Retro surfboards are big business these days, especially if they are rare, or owned by a famous older surfer who had happened to ride it in some classic old surf movie. Big value! But what about if you were the older guy and you were lucky enough to come across one of your own boards from back in the day? A board you had achieved some of your best contest results on? The one you had ridden in some of the most perfect waves of your life at Padang Padang in Bali. The board you were riding when you met your wife down at your local beach 35 years ago. What would that be worth to you? To be able to put that thing back under your arm and under your feet over a fresh coat of wax three and a half decades later, reliving that forgotten feel of your old magic carpet? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me when a friend of mine, Stefan, posted a photo on his Instagram of an old board he’d found while walking his dog just a few streets from my house.

Bill in action on the G&S Twinny at Padang 35 years ago.

Apparently buried under rubbish on the street with nothing but its filthy, dirt covered nose sticking out from the pile, waiting to be collected and taken for landfill at the local tip. My mate had written on his post how stoked he was in finding this old 5’9” G&S twin fin in such good condition and was amping to clean it up and get it in the water. I wasn’t sure at first if it was mine, but after showing the pic to my wife she was adamant that it was THAT board. I immediately replied on his post that it was one of mine from decades ago. He replied back saying, “Well it’s mine
now chief”.

I couldn’t help feeling a little gutted, especially considering the thing was dumped less than a kilometre from home and I wished I had been the lucky one to come across it. I wanted to hassle him about getting it back, but decided I’d leave it for now, let the excitement of the find wane a little and then make him a cash offer he couldn’t refuse.

However, the anxiety of it all was testing me and I couldn’t get the thought of its existence out of my mind. It was a weird feeling, like so close but yet so far. Anyway, to cut to the chase he rings me out of the blue a week later and says, “Mate, I want you to have it back.” He was actually feeling a little bad knowing it was one of my old favourites and had decided it wasn’t for him to have in his collection. Well, that gesture was enough to bring a tear to my eye. I always thought he was a good bloke but he certainly showed his true colours with that offer. A genuine heart-felt gesture that will never be forgotten. I immediately went out and ordered him a brand new board and surprised him with it a month later. It was the least I could do, right? Then he was stoked as well. Though maybe not quite as much as me.