1. Introduction surfresearch.com.au is a
free online annotated surfcraft museum, compiled as a necessary
the evolution of surfing history.
The site is a work in progress -
Version # 174.
Some data is unknownly incorrect, and
When data is to be found to be
it is changed.
Some data is known to be incorrect and
requires correction, but has a low priority.
Spelling and grammatical
errors are rife.
Many sections are incomplete, in some
All sources are credited,
Everthing else is my work
and is copyright Geoff Cater, 1999 - 2011.
Enquiries and contributions are
seeCorrespondence. Disclaimer :
I have never worked in the
My personal manufacturing experience is
limited to ...
- a few boards built in the Great
'Backyard Butchery" Outbreak of 1968-9 and the early 1970's Soul
- a long history of repairs and
a large number of boards in my personal collection have been
worked (I simply could not afford to pay a professional to put in
My knowledge is based on my
of surfboards, discussion with board builders and riders, and
available design related literature.
It is possible that I may have this all
The Title Pods for Primates takes its
from Bob McTavish's articlesPods
for Primates: A Personal History of Surfboard Design,
Part 1 and Part
2" , originally published by Tracks
Magazine sometime in 1972. They were subsequently reprinted (circa
of Tracks Vol 1 (pages 120 – 124). The article was
several excellent photographs.
The article's title refers to the
of the Malibu board to Australia in 1956. 'Pod' was a term for a
square tail Malibu board circa 1963, see Kevin Platt in Pollard
Surfrider , page 23. Subsequently the term referred
specifically to the tail itself.
'for Primates' hints at both
relative primative stage of surfing in Australia in 1956 and
also the evolutionary
development of surfboard design, a theme frequently
featured in surf
literature, of which Mickey Dora's “da Cat’s Theory of
Evolution” ad for
Greg Noll Surfboards is the most infamous example (Re-printed
Noll, Greg With Gabbard, Andrea: Da
Bull – Life Over The Edge - photo section).
3. The Quotation
de m'informer du pourquoi et de transformer ma volupté
- Baudelaire, 1860
Translation : "I set out to
the why of it, and to transform my pleasure into knowledge."
No, I have not read Baudelaire.
My source is Robert Hughes : The
of the New, Thames and Hudson Ltd. London 1980.
The quotation appears in the
Originally I failed to
transcribe the translation correctly - and I
couldn't find the overstrike (é)
on my key board.
The correct translation
was contributed by Guilhem Rainfray, Guéthary,
France. June 2005.
Many thanks to Guilhem,
and apologies to l'Académie
I came across this magnificent
fortuously at International Conservation Services, Chatswood in
it had been restored. I was able to take a few basic photographs
gain some historical material from the detatched metal dedication
and dicuss the restoration process with the craftsman.
Enthused with the beauty of the
that night I browsed a heavily thumbed copy of Margan and
Pictorial History of Surfing, 1971 and was amazed to find
of the board and rider in 1940 (page 118). Further
the branded logo as that of the Outrigger Canoe Club, Honolulu
confirming its Hawaiian connection) and additional information
Morath and the 1939 Pacific Games in C. Bede Maxwell's Surf
Against the Sea, 1949 and Reg Harris' The History of
Saving Club1911-1961, 1961 (additional
photograph page Forty-four).
The craftsmanship and design
by the board refute any possible derogatry description such as
or 'log'. Contact with the Balmoral Beach Club in August 2000
led to conversations
with Dick Morath (son/grandson of Lou) who reported that the
shaped by Lou Morath in Australia before 1939, the origin of the
Canoe Club logo a mystery.
The Catalogue started in
1981 when, while talking with Jeff (Foxy) Fox about surfboards, we
to paper a list of theboards we owned since starting surfing.
totalled 15 boards, while mine was 25, including 3 retired
boards (#23, #24 and #25) became the basis for a collection of
and the list continued to expand.
By 1996 the 'list'comprised detailed
and photographs of approximately 60 boards with book and
references to place the board designs in historical context. In
started editing and storing the reference sections of 'the
digitally and in 1999 a first draft went online. These now
History, References and Appendix sections of Pods for Primates.
The Catalogue is
on my own collection, supplemented by others that are on pulic
from boards I see at Old Mal Contests, auctions, other
and submitted examples from contributors.
n 2000 the first entries to the
were added and the numbering system is basically the order
the boards were added to my original list and have no other
The Catalogue, as at December 2002,
a reasonable coverage for the period 1900 to 1984 (Simon
Entries in absentia include hollow
(paddleboards and okinuees), Keel fin circa 1971, Ski tail circa
Wilderness Hull circa 1970. A Side Slipper circa 1970, Bonzer
and Step Bottom circa 1965 and several sailboards are in
of Surfcraft in Australia Since 1900
Orignally a chronology, some entries
exceeded their brief, none so much as Duke Kahanamoku's
surfing in 1915', which now appears as Duke
The History section is an on going
that currently is a convoluted mess, requiring a lot of work. I am
working my way through this in fits and starts, some sections are
coherent - others merely a chopped up copy of previous work.
1.The Glossary contains only
specific to surboard design, it does not have entries for general
terms - see Cralle below.
2.Many entries are currently uncredited
to their sources, an unfortunate oversight that will be corrected
(not so near) future.
3.Although much of this work was
before I had access to it, Trevor Cralle's The
Surfinary – A Dictionary of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak
been invaluable for review and the addition of US specific terms.
A second edition was published in 2001.
4. New Zealand entries thanks to Tony
5. Also see Books,
any indicated as containing a Glossary.
Entry Format : Model
or Term / Common Alternative Term/ Uncommon Alternative
Term / (common
application) / (applications) : Explanation and historical
Information and Inspiration
work on the page, many people have offered invaluable
boards, books, information and inspiration. Some are listed
University Board Riders, 1970)
University Board Riders, 1970)
Dave Mattison and
Jim Parkinson (Jackson Surfboards)
(NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service)
National Maritime Museum)
Greg Millet (Dion
Al Wilson (Al
Ray Moran (Manly
Surf life Saving Club)
Tony Reid (The
(The Legendary Surfers Homepage)
Paul D Gross
Although not often required, I endorse the approach of David
Abulafia, who noted: Another
is whether to use the Christian labels for dates, BC and AD, or
the modern substitutes, BCE and CE, or indeed (as Joseph Needham
used to recommend) a simple '-' and '+'. Since these variants
produce exactly the same dates as BC and AD I am
not sure what advantage they bring; and those who are
uncomfortable with Before Christ and Anno Domini are
free to decide that BC and AD stand
for some other combination of words, such as 'Backward
'Accepted date'. - Abulafia, David: The Great Sea- A Human History of the
Mediterranean Allen Lane, London,
2011, page xvi.
Alternatively, bp (that is, before the present), is used for dates established by carbon dating.
The present is defined as before 1st January 1950, after which carbon-dating is unreliable due to the
interference from atmospheric nuclear testing. 10.
was an text based attempt to define and describe surfcraft, with
reliance on images.
This was to
my own costs (mainly photograph processing and the purchase of
magazines), avoid time consuming image scanning and
domain size, allow the pages to load faster, and to minimumise
This is clearly
unsatisfactory; images do provide information beyond the
text, they are integral to historical analysis, and translate
to the medium.
1. All images
credited were possible.
by the registered copyright holder will be removed immediately
2. Images are
used where they add substantially to the text.
3. In many cases
the image has been cropped and/or enhanced to focus on relevant
- this is usually noted.
4. The images are
scanned to the smallest size that allows reasonable
smaller than their original printed versions.
5. A majority of
the images, such as portraits, are reproduced in black and
if originally colour.
6. All images are
compressed before uploading, again to promote fast page loading.
Everthing else is my
and is Copyright Geoff Cater, 1999.
me at email@example.com for further correspondence.
has been produced as a necessary part of the evolution of
( - with
and Geoff Cater Bondi
Sydney NSW. Summer 1953
Dedicated to Frank Harry
Cater (11.7.1936 -