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slsaa : surf in australia, 1937 
Surf Life Saving Association of Australia : Surf in Australia, 1937.

Extracts from
Surf Life Saving Association of Australia: Surf in Australia.
Official Organ of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia
(Head Centre), 119 Phillip, Street Sydney.
Editor: W.G. Simmonds Esq.
Published by Alexander Leo Finn, 149 Dover Road, Rose Bay.
Printed by Lake and Ashes Pty Ltd., 389-391 Sussex Street, Sydney.

January 1, 1937, page 17.
WITHIN the last three or four years a new craft for the surf has sprung into existence along our beaches through theingenunity of Australian surf enthusiasts Jack Toyer and Dr. J. S. Crackenthorpe, namely, the surf ski, a streamlined float constructed somewhat midway between a surf board and a canoe.

The ski or similar craft has just been adopted by the Surf Association as a recognised item of life-saving equipment.
It was not, however, built for that purpose, being more essentially made for shooting or riding the breakers.
It has several advantages over both the surf board and the canoe.
Its superiority over the surf board is that it can be driven by a paddle, it can be steered by a paddle, it is more buoyant and less likely to injure the user.
The rider is completely above the water and not so prone to attack.
For life-saving it is more manageable with a patient.
Its improved features over a canoe are that is is more easily managed, does not fill with water or sink, and can be righted in the water much easier.
To place a patient in a canoe is, of course, impossible.

As Honolulu gave the surf board, Australia has given the ski, and it would not be surprising to see in the near future surf skis for hire on the beaches.
Clubs are buying them rapidly and the new craze is giving the surf board some very keen opposition.
Jack Toyer, a co-inventor, has been connected with the surf movement for some 15 years and is Captain of the Cronulla Club boat crew.
Dr. J. S. Crackenthorpe is an ex-Manly Club member.

The ski is the result of patient experimenting over a period of about 12 months and was patented in 1933.
Recently orders for this craft have been received from Honolulu, New Zealand and South Africa.

Australia has been put on the map in so far as surf ski-ing is concerned by two of our own members, another accomplishment in which we take pride.

Surf Ski Manufacturers,
Smith's Avenue Hurstville, NSW.

Surf in Australia.
January 1, 1937, page 17.

January 1, 1937, page 20.

Canoe, Surf Ski, and Surfboard in Thrilling Race at Bondi.

January 1, 1937, page 25.
A more versatile and competent surfer than Eric Morgan, of North Steyne, is hard to find.
Old timers will remember his dad, George, as beach inspectator at North Steyne and prominent surf clubman.
Eric excells in all branches of surfing, swimming, belt and surf, surf board, ski, surfoplane, and wave shooting, also club champion beltman and member of R. and R. team.
Nestor Elliot was determined "to ride his new surf board or bust."
Strange to say, he neither rode the board, nor did he bust; instead he busted the board- from end to end.
A tough guy is "Hachet Face"!
Cronulla surfo-plane star, Bob Holcombe, had not the slightest difficulty in annexing the surfo-plane
race held at the first inter-club carnival of the season.
Holcombe excels in this particular branch of surfing, and looks to be a red-hot tip for future events
of this nature.
For the past three seasons Bob has been a member of the club representative R. & R. team, being a swimmer of no mean repute.
In 1934 he was successful in winning the club junior belt championship, and in the same year occupied the post of gear steward, while this season he is a patrol captain and committeeman.

February 1, 1937, page 11.
THE following team has been selected to visit New Zealand, leaving Sydney by the "Wanganella" on 30th January: Jack Cameron (Manager), Arthur Carrier (South Narrabeen), Ken Foster
(Bronte), Asher Hart (Bondi), Bruce Hodgson (North Bondi), Jack King (North Narrabeen), Jack Miller
(Cronulla) , Hector Scott (Newcastle), Wally Scott (Black Head).
Emergencies: Jack Scott (Manly), Brian Lilley (North Steyne) , Alan Fitzgerald (Corrimal) .
The surprise omissions from the team were Rothe Bassingthwaite, Junior Surf and Belt Champion last season, and this season's most outstanding surf swimmer, and Alan Fitzgerald, Senior Belt Champion.
The team is required to take part in still water swimming in addition to the surf, and this may have had some influence on the selectors, Messrs. Bourke, Cameron, and Dargan.

The team selected from over 50 applicants is, however, a very strong one, and does not expect defeat in New Zealand.
Twenty-five New Zealand clubs are expected to attend the National Championship Carnival on 13th February at Lyall Bay, Wellington.

The tour will cost the New Zealand Association approximately £260, and the Australian Association approximately £100.
Members of the team will be insured against accident, sickness (including infantile paralysis), and death.

Surfoplanes Ltd. are loaning a plane to each member and the Bondi Club are loaning a reel.

The financial support given by Clubs to the tour is disappointing to date, and every club is asked to send a guinea or two to assist defraying expenses.

North Narrabeen made a handsome donation of £25.

Blazers by David Jones, and Sweaters by "Speedo," should make the team look smart.


The proposed itinerary is as follows:-
Wed., Feb. 3.- Arrive at Auckland by "Wanganella' and met by Mr. P. Coira, President N.Z. S.L.S.A.. and officials of the Auckland Surf Association.
12-1 p.m.- Civic Reception by Mayor of Auckland.
Evening.- Swimming Carnival Tepid Baths.
Thurs., Feb. 4.- Motor tour of Auckland and Southern Suburbs.
Evening, 7 p.m.- Leave for Wellington.
Fri., Feb. 5.- Arrive Wellington 9.42 a.m., met by Officials N.Z. S.L.S.A. and Wellington Surf
11 a.m.- Function.
2.30 p.m.- Observation trip around city and environs.
7.45 p.m.- Leave for Lyttelton.
Sat., Feb. 6.- Arrive at Christchurch, 8 a.m.
11 a.m.- Civic Reception - Mayor of Christchurch.
2 p.m.- Visit to the Beaches- or optional.

March 1, 1937, page 12.
By L.G.R.
ON just an ordinary sunny morning at Farmer's Baths, Rushcutters' Bay, sprawling in different positions were a number of fellows resting after a general rough-and-tumble on the old baths repair punt, on which several had left little bits of their skin and hair after the Rowe brothers had defended the punt against all comers, whether successfully or not I cannot now remember.
Amongst those chaps I can plainly see the faces of such fellows as Cecil Healy and his brother Claude, Jack Thompson, Charlie Duval, Alec Wickham, and many other swimming stalwarts of those days.

There appeared amongst these boys some that had been missing from the Baths for a few Sundays, and they plainly stood out from the rest on account of the wonderful colour of their bodies.
Inquiries were soon made to know where they had been to become so brown.
Freshwater was found to be the place - quite unknown to the writer then, but soon found.
Thus it was from a visit to this beach and from later visits to Manly that the writer first saw the art of shooting the breakers being practised.
This was done by Freddie Williams, who, I am quite sure, was the father of the art as regards our Sydney beaches.

We boys used to swim out into the green stuff and watch his actions, then having learnt a few of the essential things, we had a crack at it ourselves, until we got an idea of it, and developed it with varying successes, some of us to a high state of efficiency, others just mediocre.

Just imagine, in those days there would not be more than fifteen or twenty people in the water at Manly at anyone time on a Sunday morning between, say, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The practice then was to undress in a small elevated weatherboard shed at the far south end of the beach, then to roll up the clothes, pack them on the long wooden seat running along and below the promenade, and keep your eyes on them until you had finished with the surf.

Talking about the number of surfers, can you realise that the writer can well remember being in the surf at Manly on a Boxing Day afternoon, and a perfectly good one at that, when the only other person with him was his companion, Charlie Duval, one of the well- known enthusiasts of that time. Now I wonder how many thousands would be in on a similar afternoon?

The habit of surfing continued to grow, beaches became more and more popular, and sun hatching became more difficult on account of regulations, etc.
We were forced to make our way per horse tram to the northern end of Manly and then by shanks' pony over the hill to Freshwater.
Here we became again subject to regulations, policemen stalking us while we lay in the sand dunes and baked, some with a liberal coating of cocoanut oil.
I shall always remember how they smelled in those natural hot dug-outs, when the cocoanut oil began to heat up, with the sun near the 100 degree mark in the shade.

It was always necessary to keep a sharp lookout for police, but I have never been able to ascertain the reason for their hunting us in such an out-of-the-way place as Freshwater was in those days, with only about three or four houses in the whole of the area, considering that our costumes were never rolled down beyond the waistline.
However, such was the case- I suppose it was the survival of the regulations that caused the police to chase us from the water when we used to swim in the lagoon formed by the reclamation work at the eastern side of Rushcutters' Bay, because at that time no one was allowed to bathe between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

So back to Manly, but this time Queenscliff.
Cutting out a large circle in the tee-tree scrub on the cliff as our dressing place, we started surfing at this end of Manly beach.
Strange to say, we enjoyed more freedom there than we ever did at Freshwater, never being
disturbed by the police.
Gradually, as at all other places, this spot developed, until now it is an exceptionally safe place for surfing with its efficient life-saving club.
We were told by the wiseacres of the day that we were "mad wretches" to surf there and ought to have our brains brushed.
Nothing, however, happened, surfing continued on, and then the small hand surfboard was introduced.

I can well remember one Christmas time I went to Thirroul with seven or eight fellows, several of us taking our boards.
The first day on the beach was delightful, with a perfect surf, and the sight of shooting with boards must have been a new experience for the local boys, because on the following day they appeared on the beach, apparently after an at- ...

Page 13

... tack on the store of empty butter-boxes and fruit-cases, with boards of every shape and size.
This first attempt appears to have been fairly disastrous, as the following day no locals were attempting the new art, but we could not help noticing a plentiful supply of firewood strewn about the beach that represented the surfing boards of the previous day.

Speaking of the dangers of the surf, my mother, who is eighty-two years of age, told me recently that sixty years ago, when she was a girl of twenty-two, she was paddling on Manly beach with two young children when a Council Inspector approached her and informed her that she must leave the water, as the beach was considered to be very dangerous on account of treacherous currents and undertows and people were not allowed to paddle.
What if that Inspector could see the beach to-day!

Many have observed the evolution in the art of surf shooting and reform in the mode of dress, or undress, through the years.
Body shooting, surf boards, surf boats, canoes, surfoplanes, surf skis are steps up the ladder of progress.
Neck to Knee, Two-piece Canadian, Costumes and Vees, the Skirted Costume and Trunks are the milestones in wearing apparel.
There is little left.

No longer hunted from public gaze, the Australian youth, sun-tanned and healthy, disporting to-day on the beaches in freedom, is the reply to those who have, and would, endeavour to restrict our liberties by cumbersome and hypocritical regulations.

May 1, 1937, page 25.

By C. Smith (Bronte)

ANYONE who has doubts as to the useful-ness of surfoplane events at interclub carnivals may find some interesting food for thought in this article.

Inexperienced swimmers on surfoplanes have been the cause of several rescues during the past few seasons, but club members and others who are not enamoured of the rubber floats should take into account their advantages also.

Many bathers who have got into difficulties have been reached and supported, and even brought to the beach by club members on surfoplanes, and in the hands of an expert the floats are a distinct acquisition to the life saving gear of a club.

The Bronte club, through the generosity of Mr. D. Brown, Senior, has six floats for the use of members, and one or two are always to be found in the patrol areas, where they have come in very handy during rescue operations, particularly for bathers out of their depth fairly close to the shore, although club members have effected rescues well out, also with their help.

It is a remarkable fact that every club member who has been prominent in inter-club surfoplane events is also a first-class belt swimmer, showing that a strong stroke is essential.
Jim Rigby, of Bronte, who won the "Surfo" event at the championship gala, won four events with one second out of the five times he competed during the 1936-37 season.
Over the past three seasons Jim has been placed first, second and third in the Bronte club belt championship.
R. Holcombe, of Cronulla, has also been belt champion of his club, and George Canaway, of Palm Beach, who is also prominent in these events, numbers the Australian belt championship amongst his trophies.
Frank Adler, present champion of the Bronte club, also won the Maroubra belt championship, when a member of that club, and has won many surfoplane events and been placed on innumerable occasions.
Colin Smith, Bronte club champion of 1933-34, is another place-getter in these races.

October 1, 1937, page 4.

Skilled Surf Board Riders
at Manly.

(Block by courtesy of 
"Sunday Sun")

Rose Surf Skis
Sporting Boats & Caravans Pty. Ltd.
Mentmore Avenue Rosebery, NSW.

Surf in Australia.
December 1, 1937, page 27.

Surf Life Saving Association of Australia:
Surf in Australia.
Official Organ of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia
(Head Centre), 119 Phillip, Street Sydney.
Published by Alexander Leo Finn,
149 Dover Road, Rose Bay.
Printed by Lake and Ashes Pty Ltd., 
389-391 Sussex Street Sydney.

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Geoff Cater (2009) : SLSAA : Surf in Australia, 1937.