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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…

Case Study Surfboard #3: 6’5″ e-wing Bonzer5

Malcolm Campbell shaped this 5 fin Bonzer surfboard for Peter St Pierre in 1989/1990, during the early days of the Campbell Brothers/Moonlight Glassing relationship. 
Note this logo features the template of the original Bonzer siderunner fins. 
Logos were BIG back then! 
Dims: 6’5″ x 19 7/8″ x 2 7/8″ with 11 1/2″ nose and 15″ tail. 
The airbrush has that cool Future Primitive handpainted vibe that was popular at the time. 
Features: beak nose, red glass-on siderunners by Jack Jensen and the radical Elevated Wing (e-wing)  invented by Mac McDonald and adopted to good use by Malcolm Campbell. When these boards first started showing up in production sander Kenny Mann nearly had a heart attack. 
I think the story on this is that  Jimmy Jazz chunked the route job for the box because the old jig wouldn’t fit on the deep double concaves properly, so it got a little logo art to cover the repair. 
The rails are thick with a hard edge. I had ridden this board several times in my 20’s when I weighed 135 lbs and it was always too much foam  for me. It paddled great and surfed loose when my back foot was  behind the e-wing. I actually softened up the edge with some 400 grit recently.  Now that I am over 40 and 155 lbs+  I am stoked to ride this again. 
The first time I saw the e-wing I was struck by how beautifully futuristic it looked and was really impressed with Malcolm’s detailed shaping skills. Gary Stuber did a great job figuring out how to glass them too. The e-wing loosens up the tail without making it wiggly waggly. And it gives it highline lift down the line, and excellent control in cutbacks. 
Back then leashes didn’t have rail savers, looks like the string pulled thru the tail on a big day. 
Airbrusher Peter St Pierre was probably airbrushing some boards for Eric “Bird” Huffman at the time and decided  use the leftover paint for his board. 
Great tail outline. 

This is a good, solid surfboard ready to paddle over the ledge, stay steady under your feet and carve up sections. Not too many people had seen 5 fin Bonzers around San Diego county at the time and it always got a lot of attention in the parking lot, on the beach and in the lineup.

Case Study Surfboard #2: 5’11” Chile Bonzer Replica

Shaped in 2009 by Malcolm Campbell for Justin Phillips. This board is a replica of what is now known as the Chile Bonzer, a board shaped for Rob Machado in 2004. Rob took it on a trip to Chile in 2005 and some cool footage of Rob smoothly surfing nice back lit waves began to circulate on the Internet (see video clip below).

5’11” x 19″ x 2 1/2″

The Chile Bonzer is kind of a hybrid of the Shelter model and the Mini-Merk model. Interestingly we have never made this board as a production model despite that almost everyone who borrows it orders one.

The beak nose allows for more foam, this bucks the trend of standard performance shortboards which have had thin low volume noses since the early 90’s. I personally prefer my shortboards to have this beak nose, better paddle and a more balanced feeling surfboard in my opinion.

Currently running it with a True Ames 6″ Bonzer fin.

Justin rode it mostly with a 7″ Rusty fin by Rainbow Fin Co.

Bamboo Bonzer siderunners by Marlin Bacon of 101 Fin Co. Bamboo fins are light and classy looking. The bead does require a little maintenance from time to time from nicking rocks.  The rear foreground fin needs a dab of Solarez.

The iconic “TV Heads” Campbell Brothers logo and the classy Moonlight Glassing logo.

Justin Phillips on this board late evening winter Swami’s.

Frame grab Rob Machado highlining in Chile.
Machado’s Chile Bonzer had a full resin tint. Rob had generously left this board at Moonlight and  I used to ride this board all the time until he showed a few months ago and finally grabbed it back.
The most tubed man on the planet, Jon Roseman also has a replica of the Machado Chile Bonzer. Jon rides his in Fiji. Photo courtesy of the Frog Master.
4 oz s-cloth w/airbrush

Ando & Friends “Birdfish” sticker. Andy Davis is a local artist/bro. His company Ando & Friends may be defunct but this sticker lives on. Andy currently has a line with Billabong.

Resin leash loops are rad.

This board always seems to have various incarnations of Franken Pads (different traction pads cobbled together).

Justin’s Chile Bonzer as it is today, in the hands of Surfy Surfy and needing an oil change, but water tight and still shreddy.


Footage of Rob Machado surfing his “Chile Bonzer”. Video courtesy of the Campbell Bros. Filmed by Cyrus Sutton.

Custom orders are possible. Inquire at surfysurfy@gmail.com or call 760-452-7687

thanks,

JP St Pierre

Case Study Surfy Surfboard #1

Part 1 of new series on essential Case Study surfboards that make up the Surfy Surfy quiver.

Case Study #1: The Guy Takayama GWAT.

Custom shaped for me by Guy Takayma in the summer of 2001. Guy shaped the original GWAT for personal use, got stoked on it and then had it scanned at KKL. The KKL software allows for perfect scaling of this design from 6’6″ to 8’0″.

Concept is a mini longboard. Works in beachbreaks, works extremely well in points.

This board is 6’8″ x 21 3/4″ x 2 1/2″
(until measuring it this morning I thought this board was 6’6″)


Shaped out of a Clark Foam blank which has held up extremely well after over a decade of heavy usage.
5/4 oz glassing deck, 5 oz bottom by Gary Stuber at Moonlight Glassing.
Airbrush and pinlines by Peter St Pierre. The green and blue theme is inspire by the color of the 55 gallon resin drums the surfboard industry gets from Revchem Composites.


The side bite fins are the Red-X fin system, which is routed all the way through the board. The fin is screwed in from the deck. Red-X is a extremely strong system, however it is important to cap the deck with a piece of cloth during build, which few in the industry did, therefore killing the system in the long run. As far as I know Red-X (previously called the Excel system)  is now defunct.

*note-if you need fins for an old board with Red-X Surfy Surfy can special order them for you. We got a hookup. 

Current center fin is 6.5″ GT Manta, normally ridden with the 7″.
The side fins are not the GT template. Those were donated to a customer 7 years ago.
Gloss and polish finish (this board is another example of why gloss coats are important to longevity).
This board is a Hang 5 machine! Slight nose concave. Hang 10’s could be possible for a more skilled surfer than myself.


Maggie Marsek Rhyne snapped these Hang 5 shots on the smallest non-wave day ever.

Excellent paddling, fast down the line and nimble weaving thru crowded lineups. Easy flowing cutbacks. Not a retro flashback dog. I also call this board The Slump Buster because it’s a good board to ride when things aren’t going well.

Leash worn only on occasion. It’s taken some lumps, lost it on the rocks in central California 6 years ago being the only real damage which was minimal and easily repaired.

The GWAT is often compared to the Donald Takayama Scorpion model (Guy’s uncle). The GWAT has more hip and more nose rocker and more shortboardy rails than the Scorpion.
This board has been loaned out to dozens of surfers of all abilities and has been a favorite to push kids and spouses into waves on.

Once widely available, Guy is currently only shaping GWATS in limited quantities these days. Surfy Surfy tries to keep them in stock, but they sell quick. Average retail on these boards is $950.00 which includes custom fins from Fibre Glass Fin co.
New GWATS feature the Probox system for the side bites.

It’s a testament to a board when it’s stayed in rotation for over 10 years and hasn’t been sold.

thanks,

JP St Pierre

Custom orders are possible. Inquire at surfysurfy@gmail.com or call 760-452-7687