Bob McTavish receives inaugural FCS Legend Shaper Award

November 29, 2019 | Surfing
Bob McTavish: one of the most influential surfboard shapers of all time | Photo: FCS

Australian surfer and craftsman Bob McTavish won the inaugural FCS Legend Shaper Award.

McTavish is one of the most influential surfboard shapers of all time. His contribution to the sport of surfing is immeasurable.

The pioneer of surfboard shaping and design was born in 1944, in Mackay, Queensland. He started surfing on a 16-foot plywood paddleboard aged 12.

At 17, he moved to Sydney and kicked off his highly successful surfboard shaping career. In 1962, he founded McTavish Surfboards.

Alongside surfer-kneeboarder George Greenough. The Byron Bay surfboard manufacturer played a critical role in the shortboard revolution in 1966-1967.

Bob was one of the first athletes to quit competitive surfing, even though he was always a fast and dynamic wave rider.

McTavish is often credited with the creation of the vee-bottom surfboard, nicknamed "Plastic Machine."

Bob McTavish: the Australian paved the way to the shortboard revolution | Photo: FCS

An Active Surfer-Shaper

He competed at the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship, and his rides at Honolua Bay were used in the movie "The Hot Generation."

Bob McTavish is an absolute gentleman, and he still surfs and works in the shaping room on a daily basis.

Recently, the craftsman shaped a board that represents his vision and philosophy for the three-time world champion, Mick Fanning.

Bob opted for the "McTavish Bluebird," one of his most memorable models of the 1970s, and a board that changed the way many surfers rode waves in that era.

The FCS Shaper Awards aim to celebrate and honor surfboard shapers who made an unprecedented contribution to the sport of surfing.

The tribute is comprised of two categories: the Legend Award for shapers with 40 years of commitment to shaping, and the Icon Award for craftsmen with 20 years in the business.

Three judges - Brad Gerlach, Tom Carroll, and Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew - analyze thousands of public submissions before making the final deliberations.

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