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 bob mctavish  : ...man made reefs, oct 1967 
"WRITING in the sun is a cinch..."
Bob McTavish
Surf International magazine October - November 1967 Vol 1 No 1  page 9
Copyright Bob McTavish 1967.

WRITING in the sun is a cinch.
The paper bounces back very white, heads full of waves, skins encrusted with salt!
The words come easy but they are a primitive coarse tool to connect two units.
About all they can do is maybe stir the curious worm from your apple, baby.

What did Cleary the surf-writer stumble across 18 months ago?
What did I.S.M.'s "Creative Era" try to say about the same time?
And what of David panthering for 11.4 seconds up tip?
What did it say?
What's it saying now?
High Performance!

Mind, Body, Soul; Surfer, Board, Wave; Total and Complete Involvement.
Let the mind unshackle, set it free.
Let it stroll, run, leap, laugh in gardens of crystal motion and sun and reality.
Talk with the caretaker on the Plastic Telephone.
Weave and paint with the hand of your imagination, with the fingers of your body, brush of fibreglass.

See that Cavity up there?
I'd love to be there, upside-down, carvin' off a cutback.
The horizon's going over, up!
Sssswishsssss, sswoooop!!

Toes pressed through wax job.
Stomach in upper reaches of chest cavity.
Feeling the bounce of the re-entry.

Ridden the explosion of the close-out today?
Yes, the 360 after the weightless was rather good.
Dragged my whole bum in one of those backhands.
Yes thanks.
Share this one.
Try a dual tube?
You call the turns.
The circus is in town.
Yes, I'd love a rose.

Listen to the radio.
The artists, the individuals and the small groups sing of love.
Turn on the TV - the big companies and entertainment factories turn out violence, killing, hate.
See how simple it is?
The individual artists have it all over the system people.

Surfers are individual artists.
Surfers are beautiful.
Their medium is so clean, so spiritual, so involving, so natural, so good.
As artists they reflect all this good and beauty.
Life is fun.
You can't have fun, kid.
Get a steady job.
But I like the sun.
You're not allowed kid, the system won't let you.
What if I go ahead and dig it, live, love?
We'll jail you.
You can't.
The only prison is the mind, and the door is stuck open.
Hoo Ha!

Surfers dropped out years ago.
Remember the rat race shouting after us as we walked into funland, "lemondrop kids", "surfies"! Poor kids aren't we ...we even forgot how to frown, too busy living to remember.

Of course with all this groovy stuff happening around us we're going to attract more drop-outs, or drop-ins.
Crowded waves.
Two ways around the problem.

First, hotter boards, hotter surfing and cooler heads mean more guys per wave with just as much fun.
What you sometimes lose with the slightly crowded feeling, you'll gain with a couple more wakes to play in, more motion as other guys go flying around in front and beneath and above you.
More laughs.

The second answer to crowds is more waves.
It's time for man to employ his overgrown scientific knowledge towards fun, instead of that other thing that makes him build fighter planes, war ships, arms, bombs, missiles.

The three million that one fighter plane costs us, the three million that comes from our pay packs, the three million that no- one gets to enjoy, could give the friendly people a well shaped surfbreak to accommodate 300 people.
I'm sorry to have to mention the war-tool bit, but that little piece of ugliness now may help us all to a freer more surf-filled life. ..each time you hear or see the word Vietnam, cancel out the blackness with a picture of a beautiful man-shaped wave, a piece of love-nature.
Make waves not war.

Practical application of the idea.
A grant of several million dollars towards surfing research and development.
A group of surfing minds.
A headland that receives good swell and favourable winds.

Let's try the north side of Long Reef, Sydney, a half mile of coast around a rock bottomed pair of coves, the whole place takes any south quarter-wind, cops any swell at all, and has a lousy bottom shape.
Really central.
Conditions are excellent three to five days a week.

Accurate chart of the bottom, suggestions for wave shapes, models, testing tanks, research on cement and plastic combinations and varieties, methods of anchoring, and go to town.

A pipeline, an Ala Moana, a Malibu left, a Sunset walling into a Laneakea, a Rincon, a Ti Tree, a right Pipeline, a few more imaginative breaks, some big and power some small.
All varying with tides and swell sizes.

Southerly this morning?
Off to the Reef.
Only 200 guys out, only about ten each break.

Slip into wetsuit, grab wax, might just sit on nearby headland for a bit and raise sensitivity to those waves, maybe get a rough plan figured on how to put together the session.
Shape preferences, tide, frame of mind ... Hit it!

Stay out in that paradise till something blows, mind, body or maybe north wind.

Surf International
October - November 1967 Vol 1 No 1  page 9
Copyright Bob McTavish 1967.
6. The dates of Surf International magazines are not specified in the publication details. Some commentators have dated this issue September 1967, yet the cover article on the Newcastle Contest notes it was won by Russell Hughes on 10th September 1967. Given the publishing lag in this period (up to 6 weeks), a later date seems reasonable.
7. The accompanying image, above, was a full page portrait of Bob McTavish by John Witzig.,
8.The article does not have a formal title - the first line is quoted.

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