Stab Magazine | Simon Anderson Unveils Heritage Throwback Thruster Series

Simon Anderson Unveils Heritage Throwback Thruster Series

The thruster’s inventor returns to its roots for a three part physical foam series. 

Words by stab

Many of our readers may not have been alive amidst this invention, but every surfer should know the man who invented the craft our wholesome hobby revolves around. Simon Anderson. 

In 1980, Simon Anderson ‘invented’ the thruster. He may have being inspired by a twin-fin rocking a ‘trigger point fin’ at the rear, and the three-finned bonzers of the early 70’s, but Simon was the first to truly stick three, evenly sized rudders in a functional manner and rip on it. Knocking up multiple prototypes near his Northern Beaches home through the early 1980’s, Simon eventually crafted the board which won him the Bells Beach classic in ’81. The moment which marks the thruster’s unveiling to the world surf stage. 

Simon implemented no patent on the design, instead admitting, “if I didn’t come up with it right then, there were a lot of other people at the time that were working toward that same end goal. I’m just fortunate, and happy to contribute.” in a Surfline profile a few years ago. 

While the composites, shapes, volume, and process have all shifted around the thruster in its 39 years of existence, the most fundamental part of the board has remained the same: the three-fin set-up. 

Simon Anderson On Board

Simon and his new Single Flyer.

This however doesn’t mean that we should be discounting all but the fin arrangement from that epoch defining era. The shape and design of the boards themselves was also fundamental to later developments. Take for example the rounded square and squash tail, necessities to any hi-fi quiver. 

“The Heritage Series thrusters are based on boards that I created and surfed in the formulative years 1981 to 83.” Simon said about the Heritage range. “The range consists of three variations incorporating original design elements including flyers, beak nose, vee bottom, low smooth rocker and flatter deck with chunkier low soft rails.

“I have added some modern elements to the shape to slightly improve performance.”

The series features three boards. Two of which are based directly upon designs which Simon rode during the thruster’s beginnings, and an 80’s rounded pin throwback for when the waves get good – as rare as that may be.

The Rounded Single Flyer is based on the board that Simon rode at the Coke Classic in 1981. The Double Flyer is based on the board Simon won the Bells final on in ’81, and the step-up Single Flyer is an amalgamation of the types of boards Simon rode when the waves were getting good. 

These boards work well on a wall or as a bedroom ornament, but they’re designed to be surfed, so that’s what you should do with them. Comparably thin glass jobs, with refined finishes, you’d be a fool to purchase one and not lay rail upon it at least a handful of times.

Peruse the full range, in nerdy and explicit detail, right here at Onboard:


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