Chester Newling surfing in the San Francisco area on an XFC 6'0 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4 rounded square, single concave board manufactured in the US.

Chester is the son of Mike Newling, the former Australian tour surfer who came 3rd at the Rip Curl Bells contest in 1982. A former team rider of mine from that era, Mike relocated the family to a place near Half Moon Bay and has enjoyed the good waves nearby, teaching Chester and Marlon his other son how to surf in the cold grey waters. It's nice to be able to make Chester and Marlon a few boards at the start of their journey in surfing and keep the name Newling around the Simon brand.

Mike is in Australia at the moment enjoying a break with the family, away from the photography industry he is involved in back there. All the Newling's, including Mom Nicole and little sister Leilani, have been taking advantage of the good swell and warm weather at Newport Peak, camping out on the beach all day surfing, swimming and relaxing.


 Simon, Greg Pastusiak multiple former French champion and Christiaan Bradley at the factory.

Christiaan Bradley and touring serial pest Marc Harden (from Shoreham by Sea near Brighton) at Euroglass in Soorts Hossegor

Christiaan repairing Kelly's contest winner from Trestles, a 5'9 with 5 plug FCS for quad and thruster options.

signing a shape

the light in Phil's bay is pretty good

Simon shaping in the Phil Grace bay at Euroglass. All photos by Pam Newman.


All photos from Pete Frieden of a session North of Estagnots on a shore
break bank in the afternoon prior to the Quik Pro around 6pm.

The surf was glassy with beautiful peaks left but primarily rights, in
the line up was Taylor Knox, Jordy Smith, Taj and Dan Ross.
Earlier the boys from Globe CJ and Damo Hobgood along with Gabe Kling
and Patrick Gudauskas were throwing themselves along with their boards
through the air in a mind numbing display of speed, power and new age
innovative surfing.

Kierin Perrow was also out laying down his brand of deep rail gashes and
high line floating air drops.

It was a real pleasure surfing with Taylor and the other boys, the spot
was uncrowded and not yet really discovered by the masses as the best
alternative for 3-4 feet plus during high tide on the Hossegor stretch.
Taylor and the others graciously allowed me to catch a couple of waves
and Pete kindly activated the camera coming up with some nice shots of
the old boy.

I'm riding a 7'0 20 1/8 2 13/16 Rounded Pin DSC model with slight single
to double running through a vee in the back half of the board.
The double concave ends at the forward fins so the vee running out the
tail in the last 12 inches is flat sided vee.

I'm really enjoying the wider dimension board in this for me step-up board.
It paddles well catching waves efficiently but still surfs well and
doesn't have the twitchy feel of a narrower just concave bottom board.
This is a nice compliment to riding fish style boards in smaller surf.
When you ride a wider fish board the effect is slower rail to rail
transition, this becomes a smooth feel through turns that you become
familiar with and going back to normal width step-up boards can be
unsettling because they are twitchy and want to initiate the turn too

So maintaining a wider step up is generally a good thing especially for
the older, average, unfit or weekend warrior type surfer.
This board also has a foil thickness which essentially is a 70's early
80's style thickness distribution, thicker nose and thinnish tail.
I have incorporated quite a thin tail with flat deck and blocky rails
through the back 2 feet of this board.

This rail makes the 7'0 feel a little slidey at times, which is good for
smaller waves, but can be problematic particularly here in the Atlantic
ocean of France with it's power and tidal influence causing the wave
surface to develop numerous little lumps and currents within the wave
that can make the board slide or drift every now and then in turns.
So I think for here and for step-up boards the normal rail and thickness
distribution is the go, but I do like the vee component in the bottom I
think you can see from the photos that the board gets up on a rail nicely.

You should be able to catch up with all Pete's shots of this good
afternoon of surfing in France through Pete Frieden Surf Photography
somewhere on the world wide web.

Cheers Simon


The surf in France at the Quiksilver Pro reached epic proportions.

The boys were really excited to be still in the event for Friday at the
main contest venue Culs nu or the Nude beach, 1 kilometre north of La
Nord or La Centrale Hossegor home of the night clubs Rock Food and Dicks
right on the beach.

The waves were pumping with top to bottom pits stretching the length of
the Culs nu bank which is pretty extensive.The contestants were allowed
to surf the extremities of the bank which sometimes meant each surfer
could be up to 300 metres/yards apart.

This made it interesting for the spectators who would sometimes follow
their favourite surfer up the beach (in Kelly's case this was a few
thousand people) 200 metres, only to see them paddle down the bank 300
metres and surf the heat there.

It was interesting for the surfers as well trying to work out prior to
their heat which section to surf.There were times during the day when a
section would start to fire and look like a permanent bank with wave
after wave peeling off in the same spot, only to inexplicably disappear
totally and not break for 2 hours then return.

The team managers or family members and advisers had their work cut out
trying to nail down a solid strategy prior to their man paddling out.
Generally there was 3 sections, Frontski straight out in front of the
contest scaffolding offering freefall late take offs into big right
barrels, up the beach north 200 metres where the Goofy's primarily
preferred to go which again generally was a big right but sometimes a
left on the other side of the peak.

The right up the beach generally was not so current and tide affected,
making the take offs a little more straightforward than out the front
and maybe more of an open exit from the barrel, allowing the goofy's a
better percentage chance of squeaking out without getting clipped or
guillotined and of course the option of picking up the odd left.

These lefts at times were pretty heavy, the Spartan Micheal Bourez got
obliterated trying to take an unrideable left late in his quarter final.
Somehow he got to his feet momentarily before free falling into the abyss.
Owen Wright also had problems on this section breaking 3 boards in
succession on his first 3 waves, eventually running out of his own boards
and being delivered a Tom Whitaker Dahlberg backup board late in the
heat by a scrambling Mick Fanning, only to run out of time needing a midrange
score against Dan Ross who also broke a board during the round 5 heat.
Dan was surfing the 3rd possible section which was about 80-100 metres
to the south of the out front bank.This bank was possibly offering the
longest maybe quickest barrels, it is were Kelly would nail down a 10 in
the semi on Saturday.

It was an epic day of surfing with the Saturday promising to be bigger
for the finals and with the prospect of the surf increasing but the wind
likely to strengthen onshore around midday, the contest director Mikey
Picon and Quiksilver were going ahead early.

It was almost impossible to paddle out from the beach on Friday, on
Saturday it was impossible. Jetski assist was the order of the day.
The waves were epic 8-10 feet pipes spitting sand and air.Many
reputations were enhanced and some made, Kelly and Mick worthy
finalists, Mick deserved winner.

Jordy had a tough quarter against Mick and couldn't find a good one,Dan
Ross had a good one in his quarter 8.50 but couldn't find a backup
wave, Kieren Perrow charged in the expression session but not his quarter,
Ace Buchan had a 9.43 in the quarters but failed to get a second
good score against Mick in the semi. Brett Simpson charged into the semi
finals but couldn't find an open one against Kelly who scored a 10 on the
southern contest section, maybe the wave of the contest.

Kelly nearly drowned after the final and generally there was carnage and
high theatre.Mick and Kelly took 10 minutes to get out with jetski assist
before the start of the final.Mick got off to a good start with a 7 but got
caught inside and manfully attempted to paddle back out but broke his leg rope.
He body surfed a wave in but went over the falls head first then swam in taking
up a few minutes.Kelly couldn't capitalise, catching a pretty good wave but getting clipped after the free-fall takeoff then getting caught inside and washed to near the beach.He then had a couple of attempts to connect with his jetski but somehow
failed to get onboard for awhile, with the jetski even tipping over right near Kelly, almost taking him out.

In the meantime Mick had the backup board with fresh leg rope attached
and was on his way back out.Unfortunately they didn't trade barrel for barrel
in the final, but it was a great day for European surfing and a title I'm sure Mick is very proud to have.Also the first time he has been defending champion and retained the title.

So I guess we have a new contender for the world title race with Mick
right in it, Kelly out in front looking ominous and Jordy by no means gone.

Still some epic surf to be had in Portugal, this year's tour has picked
up the pace a lot,
signing off, Simon


Inspecting winning shape by Matt Biolos with replica 6'6 Bells board in the foreground on the floor.

In the shaping bay used at Sacred Craft with Gary taking a close look.

Gary MacNabb, Simon and Rusty Prisendorfer at Sacred Craft. Trivia fact that Simon did a stint shaping with Rusty in the mid 80's.


Thruster tribute booth

Scott Bass, Sacred Craft Founder

Trav - WOW

Replica Shapes by Shaping Icons - Pat Rawson, Brian Buckley, Larry Mabile, Matt Biolos and Jason Bennett .

In honoring the 30th year of the Thruster design Sacred Craft organised a shaping contest where these top US shapers shaped from scratch my 6'6 81 Bells Beach semi gun board. They had 1½ hours to shape it from scratch using a power planer and hand tools. After viewing the board for a ½ hour they each had a turn at reproducing this board. It is a difficult task, I have tried copying this board many times in my own shaping bay and have struggled.

The 5 shapers had to work in virtually an open bay to allow spectator viewing. This caused unwanted light streaming in taking away crucial shadows that guide you through, normally showing up tucked under edges, deck lines and all other elements in the shape. Matt Biolos seemed to cope the best by continually taking the shape outside the bay to allow a fresh perspective. His interpretation was clearly the best and was duly awarded the championship.

Good work to all the guy's, it was an interesting exercise I think bringing to the publics attention the skill required to full shape surfboards.


Simon and Shaun, North Narrabeen 1981 Coke 2SM Surfabout.

Shaun Tomson official opening to Sacred Craft Expo, San Diego Saturday 14 August, on Shaun's left Gary McNabb, then Jim Kempton and Simon.

Simon and Peter Townend 1976 World Surfing Champion.

At Sacred Craft exhibit.

WOW booth.

Luke Short, Darren Symes, Simon

Tim Stamps, Huntington shaper from Stamps Surfboards, with Simon, Lydia and Luke Short at Scratching The Surface premier of the Julian Wilson movie.


Shyama Buttonshaw takes the drop down South from Torquay coast on his XFC 5'11 18 1/4 2 3/16 Rounded Square single to tiny double concave.

Better late than never - Shyama's feedback on this board made about 1 month ago and the take off -"Was pretty hairy I ended up face planting the reef on that free fall. Just about knocked my teeth out ha ha. Boards are going great, haven't had any swell to surf the 6'1 yet (step up) but the short board (5'11) is sick." Thanks Shyama keep up the good work.


BMX venue Simon's right VIP grandstand and surf beyond in the background.

Main entrance to the US Open 2010 with the heat draw for the men and women plus juniors.

View from the public grandstand including pier with replay screen on the right side.

Street scene looking up main street from the Huntington Pier entrance Saturday ten to 1

Mick on a DTS - window display front of the Rip Curl shop Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach



Adam Robertson has been sponsorless for 18 plus months even after making the final at last years WCT Rip Curl Bells Easter Pro. So we are very pleased to see that Billabong has signed Adam. Well done Billabong, Adam is arguably the 2nd best Victorian surfer of all time, behind only Wayne Lynch and maybe Tony Ray. Obviously it is expensive to do the WQS Tour and give yourself a realistic chance of qualifying to the CT level but now maybe Adam can fulfill his dream, good luck.

In the photo from the 2010 Sri Lanka QS Adam is surfing a 6'1 x 18⅝” XFC model with flat deck and chunky rails, but only 2¼" thick. The rocker is a very slight variation on the usual XFC TSR and was the most successful rocker/board for us on this years Australian leg of the WCT Tour.

We made a good one for Andy at 6'1 x 18⅝ x 2 5/16 rounded square tail, deep single with tiny double, fixed DL Soar fins. This board was a little thin for him however and he passed it on to Roy who has surfed it a few times on the CT Tour, all good.

Jay Thompson lights up Jay Bay for a brief moment in round 2 scoring a perfect 10 and backing this up with an 8 plus ride. The 10 was impressive, a long barrel then some committed turns. For me the 8 point ride was more impressive with a commanding lead in the latter part of the heat after securing the 10, Jay was able to take apart his last wave with power surfing that was as good as any seen so far this year.

Jay has been surfing a BF22 model all year (which is the new generation BX2?) but after bad luck and management and pretty ordinary surf for the first couple of CT events he was losing confidence on the boards we worked pretty hard to develop over the last 2 years I guess. So it was a relief for me and Jay to see him surf so well and get a little momentum and confidence from this one heat. Let’s hope he can go on from here and avoid the looming cut.

The BF22 is a flatter rocker than XFC, Jay is surfing 6'2½ x 19 x 2½ Rounded Square with deep single and tiny double through the fins area (just a high stringer really), there is a little vee at the tail hardly any, the rails are low volume and low soft, a little extra area in the nose plan shape but not the tail, with a pretty thin tail also. Jay and Adam are using Futures fin system, Jay prefers the HS fins and Adam is still testing.


I have been working on a model for the past 4 - 5 months called the Toe. Essentially this is a Mollusc style board but has a rounder nose and swallow tail. Also deep single to double concave through the bottom with vee at the swallow.

I like the vee at the back in small wave wide boards with concave because it brings a measure of control and assists in rail to rail turning (helps get the wide board up on a rail quickly). Luckily Don Norris was on hand the other day taking shots so I can bring you some surfing images that give you an idea of how the Toe looks and performs.Personally I like the Toe, it is helping me get up on take offs as I recover from torn rotator cuff shoulder muscles. The round nose gives you something to push against as well as glide onto the wave as you jump to your feet, and because of the extra nose area you can surf a shorter board making tight pocket turns possible.

The board in the photos is a Middle Toe at 6'4 x 21¼ x 2¾ and is best in 2 - 4 feet surf. I have a small wave version at 6'1 x 21¼ x 2¾ this is the Toe model for 1 - 3 feet, also I have made an allrounder version at 6'6 x 19¾ x 2¾ called the Big Toe for 3 - 6 feet surf.