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glossary : surf research,  1970. 

Surf Research,  1970
Surf Research was Californian company producing a range of products from the mid-1960s, including their famous coloured and scented surf wax, Waxmate.
Following the introduction of  Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Australia, first created on 5 March 1986, I registered

Surf Research
Devon Howard suggested that the Surf Research company was initially financed by Bob Hansen of Hansen Surfboards, Encinitas, California and managed by team riders Mike Doyle and Rusty Miller.

Alternatively, Tricia Shantz wrote that Surf Research was started by Rusty Miller, Garth Murphy and Mike Doyle in the early ‘60s.
Doyle and Miller were outstanding surfers,with substantial competitive careers and they featured regularly in magazines of the era.

Surf Research produced a range of products from the mid-1960s, notably their ground breaking coloured and scented surf wax - Waxmate.
A heavily scented and purple coloured square 3.2 oz block, along with the paper label, featuring a series of messages printed on the reverse, wrapped in cellophane.
It later was available as Warm (purple) or Cool (green), formulated for water temperature.

In 1968 the company also marketed the Nose-Lifter, a horizontal wing bolted to the fin making unbelievable nose rides easy.

At the end of 1960s the Californian company was sold and Mike Doyle relocated to Mexico, Rusty Miller to Kauai, and Garth Murphy emigrated to Australia where he first marketed Waxmate from a post box in Bangalow in the hills behind Byron Bay, circa 1970.

The founder of Byron Bay's Bare Nature Surfboards, Bob Newlands recalled:
Around 1969 ... Surf Research's WaxMate was brought over from the U.S. by Garth Murphy.
he wax was produced on Garth's farm at Brooklet, just out side of Byron Bay, the farm and business later sold to Paul Hutchinson (Surfboards).
Opening in Brookvale in 1970, Hutchinson Surfboards first relocated to the Central Coast before moving to Bangalow around 1975.
Rusty Miller and his wife Tricia Shantz also relocated to Australia
in the early 1970s and they currently reside in Byron Bay.
Rusty contributed to Witzig's ground breaking Tracks and featured in the Bali sequences of Albert Falzon's The Morning of the Earth.

In the early 1970s, Mike Doyle developed the Mono-ski in
California, a precursor to the snow-board, and the Morey-Doyle, a soft surfboard following Morey's success with the Boogie Board.
Now equipped with a leg-rope and three fins, the modern surf school industry is indebted to inherent safety the original Morey-Doyle.

Waxmate's iconic status was cemented when a square purple bar of surf wax was prominently featured on the poster and soundtrack album of
Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman's Five Summer Stories in 1972.
The film was a commercial success
and an updated release, Five Summer Stories Plus 4, followed in 1975.


Cool Waxmate, circa 1970.

1. Rusty Miller

Rusty Miller, Sunset Beach,  c1963.
Photograph by Dr Don James.
Dixon, Peter L.: The Complete Book of Surfing, G.B., 1966.
Note that the book cover cropped out the surfer paddling out as shown on the cover of Surfabout Volume 1 Number 4, 1963.
The yellow and orange board-shorts readily identified the second surfer as Malibu's Mickey Dora.
These shorts were famously worn by Dora (as the stand-in for the star of the film, Fabian) for the production of Ride the Wild Surf (1963).

Also see Matt Warshaw: The Encyclopaedia of Surfing

2. Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle and Linda Merrill
Surfing World
Volume 3 Number 6 1964 February

Mike Doyle and Hansen Min-Gun
Surfing World
Volume 13 Number 2 1970.

Mike Doyle was a finalist in the 1964 and 1968 world contests.
He passed away in April 2019.

Also see:
Steve Sorensen: Mike Doyle starts at the North Shore and finds Pat Curren's perfect board design
Matt Warshaw: The Encyclopaedia of Surfing

Devon Howard : On the Board : There is More to Surf Wax Than Just Keeping Your Feet Glued to the Deck.
Longboard, October 2003. Volume 11 Number 5, page 60.

4. Tricia Shantz (wife of Rusty Miller) email March 2021:
Hi Geoff
I had occasion to visit your site as I was trying to find something out about a Malibu surfer from the ‘60s, Bob “Porkchops” Baron and somehow came across your Surf Research site.
I’m Rusty Miller’s wife and I just wanted to correct something I read there.
You have Rusty’s old business Surf Research (the original) mentioned.
One of his partners was Garth Murphy (not Powell). I don’t think Garth did Surf International with John Witzig. Garth did contribute to Tracks magazine.
Surf Research was started by Rusty, Garth Murphy and Doyle in the early ‘60s but sold in California when Garth came to Australia, Rusty to Kauai, and Doyle to Mexico, somewhere around 1967 or 68.
Garth did bring the label to Byron Bay, Australia circa 1970.
The label shown was from the early 1960s but they kept it throughout the business’s life
Keep up the work on the  site. It is helpful for people researching.
Regards, Tricia.

5. Nose-Lifter by Surf Research - Mike Doyle and Rusty Miller
International Surfing January 1968 Volume 3 Number 6, page ?
Also see Fins.

Advertising: Waxmate by Surf Research, circa 1971.

Distributors Wholesale

NOOSA HEADS: phone Surf Research Tewantin 47 1461
BRISBANE: phone Hohensee Surfboards 91 1494

QLD. GOLD COAST: Hohensee Surfboards 2158 Gold Coast Highway, Miami 4220.
N.S.W. NORTH COAST: Surf Research PO Box 44 Bangalow 2479.

SYDNEY: Surf Research phone 919 4580
MELBOURNE: Surf Research phone 98 7325
TORQUAY: Surf Research c/o Post Office Torquay 3228
W.A.: Sommot PO Box 101 Subiaco 6008. Phone 25 6676.

Send 25c for climatised purple square bar to Surf Research
P.O. Box 44 Bangalow. N.S.W. 2479
Tracks 1971, page 26.

7. The founder of Bare Nature Surfboards, Bob Newland recalled in 2014 :
Around 1969, "Wilderness Surfboards was started  on a farm that McTavish had outside of Yamba, along with Chris Brock and the Key's brothers," and Surf Research's WaxMate was brought over from the U.S. by Garth Murphy.

The wax was produced on Garth's farm at Brooklet, just out side of Byron Bay, the farm and business later sold to Paul Hutchinson (Surfboards).
Paul was previously a part owner of Pete's Stor-a-Board at Manly.

8. Hutchinson Surfboards
10. Other Waxmate Advertisements.

Tracks, Number 37, October 1973, page 2.

Number 35, August 1973, page 27.

Tracks Number 54 February 1975, page ?
Image courtesy of Jason Connell, March 2017

Man, dis new green formula WAXMATE, it's da softest!
10 years of surfresearch has gone into the development of the Waxmate formula.

Proven superior to any other wax. Used by the best surfers throughout the world.
Phone Sydney 997 65222 - 918-3148 Contact Box 138 Byron Bay 2481
It must be said that this advertisement would be unacceptable today, in the 1970s most Australian readers
would be familiar with black-face from repeats of the British television The Black and White Minstrel Show.

Five Summer Stories (1972)

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman, (USA)
First edition.
Soundtrack by Honk.

The poster and the soundtrack album featured a blond surfer presenting a square purple bar of surf-wax, undoubtedly a block of Waxmate by Surf Research.


Geoff Cater (2021) : Appendix : Surf Research, 1970.