The first "chat out of the box" by the Australian-born legend and friend Darren Broadbridge who used to work for decades at the Euroglass factory in France. 

Follow Darren Broadbridge on Instagram to read more of his funny and very poetic stories.


It was a bittersweet romance, me and that old surfboard factory. When I started there, I had a bung hip that needed to get fixed and was on restricted surfing duties, like a kid in a lolly shop with his hands tied behind his back.  

I'd come from Quiky headquarters, where you could walk around with a T-shirt mid-winter. The cold air would seep into the old factory office and start paralysing your feet. Bradly had been bitching to Belly nonstop that we shouldn’t build a new factory. Belly and Hakman had got this plot of land, and it would get ready to have some plans.  

Then we had this Xmas party with Pukas, slept at Iggy's apartment in Zarautz and drove back to the icebox the next day. Bradley lost it and told Belly we couldn't work because it was cold. The hangovers did the trick. The old shed did have its charms, though. We had the Channel Islands licence at the time, and at any time, a Channel Islands rider could walk in and try and get some boards or pick up some they had ordered.  

As a kid reading surf mags, you never saw how people surfed. It was all still photo stuff. Then when the surf videos started happening, we could all identify with our favourite. But then, there was this wave that changed it all for me. Tom Curren's first wave at Jbay. It was mindless. How someone could nail that wave at the first crack is still unfathomable. 

I was busy getting boards ready to pack, and how this scene panned out is what serendipity stands for. Tom Curren walks in with a whole tribe of his kids, Leanne and Nathan, I remember and maybe some of their friends. In the rack behind me was a stack of 7 Red beauties in a row. That was when we only made seven a day due to all the pollution and toxic substance laws. Also, employeewise, Belly always reckoned it was one person per board not to go bankrupt.  

Tom sees all the panels, grabs one and tells us slowly how the Red Beauty came about. His kids all were listening in awe, as was I. He didn't talk about his history much. Funny how it became so popular, hey? He said to me. I just nodded. I've spent my surfing life concentrating on hand position on bottom turns. TC style, But I always liked the Black Beauty better :) 

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