Dec 27, 2008

From Jonathan J ... Who Never Ceases To Amaze and Impress!

Hey Paul,

I thought I'd send you these pics of an infamous surfcraft of yesteryear. I'm sure you've seen one in your travels. (I'll bet most prone-riders haven't!) I'm talking 'bout the lowly Captain Swim-Surfer!

Is it a surf mat? Not quite...

Is it inflatable? Kind of...

Is it totally indestructible? Just about...

Was it developed by mad chemists, with a keen sense of advanced hydrodynamics? Perhaps...

Long discarded in surfing history's pile of flotsam, I say this funky relic deserves another serious look!

3/4 view, showing concave deck, and "chine" transition rails.



Logo shot - still intact!


Rear view, showing drain plug and -- WOOOPS!!!! -- UNION CARBIDE???
I bet they wish they would've stuck to making these, rather than offshoring their pesticide refineries. (Remember Bhopal?)



Bottom view rear - dig the subtle keel fin!



Bottom view front - It appears that all the rocker is in the hulled bottom profile, while the S deck remains quite flat - up onto the rolled hips....hmmm.... And what of those concave nose pockets? It's almost as if Simmons had a hand in the design of this thing!

6 comments:

Pixie said...

you know,that is really weird.found similar one on ebay,yellow for a tenner.Dave Heard of bodyboardhq shop in Cornwall was selling off his unused watercraft to fight the credit crunch.Is it duckdivable?Looks fun!

Niguel Tufnel said...

This one's blue...

Anonymous said...

I have one exactly like that, standing just inside the doorway of my shop for the last several years.

Dale

pranaglider said...

very interesting, I doubt that it would work as well as a mat but interesting none the less.

How does it flex? Whats the twist like around the center?

Thanks for posting

Anonymous said...

Bet Morey Boogie's law firm had a field day with it.

MAT MAX said...

I remember those Jetson style surf sleds. They looked as if they belonged in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. Funny how the sixties futurists were so enthusiastic about aesthetically sculpted appearances and yet veritably blind to functionality. I really liked the model cities under plexiglas domes with like ten cars moving around, rather than easily predictable urban gridlock. Monsanto's "Better Living Through Chemistry" jingle sounded decidedly hollow while Santa Monica Bay was the most mercury toxic open ocean area in the world due to their subsidiary Montrose Chemical dumping 160,000 tons of the stuff off of Palos Verdes. And so it went for Captain Swim Surfer as well. Cool looking, like Will Robinson would ride one on Lost In Space. However the reality was that the bog-slow round bottom was more suited to a sailboat and the scow bow served brilliantly for spraying water in your eyes, plus they were rock hard, which made them ride like a dead horse. Ah, the miracles of science, where it looks so good on paper. I reckon that researchers and industrialists are brilliant at providing materials and equipment, and less formal garage enthusists are far better suited to design and fabricate actual products. Of course, surfmats are a prime example in this regard. So, hats off to both parties for bringing us the space age artistry of our modern wave riding vehicles!!!