Catching Up With Ricky Blake On The Triple Crown Of Retro Surfing

Catching Up With Ricky Blake On The Triple Crown Of Retro Surfing

Catching Up With Ricky Blake On The Triple Crown Of Retro Surfing

Ricky Blake has been helping to ressurect vintage boards to be surfed in their former glory for many years now through the Surfside Seventies event. Two years ago that event was merged into The Triple Crown of Retro Surfing (TCoRS). It is a rad series of events that is helping bring back the stoke for vintage boards and their rich history. We recently caught up with artist Ricky Blake who has helped coordinate it and has been doing the art for the Surfside Seventies events the last 20 years.

How long has the Triple Crown of Retro Surfing been going?

The TCoRS is in its second year…although the Surfside Seventies has been going on for 17 years…we decided to add the two new events last year to make it a Triple Crown…(Sunset 60s and HB 80s) and Quiksilver Originals has backed the whole idea which really helps get things done ..also for setting up the grand prize which is a conversation and free custom surfboard from Mark Richards.

Tell us about some of the events and people involved? 

This all began over 20 years ago when Benny Bigler and myself wanted to hold log contests in Sunset Beach in the summer and then after 3 years we decided to make it a 70s event because of all the 70s boards that were coming in to Bruce Jones shop where Benny was the manager at the time.. Now we have Tony Alvarado (who has a huge surfboard collection) who brings down tons of boards for people to ride ..Tim Stamps has been helping making trophy boards for winners and Katin Surfshop helps us out getting people to sign up for the event at the shop…the champ of this event gets a 70s model shaped surfboard by Tim Stamps…..the Sunset 60s is interesting because it is a whole different skill set to ride those boards and some people are finding boards that are being resurrected just for this event…Harbour Surfboards helped us out signing people up at the shop …. The winner gets a custom shaped surfboard collaboration between Rich Harbour and Tim Stamps…. The HB 80s is hosted by Bud Llamas which is perfect because he is a legend of 80s surfing in HV and beyond…Bud uses his shop 17th St Boardshop to get people to sign up there …the winner gets a 80s shape by Randy Lewis of a Bud Llamas model surfboard..we have had a lot of support from the local heroes to legends who will sit in and judge as well as participate such as Peter Townend, Pat Downey, Greg Mungall and a guest appearance by Rory Russell this year during the 70s event…when our heroes come out like that to these events it gets pretty surreal and really stokes everyone out..

Can anyone enter the events? 

Anyone can enter which makes it fun because it is a chance for a young grommet to be in a heat with a world champion such as PT…

A lot of insanely rad retro boards are ridden in the events. What kind of boards do you see the most of and what are some more unique ones that have been ridden in the contests over the years? 

You are right many insanely beautiful boards show up for these events…it is interesting though some of the boards that continue to make it into the final are the same few, (for the 70s) a Carl Hayward twin 5′-9″ , a 2-tone Harbour single fin 5′-9” , Lightning Bolt Gerry Lopez 5′-10”, OP single fin, Hawk single fin …For the 60s event someone brought down a perfect Jack Haley ’59 which we gave the BEST BOARD prize to…and runner up that year was a HOBIE Corky Carroll model shaped by Terry Martin that was used again this year and I believe got more nose rides than any board in one day in history…everyone was trying it out and it was beautiful to see… The 80s standout board was an RL Bud Llamas twin fin in perfect condition brought by Billy Webb ..that is one of the best things about these events is people who will share these classic boards…and bringing so many back to life or resurrecting boards that were being neglected…

Who is on track to win the Triple Crown this year? 

On track right now for the TCoRS is a group of guys that all did well in the last 2 events all will come down to who will get in the final during the 80s event..and who does not make it through a couple rounds…it is really going to be close…in order the ranking goes like this ..from first place…TJ Ridings, Bobby Baker, Mikey Reilly, Christian Franzen, Jay Larson, Shane Bettis, Jeff Deffenbaugh, Brian Guglielmana, Benny Bigler, Drew Middleton and Casey Wheat… Depending on so many different factors ..if TJ and Bobby get in the final one of them will be crowned!!

For more on the events and Ricky Blake check: