Can You Handle the Penetrator?

John Peck, Haleiwa, 1964
Weber Surfboards team, 1966. Photo: LeRoy Grannis
Ad for Mickey Dora's "Da Cat" model, 1967
Bing Surfboard models, 1966-1968

Board design was the quiet part of the post-Gidget surf boom. There were no groundbreaking changes between the late '50s and the mid-'60s, just refinement. Dale Velzy’s wide-backed “pig,” introduced in the mid-'50s and still popular at the turn of the decade, was replaced by a more uniformly-curved silhouette—less hips, more nose. The “roundpin” tail outline was introduced as a hybrid between the traditional squaretail and the big-wave pintail. Fin area came down, and fin position moved a lit...

The “model” craze swept the sport in the mid-'60s, and surfboard shoppers were left scratching their heads over the relative merits of the Hustler, the Master, the Cheater, the Penetrator, the Performer, the Aggressor, and the Rapier—all of which looked identical at 30 paces.