'Grubby' Clarke in a letter detailing the closure of his
and Dave Sweet independently showed that a polyurethane foam
was possible. Rodger Jennings, Chuck Foss, and Harold Walker
the first successful commercial blank business selling
to surfboard builders. A lot of other people were involved
All of the resins, supplies, processes, and equipment were
Clark Foam I begin using different foam formulations,
and equipment than the other blank manufacturers. Today my
plant is almost
all original designs, built in-house by our staff and
myself. The small
amount of equipment purchased outside of Clark Foam was
built to my specifications
or modified by me for our unique process. To sum this up no
one in the
United States or for that matter the rest of the world uses
a process like mine. It is very unique and there was nothing
on earth ever
built this way before.
foam experiments, 1957
The first Australian
manufactured balsa/fibreglass boards, three only, were by Rodger
Keiran soon after the Olymic Carnivals, but a lack of balsa wood
meant that the design was not available for general use.
- Bob McTavish :
for Primates Part 1 in Tracks Magazine,1972.
The impact of the
US Malibu boards was severe to encourage builders to experiment
variety of alternative manufacturing techniques.
Possibly based on
a Popular Mechanics article published in 1953 detailing the
of a Styrofoam
Surfboard, several used a combination of polystyrene foam
McDonagh at Freshwater
(Greg McDonaugh in Pollard,
page 56) and Scott Dillon with Noel Ward at Bondi used
that was commerically available for insulation.
In a shed in Wellington
Lane, Bondi, Dillon and Ward glued foam blocks together, timber
stringers, and shaped the board with a course rasp ("Surform").
were glassed initially with epoxy resin and 16 oz woven rovings,
with a 5 oz cloth film.
The variation in
colour and texture of the glassed board required a coat of paint
South Bondi Board
Club member, 'Bluey Mayes', ordered a board with a large gold M
on the nose.
Dillon Interview 29th June 2005. Coffs
Malibus and Pigs,
One noted alternative,
possibly dating from this period was a board constructed of two
molds, joined at the rail with an adhesive black plastic bead.
The board was filled
with a course matted substance for floatation and featured a fin
The noted example
was green on the bottom with a white deck.
technology, the lighter, shorter, and more manouvrable
malibu surf board gained popularity after lifeguards from
Hawaii and California
demonstrated its capabilities at Torquay in 1956 (136).
to Cronulla's Bill Eady and Gus Staunton, the hedonistic
of board riders was at odds with the core humanitarian
role of disciplined
surf lifesavers, which was to protect surf bathers from
the perils of the
there was animosity between board riders and surf
lifesavers on Cronulla
philosophical differences, the danger of of surfboard
riders crashing into
surf bathers was immense.
as the protectors of Cronulla Beach it fell to lifesavers
to enforce Sutherland
Council regulations (137), such as in 1957 containing
board riders to a
section of North Cronulla Beach known as 'the
By 1960 most builders
were producing a stable, if not perfect, polyester blanks.
resorted to using a 'swelling box' to allow the blanks to
The standard Malibu
was a foam/fibreglass laminate with a redwood stringer, 9 ft –10
Extra features could
include multiple stringers, tail blocks, and pigment colours.
Fins were either
fibreglassed timber or solid fibgreglass.
Common fin shapes
were the Standard D, Square or Reverse D (or Phil or
Some builders continued
to use balsa, for example Wally Caryle,
mostly this was reserved for Gun boards.
Noted examples were
built by Les Patterson at Scott Dillon Surfboards & later at
- Bob McTavish
: Pods for Primates
in Tracks Magazine,1972.
Nov 1960 article "Why Surf Clubs Are In Trouble" discussing the
popularity of board riding.
Prone craft continued
to be made in various designs, most home builders continuing to
quickly produced Belly and Kneeboard in balsa wood and
Catalogue, 1960 - 1964.
"I was a Bondi
boy, imported from Canada in 1960.
South Bondi Boardriders Club, surfed with some of the
'legends' Bluey Mays,
John 'Wheels' Williams (of Manly),
old Vic Hogan, Noel Ward, Billy Bushel, of course the
Kevin Brennen etc.
of SBBC included Jim Robinson, Mick McKelvey, Andy
Dennis Colette, Johnny Nobel, and Rick DeRuiter.
I have a picture
of a wave at Nielson Park circa 1961.
An other event
Bondi boys were involved in was being on the television game
show the 'Dating
girlfriend, Brenda Backhouse was probably, if not the first
in the Eastern suburbs.
was the local "Gidget" and ended up with the Sydney Daily
weekly surfing articles.
One of her
articles about Bob McTavish stowing away to Hawaii resulted
in him getting
caught and deported back to Aussie."
- Mike Bennett (formerly
the "Canadian Kook", South Bondi Board Riders Club, circa 1960)
Arizona, emailed these notes in June 2011 (edited).
In 1917, the most
consistently noted female surfboard rider at Bondi Beach was
See Source Documents
Extracts from the
first surfing newspaper, twenty weekly issues between
and April 1918.
Also wrote a series
of articles in the early 1960s for the Australian Womens'
See Source Documents
Womens' Weely : Surfing.
Extracts from 1961,
1963, 1964 and 1966.
journalist whose meeting with Paul benefited her career.
Glenn A Baker
relates the event in his book The
Beatles Down Under.
seventeen years old and working for Women's Weekly when the
in Sydney in June 1964. She was among the large group of
photographers waiting in a corridor in the Sheraton hotel,
hoping to get
a story on Paul as he was celebrating his 22nd birthday.
to have a few words with the press, but as soon as he saw
Kerry he went
straight to her and invited her to his room for an
'I had long blonde hair and a pink sweater and I must have
stood out from
all the grey and brown suits because Paul made a beeline
right for me and
invited me up to his room. He let my photographer take shots
of him surrounded
by his presents and the next week we ran one of them on the
with my "exclusive" story inside. For years I've been asked
what I had
to do to get that scoop, which really did help my career. I
know that everyone
wants to know but I'm not saying if I did it or if I
- Bill Harry: The
Paul McCartney Encyclopedia, July 2011.
"Was in the
first group with Bluey to surf Green Island, down south.
Bondi boys were among the first visitors to the far south
coast and even
down to Bells.
groups that went to Ulladulla were around 1960, refer to
history of the Mollymook SLSC, bottom of page 32."
- Mike Bennett, email
June 2011 (edited).
"At the start of the season a visit to the area by members
the South Bondi Boardriders Club [many of whom were members of
SLSC], was to have ramifications to the local area.
Some members of the Mollymook SLSC had at the end of 1960,
pioneered surf board riding, using malibus.
They had been able to combine both surfing and surf
without any problems.
Bob Evans, Ian Hunter, Bob Davidson, Peter Williams and Ivan
Johnson were the first, and many of the younger club members
over the next
few seasons followed on.
The visit of the surfers' from other areas like Bondi on
seeking out new, unspoiled waves, introduced the youth to a
that did not include surf lifesaving in the equation.
Basically it meant a competition in coastal areas for the
of local youth which has continued on ever since."
Image, Page 31:
"The first boardriders. From left Ivan Johnson, Bob Evans,
two Pig boards and one Malibu, outside old Mollymook clubhouse..
Image, Page 32:
"Bob Cairns, club member posing in his 'neck to knee'
Balsa Pig board
portrait outside old Mollymook clubhouse.
- Johnson: Mollymook
SLCS (2010) pages 31-32.
Ivan Johnson noted
that his first board was bought from Bill Clymer from Sydney by
who used it briefly before onselling to Ivan.
- noted in phone
conversation, July 2011.
Many thanks to Ivan.
Friday 4 November 1960, page
Surfboard riders using beaches throughout the Syd ney metropolitan area this year will have to pay a 5/- registration fee.
Seaside councils have
agreed to do
this in an effort to control riders causing accidents among swimmers.
Licensing the boards will en able surf
club members and Council rangers to identify board
owners who cause trouble.
The officials have the power under the new regula tions to confiscate boards.
The registration will take the form of a sticker attached to the centre of the board 12 inches from the nose.
Manly Council beach supervisor, Mr. R. Brewster, said the regulations.would help reduce the number of accidents which occur each year between swimmers and board riders.
He said seaside Councils had adopted a common method: of marking areas reserved for surf
This would; enable anyone going to different beaches to know exactly where they could ride boards.
club members are exempt from the license fee which lasts 12 months.
1960 'SURFBOARDS TO BE
LICENSED.', Western Herald (Bourke, NSW : 1887 - 1970), 4
November, p. 12, viewed 1 September, 2013,
Offset or Hook Tails by Midget Farrelly via Bob Cooper &
Formation of Dee
Why Surfing Fraternity, DY, NSW.
noted in August, 2007
Not sure if it
is of note for you but Dee Why Surfing Fraternity is currently
As you may know
DYSF is Australia's oldest Board riders club. Established in
1961 we have
never stopped charging which we think may well make us the
running club in the world as many have come and gone and
resurrected but to our knowledge no other club has been
long. Sorry to all who thought otherwise but we were around
Australia - in fact Midget was our first President a couple of
to being inaugural president of Surfing Australia..
count old champions and current and recent WCT and WQS
names as members
and you'll note there is a Documentary DVD to be released in a
( September 1, 2007)
our website is
There is a history
page detailing the earliest days. More is to come
you check out our "Members" page you'll see a link to details
the DVD " Why Dee Why" ....And No, as far as I know , no
from the DVD are going to the club! damn..
I kinda think
we're part of Australian Surfing History.
and keep up what I'm sure is at times the onerous but always
some old guy
who's trying to help with the dysf site.
1961, June 6
Dave Jackman rides
Queenscliff Bombora, which makes the front page of a Sydney
His board is currently
held by Barry Bennett Surfboards, Brookvale.
In a subsequent
article Dave Jackman credited Claude West, and others,
riding the break and notes
... I paddled
my board out while Claude says he made his approach
from a surf boat.
The board is shown
on the video cover of Nat Young's The History of
Foley boards, very
short sub 8 ft, have a short lived popularity in Sydney.
In 1962 Foley
boards had a bit of interest.
A 6 ' 6" wide
tail board, another foreshadow.
- McTavish :
for Primates Part 1, Tracks Magazine,1972.
Named after a US
surfer, Jim Foley, who was photographed riding a short
board in the
second edition of Surfer magazine.
- McTavish: Stoked!
(2009), page 125.
McTavish's 1963 stowaway
companion, Dave Chidley, is filmed riding a short (Foley) board
Dooley at Currumbin in Dennis Elton's Follow
the Surf (1963).
See Thoms: Surfmovies
John Smythe (aged
13) of Manly, purchased his six foot Gordon Woods ‘Foley’ board
made mine and another friend's 6ft 6? board and Scotty
Dillon made one
for another friend.
had a small board made for him around 1960- it was marble
had the (6 foot?) Hobie his brother bought him in the states
o there was,
around 1962-63, a small number of (Sydney) grommets riding
- edited from notes
and photographs posted by Gary Crockett on the Surf City
20th, 2011 at 1:10 pm
Many thanks to Garry
The development of
foam boards in the US, circa 1957-1958, is usually credited to
and/or Dave Sweet.
In Australia, most
larger manufacturers were continuing to struggle with blowing
By investing time
and effort into blank blowing technology, and securing
reduction by placing large orders, Barry
established an independent foam company (Polytron Foam?) that
came to market
Mike emailed in
Junr 2010 (edited):
It's a long way and a long time from 1962 , when
Deborah Kerr and her husband Peter Viertel , who had introduced
in France from California, had met with me in London and
persuaded me to
join them in Bairittz for the contests.
I had just arrived from Peru, before that, Hawaii
Peter knew me from the February edition of Surfer
International which had announced Pipeline as the new surfing
it had just been ridden (outer Pipe) by 2 Americans (Greg
Ricky Grigg) and 2 Australians (Hickey and Bob Pike) of
I was the one who took the biggest wipe-out.
That wipe-out on a 32 foot face made a great
photo published in the centre of the magazine .
I was so ashamed to see that photo.
Now I am proud of it , and what we pioneered.
Nat Young: History
(1983) page 94.
surfers, Bob Pike and Mike Hickey, happened to be in Hawaii
and with a host of Californians and Hawaiians were invited to
the first surfing contest in Peru.
After the contest
Bob returned to Australia but Mike, who had met two French
surfers in Peru
and had heard about the waves of Biarritz, on the French
coast, went off
The next thing
everyone knew Mike Hickey had become the first European
In September (1958)
a team of Australian Lifesavers comes to Biarritz and rescue
The team came without planks swell and is non-existent for the
of their stay except the last day when the Australians like Mike
show what they can do: start drifting forward, up to two on a
premises ... turns discover that surfing is not to do than the
A tribute to Peter
Viertel, one through whom surfing arrived in France
Surf News ,
7 May, 2008: - -
Monday, May 12, all surfers are invited to return for a tribute
Viertel, who by that surfing has arrived in France. Meet at 11am
beach Parlementia (Bidart / Guéthary) with your board.
Peter Viertel with
a known history of the board arrived in Hollywood and surfed for
time in September 1956 Hennebutte Côte des Basques, died this
shortly after the disappearance of his wife, Deborah Kerr
actress and patron
of the first French surf club, Waikiki.
In his will,
Peter Viertel has requested that some of his ashes were thrown
sea initiative of his family and friends, Joel and Stella de
rally will therefore take place May 12 to Parlementia rather
that the Basque
Coast for reasons of logistical convenience.
As is the tradition
of surfing, surfers in the water will form a large circle in
Viertel will board a boat to carry out the will of the deceased.
With high tide at
11:38 and 56 coef forecasts tiny swell up, the conditions are
one to be very many in this tribute to a man whose friendship
have done (and still are) the Roots of French surfing spirit.
Let the surf in honoring
: History: 1960
REFERENCES FOR THIS
Know-how in the Surf
Angus and Robertson 89 Castlereagh
1961 Harris, Reg. S.The
of Manly Life Saving Club 1911-1961
Published by Manly Life Saving Club,
Printed by Publicity Press Ltd.
1966 Finney, Ben and
D. : Surfing – A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport
Pomegranate Books P.O. Box 6099
Park, CA 94927 Reprint 1996
1968 Kahanamoku, Duke With
Joe: Duke Kahanamoku’s World of Surfing
Angus and Robertson Publishers Sydney
, Australia 1972 2nd Edition A&R Paperbacks, Sydney ,
1970 Margan, Frank and
R. : A Pictorial History of Surfing
Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd, 176 South Creek
Dee Why West, NSW 2099.
1964 Pollard, Jack
The Australian Surfrider
K.G.Murray Publishing Co.P/L,142
Street , Sydney Australia
1972 The Best of
(Vol. I) Editors : Falzon, Albert; Stewart, John; Grissim,
Tracks Publishing Co Pty Ltd. P.O.
178 Avalon, NSW.
'Bob McTavish’s Personal History of
Design – Pods for Primates Parts 1' (pages 120 – 122).
1992 Stell, Marion K.
Collins Angus & Robertson
(Australia) Pty. Limited
A division of Harper Collins
(Australia) Pty. Limited
25 Ryde Road, Pymble NSW 2073,
1997 Warshaw, Matt : Surfriders
In Search of the Perfect Wave
Tehabi Books, Inc. Collins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
1978 Warwick, Wayne
A Guide to
Surfriding in New Zealand Second Edition
Viking Sevenseas Ltd Wellington, New
1979 Young, Nat ;
McCausland, Bill: Nat Young’s Book of Surfing
A.H. & A.W. Reed Pty. Ltd. 53
Rd, Terry Hills, Sydney.
1983 Young, Nat with
: The History 0f Surfing
Palm Beach Press,40 Palm Beach Road,
Beach NSW 2108
1985 A History of
Surfing Nat Young.
1971 Modern World
July Shane Steadman/Terry Fiztgerald (possibly) :
Design' pages 30 to 36.
1972 Surfing World.
Volume 16 #4. Bob Evans : 'remember the time when...'
30 to 35.
Malcom Gault-Williams: LEGENDARY