What the Mark Richards Surfboards site says about the 1976 Bumble Bee:
‘I shaped my first twin fin in May 1976, after the 2SM-Coca Cola Surfabout in Sydney. At the time I was riding a narrow tail single fin and was struggling in small waves. I’d been inspired to make this twin fin after watching Reno Abellira from Hawaii ride a round nose, low rocker, fish style twin fin on the smaller days. He was skating over sections where other surfers were bogging down. He suggested some dimensions for me which were 5’11”, 22″ wide and 2 & 7/8″ thick. I went home from the event and shaped and glassed it myself straight away. I sprayed a big bumble bee on the bottom and that’s how it became known as the bumble bee twin fin.
I rode it on small days in Newcastle for the rest of the year. It was a revelation in small surf compared to the single fin. It paddled better and more importantly it had lots of ‘get up and go’ speed and maneuverability. It was fast and loose and all of a sudden I started looking forward to days of small surf so I could ride it. I only ever made one and I no longer own it.
I sold the original Bumble Bee in the late 70’s and it is now in Eddie Phillips’ surfboard collection in Byron Bay. He kindly lent me the board in winter 2011, to ride and to use a reference to recreate the board exactly as it was in 1976. So here it is now in the MR model range, an exact replica of the original shape with the colours, decals and Bumble Bee faithfully recreated.
It is available in two versions:
- A limited edition model, which is signed, with the red and yellow spray design and the big Bumble Bee on the bottom and set fibreglass twin fins
- A clear board or with a colour design of your choice, the fin options here are twin fin, twin fin + stabilizer, quad, or five sets of plugs for a 4/5 fin option
- Classic round nose fish outline with deep swallow tail
- Paddles like a baby mini mal, the thickness is carried right up into the nose, finishing with a thick retro style beak nose.
- Low nose rocker to float over dead sections turns 1′-3′ surf into something to get excited about.
- Wing swallow to reduce tail area to enliven turning response, combined with a flat panel V bottom which helps rail to rail transition in turns
- Concave fluted wing on the bottom of the board for extra bite when turning.
Stock fin set up is twin fin Options are twin fin + stabilizer, quad or five sets of plug so you can ride it as a quad or a thruster.’
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The size range is 5’6″ – 6’8″, average width is 22″, average thickness is 2 ¾”.
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