Thanks Archy, Glamarama, Wurfysurfy and Kayu for your answers, much appreciated.
I think I'll try to grab a used McCoy board from any of those shapers if one presents itself at the right time...chances are that I would not be able to tell the difference if it were not for the sticker, just as long as they are all magic!
Here are some pics of my first magic nugget, 14 years old and still my favourite board:
This was my first quiver in 1998, the Nugget was the latest addition.
I started surfing in my late 20's on the big red thruster in the photo. At first I rented it for $20,- for a day in Byron Bay, then bought it for another $180.-
It had a lot of leaking cracks in the rails and required much duct-tape until I spent many hours patching up the dings. After 1-2 years of almost daily surfing on the red board, catching a wave was still a rare event for me. The logo says "Cattle Dog Trading Company Byron Bay". The label "Dog" would have sufficed...
I thought it was just my lack of talent and starting at almost 30 years of age, that stopped me from catching on to surfing....but this board is a dog and I never knew it. A few weeks ago I paddled out on it for the first time since about 15 years, and I STILL could not catch waves with it! HAHAHA! The local used board shop did not want to buy it at any price, so it went to a charity shop. Good riddance!
Whilst struggling with the red Dog, eventually I bought the Nigel Beckham Twin-fin longboard in about 1997- used but in good shape- from Nigels shop in Tugun. Great board, I finally started to catch waves and to learn surfing on it. I snapped it clean in half three times and had it put together three times, that's how the deck-grip artwork developed
It's dead now, killed or lost by a friend whom I lent it to whilst I was travelling.
The "Platypus Model" in the photo might have been good, but I never warmed to it and never managed to catch good waves with it. I sold it a couple of years ago to make space. I did not even try it out again before selling it, because I don't get to surf very often and each session is valuable.
This is how I got the Nugget: One day in 1998 I was trying to find a spot that was surfable during a big cyclone swell. I checked every break I knew between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, but all were closing out. Eventually I ended up in Geoff McCoys shop in Byron Bay and bought the Nugget (used but like new) off the shelf. 7'2'' x 21 1/2 ''x 3 1/8'', shaped by Geoff. The guy in the shop said it would be a good size for me (6'2'', 75kg, fit but poor surfer).
I waxed the Nugget up and drove back to the Gold Coast, again finding no surf-able spot while checking everywhere. When I got to Snapper Rocks, I decided to go for a paddle in the somewhat protected corner. No-one was catching waves out the back, but a few intrepid surfers were catching the reforms. It was chaotic, with head-high backwash waves coming from the beach, combining with the reformed waves in a weird way. There were some strange standing waves, it felt like they were throwing you up into the air when they suddenly got you from behind
Somehow I managed not to drown and to get to where I could paddle into one of the head-high reforms. Right at the moment when it was too late to pull back from the wave (my most common manoeuvre
), another surfer popped out of the wave in front of me, right where I would have landed if I had messed up. So I had no choice but to keep going and hope for the best. To my great surprise, I made the drop and even managed to turn to avoid the other surfer. I am absolutely certain that I would not have made this wave on any of my other boards. This was entirely due to the "magic" Nugget.
All other boards that I have tried seem to want to get further away from the correct spot underneath my feet whenever I put my feet in the wrong places (I do that a lot
). On other boards this usually results in an instant wipe-out. But not so on the Nugget. If I land off-centre on the Nugget, then it tends to immediately move itself to underneath my centre of gravity, so that I can recover and gain (some) control. It comes towards my centre of gravity instead of shooting off away from me like other boards. I have sometimes landed on just one foot, or (really bad!) with one or both knees on the tail-pad - but still recovered to ride the wave!