Greg Pautsch Article: Early Newport, McCoy, Quicksilver, early Surf industry

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solosurfer's picture
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First draft Greg Pautsch article on his time in Newport during the late seventies and all through the ninties. His time working with Geoff McCoy and the association with Quik.  It's a first draft. Hope you enjoy it.

http://www.theindependentsurfer.com/lead-article/the-lost-page-greg-paut...

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Good read Solosurfer, all ways dug that high energy period and bright colourful boards


everyone having fun at the beach. It makes what you see these days seem very boring


and monotone, black wetsuits, clear boards how were we ever convinced that this is a


good look.


Do you know if the book that quicksilver produced recently called Echo Beach is available.

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tombstone wrote:

Good read Solosurfer, all ways dug that high energy period and bright colourful boards

everyone having fun at the beach. It makes what you see these days seem very boring

and monotone, black wetsuits, clear boards how were we ever convinced that this is a

good look.

Do you know if the book that quicksilver produced recently called Echo Beach is available.

There was another book they put out that had many pictures of the era. Can't remember the name. I gave it to the owner of the shop I sold mine to.  Not sure about Echo beach book.  I was working in a Surf shop in those years and then moved to O.C.  The engery was everywhere. Not just in surfing. The club scen, music scene and etc were completely fresh.  The rest of the world was falling for the whole boring conservative mantra but creative stuff was at an all time high.  It ended in 84 almost as quick as it started though.  I would say Live Aid was the high tide of the whole thing.  Seven years of fun though.  I clearly remember the Quik Rep having to talk the shop owners into taking the stuff over sun britches even though all of us shop kids were yelling " buy it! " 

I like much of the old 70's music. Don't get me wrong, but at that time, PIL, Devo, the Vapors, DK, Martha and The muffins and Ultravox sounded so fresh and the look of the boards seemd space age.

The killers in high places say their prayers out loud

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One of my friends worked as a production shaper at McCoy in HOC.  He was also making some pretty fine Egg Shapes  in Encinitas with Moonlight glassing.  As far as the new look I hope I never see another Kid with a bad haircut dyed purple wearing a neon yellow wetsuit.


The only reason clear boards became popular was due to all the pros riding clear sanded finish boards ad stickers to make it look like you had sponsors. You were now a cool surfer dude.


Is is no doubt that McCoy opened the eyes of some of california shapers. Putting the volume and wide point closer to under the foot just made sense for those that wanted a short board.  McCoy did push the limit but when it was brought back and refined it was a something to see in action.


 


 

According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.

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Good article Solo, that creative period did end suddenly, thats maybe why theres a cyclic rebirthing of trends from the 60's 70's and 80's.  90's fashion was stillborn.


 Karl Largerfeld said theres been nothing new for decades.

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Great read!

I like reading anything on McCoy and his design philosophies and I think that article has set the scene quite nicely for a more in depth one just on Greg and his theories ;)

I'm relatively new to surfing but I agree that this era must of ended a little prematurely. I love a lot of the eighties designs and coming from an engineering background the McCoy and Other's design principles make perfect sense (to me anyway).

Cheers,

Mick.

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MickD wrote:

Great read!

I like reading anything on McCoy and his design philosophies and I think that article has set the scene quite nicely for a more in depth one just on Greg and his theories ;)

I'm relatively new to surfing but I agree that this era must of ended a little prematurely. I love a lot of the eighties designs and coming from an engineering background the McCoy and Other's design principles make perfect sense (to me anyway).

Cheers,

Mick.

I have a bunch more information.  My interview filled ten pages.  It's just really hard to tell that entire story all at once.  I just wanted to give the outline with this one and make the asseration that it's a bit of history  mostly left out of what has been written in corpo magazines and frankly most so called surfing heritage type mosoleums have left it out or misreported it also.  

I'm trying to get GP to fill out an interview page with questions and answers.   As some here can attest, Pautsch's modern shorties are something to behold. He might be one of the most underrated shapers out there. He is a quiet gentleman. You won't here much bragging from him.  Just stoked to still be producing boards for those will enjoy them. 

The creative element between at that time was running high in many areas. There were others I would like to write about also and hopefully will be soon.  Some of the blogs are starting to pick up on it and show boards and write about it also.  My friend Kirk put out a book called, " **** You heroes " that was an unreal pictoral history of some notorious bands of the era.

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MrJ
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Solosurfer, I enjoyed that. I hadn't heard of Greg Pautsch before reading your article. It shows how the surf world was internationally well connected even before the internet.



 


The suggestion that McCoy provided a necessary ingredient for the modern HP thruster to work does stand up to some chronological scrutiny using the surfresearch.com.au catalogue ie. the arrival of the "no nose" concept featuring some combination of narrow nose relative to tail width and wide point back from centre.


McCoy 1978 - wide point forward


http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000084.html


Zap 1980 - wide point back 12"! I was living in the UK when Cheyne Horan shot these to prominence. His model was made "under license" - the pre shaping machine system of producing pro models in other countries - a way of paying the original designer a royalty to use a pro template after some instruction on how to shape it - although the effectiveness of attempting to teach the design subtleties to another shaper was questionable, particularly when it was rumoured that the licensee sometimes never actually received any instruction direct from the source! so how close to McCoy's the one I borrowed I don't know. I couldn't get it to work well but was excited enough about Cheyne Horan's surfing to make something similar for myself - I couldn't get this to work well either.


http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000112.html


1981 - Anderson design and the arrival of the thruster - nose narrow relative to tail, wide point centre


http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000095.html


1982 - Aloha - I once borrowed an Aloha with a similar look to this one - it was a good board


http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000033.html


 


1982 - town and country - wide point 3" back


http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000041.html


 


However some shapers took the no nose concept too far and the thruster design went backwards from the original Anderson concept. Certainly I borrowed a lot of UK built thrusters with exaggerated no nose concept and they were awful - no drive.


IMHO some famous shapers were guilty of regressing the thruster too


Schroff's blaster shape was sometimes made as a thruster, although I think it was probably better in its quirky quad form - the four fins added some drive to the UK made zappy quads I tried from that era. I only got to try a Blaster copy (thruster) so how similar it was I don't know, but an awful board - no drive.


I don't think the exaggerated no nose shape is suited to a standard thruster. I realise the McCoy nugget looks like it follows this model and I did more recently enjoy borrowing a modern tri-fin nugget and could get it to work well for me. But the nugget is not really a zap shape - its got a couple of compensators to make its super wide tail work well in thruster form - for a start the wide point is not back - its right in the centre, so the appearance is deceiving - at least on the one I measured (6' 1" surftech nugget). It also has exaggerated rolled V aka the "loaded dome". As far as I know the early zapped out thrusters didn't have these compensators.


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There is way more to the Greg Pautch and Newport story.  The kiddies today just assume some of this stuff has been around forever. Fact is so much happened from 78 until 93 in surfboards and brands it makes it seem really old, but the real meat of the thing only lasted around 12 years. I wrote way more than this on this article, but Pautschy wanted to keep it humble which is his way.  

It's like much of the stuff I have been writing here for a few years. There has always been an undercurrent which is the real story as opposed to the self serving hype seen on too many articles and videos.  I read an interview on Michael Tompson where he called a famous surfer " insane " for experimenting on things he wanted to ride.  What he was really saying is all this was costing him money and personal attention and cred among his other industry buds. Causing doubt about what was being written in the magazines for the kiddies his and other companies were preying on and they couldn't have that.  

That is the surfing industry most of the kids read about.  Go to a trade show and see it all acted out for their benefit.  

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Its interesting to hear different peoples perspective on different shapes, and the lazer zap definitely seems to get alot of critics world over. It seems one of the main problems is that a board is designed in a local area for waves that are ridden by the designer regularly and they try to come up with a shape at suits those type of conditions, it gets ridden in those waves by a famous surfer who rides it well looks good suits the waves and the riders style, all is good. The zap was designed in east coast Aus were the waves a predominately peaky wind generated beach breaks, not a great deal of down the line stuff, its get in get what you can out of it and get out, before it closes out. That is what it does best short arcs and snaps on short waves, if you have long peeling waves, or waves with a long sloppy base, gutless waves or a cruiser style. Chances are the Lazer zap wont be the right board for you or that type of wave.


This year i got a couple of different boards from California and they were gorgeous but they felt like pigs in the surf to ride and then it really hit me that these boards were designed for there waves. I watched alot of different footage of people riding this type of equipment and started to understand the waves they were using them on and the style and how the approached the wave. After that i found waves that more resembled the californian conditions and the boards really came alive in these situations and even approaching the wave as i had seen and not my standard style of riding.


Basicly you have to think about your style of riding and the waves you ride before working out what will be best for you, if you like riding fishes for example the zap aint for you its at the other end of the short board scale. The new zaps are much easier to ride than the old single fins but still not for everyone which is how it has always been. 


 

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tombstone wrote:

Its interesting to hear different peoples perspective on different shapes, and the lazer zap definitely seems to get alot of critics world over. It seems one of the main problems is that a board is designed in a local area for waves that are ridden by the designer regularly and they try to come up with a shape at suits those type of conditions, it gets ridden in those waves by a famous surfer who rides it well looks good suits the waves and the riders style, all is good. The zap was designed in east coast Aus were the waves a predominately peaky wind generated beach breaks, not a great deal of down the line stuff, its get in get what you can out of it and get out, before it closes out. That is what it does best short arcs and snaps on short waves, if you have long peeling waves, or waves with a long sloppy base, gutless waves or a cruiser style. Chances are the Lazer zap wont be the right board for you or that type of wave.

This year i got a couple of different boards from California and they were gorgeous but they felt like pigs in the surf to ride and then it really hit me that these boards were designed for there waves. I watched alot of different footage of people riding this type of equipment and started to understand the waves they were using them on and the style and how the approached the wave. After that i found waves that more resembled the californian conditions and the boards really came alive in these situations and even approaching the wave as i had seen and not my standard style of riding.

Basicly you have to think about your style of riding and the waves you ride before working out what will be best for you, if you like riding fishes for example the zap aint for you its at the other end of the short board scale. The new zaps are much easier to ride than the old single fins but still not for everyone which is how it has always been. 


Really good post. My areas is shifty beach breaks as you describe which is exactly why I have always like Zaps and the like.  When I lived in California I mostly just rode thrusters and some different style of McCoy singles without the extream back end. When I moved back to Florida the zappy boards came back.  One of the fastest boards I ever rode in California or anywhere wouldn't go vertical, but it was fun as hell was a Skip Frye.  For small fun point breaks those things could cover some water area. 

You hit the nail on the head also about why there is sometimes disappointment. It has to do with how things are being marketed. If they are being marketed as " the answer " without considering the type of wave they rarely will be.   Once exception...bigger guys with intermediate to below talent level will almost always benefit from wider tails and more float.

The killers in high places say their prayers out loud

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