Recently we were contacted by a lady explaining she had found two old surfboards under her Mt Maunganui house, and asked if we could take them away for her.
Imagine our surprise to find a completely refurbished Dunlop and a mint condition Ted Davidson.
Dunlop was the major producer of commercial longboards in mid 60's, sold in sportswear stores and matched in number only by the other big manufacture, Atlas Woods. Frank Williams was the man behind the brand, starting off in his parents garage, inspired in 1958 by meeting the Californian's Bing Copperland and Rick Stoner with their foam and fibreglass surfboards, the first modern surfboards ever seen in New Zealand. Frank Williams brand 'Kahuna', and 'Frank Williams Customs', were an instant success and were bought as fast as they could be produced. At his peak in 1965-66 Frank was producing 30-40 boards per week from his parents basement in Takapuna. In 1966 a deal was made with Dunlop and Frank was moved to a proper warehouse where the 'flying D' was born.
Ted Davidson was originally a joiner in Tauranga. In 1961 he was introduced to surfing and decided to make his own surfboard, because back then it was easier to build one than find one to buy. In 1962 Ted opened 'Marine Sports' in Tauranga a surfboard factory and retail shop. The shop was so successful that Ted went on to secure the local agency for both Atlas Woods and Dunlop in order to meet the huge demand for surfboards in the mid 60's. This was apparently at the same time that Bob Davies was selling 40 boards a week in Mount Maunganui.