Friday, July 8, 2011

Dude, Lightning Bolt?

As I finished prepping an old board for sale this week, a pretty rare opportunity presented itself.

I grew the quiver to a fair size this year, picking up interesting cheap used boards to experiment with. Now, as I'm looking to sell off a bunch to narrow the quiver to perhaps 4 boards, a semi gun was on the list. I'd envisioned more of a 7'2-7'4 pintail thruster, but suddenly what appears online?

A 7'1 single fin pintail semi gun. With a Lightning Bolt on the deck. At a good price. After a quick consult with the helpful, Bolt-obsessed Damion Fuller over at (thanks D!), I immediately began a campaign of begging the seller via email for first crack at this piece of history. I imagined he probably thought me a bit weird.

I showed up at his place and not only did it turn out we'd met briefly at my home break a couple weeks prior, he turned out to be quite a nice guy and very interesting - a German photographer named Marian living and working in NY.

After he helped me pack up the bolt in cardboard for the subway ride home, he was kind enough to take his quiver down off a high shelf, and here (pictured below) are three more Lightning Bolts! At right is a classic Vespa he and a friend dragged 5 stories up a narrow Chinatown staircase to his studio apt for restoration.

My new acquisition has a number of layers and unsightly (though watertight) repairs. The green bolt and pinlines are made of some kind of thin, very strong tape that's bonded tightly to the top. A thin layer of resin below the tape is an "Ed Angulo/Hawaii" decal. Who knows what the story is behind this board? But it's clearly been around for a while, and as I'm a rider not a curator, at 7'1 x 19.5 x 3, my new friend looks like it's begging for some big hurricane waves. And I hope that maybe, just maybe, on the right day, my feet will feel a soft whisper from 1975 Hawaii.


  1. Looks Tasty! Can't wait to see you ride it in some hurricane swell!

  2. Update: I took it out 2 weekends ago in waves quite a bit smaller than its creator no doubt intended (around 4', the best we've had this week here), but surprisingly it rode with an elegant kind of magic I haven't experienced with my other boards. It drops in and turns nice and you can really pick up speed when you put your weight on the middle. It seems to be begging for some fast barrels!

    Unfortunately, the old repairs turned out to not be watertight, and after just one session, there are lots of squishy places and opened-up dings now, including a patch of soaked stringer and a tail delamination. The repair bill looks to be high, and I may not get it back for 2 months. I'm really disappointed. Hopefully it will get the magic back and not just become a money pit, but maybe that's what happens when you traffic in 30-year old boards.

    I was able to make email contact with the board's shaper in Maui, Ed Angulo, and he was able to tell me some interesting info on the board's origins. You can read about it at

  3. Finally got it back from the repair shop, over 10 weeks and nearly $200 later. Damn!!