Bent, On Bob.
Phew, Bob Mctavish is a cool customer. His list of achievements goes on and on. He’s shaped thousands of surfboards, he’s a major star in Greenough’s cult classic “The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun”, he’s been a stowaway on a ship to Hawaii and have you seen his wife? She’s smokin! But Bob’s reputation precedes him and you needn’t read more of my man crush. This text is about our time spent revisiting one of his most treasured creations, the Bluebird.
Originally a concept of the early seventies, the Bluebird has come a long way since Bob first lammed the familiar logo almost forty years ago. More than twenty different designs come under the surfboard model’s banner. It’s easy to see why he regards it as one of his most favoured and versatile shapes. He described the board as “free as a bird, cutting edge, quick and agile.” Sounded good to me. Always a fan, I was flying high when the opportunity to make one with him popped up earlier this year. I like to pick Bob’s brain on design theory and surf history every time I come across him. Being able to interrogate him for a whole hand shape’s worth of time was a dream come true. Especially when the shape was for me. The Bluebird is a beautiful model. Strictly a single fin, it draws lines that the short board of today could only dream of. My board was made off the back of some of his earliest versions, paying homage to a super era of single fin surfing. Each time I inarticulately explained a desired feeling, he subtly adjusted the shape to suit my needs. Bob’s idea to build me a Bluebird became the basis for a priceless lesson in surfboard design and history. It took just two hilariously educating hours of shaping to add another new version to the attractive Bluebird division. I dare say it’ll live a long and fruitful life in the ocean.
Words by Harrison Roach, all photos by Thomas Walk.
Bob has kindly shaped an extremely limited number of Bluebirds for Deus, 12 in total and they will shortly be available exclusively through Deus Camperdown and Deus Byron. Stay tuned!