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c.d.p. : nsw surf camps, 1908 
C.D.P. : Sun-Baking, Surf-Bathing, and Camp Life in N.S.W., 1908.

Extract from
P., C.D.: Sun Baking, Surf Bathing, and Camp Life in New South Wales.
The Red Funnel,
27 Rattay Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Volume VI, Number 3, April 1908
Pages 268 to 271.

The article, with four photograhs, details early 20th century Sydney beach culture.
The author, although only identified by initials, is possibly Charles D. Paterson, a member of the Manly Surf Bathers Club and said to have imported a surfboard from Hawaii circa 1908-1912.

Page 268
 By C.D.P.

DURING recent years surf-bathing has taken such a hold on the people of New South Wales that now every town that has a beach, or is within coo-ee of one, has its devotees of the sport; and there is no more healthful pastime for young people of both sexes.
As a matter of fact, at some of the seaside suburbs of Sydney many of the residents look more like South Sea Islanders than whIte people, being of a healthy brown tint, with firm glossy skins.
At Manly, for instance, the ...


Page 269
... home of surf-bathers, there are many expert swimmers and "shooters", whom it is a delight to see in the water.
Shooting the breakers is achieved by the bather catching a strong incoming wave on the curl; a vigorous kick and one or two overarm strokes give an impetus; the body is then held perfectly rigid, head up or down, and the arms pressed firmly to the sides and a little underneath the body.
The impetus gained, the force of the wave drives the shooter well up on to the shelving sandy beach, when the bather jumps up and plunges out again to meet another wave.

Frequently beginners, envying the skill of the more expert, try to shoot, and, not being able to judge the waves, get severely "dumped."
Ladies fail signally in their attempts to shoot the breakers.
In all the thousands who bathe at Manly very few make the least show in this respect, wereas it is every youth's and man's ambition to be an expert "shooter."

Dual bathing has given a great impetus to surf-bathing.
Municipal Councils recognize its value as inducing additional settlement and increasing the ratable value of properties, and have provided facilities in the way of ladies' and gentlemen's dressing sheds (free), life-lines, surf-boats, and life-saving attendants, whose efforts are ably supported by surf and life-saving clubs.
Bathing is allowed all day without restriction.


The great adjunct to surf-bathing is sun-baking, and this has its devotees amongst ladies as well as gentlemen.
After the dip in the breakers, costumes are slipped down to the waist, and the sun-bakers lie or stand about in the sheds, or, in the case of less frequented beaches, on the sands.
After a liberal dressing of cocoanut oil (to prevent peeling or blistering, and as an aid to securing a dark brown shade on the body); they revel in the sun's heat.
It would, be a difficult matter to identify the original colour of some of those who are constant surfers and sun- bakers, but the result is a good physique, splendid health, and a fine and strong race of young men and women.

So great is the craze (if it can be so called) that lads will club together and hire a camp after the style of those shown in the illustration, and they are well catered for in this respect at places where the speculative builder has not yet laid his spoiling hand.

People who live in cities and country ...

Page 270


... towns fail to realise the ideal healthy life led by these young men.
Week after week throughout the year (for winter has no terrors in the delightful climate of Sydney) these young fellows wend theIr way to the beaches, and there indulge to their hearts' content in surf-bathing, beach sport, sun-baking, and camp life.
What could be more healthful and less harmful, morally and physically?


Page 271
A few illustrations are shown that give an idea of the manner in which these lads enjoy themselves.
Freshwater Beach leads the way in this respect.
The place is a regular camp settlement. There are dozens of camps, rented by the year or season, and each is occupied by from four to six lads, and perhaps more on a holiday.
Each camp is constructed on a wooden frame, floored, roofed with ruberoid, scrim-sided, lime-washed in and out, and fitted with guttering and tank, as well as with a colonial oven.
Canvas stretchers, rough dresser, table, and forms are provided, and the tenants make themselves extremely comfortable.
In many instances pianos are to be heard, a phonograph or gramaphone in the evenings; but all day, apart from the time required to prepare meals, the lads are rolling in the blazing sun on the red-hot sand, or ducking about in the breakers.

P., C.D.: 
Sun-Baking, Surf-Bathing, and Camp Life in New South Wales.

The Red Funnel
27 Rattay Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Volume VI, Number 3, April 1908
Pages 268 to 271.

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Geoff Cater (2008) : C.D.P. : Sun-Baking, Surf-Bathing and Camp Life in NSW, 1908.