Archie Tricket

Just over a week a go Archie’s daughter Sarah put her fathers name into google and one of the early Wight Surf History articles came up with a small mention about Archie being one of the first people to surf on the Island. A few emails and phone calls later and I got to meet Sarah and Archie’s wife Betty at Betty’s home in Brighstone. Sadly Archie now 89 has alzheimers but he did manage to surf right into his 70’s.

I vaguely remember Archie turning up at the beach in an old Ford Anglia with his homemade wooden surfboard and old wetsuit in the 80’s and early 90’s. Archie was a guy that just loved life and loved the ocean. I spent a lovely hour or so, chatting to Betty and Sarah, looking at old pictures and listening to stories. They told me it all started on one trip to Compton when they saw a couple of people with wooden bellyboards catching the waves. As soon as they got home Archie was in his workshop making wooden bellyboards for all the family. It wasn’t long before Ron Munt owner of the shop on the clifftop at Compton saw how much fun they were having and got Buckets the builders in Brighstine whom Archie worked for to make them for his shop to sell.

Archie and family were very good friends of the Colemans and Jim Coleman’s father was a boatbuilder. Sometime during the early 60’s Jim Coleman being a person who also loved the ocean decided to build a surfboard (Betty hopes to find out where he got the plans from). Jim had pondered how he was going to stop the deck being too slippery and decided the best method was to use sand. This obviously worked very well but was very painful and sometimes led to bleeding … Ouch!…. Not long after this Archie had copied his design making his own surfboard (minus the sand).

Sarah remembers all the family learning to surf on Dad’s surfboard, Archie pulling her into waves when she was only 7 years old on this huge and very heavy wooden surfboard. Sarah says they nicknamed their surfboard the QE2 while the Coleman children called their surfboard the Queen Mary and would often be seen paddling the two big boards around Compton Bay and the old wreck.

I also need to say a big apology to Sarah for getting the surfboard down to photograph it and then rushing off to get my girls from school without helping you put it back up again.

3 Responses to “Archie Tricket”

  1. jason says:

    what a great old board, would be fantastic to see it in the water again, i’ll volunteer to give it a go 🙂

  2. dennis says:

    I knew Archie, sadly too late to get to know him properly as he was already suffering with altzeimers, but he proudly showed me around his workshop and told me he had worked into his 70s or 80s for Buckets. Betty his wife has an intersting history too. I must pop in to see her!

  3. Jane Coleman says:

    Hello there! How lovely to find this article. I am Jane Coleman, eldest daughter of Jim Coleman. I have fond memories of sunny days spent on Compton beach as a child. What I also remember is that my Dad copied the surf board he made with my grandfather ( who was the boat builder) from photos of Malibu boards in a book about surfing in Hawaii. They did not realise the board needed a fin to stabilise it so the first board was practically un rideable. When someone turned up on the beach with a factory fabricated pop out board complete with fin they realised what they were missing! I also recall the huge bruises my Mum and Dad acquired from trying to ride the Queen Mary…it weighed a ton!