add to it. He enlisted legendary surfer and shaper McCabe in the full painstaking restoration of the board before commissioning Joyce to weave his spray magic.
Before the transformation. Photo: @joikart_djd
“Kim sent through a whole range of potential ideas and images. They included a lot of ’70s sprays and cosmic shit, but in the middle was a picture of Goodvibes,” says Joyce. “The board was pink, so I’d need to buy less paint. I’d also just read Tony Edwards’ autobiography My Life as Pork Chop, so that was that, it had to be the Pig.”
Tony Edwards is the creator of Captain Goodvibes, aka the Pig of Steel, the cartoon that featured in Tracks in the ’70s and briefly in the early 2000s. Goodvibes is the most revered cartoon in surf culture and Tracks’ spirit animal. Now few spirit animals have ever written a poem that goes, “Surf’s short, Death’s Long, So’s my dick, Pass the bong,” or woken up and said, “This month I thought I'd do something different... stand on me head and smoke an LSD cigar with me bum.” But 40 years after it first appeared Captain Goodvibes hasn’t lost any of his anarchic appeal.
The board's hoof taking shape. Photo: @joikart_djd
Joyce spent a few days at least on the board, until he started to get a bit excited. “I ran some metallics through it, on the pinks in the tail and in the mushies, but I had to stop painting. I was getting a bit carried away and channeling Vibes too heavily,” he laughs. “You know I was inspired by the Tony Edwards quote in his autobiography where he says, ‘Anyone who spends their whole life in a shed painting is fucked in the head.’” Cackled Joyce, as he headed back to his garage to do just that.
The end product now is in the hands of Burton in his Hawks Nest home. McCabe couldn’t get the buckle out of the board, so even if Burton did want to ride this now piece of art, he’d struggle to make it work. It no doubt will hang on the wall as opposed to its last home, lying under the rafters in the Newcastle dirt. It’s a testament to the passion of Burton and the artistry of McCabe and Joyce that a tiny piece of surfing history now has been rescussitated. As Goodvibes once said, “As the sun set slowly behind a distant cloud of dole cheques.....we cracked another six-pack of cheap dreams, rang Mr Infinity and told him to give tomorrow the sack."
The finished pig! Photo: @joikart_djd
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