Simon Anderson and his Mighty Thruster

Simon Anderson, 1981. Photo: Hugh MacLeod
Simon Anderson, 1981. Photo: Craig Fineman
Simon Anderson, 1981. Photo: Jeff Divine
Simon Anderson, Sunset, 1984. Photo: Jeff Divine
Simon Anderson wins 1981 Coke contest

In April 1981, just a few weeks before the Dewey Weber Longboard Classic, an oversized Aussie pro surfer and boardmaker named Simon Anderson walked down the stairs at Bells Beach holding a new type of board he’d winkingly called the “Thruster.” It was a peculiar-looking craft, with a narrow nose and three small fins placed in a triangular cluster. To a casual observer, there was no reason to think the Thruster was any different, or more viable, than the hundred or so half-cocked ideas had fla...