First an apology for the audio. It was my first in person interview using new equipment. I spoke too close to the microphone and kept clipping my audio and popping my p's. It is only slightly annoying and I did my best to reduce the clipping in post production, the audio improves towards the end. It is only my voice that is clipped, so all the great replies are perfect.
I am talking to Australian skateboard collector Andrew Mausell.
How do I describe Andy? He is the Willy Wonka of skateboard collectors. A crazy artistic genius that has never grown up. I met Andy about 5 years ago, when I was selling down the Hopshop skateboard collection. Andy was one of the collectors that beat a path to my door and went through my boards, asking questions, falling in love with various skateboards I had. Like me, his favourite collecting era is early to late 1970s Australian skateboards. It was an amazing time for skateboarding, recognized as the second wave, surf culture had a big influence on skateboarding.
The last five years Andy and I have stayed in touch. You might have seen me over the years promoting his skateboard projects, which are more art than skateboards. We talk about those and future projects he is working on. What makes Andy different to other collectors is his passion not for the skateboards but the manufacturing process. Not satisfied that he can’t find a perfect 1970s fiberglass board, he makes one. Consults original factory managers, uses the same surfboard factories, and rediscovers lost techniques and methods. That is what makes this an amazing interview. I love stories and I love telling stories and the best stories are about history and this episode is chock full of history.
The companion piece to this podcast is the show notes on the blog, all the skateboards we talk about are photographed and in order of appearance, so you can literally follow along and see what I see and we talk about. There are extra notes I have added. That give more detail. I hope you enjoy this episode, you get to live a morning in my life, one of the crazy characters I spend my time with, proving skateboarding is a wonderful life.
The music playing in the background is Russkie Wig-out
This is the suspected prototype Bahne. It is definitely pre first series. It is made with hand laid fibreglass layers.
Rick Le Claire and his honeycomb Bahne.
Bahne 30 inch honeycomb board was custom made for Rick Le Claire in 1977.
He was a Bahne team rider. Used mainly for downhill racing events between 1978 and 1979. Notably in 1978 at Magic Mountain.
Bahne - one of only 50 were made - they were customs, every 30 inch Bahne was custom made, there were no production models you could buy off the shelf. The aluminium is extruded and then impregnated with polyester black plastic to seal up the holes, then sandwiched top and bottom with white fibreglass.
Hop notes: The honeycomb model was developed from Bahne waterski technology. Stan Strocher spoke to Bill Bahne and was told that a total of 50 honeycombs were made.
This Bahne had sandpaper on the top - brown and black mixture, one of the earliest griptapes used.
Two types of logo - on the griptape and on the bottom
Once had Cadillac DK51 stickers on his deck, Andy has 30 of those original stickers.
The nose shows the honeycomb structure
The board has naturally cut wheel wells from use! In the photo below you can just see those cut outs at the top of the image
The little Nipper, made from an old wooden water ski from the 60s, the flat section of a water ski.
The inlays are hand done and look incredible. It is in the shape of a Midget Farrelly - not an exact Mark 2 Midget Farrelly but in honour of that deck. The Little Nipper logo has been changed from a baby getting towed on a ski to a baby riding a skateboard. This was just a private project, to make a beautiful skateboard. Hop note: I have spoke to OG skaters who have made skateboards from old water skis.
Andy originally was a graphic designer, then a toy designer and has merged all those skills into making replicate skateboards such as the Bennett, McGrigor and Shane Skateboards.
These are some of Andy's reproduction projects
Legendary Shane Stedman, from Shane Surfboards, holding the Shane fibreglass skateboard reproduction.
This is the original Shane Skateboard from the Hopshop collection, that gave Andy the inspiration to make the Shane fibreglass Skateboard.
Designed Destroy All Robots: Australia's first non-sport bubble gum cards. They were all original paintings. Inspired by Japan's tin robots.
Gordon and Smith double eagle logo - is not perfectly symmetrical which a lot of fakes or reproductions do not get right. Below is Andy's reproduction and the white deck is an original.
Scanlen skateboard bubble gum cards
Classic retro skater that maybe was inspiration to Sector 9 skater logo? (see comparison below)
Russ Howell? Hill bomb
The weirdest skate card of the set
Skateboards by Skip of Australia
Surfer Sam logo
Golden Breed Hawaiian fibreglass skateboard
The original Golden Breed template
The board no one knew existed, the fibreglass Nirvana
What is Andy's grail?
Bahne 27 inch prototype layered construction,
There is a 30 inch rarer version.
How Bennett Surfboards worked there Saturday morning skateshop in the 70s.
An example of the superior manufacturing Bennett techniques, the designed into the mould a drill pattern for truck holes.
Forgotten history, Greg Bennett using locals to assemble skateboards and the rubber thimble they used to count out 8 ball bearings.
Australian Skateboarding Bible a book Andy is working on. There will be an American Bahne section, because no book on Bahne has been done. Andy wants to highlight the two fake Australian Bahnes that were made.
How to tell the difference between a real Bahne and a fake Bahne
First fake Bahne was the Bahne Super Flex. The other type is the second series Bahne logo printed on old Lightening Bolt and Golden Breed stock left over in the Bennett factory.
There is a fake Bahne in the Disposable Skateboard Bible Book in the Bahne section!
This is the Disposable skateboard bible page with the fake Australian Bahne! There it is in the middle, set up with stoker Slicks and Sure Grip trucks. Note to Disposible, Bahnes never shipped with Sure Grip trucks.
Note the Honeycomb deck at the top left, it has the Honeycomb logo, which I think Andy is still bitter his honeycomb deck does not have the Honeycomb logo, though I'm sure it is on his list of things to do, create a sticker for his deck!
Midget Farrelly junior signed my Midget himself - was on ebay at the time of this podcast, and sold for $443
Midget Farrelly skateboards were made in a small factory in Brookvale.
We get our boards mixed up a bit in the podcast, I thought Andy was saying that the Farrelly factory also did a Nat Young pro model. It was Dr Leo who owned Surfa Sam made a Nat Young model to compete with the Midget Farrelly board which was taking his business. Side note: the backstory here is a small bit of information I got from Leo during a phone conversation many years ago. I was looking for information on my first skateboard, and wanted to know if Leo licensed his images out or if there were any unknown Surfa Sam boards, he said towards the end of Surfa Sam he made a Nat Young Pro model, but he did not think any were released commercially. I told this information to Andy and we both have spent five years looking for a Nat Young. And yes, we found one, actually Andy found it. A non descript board was unearthed, the worn out label was restored and found out to be a Nat Young! A few boards have since been found, and I want to tell that story one day in a video or podcast. Any aspiring film makers out there that want to collaborate on a short film, let me know, I'll write the screenplay.
The Nat Young Surfa Sam!!!! They were the same construction as a Surfa Sam, thin lamination on top of a solid wooden board. They had a aluminium foil sticker on the bottom, like all Surfa Sam's. Made under the name of Landsurfa.
Hop's first skateboard was a Surfa Sam. It was a knock off, or made to look like it. This was early 70's and after Surfa Sam had closed down. It was green with a white Surfa Sam logo on top. Black composite, tar like wheels. These wheels chipped! I later replaced it with urethane wheels I bought at Eastwood.
We are in the garage!!
Ultimate Skateboards - Burwood skateshop board that was bought just to photograph for the book.
Mahaka XL10 - foam core with a fibreglass wrap - it is a skateboard deck shaped after a dragster bike seat! You are guaranteed to do 360s today with the XL10.
How to make a good fibreglass skateboard, Andy has rediscovered old manufacturing techniques. One id sanding each layer. To get a good transition on a multi colour fibreglass board, you sand the layer, put down a clear layer and then the second colour. A lot of these techniques are getting lost because surfboards are not being handmade anymore in Australia due to mass produced imports. Surfboard making is not a dying artform, but there is less people doing it and a new appreciation of vintage surfboards.
Fake Bahne with black outline (see image below)
The image below are the three types of fake fibreglass boards made in Australia. All of them are on old Lightening Bolt stock.
Fred William Kanga water ski's they make a perfect vintage skateboard
Why is Andy obsessed with Golden Breed skateboards? There are not many skateboards made under license with a surfboard logo in Australia. There is something special about them.
So rare to find an original Golden Breed skateboard that has not been skated.
This is the Golden Breed board we talk about in the garage, the one I thought was too good to be true, it must be a reproduction. It has a psychedelic swirl, and extra $5 at the time of purchase!
The Col Crawford Golden Breed skateboard. A one of a kind black golden breed with a black logo. What made it special was a silver or gold meta fleck through the black resin. The legend goes that Col walked into the Bennett factory and wanted to buy the one of a kind skateboard that hung on the wall for his kid (Stephen or Sharyn). It was not for sale...but everything is for sale at a price and Col left with the black Golden Breed skateboard. It has never surfaced again, it could still be out there?
Bonus item for Jack Meyn
In Andy's garage I found this 70's fibreglass Hawaiian skateboard. It has the logo of the notorious Da Hui surf gang from Hawaii's North Shore. They were the original suf gang, feared in the 70s and policed local's surf rights and harassed Australian surfers...and a few South Africans :-)
What is the history of this board? Made for one of the local kids? A tribute deck by a local shaper?