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 manufacturers : gordon woods surfboards 


Gordon Woods
                  110 Gordon Woods 1959

A major manufacturer, the company maintained a high standard and a quality stable of shapers 1954 - 1974. Gordon Woods Surfboards shaped and/or manufactured through a massive range of designs and construction techniques.
One of the Brookvale Five - manufacturers with national sales and reputation in the ten years 1962 to 1972.
Mr. Gordon Woods has kindly given his permission to reproduce any published material from his compay's advertisements and personal archives.
Early water activity at Bondi and Coogee includes tin canoe, followed by a canvas model.
Gordon Woods and Canvas Canoe
Coogee Beach, circa 1939.
Photograph Gordon Woods Archives, courtesy of Gordon Woods .

Reproduced in
Pacific Longboarder Magazine
Volume 8 Number 2. 
November 2004
Page 56.

This was damaged by a surfboard circa 1940, and as a result...

1940 -1941
First board, self made hollow.

Gordon Woods and Hollow board frame.
Backyard, Bondi, circa 1946.
Photograph Gordon Woods Archives, courtesy of Gordon Woods .

Reproduced in
Pacific Longboarder Magazine
Volume 8 Number 2. 
November 2004
Page 60.

1944 - 1946
First order for a hollow timber board, sold to Stan Graham.
Bondi, Gordon Woods' first production, mainly through Surf Life Saving Clubs.
Hollow timber boards. Toothpicks - Australian Racing Sixteens

circa 1956
Move to north side of harbour

October (?) 1956
The US and/or Hawaiian teams arrive in Sydney and are accomodated at the Army barracks on North Head.
Their Malibu boards and high performance surfing is immediately noted by Sydney surfers.
Gordon Woods arranged to purchase a 9 ft 6” Velzy-Jacobs surfboard from Bob Burnside on departure and to make certain of the deal, travelled to Torquay.
As future owner, he was able to surf the board, his first exposure to Victorian waves.
- Gordon Woods, Notes collated from phone conversation, 18 th July 2005

Okinuee- a  hollow timber adaptation of the Malibu board.
The enthusiasm for the new design was such that Gordon Woods had built and tested his first Okinuee before the US team departed.
- Gordon Woods, Notes collated from phone conversation, 18 th July 2005

Board portrait, Dee Why, circa 1957
Left to right,
Ron Perry and a Balsa Hawaiian board.
Ross Renwick and Gordon Woods Surfboards  Balsa Pig.
Gordon Woods and Velzy-Jacobs Balsa Malibu
This board was  purchased in 1956 from Bob Burnside, a member of the visiting US-Hawaiian Team for the Melbourne Olympics.
Wake Ward of Hawaii with Foam board.

Photograph by Ron Perott.
Photograph Gordon Woods Archives, courtesy of Gordon Woods .
Printed in 
 Pollard The Australian Surfrider page 28 and Nat's History, page ?
Surfboards by Gordon Woods, 1958
Okannuie -Hollow Malibu
Thanks to Snazzy, 2020.

208 Harboard Road Brookvale NSW. First factory. employees.
Glassed balsa.

Image Right :

Robert Conneely and his first board built by Gordon Woods, Bondi, 1958.
- Conneely Archive

Reprinted in

Jimmy O'Keefe : A Life in the Sun... The Robert Conneely Story
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 3 Number One , Summer 2000. Pages 28.

Hayden Kenny's second board, Balsawood and fibreglass  board supplied by Gordon Woods.

Hayden Kenny shapes his first board, shaped at grandfather's cow bales Maryborough, Queensland.
Foam blank and materials supplied by Gordon Woods.

1960 Ross Renwick: Gordon Woods.
Extract from Australian Outdoors, January 1960, pages 22 to 25. .


and Wally Edmonds ... who was my master shaper and taught Nat Young to shape.
- Gordon Woods, April 2003. Magazine Article???
Foam blanks

John Kelly and Woody Brown's Hydroplane
Nipper Williams, Tank Henry, Bob Pike.
Midget Farrelly,  Bob Kennerson, Glen Ritchie, Nat Young

Atlas-Woods Surfboards (1963 - 1970)
Atlas-Woods was a NZ company (Atlas) using materials and experience sourced from Australia's Gordon Woods Surfboards,Brookvale.
For further information see...
Williamson, Luke: Gone Surfing - The Golden Years of Surfing in New Zealand, 1950 -1970
pages 46 and 50.

Nat Young's 1st Model

Right: Gordon Woods Custom Surfboards.
Surfing World
March, 1964
Volume 4 Number 1 page 31.

1965, adjusted.

Mark Richards and Gordon Woods Custom Surfboard, 
Blacksmiths Beach, Newcastle circa 1963.
Photograph : Richards' Family
Knox, page 13.
Nat Young and Gordon Woods, 
Deewhy, circa 1965.
Image courtesy of Gordon Woods Archives.
Originally printed in Surfing World, 1965. 
Subsequently in Nat's Nat, page 75.

Nat Young winner of The Spit to Manly Wharf paddle board race on a Custom 10'5" x 21" x 3" [single stringer]
Robert Conneeley 4th at the Makaha Hawaii Surfing Contest on a Custom 9'8" x 21 1/2" x 2 1/2" [three stringer]
-Surfing World, February, 1965.
Sam - Nat Young's World Contest winning board
B.I. - Brian Inham?
Peter Drouyn ... designing, surfing and building specialised surfboards.
See #218

Brookvale factory and retail shop at 7 Beach Park Avenue, Cronulla.
Introducing Brad Mayes

Surfing World
Volume 13 Number 4 1970
circa 1972
Country Woods Surfboards, Coffs Harbor.
An off-shoot of Gordon Woods Surfboards, Brookvale.

Handmade timber reproductions of the 1956 Okinuee - a Malibu board constructed using Tom Blake's Hollow timber design, circa 1931

Surfing World Number 81 Volume 14 Number 3, 1970
Serial Numbers
In July 2021,
Steve Hourigan wrote:
Hi Geoff,
Wow ...your site is fantastic. I love all the info.
I have a 9' 8" Gordon Woods.I am trying to find out a bit of history of it through the serial number.
Do you have any info or do you know where I could find some info on Gordon Woods serial numbers ?
It is # 3369 from the early 60's I guess.

I replied:
I doubt I can help with the serial numbers.
Without access to the original order books or sales receipts it is impossible to make a definitive call.
Generally, the serial numbers for most manufacturers appear haphazard and simply do not appear on many boards well into the 1980s.
Apart from Ron Surfboards (who typed the serial number on the decal), checking my catalogue it seems GW was remarkably consistent.
I have one board #5573 that I have dated as 1965, #6905 as 1966, #7009 as 1967, #7571 as 1968, and #8384 in (late) 1968.
This looks like about 1000 boards a year.
Trolling backwards, #3369 would put your board close to 1963.

Sidebar: Mr Scott Dillion once told me that these were only introduced in the early 1960s to appease the taxation department, at this time the industry was all cash.

Gordon Woods Catalogue Entries

circa 1959 "Anna" Balsa Pig board.
Images contributed by Warwick, 
September 2012.

contributed by snazzy.

Stringerless Malibu
9 ft 4"

# 36
Nat Young's Sam 
9 ft 4" 

Stringerless Wide tail 
8 ft 7"

8 ft 10"

8 ft 

Fineline Pintail
8 ft 

8 ft 

Rounded Pintail
7 ft 
Contributed by Jordon, Jan 2006..

Gordon Woods Surfboards:  Advertisements

Gordon Woods Surfboards

Advertisement, 1961. 
Australian Outdoors
October, 1961,
page 76

Advertisement, 1963. 
Volume 1 Number 3
page 17

Gordon Woods Surfboards 
Advertisement, 1963. 
Volume 1 Number 5,

Gordon Woods Surfboards, 1965.
Note offset stringers.

Gordon Woods Surfboards advertisment, 1967 (cropped).
Australia's most experienced Surfboard Building Team.
This compact team build every Gordon Woods Surfboard.
All have one thought in mind.

Gordon Woods Surfboards
208 Harbord Road Brookvale.
Phone 93 2453
Surf International 
December 1967, page 2.

Gordon Woods Surfboards advertisements, 1968.
Constant development in design and quality
Inspect the variations in pintail designs today at the 

Gordon Woods showroom -
208 Harbord Road Brookvale,
or phone 93 2453 for details.

Surfing World
Volume 10 Number 6
July 1968, page 5?.

Choose the Best
Removable Fins - Tracker

Surfing World
June 1968, Volume 10 Number 6.
September 1968, Volume 11 Number 3.

Gordon Woods Surfboards 
advertisement, 1969. 
Fineline Pintail, 
Round Back 
& Tracker.

Surfing World Volume 12 No. 1 1969.
Image courtesy of Gordon Woods Archives.

Note : Volan rails, stringerless, tint
A1969 development of 1968's Pin Vee, a template change of the Vee bottom / Stubby design, usually stringerless  with a Greenough stage 3 fin.
It had some similarities to Dick Brewer’s Mini gun (Hawaii).
As 1968 had progressed, the wide point moved from extreme negative (see WM #107) to an exteme positive (see Shane # 69), and by 1969 was showing some moderation.
This design typified by Midget Farrelly designs of the era. See Evolution Part ?.
Gordon Woods S/b, 
Fineline Pintail
8 ft 
Contributed by Andy Stewart, Jan 2011.

Note : Volan rails, knee patch, stringer, tint,
Usually associated with designs by Wayne Lynch (Rip Curl, John Arnold, Klemm-Bell Surfboards), the conservative wide point and full nose and tail were a return to a more balanced Malibu template.
See Evolution Part 2.
1969  John Arnold S/b
Wayne Lynch 
Double Ender 
7 ft 9" 

Note : Volan rails, stringerless, Pinlines, Foil decor
A heavily foiled template in line with some current Hawaiian big wave designs, with the tail chopped to free up manoverability.
A 1968 design (and model name at Morey-Pope Surfboards USA - a modified V-bottom design for the US market) by Bob McTavish and by Nat Young (Keyo Surfboards).
A sub 8 ft Mini gun template with small squared tail and Greenough fin.
See Nat Young in Evolution Part x?
Commonly with glueline or stringerless blank and deck patches.
Gordon Woods
8 ft 


Gordon Woods Surfboards

Pocket Rocket 

Board Portraits

Gordon Woods and 
Balsa Malibu,
circa 1959.

Mick Dooley and 
Gordon Woods' Island Model, 
Bondi 1963.

Nat Young and 
Gordon Woods Stringerless, 
circa 1965

Images courtesy of 
Gordon Woods Archives.

Decals and Other

circa 1959.
                110 Gordon Woods 1959
circa 1960.

circa 1958.

circa 1962.

Decal courtesy of Snazzy, January, 2019.

circa 1964.

Custom Surfboards by Gordon Woods
Black, circa 1963.

Custom Surfboards by Gordon Woods

White, circa 1964.

Nat Young Model, 1964.
Contributed, with thanks, by Jonno, April, 2013.

Nat Young Model , 1965. [adjusted]

Fin: Nat Young Model, 1965.

Nat Young Model, 1964.

Fin: Nat Young Model
, 1964.

circa 1965.

circa 1966.

circa 1967.

GW circa 1967
Decal courtesy of Tim,
April 2017

Decal thanks to Snazzy, February 2019.

circa 1968.

Pintail model, circa 1968.

Gordon Woods Surfboards, circa 1968.

#323  1969 Gordon Woods S/b, Pintail  7 ft

7ft x 23" 

Tk 3"  - Nose 18"  - Tail 14.5''
The fin has obviously been sanded down.
Contributed, with thanks, by Jordon. January 2006.

Nat Young’s “Nautilas / Cuttlefish / Folly”
8 ft 6”
With Greenough spoon like nose, foam centre and flex tail, manufactured at
Gordon Woods Surfboards 1965.
The board is part of the Scott Dillon Museum.
Extensive warping of the nose section, the board is in otherwise original condition.

Photograph by Alby Falzon.
Image courtesy of Gordon Woods Archives.
Originally printed in Surfing World, 1966.
Reprinted in Carter1968   #117

Gordon Woods Malibu, 1995
Original ... Since 1959
9ft6" Malibu Tri-fin

Sydney surfboard industry representatives
surfboards to Australian 
servicemen in South Vietnam, 
July 1966.
Photograph courtesy of 
Dennis McDonagh.

From left to right...
Mr. Platt: Platts Boardshorts, first local surfwear manufacturer.
Denny Keogh: Keyo Surfboards
Colonel P. Trancred: Australian Army.
Scott Dillon: Scott Dillon Surfboards
Bob Brewester: Manly Stor-a-Bord and Bower Boy Surf Wax.
Gordon Woods: Gordon Woods Surfboards
Denis McDonagh: McDonagh Surfboards
Bill Wallace: Wallace Surfboards
Barry Bennett: Barry Bennett Surfboards
Also see photograph: Australian War Memorial (SMT/66/01179/EC)
The photograph was circulated with the following press release:
SMT/66/179/EC                                                                                                                                         July 1966
Nearly $500 worth of surfboard equipment, given by seven manufacturers, was handed over to the Australian Army on behalf troops in South Vietnam, at Victoria Barracks, Paddington, on Wednesday, July 20.

The equipment was received by the Acting Chief of Staff (Colonel P. Tancred).
Pictured receiving the boards, Colonel Tancred thanks Denis McDonagh (McDonagh Bros Surf Boards Pty Ltd, Harbord Road, Brookvale) , on behalf of the manufacturers.

The manufacturers with their gifts from the left are,
Messrs Lance Platt (L. and J. Platt, Surfrider Board Shorts, of Foam Street, Harbord),
Danny Keogh (Keogh Surf Boards Pty Ltd., of Sydenham Road, Brookvale) ,
Scott Dillon (Scott Dillon Surf Board Pty Ltd, of Vlinbourne Road, Brookvale),
Bob Brewster (Manly Surf Shop and Stor-A-Bord, Pittwater Road, Manly),
Grodon Woods (Gordon Woods Surf Boards Pty Ltd, Harbord Road, Brookvale),
Bill Wallace (Wallace Surf Boards, Winbourne Road, Brookvale),
Barry Bennett (Barry Bennett Surf Boards pty Ltd, Harbord Road, Brookvale).

Text courtesy of Dennis McDonagh.

Gordon Woods' handmade timber reproduction of the 1956 Okinuee.
- a Malibu board constructed using Tom Blake's Hollow timber design, circa 1931.
Pacific Longboarder Magazine Volume 8 Number 2. November 2004 Page 60?

home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (1999-2022) : Catalogue : Manufacturer Index - Gordon Woods Surfboards.

02 9948 1969