Sons of the Sultan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

T. F. needs no introduction. Who can forget seeing footage of 'The Sultan Of Speed' redlining it across Jeffreys Bay during the 70's. Always on his own trip with design & innovation, Terry Fitzgerald built surfboards with one purpose in mind. To carve whilst going as fast as possible. The Hot Buttered team flashed & swaggered across the competitive surfing landscape backing up their brash attitude with solid contest results. It stands to reason that sons Joel & Kye Fitzgerald, given their pedigree, would carve as per the original they were molded from.


Whilst flicking through an old issue of Surfing World I came across as small piece penned by T.F. on one of his designs known as the 'Drifta' & his thinking behind its design. From the Autumn 2007 issue he details the circumstances that drove the development of 'Big Red' as he affectionately called number 8 in the Drifta series. It makes for interesting reading & is actually a background story to the boards ultimate death at the hands on his son Kye.

T.F. informs us "When Kye was growing up his first boards were all single fins, even a keel fin Drifta" & how Kye used to whinge to him about how badly he wanted a tri fin like all the other kids. Terry's response was " No son, why do you want to whip whap? Stick with the single fin for a while longer & learn how to set a rail, use your power & carve your turns. And he did & he does."  In fact both boys do!


After surfing a few of these old boards at Jeffreys it seems as though both Joel & Kye could not get enough of the ride they provided. T.F. admits to taking satisfaction from "seeing 25 year old boards tearing it up."  In hindsight he wishes he had made both boys new versions of the originals they were thrashing. But, better to "go out with your boots on, getting barrelled" than "being put back in the shaping bay roof with a bunch of tired old relics."

I guess we would all like to take our last breath doing what we enjoy the most. The original Big Red did just that. Doing what it was designed for & giving back right to the end. Big Red was dead......long live Big Red!

The fruit does not fall far from the tree they say & it seems a logical conclusion that one or both boys would pick up a planer & start to make their own mark in foam. The clip below shows Joel surfing a board he shaped at the Deus set up in Bali & test driving it at Ulu. Very reminiscent of a lot of his dad's early designs. Looks like that 'single fin' education was worth it in the end. Enjoy!



Adrift Surf is not your everyday surf store. It's a place where anyone, not just surfers, can feel comfortable, find something not available everywhere and enjoy the experience. We aim to attract like-minded people and encourage a new generation of free spirited individuals with a vision of the surfing lifestyle.

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