The Crest really is a top board. I have a few different variants which you will see soon. Surely one of the most iconic and best boards ever made. It is not quite clear exactly when they were originally made, but we know that they were not produced after 1953. Ronald S Funnell (the author) mentions this in the 2nd Edition of ‘The Art of Surf- Riding on the Cornish coast’ The book was originally produced in 1934, although I’m not sure anyone has ever seen an original copy. Anyone out there have one?
So the boards must have been produced originally in 1934 or before. And for how long I don’t know, but I do see a good few of them. Ronald states in his book that the ‘Crest Rider’ were made for him after seeking assistance from the editor of the Timber Trades Journal, who put the call out in an editorial article. Certain tests were then run. Ronald wanted a board that would retain its shape, but also also be light and durable. In the end he chose Gaboon timber (ply) that was subject to a certain process. Many of the ones I have are not varnished, so I presume he never offered a finished board.
The production of this brilliant board seemed also to be its demise. Freitage, carriage and purchase tax (costs) ended production. That were lightweight and REALLY nicely shaped. They were just under 4 foot long. The top end (with a nice rocker) was about 11.25 inches, tapering to 9.5 inches at the bottom. With a slamming logo,. Some of which added a crest/shield saying West Cornwall Woodwork – Penzance. As below.
My guess is these boards wouldn’t have been cheap. I have a couple that also have separate branding for the shop. This particular one has the words for ‘Victor French – Bude’ on the lower half of the board. From what I can find Victor French was a Watchmaker, Jeweller and Sports Dealer of 19 Queen Street, Bude. Phone 267.
More Crests coming soon.
If anyone has any more info on these boards, I’d love to hear it. Like where were they produced etc?
I have just been sent a lovely period advert from a guide book by Sally Parkin from The Original Surfboard Company for Victor French – see below