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Case Study #4: 6’6″ GH Bonzer Egg

In the late 1980’s/early 1990’s Peter St Pierre and Gary Hanel built some 5 fin Bonzer eggs shortly after developing a working relationship with Macolm Campbell of Campbell Brothers Bonzer surfboards fame. 

This 6’6″ 5 fin Bonzer egg was truly unorthodox for it’s time. 

.Egg surfboards were basically non-existent during this era of surfing. 
Note the rare Moonlight/GH 80’s logo combo

Gary Hanel was also a full time high school math teacher at the time. 

Early 5 fin Bonzers were almost always exclusively glass-ons. 

The 5 fin Bonzer setup looked truly alien in this time when the Thruster was dominant. 

This board was in mint condition when it was “borrowed” out of Peter St Pierre’garage in the mid 1990’s. 

My buddy Jeff Nelson had this board for a long spell, Jeff lived on a 35′ Trimaran sailboat so all his repairs were done with boat materials. 

Rise of the Moon Frog. 

The Moon Frog was the iconic logo for Moonlight Glassing. 

Clark Foam and S-Glass kept this board running in epic Baja and California points for 2 decades. 

Jeff recently returned this board to Surfy Surfy pretty hammered. We had Randy the Ding Guy patch it up back into surfing condition. 

*This was my go to board in San Diego county Fall/Winter during the perpetual high tide mornings (and pumping surf).
GH shaped a whole series of eggs for my Dad during this era and I always marveled at how well he surfed on them. Just clean carves and he linked every wave all the way to the beach.
The template was adopted from the egg outlines Wayne Lynch left with GH when Moonlight was building Wayne Lynch surfboards under the Rip Curl label.
This kind of egg surfboard wasn’t in the magazines at the time, so I was weird about it at first. I was young and stubborn and conflicted.
 A 20 year old guy can’t ignore his Dad getting better waves than him for too long so I finally snuck a few sessions on it when the peers weren’t around.
This board is was straight up magic!  It really opened up my mind to the possibilities of non-stock status quo thruster surfboards.
I recall friends and local yokels calling me a f*cking longboarder for riding this board  back in the day, despite it being only 6’6″.
Longboards were definitely not cool at the time and for sure anything without a pointy nose made you a pariah.
However, this board just flat out surfed anything else I had ridden to that date so that I just kept riding it despite the hecklers.
One all day Baja session burns in my memory. The surf was pumping at a shifty reef with wonky currents and blasting offshore winds. A lot of guys threw in the towel due to frustation, but this board got me into every wave I wanted.
That day alone started a 25 year love affair for me with Bonzer eggs.
In the late 1990’s I came home to my bachelor pad to find this board missing out of the board rack and a note on my bed from Jeff Nelson with $175 cash explaining that Jeff had taken the board for an extended Baja trip.
15 years later it’s currently displayed on the wall of Surfy Surfy surf shop.

*Update: Jeff sez,
Thanks for letting me borrow it all these years…it definitely is a special one…somewhere i’v got a pic of this board laying on deck framing a perfect perkos peak…sorry for the boat resin ding repair, that was from when I tried to shoot the jetty at San Miguel, next wave blasted me high and dry :-0 can’t wait for my next Magic Moonlight Ride…

5 Responses
  • Anonymous
    December 5, 2013

    That is a rad board. Makes me want another GH bonzer egg! A 6’6″ big brother to my 6’0″.

    Harry

  • Anonymous
    December 5, 2013

    Good story thanks for sharing.

  • Tim Orr - Pure Life Surfboards Hawaii
    December 5, 2013

    Classic board, great story! Glad you got it back in decent shape and could be fixed up and surfed again. Sweet outline and love the glass-on Bonzer fins. You’re stoked!
    Aloha & Happy Holidays

  • Anonymous
    December 6, 2013

    I wish MoonKitty was around for this.

    • Anonymous
      December 10, 2013

      Yep the Moonkitty would have been stoked for sure. The loudest cat ever. Doug

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