"The Fantastic Plastic Machine" - Stunning!
After reading about "The Fantastic Plastic Machine" (©1969 Eric and Lowell Blum) in Mickey Munoz's "No Bad Waves" I managed to find a copy on DVD and it's a belter! Why haven't I heard of it before? Starring Skip Frye, Nat Young, Mickey Munoz, George Greenough and Bob McTavish, amongst others it's a wonderful, wonderful look into 1968.
It follows the Windansea club's best surfers (Frye, Munoz etc) travelling via Fiji and New Zealand to Australia to take on the might of the Aussies. They get there to find that Bob McTavish has them all surfing shorter boards with concaves and vee. There is great footage of their surf comp and then a lovely bit with Bob McTavish discussing board shapes over a few beers with Skip Frye and Mickey Munoz. McTavish surfing his experimental shorter board with super style (I wish I'd seen this before he came to visit North Devon the other year!). There is also the best footage of Greenough kneeboarding on his red spoon that I have seen - better than what's in "Innermost Limits" in my opinion.
Why is this film not more prevalent? It's an absolute cracker - stunning in the warmth of its insight into that time, the surfers and the surfing. (They talk about the surfy American/Australian "politics" and surfboard development.) I urge you to see it! You won't regret it and you'll watch it over and over, not just the once. What an antidote to this depressingly lengthy flat spell that we're going through at the moment!
Here's a clip of Mr McTavish making that vee work to whet your appetite...