The Aqathrill, Surf-Rider – Gilcraft

So, here is a lovely board. It’s a slightly confusing one too! Love the graphics on this – it’s totally lovely. It’s reckoned to come from the 50s, but the actual logo looks older. This one has had a checkered yellow and black stripe added to it, at some point – at least I can’t find any others with the checks on, so have to presume it was added.


The board is the standard 4ft long, but is 10 and a quarter inches wide both top and bottom – which is fairly unusual. It has a fairly good size rocker and resembles some of the old pre-ply boards I have, in both shape and rocker size. Take a look at the below logo. It is a genuine beauty. Not many stronger logos than this one, I don’t think!


I have spent a long time trying to find any background and to be honest I thought this one was going to be simple to research as it had a great Logo of Gilcraft, with a trade mark and London NW2 on the transfer.


But after researching this one, I’m a tad stumped. I  have found other owners of the same board. I have also found images of the same board with Gilcraft – Great Yalmouth (not London like my one)?

So what I do know is that the same Gilcraft, with the same logo, made a game called “St Andrews Obstacle Golf Game” (see image below), looks rad. They also made water skis and this is what I can find most commonly with Gilcraft. I have found an ad from the 60s with Gil-Craft water skis (with a hyphen) and found them for sale on auction sites with the same logo as my one (from London??).


I have also found a company/writer called Gilcraft who wrote tons of books for the Scouts/cubs up until 1928. He was very high up in the scouts (one of Baden’s mates, Gilcraft was just his writing name), and certainly wrote about wood, water and games. But I don’t think this is our man. There was a Gilcraft boat builder (from Oz) who seems to have sold in the UK so I can only assume that like many of these older boards it was made by a boat builder who made water skis and surf-riding equipment too. Right?

Or was Gilcraft a UK business? I just can’t find any history on Gilcraft Ltd, or when it may have opened or closed which is a bit weird. So, if any one has any ideas please do let me know!

I’ll keep on searching. But anyway a proper nice old board.

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