Anto is running his surfshop CUSTOMIND in Bordeaux to live his passion for vintage boards and surf culture – so if you are in Bordeaux do not hesitate to visit him!
Who are you? Where are you living?
My name is Anto, I am 42 years old and living in Bordeaux, France. I am running the Surfshop CUSTOMIND, which I founded with my wife Lorraine 3 years ago. The shop is now a reference in Bordeaux: a concept store mixing up vintage boards and future shapes! My wife and I are surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding in the winter time and aficionado of vintage boards since 20 years. I like shaping, surfing culture, artists and craftsman who participated in the progression of surfing but also the risk some shapers took to improve the board performance.
When and how did you start collecting?
I started collecting 20 years ago. I started surfing at 17 with a 6”4’ ISLAND CLASSIC shaped by Eric Arakawa. I had saved money for 1 year to buy this used board for 150€, which I surfed 4 years. I loved it apart the difficulty of starting surfing with it. I personalized the board with the eagle from Matt Archbold. At that time in my hometown boards were rare and expensive and 4 years later I found an advertisement for a vintage board casually. US surf magazines like SURFERS or SURFING also awake the awareness for surf culture, the old-school movement and the characteristic boards from back in the day. Skater since the age of 8, vintage skateboards also helped me developed my interest for old-school surfboards. Since the 90ies, I am interested in the Californian, Hawaiian and Australian surfing culture and fan of the Fletcher family of course. There starts my addiction: first a HURRICANE twin fish in 5”4’, then a 6”8’ single fin by LIGHTNING BOLT in red with a blue lightning, an awesome single fin by DICK VAN STRAALEN in 7”0’, then a TRIS fish in 6” from UK… Nowadays I have contact to other vintage board collectors which contributed to the evolution of my collection – it is smaller, but with US and Australian boards in good condition. My oldest one is from 1973, a 5”9’ keel fish from “BROTHERHOOD”.
Which was the first board of your collection?
My first vintage board was a claret and cream tinted resin PETRILLO, a single fin in 6”2’ for only €120. I bought it from somebody having it hanging on his wall in his living room. Unfortunately I had to sell it when I needed money – it’s the way it goes…
How many boards do you have?
About forty vintage boards: Two longboards, some single fins, some fishs, thrusters, bonzers and hybrids…
I reduced it to 40 boards, because of the poor space in my shop CUSTOMIND, where I keep them. You can see them there: like a 7” single fin stinger from GORDON & SMITH from 1976, a beautiful 6”10’ yellow stinger HERBIE FLETCHER from 1978 brought by a friend from San Clemente, California and many more. The shop is the perfect place to show the boards from back in the days.
Which is now your most preferred board?
My favorite vintage Board of the moment, is an unique 6”7’ HOT BUTTERED single fin shaped by Terry Fitzgerald, a double winger swallow, pink on top and blue on the bottom, with a double pine line. Friends and connoisseurs who saw the board just couldn’t believe in how good condition the board is. It was bought in Australia 40 years ago by a guy who passed on to his son, who passed it on to his roommate, who passed it on to me J
Are you surfing your vintage boards?
Yes of course I surf my vintage surfboards but there are some I have not tested yet. I like the glide they provide, the intuitive touch and sometimes the more voluminous shape that allows you to take a lot of waves with.
Which one do you like to surf most?
It’s a 6”4’ single fin shaped by Shaun Tomson in 1979. The board suits perfectly to me and to my style. I try to collect only shorter boards I can surf either. I only have a few single fins in 7”6’ or 8” and only a 9” and a 9”2’ longboard. I also love surfing my quarto by French shaper STARK, a mix of fish, shortboard and kneeboard – a real surf skate.
Who is your favorite surfer from the 60’s-90’s and why?
My favorite surfer is Christian Fletcher: the underdog guy from San Clemente who brought the never seen air game into surfing. A good skateboarder too!
I also like Shaun Tomson and Gerry Lopez for their spirit and their unique fluid surfing style…
Who is your favorite shaper from the 60’s-90’s and why?
Master shaper Donald Takayama is my favorite shaper. Because of the elegance and technicity of his shapes, as well as the variety of his boards which help his surf team to push the limits. But also Skip Frye for the awesome lines of the fishs he shaped.
Where can we see your boards?
In our shop CUSTOMIND, you will often see new vintage boards, which I am sell or trading to some freaks like us. I do not sale to strangers who do not share our collective passion! I like to pass on my boards to people I have a good feeling for.
From time to time I post some of my boards on Instagram.
I am doing some exhibitions with friends as well but mainly you can see them surfed by myself.
Vintage surfboards are an integral part of the heritage of surfing culture. The boards deserved to be maintained, repaired, preserved but also surfed. We cannot forget that the boards of the future are inspired by the past – vintage boards are safe values of surfing. We see shapes coming back, like the mini Simmon or the bonzer. I love boards for their styles and their avant-garde touch.
My wife Lorraine is running a blog about surfing and skating: TAKE A BREATH EDITION, sometimes she is also writing about the past of surf culture.
Best regards and have fun – PEACE