Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Report: Bobby Brown's Triumphant Return

The Bobby Brown Exhibition
Reclaiming History

This month, set amongst the objects of our rapture, in the Surf World Museum at Currumbin on the Gold Coast, surfing heirlooms belonging to one of the sport's earliest stars, earmarked the location for the inaugural launch of the Bobby Brown Exhibition.

It was an amazingly refreshing night that signalled to me that a surfing legend of the '60s, Cronulla's Bobby Brown, had made his comeback onto the world class stage.

The four presenters; LtoR - Former '78 World Champion, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, Bobby Brown's older brother,
John Brown, curator Andrew 'Andy Mac' McKinnon and surf artist, Garry Birdsall.
Bobby Brown was one of Australia’s leading surfers in the late sixties who tragically lost his life in a bar room incident. The signposts were clear and his career trajectory was obvious – there was a sure bet World Champion in the making. Fame was waiting in the wings. His sudden dispossession has haunted the surfing world for decades.

For the past forty odd years, his death has understandably been a loss far too sensitive to endure for close family and friends to deal with in the public arena. After three consecutive memorial surfing contests in his name, Bobby Brown’s history has been tucked into a self imposed hiatus ever since. For me, the unveiling of Andrew McKinnon’s Bobby Brown Exhibition is somewhat similar to a recording artist whose un-published and largely unknown or unheard work is finally being released to the public – years after his passing.

Recounting the good times, Bobby Brown
mentor and friend, Cronulla surf legend
himself, Garry Birdsall.
As his debut biographical offering, the Bobby Brown Exhibition has been skillfully and meticulously put together by former Gold Coast pro-surfer Andrew ‘Andy Mac’ McKinnon. Back in 1970, as a 16 year old young surfer, Andrew was the last winner of the Bobby Brown Memorial contest held in Cronulla.

Hauntingly, Andrew has had the perpetual trophy in his possession for some forty one years. The trophy, it turns out, was part of the spark that fuelled this fire.

The Exhibition launch night this month was co-hosted by former '78 World Champion, Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Bobby Brown’s older brother, John Brown, former Cronulla surfing legend and surf artist, Garry Birdsall and curator Andrew McKinnon.

The night at the Museum was splashed with an obvious dose of old hometown heroes. A lot of the old '60s Cronulla surfing underbelly were present. Mick Connally, Bob Halliwell, Dave Wilson, Frank Hales, Tommy Shipton, Alan Dorman, Mark Aprilovic. I also spotted a Cronulla surf star from a more modern era; Ross Marshall and the Gold Coast's, Cheyne Horan.

In a day and time in surfing where it appears professionals are filled with gargantuan egos, the presenters clearly illustrated to us that Bobby Brown was a young surfer not only full of natural ability and raw talent, but an abundance of humility and humanity.

Tearfully recounting old anecdotes and memories of times spent in the presence of a young energetic Bobby Brown, our story-tellers and co-presenters; older brother John Brown and surfing mentor Garry Birdsall - swayed the mood of the presentation evening from times of being somber and reflective, to other times to being joyous and rambunctious - somehow finding the delicate blend between humour and heartbreak.

Exhibition creator and curator, Andrew McKinnon
Following John and Garry’s time on the floor with the microphone in hand, a relaxed and very focused curator, Andy Mac delivered to the capacity crowd a stirring and deeply researched Power Point presentation of Bobby Brown's short lived, but highly successful life.

Highlighted with the screening of old Bob Evans rare 16mm footage, found on a rubbish tip, that featured Bobby Brown surfing Angourie with an equally skinny kid called Nat Young. To me, the footage underlined the fact that Bobby Brown was, at the time, the better and more promising surfer by far.

We also were treated to out takes from Paul Witzig’s 16mm movie 'The Hot Generation' of Bobby surfing Tallows at Byron Bay with Bondi's Kevin 'The Head' Brennan.

This uncompromising vision and looking glass into Brown’s surfing and personal life was complied with a startling intimacy. For me, McKinnon's presentation gave the exhibition its real soul.

What differentiates McKinnon from past surf biographers is his conviction that the historical surfing experience should be personal.

The depth of analysis, despite the sadness and the soul-searching that inspired it, of the Bobby Brown Exhibition is reflected as Andrew McKinnon’s best piece of work. Andy Mac has re-invented what a tribute to an outstanding young athlete, in this case a surfer – should be. The envelope is being pushed – in the all right directions.

The winner's names on the Bobby Brown Memorial
perpetual trophy - frozen in time for 41 years;
1968: Midget Farrelly
1969: Frank Latta
1970: Andrew McKinnon
There’s a freshness and innocence about the Bobby Brown Exhibition that makes it larger than the sum of its influences. After viewing it, I am now in two minds; I am not exactly certain if Bobby Brown was a dark horse or a shining light. Perhaps both.

Best go and see it for yourself.

The exhibition is currently at the Surf World Gold Coast Museum and into the new year, then it heads off to the Golden Breed store, Hastings Street, Noosa from March 12-20 for the Noosa Festival of Surfing 2011. Then it travels down South of the border, to Victoria, to the Surf World Torquay Museum during the planned festive celebrations to help commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Rip Curl Bells Beach Easter Classic on April 18-25th, 2011.

It's only fitting that the Bobby Brown Exhibition come home to roost in his old home stomping grounds - where it is certain to draw curious crowds and stir up some old wonderful memories. A venue for the Exhibition in the Cronulla area for sometime during 2011 is currently being negotiated.

Anyone who has any stories or particularly any photos or artifacts to contribute by way of loan to the Exhibition - we would love to hear from you.

Report & photos: Steve Core

Something to say or add? E-mail us at: swapsurf@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Environmentally Conscious Surfboards on Display

Environmentally Conscious Surfboards on Display

Promotional Poster
[click to enlarge]
The Surfrider Foundation will be hosting the opening night of the 2010 Kirra Surf Stock by featuring a unique showcase of environmentally conscious surfboards as part of their film and music night, at which Taylor Steele’s new 16mm surf film ‘Castles in the Sky’ will be playing.

The event will take place at the Rainbow Bay SLSC clubhouse on the Gold Coast, on Friday 12th November, 2010 - kicking off at 7pm.

Local surfboard shapers will have the opportunity to exhibit and promote their latest environmentally conscious shapes and designs. Big names such as Firewire, D’Arcy, Daniel MacDonald, Chris Garrett, and Patagonia plus many more have already committed to attend and display surfboards on the night.

Customers on the night will be able to get a first hand look at a grouping of innovative surf boards made from such recycled materials as; wood and bamboo and other alternative hi-tech materials, like carbon fiber, as compared to the standard traditional materials like polyurethane foam and fiberglass.

Consumers attending the event on the evening will be welcome to touch, interact and get the feel of the futuristic surfboards and also discuss designs, shapes and concepts with the board's shapers and creators.

WHEN: Friday 12 November, 2010
TIME: 7pm
WHERE: Rainbow Bay SLSC, Gold Coast
COST: $10


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kirra Surf Stock 2010

If you're looking to kick back and relax by the ocean, take in the awesome sounds of some real smokin' bands and musicians, surrounded by the good vibes of surfing, beach babes, and oodles of sand and surf culture - all for free - then Kirra Beach, Queensland is the place to be on 12, 13 & 14 November, 2010.

Taking its name partly from the famous Music Festival held at Woodstock in rural, up-state New York in 1969; Kirra Surf Stock Festival originated just last year, 40 years after the original Woodstock Music Festival created event history during the hippie era.

The family friendly Kirra Surf Stock Festival 2010 is a non profit community based project that celebrates the surfing culture and other beach events while raising awareness of coastal management.

Kirra Surf Stock's first two events last year were; the 2009 Australia Day paddle out which attracted over 4000 concerned people to paddle out at Kirra on surfboards.

Its next event was the inaugural Kirra Surfstock Festival 2009 - which had a variety of activities over a 3 day period in November 2009.

Returning this year even bigger and better, with activities that will now include; two days of beach markets, free non-stop live music, and beach activities including an attempt on the Guinness World Record for the most number of surfers riding one wave, Junior Team surfing event, Stand Up Paddle racing, Surfboats, Beach Walking, Beach Soccer, Beach Volley Ball and Beach Rugby.

There is no charge for the community to enjoy the live music, the markets and all the other activities that the Kirra Surfstock Festival 2010 has to offer. Its all for free folks - a rare commodity these days.

The free musical line-up includes:

Saturday 13th November
Kandy McCouat
Tokyo Beef
Nyge Maunder
Kate Leopold and Sarah
Alan Boyle
Cupids Bullet
Band of Frequencies
Isaac Paddon and The Tides

Sunday 14th November
Chris Mallory
Karl Williams
The Lamplights
Adam Scriven
Gold Coast Surf Girl Quest
The Hayden Hack Infusion
Jack and The Giant Killers
Gavin Doniger’s Mescalito Blues

Kirra Surf Stock 2010 will also be the national launching point for the Bobby Brown Exhibition on Thursday 11th November at the Surf World Gold Coast Museum.

Hosting and MC duties for the Bobby Brown launch will be taken care of by curator Andrew 'Andy Mac' McKinnon and former World Champ, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew.

Apart from all the alluring Bobby Brown memorabilia and artifacts on display, his old surfing buddy from Cronulla, influential surf artist and a Cronulla surfing legend himself, Garry Birdsall has brought to life a special portrait of his old mate for the exhibition.

The public are more than welcome to attend the Bobby Brown opening night party at Surf World Gold Coast Museum starting at 6:30pm on Thursday 11th November, 2010. A $15.00 admission fee will include live music, light snacks, and a special presentation of Bobby Brown's remarkable life and surfing legacy.

Click here for: Kirra Surf Stock 2010 their website has loads more detail and info.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Report: Bondi Rescue Lifeguards win 'Tradies' Surf Contest

Bondi Rescue Lifeguards Crowned Sydney’s Best Surfing Trade

It seems a bit unfair - but it’s now official I guess, the Bondi Rescue Lifeguards are the best surfing 'Tradies' in Sydney after taking out the inaugural Jim Beam 'Trade Off' event at Curl Curl on the Northern Beaches last weekend.

What's unfair? Well their trade, [God bless them], is actually being at the beach and in and around the surf, where as most Tradies I know - dream about knock-off time - so that they can get down to the beach to get some sand between the toes and get some time in the water.

The winning Bondi Lifeguard team celebrating their victory at the Jim Beam Surftag Trade Off event at Curl Curl last Sunday. Pictured left to right Ashyford, Floss, Daniels, Clarke. Photo: Jim Beam/Luke Southern
In what was the second of nine events scheduled for the Jim Beam Surftag series for 2011, the 'Trade Off' pitted 16 of Sydney’s top surfing trades against each other. Trades or vocations, included Builders, Fire Fighters, Teachers, Finance Brokers, Musicians and others in a relay style format. In crunching 2m waves, the four man Bondi Lifeguard team of Luke Daniels, Max Ayshford, Ryan Clark and Duncan Floss managed to out surf all competing trades to claim victory.

Leading from the opening siren, the Bondi Lifeguards, piloted by Team Captain Ryan Clark [Whippet], dominated the final, to easily defeat fellow finalists Tilers, Plumbers and Transportation. “It’s actually pretty hard out there, the surf picked up a lot throughout the day,” said Clark. “When you’ve only got 45 minutes and four people to get through, it can be tough, but everyone surfed really well, it was a good day.

“We have got a couple of young guys on the roster at Bondi and they surf all the time so it was good to bring that element into the team.” Despite the Tilers dominating early rounds, including a perfect 10-point ride by Sam Brown, they couldn’t continue their early form into the finals.

Brown was awarded the Sanyo Power Wave award for his perfect score, taking home a new Sanyo video camera for his efforts.

Competition was tough. "One of the guys from the Tilers nailed a 10 point ride in his heat and the Fire Fighters were looking good early as well, but we’re pretty stoked about taking the win,” said Clark. “I guess being lifeguards we get more time at the beach than anyone else so if we were the favourites leading in then it was good to hang onto that and take it out.”

"The final scores had Lifeguards 60.70, Tilers 37.60, Plumbers 24.59 and Transport 22.87.

There seems to be quite a few trades missing, perhaps it's time to get your trade organised and get in there and give them heaps. Southsiders will be able see the Tradies in action when the event come to Cronulla on Jan 29/30.

The Jim Beam Surftag Series will roll on throughout the coming Summer, visiting Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Newcastle and Cronulla before wrapping up with the series decider in Sydney next February. The next event on November 13 will be an all women’s Surftag at Dee Why beach.

The 2011 Jim Beam Surftag is proudly supported by FCS, Sanyo and O’Neill. Media partners for the series are Swellnet and Tracks surfing magazine.

Trade Off – Results

1. Bondi Lifeguards (Luke Daniels, Max Ayshford, Ryan Clark, Duncan Floss)
2. Tilers (Ben Hamilton, Sam Brown, Jayd Naidoo, Michael Dawes)
3. Plumbers (Brett Whiley, Vic Levett, Daniel Hamilton, Luke Phillips)
4. Transport (Jake Elliot, Ryan Alagich, Locky Macpherson, Tony Morrison)
5. Electricians (Matt Hatton, Dean Sparke, Graeme Kyle, Shawn Irving)
6. Builders 2 (Callum Drake, Matt Toghill, Steve Bewley, Marvo)
7. Finance Brokers (Cam Garlick, Troy Clutton, Mark Prideaux, Stephen Clark)
8. Fire Fighters (Geremy Blake, Dave Nolman, Craig Roberts, Phil Weekes)
9. Teachers 2 (Scott Mellis, Tommy Mitchell, Dean Stringfellow, Seb Hartog)
10. Lawnmowers (Ronnie Wong, Tom Salverson, Shem Mitchell, Steve Salvato)
11. Fashion ( Anthony Hayles, William Voss, Trent McCann)
12. Builders (Cooper Williams, Mitch Neill, Ben Bateman, Brett King)
13. Hospitality (Nudge Crick, Naig Carrol, Nathan Von Roosmalen, Ash King)
14. Personal Trainers (Nick Butler, Cam Coalan, Steve Coulter, Trent Herring)
15. Musicians (Chris Vontak, Josh Fergus, Mark Chivers, Ed Worland)
16. Teachers (Greg Moran, Adam Hearne, Mark Tickle, Ian Holmes)

Upcoming 2010/11 Jim Beam Surftag Dates and Locations are:

Nov 13 Women’s Surftag (Dee Why)
Dec 11 NSW North Surftag (Newcastle)
Dec 18 Victoria Surftag (TBC)
Jan 8 West Australia Surftag (TBC)
Jan 15 Queensland Surftag (Duranbah)
Jan 29/30 NSW South Surftag (Cronulla)
Feb 3/4/5 Surftag Australian Final (Northern Beaches, Sydney)

More info at: Global Surf Tag


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Product: Oakley Goes Underground

Chilean miners chill in Oakleys

A rescued Chilean miner almost strikes a 'Mick Fanning'
victory pose in his donated Oakley sunglasses.
I don’t know about you, but I noticed all the Chilean miners being rescued this past week were sporting highly fashionable Oakley Radar Sunglasses as the they came to the surface. So I thought I would do a little more investigating and dig a bit deeper [pun intended].

As it turns out, the 33 Chilean miners who were brought to surface after 2 months of being trapped underground, were all wearing donated Oakley sunglasses - specifically to protect their eyes after such a long period in the dark. Oakley is an Orange County based, Californian company.

After the rescue, an Oakley spokesperson reported that “A few weeks ago, Oakley was approached by a Chilean journalist who was covering rescue efforts for media agency, Addict Village, had recommended Oakley to the Chilean private health insurer, for eyewear protection for the miners once they surfaced,” the company said.

Apart from their generous goodwill, Oakley appears to have pulled off quite a marketing coup with their donation to the miners - as the rescue of the miners was beamed live around the entire world, with an estimated audience of over one billion people tuned in.

The US$180-a-pair Radar Range sunglasses were specifically selected for the miners by Oakley Vice President of Research and Development Carlos Reyes because they have black iridium lenses for greatest protection, said company spokesman Rochelle Mooers.

With more than a billion people watching live, Chilean
miners all wore Oakleys on their return to the surface.
“Based on their requirements and full product specifications, Oakley donated 35 pairs of Oakley Radar with Black Iridium lenses in Path and Range lens shapes for the miners who will need the protection… as their eyes return to normal.”

The miners’ eyes will be dilated, which brings the added risk of UV exposure to delicate structures within the eye, the company said. The Radar sunglasses have a single-lens shield that wraps around the eyes to give the miners protection from sunlight not just straight ahead but at the sides of their eyes.

The Radar frames were matched with Oakley’s darkest lens, a dark grey base combined with black iridium coating that balances light and reduces glare. The miners’ color perception may be reduced after the long period in dim light, and this lens is designed to maintain accurate color perception, Oakley explained.

Oakley also reported that Chilean Minister of Mining Laurence Golborne, who was leading the rescue, requested to wear one of the extra pair of the Radars to show solidarity, As one observer later wise-cracked; "who wouldn't say 'no' to a free pair of Oakleys?".

Footnote: Oakley recently signed 23yr old, South African ripper, Jordy Smith to the Global Oakley Surf Team. Smith is currently rated Number Two in the World.

Source and photos: Orange County Register and Oakley


Friday, October 15, 2010

Upcoming: Bobby Brown Exhibition, Gold Coast

Cronulla legend finally recognised;
Bobby Brown Exhibition

A National exhibition celebrating the life of Cronulla surfing legend Bobby Brown will be launched at the opening of the 2010 Kirra Surf Stock Festival on the 11th November, 2010.

Scheduled to tour the Eastern seaboard this Summer, the inaugural launch of the Bobby Brown Exhibition will take place at the Surf World Gold Coast Museum at Currumbin [opposite the famous Currumbin Wildlife Bird Sanctuary].

In a first-of-its-type exhibition, the collection will be dedicated to one of Australia's greatest surfing legends, Robert 'Bobby' Brown. It will be showcasing his significant contribution to the classic sixties era of surfing, forming part of the huge Southside & Cronulla story.

Affectionately known as Brown Bobby, his surfing prowess ranked with the best surfers in the 1960’s such as Midget Farrelly, Nat Young and Peter Drouyn. His short but impressive surfing life was captured in surfing films like Bob Evans' 1963 classic 'The Young Wave Hunters' and Paul Witzig's 1967 groundbreaking movie, 'The Hot Generation'. Clips from both movies will be on media displays in the Exhibition. In addition, featured stories and photos from Bob Evans' Surfing World and Jack Eden’s Surfabout magazine captured during Bobby’s classic era, will also be exhibited.

The Bobby Brown Memorial Contest perpetual trophy has been
proudly in the last winner's hands for the past 40 years. The trophy

was a likeness of Jack Eden's famous photo of Bobby Brown
performing a 'soul arch' bottom turn at Sandon Point, NSW.
He was only 17 years of age when he qualified for the first open men's World Titles in 1964 won by Midget Farrelly at Manly Beach in front of a record crowd of 50,000. That first ever World Title event launched surfing as a sport and the promising career of Bobby Brown who became a perennial open men's finalist in the 1966 Nationals at Coolangatta, Gold Coast and 1967 Nationals at Bells Beach, Victoria.

The Exhibition has been engineered, researched and collated by Gold Coast resident and former pro-surfer Andrew McKinnon, known as 'Andy Mac'. For the last twenty years Andy Mac has been a well known surf reporter for SEA-FM and GOLD-FM, and a local newspaper journalist. Ironically, it was a 16 year old, goofy-footed rookie from the Gold Coast; one Andrew McKinnon, who won the third a final Bobby Brown Memorial Contest in Cronulla in 1970.

With a relentless passion, Andrew has managed to gather a remarkable collection of timeless photos of Brown and others from the 1962-67 era. The Exhibition also includes 16mm movie footage, surfing magazine memorabilia and newspaper clippings detailing Bobby's tragic end. Included too, are original Bobby Brown surfboards and clothing.

The Bobby Brown Exhibition flyer.
[Click to enlarge]
Bobby Brown was destined for surfing greatness and a World Title was just around the corner, when tragically and unexpectedly his life was ended, just two months short of his 21st Birthday. He was fatally struck with a schooner glass over a game of pool at the Taren Point Hotel, in Sydney's South.

"The Bobby Brown story needs to be acknowledged and find its rightful place place in the history of Australian surfing" Andy Mac said. "Bobby loved to surf Currumbin on his early surf safaris to Queensland, I feel honoured and privileged to present this Exhibition at Currumbin, so close to The Alley, a surf spot he loved".

The Bobby Brown Exhibition will be at the Surf World Gold Coast Museum at Currumbin from November 12th and into the new year, then it heads off to the Golden Breed store, Hastings Street, Noosa from March 12-20 for the Noosa Festival of Surfing 2011. Then it travels South down to Kingscliff for the Malfunction Festival held in March 23-27 and finally down South of the border, to Victoria, to the Surf World Torquay Museum during the planned festive celebrations to help commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Rip Curl Bells Beach Easter Classic on April 18-25th, 2011. 

The public are more than welcome to attend the opening night party at Surf World Gold Coast Museum starting at 6:30pm on Thursday 11th November, 2010. A $15.00 admission fee will include live music, light snacks, and a special presentation of Bobby Brown's remarkable life and surfing legacy.

Limited edition framed prints and t-shirts will be on sale in conjunction with the Exhibition. The Currumbin Museum's phone number is 07 5525-6380.

Something to add or say? E-mail us at: swapsurf@gmail.com


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Report: The 3rd Deus Surf Swap Meet



Stefan's Wall of Death; where old and unwanted
surfboards come to find new life and love.
The 3rd Deus Surf Swap meet went down at the Deus Ex Machina HQ on Parramatta Road, Camperdown in Sydney on Saturday 9th October, 2010. The Weather Channel had predicted light showers for the day, luckily for event organisers, conditions remained dry under foot - but with a flat, cool, overcast permeating for the entire day.

Organisers would have been happy with the eventual dry weather outcome, but there must be growing concern amongst the good folk at Deus that a few of the promoted industry icons that were billed to appear, were all last minute no-shows for the event. Leaving a little more bare concrete in the thinned-out display area than promised. I am not sure of the reasons behind the absenteeism.

As internally promoted and promoted on this site; there was no Alby Falzon and his Morning of the Earth merchandise. No Martin Worthington – celebrated air-brush artist of Hot Buttered fame. No Benny from Six Ounce at Bondi Junction. And several other collectors did not appear with their collections.

Tony the pin striper details a board purchased from
the wall by an Irish tourist. 'The Clashmore Riders'
Retired surf film-maker David ‘The Mexican’ Sumpter did appear; ‘The Mex’ journeyed down from his home in Mullumbimby to vend his collectable surf and surf movie related items. I had to feel sorry for The Mex when one potential customer picked up a Morning Of The Earth DVD set and asked The Mex to sign it. The Mex responded politely with; “you don’t want my signature on there” and the befuddled customer replied; “why? you’re Alby Falzon aren’t you?”.

Despite the gloomy day that may well have contributed to keeping visitor numbers down, a steady and varied crowd trickled through at a consistent rate for most of the trading day. The crowd is an interesting mix of leather and thongs. Motorcycle and surf. Boulevard and Beach. Oil and sand.

On the positive side of the ledger;

Tony ‘Airspeed’ the amazing pin-striper from Goulburn was performing his astonishing, brush-painted, complex web of decorative fine strokes ‘by steady hand & eye’. In these days of computer aided design and vinyl cut graphics, I watched Tony performing his accurate pinline illustration work on skim boards, skateboards, bikes and on a surfboard.

Rainbow Fins and their new 'stained glass' fin
Stefan's Wall of Death had some interesting boards up for sale and prices were quite fair and reasonable. I saw some boards on there for as low as $35 and $50.

I spotted a few celebs in the crowd. Most notable was HG Nelson of the HG and Roy radio and TV comedy duo fame. Their comedic style has been described as; "making the serious trivial and the trivial serious". Not sure if HG was there for the surf or cycles.

Surf Film supremo, Jack McCoy turned up and promptly threw up a couple of classic boards from his own personal collection onto the wall for display. A classic restored Gordon Merchant [Billabong founder] shaped board and another restored classic find, a Gerry Lopez, ex- Bali, personal Lightning Bolt board that spent 20 years as a Bali rental board. For devotees, Jack's new film 'A Deeper Shade of Blue' coming real soon. He promises.

I also chatted with Gary Crockett who is the curator charged with the responsibility of pulling together the Surf City exhibition. He was cruising around looking for ideas, inspirations and contacts. Surf City will be a collection of surf memorabilia and cultural items and will take an incredible, in-depth look at the evolving culture of surfing in the '50s, '60s and '70s in Sydney. Surf City will be on at the Museum of Sydney in September 2011. One to mark in the diary for sure.

Graeme from California Surf Imports had his beautiful Bing Surfboards on display, plus an awesome range of US made fins from the Rainbow Fin company, that he also imports and sells. Their new 'stained glass' fins are a dazzling artwork within themselves. Teal Nippard from Craft Surfboards was under his palm fond lined marquee [nice touch], displaying and working on his Alaia Paulownia timber boards.

Cronulla's John Mingramm has invested in the challenge
of learning to surf again - on a timber Alaia board.
Teal Nippard of Craft Surfboards shows encouragement
A few Cronulla locals were seen strolling the midway. Mathew ‘Cookie’ Cook just back from a month surfing and relaxing in Byron Bay. Cronulla’s hot surfing brother duo; Terepai & Tainui Richmond also checking out the meet.

Cronulla Longboarder John Mingramm, grabbed a bagful of Deus clothing specials and 'Mingo' actually purchased an Alaia timber board from Teal Nippard and is taking it back to the golden beaches of The Shire to “give it a go”.

Word around the Meet suggested that Meet #3 didn't quite have the vibe and buzz of the preceeding Meets #1 and #2. It seems the challenge that now lies ahead is to keep up what appears to a flagging momentum for the 4th Deus Surf Swap Meet – which is ear-marked for March next year.

Original Deus conspirator; the Board Collector; aka Damion, is blowing town and has taken up a new job as world-wide head of apparel at Nixon in Southern California this month. Damion's vacancy of Swap Meet 'Chief Cook & Bottle Washer' will be filled by Deus’ astute Uncle Keith, who will be left to take the helm, steady the ship, maintain a true course and find the wind to fill the sails and move forward once again.

Story & Photos: Steve Core

More photos on the Deus site. Click here


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deus Surf Swap Meet #3

Deus Surf Swap Meet #3

For the second time in two weekends in Sydney, surf aficionados and purveyors of fine collectable surf items will gather to shoot the breeze and try to please, this time; at the Third Deus Surf Swap Meet.

Organised by Damion, aka: The Board Collector who is a Deus employee - the Meet goes down on the tarmac of the Deus carpark adjacent the Deus Ex Machina showroom at 104 Parramatta Road in Sydney's Camperdown. [Hey - I was born in Camperdown... cool!].

Although it's not a salty location, there's further historic surf bloodlines in this immediate area. In the 60's, most surf movies used to screen or premiere at Sydney University's Union Theatre - just up the street a tad from Deus HQ [it's now called the Footbridge Theatre]. It's the first venue I ever saw Bruce Brown's original Endless Summer... way back when.

Attending the compact Number Three Swap Meet cultists can expect to see & meet:

Pioneer surf photographer and surf-film maker, producer of Morning of the Earth, Albe Falzon will be on hand merchandising MoE collectable items, surfboards and DVDs. Martin Worthington who's exceptional airbrush work is famous for gracing many of Terry Fitzgerald's Hot Buttered Surfboards. Worthington's works in this medium are painted with an exquisite sense of colour and are considered to be the best by an Australian artist. Graeme from Californian Surf Imports, importers of Bing Surfboards - will be showing off his latest high-end, US-made boards from this iconic and famous Californian surfboard maker.

Stefan's urban 'Wall of Death' and
the fun of the Swap Meet.
Photo: Carby Tuckwell
There's Stefan's 'Wall of Death' - a wall of surfboards standing upright where for $10, they will vend your pre-1990 surf shooter while you cruise the meet and sip a cappuccino. Tony 'Air Speed', a famous pinstriper and custom painter will be on hand to paint anything you want to bring along to be adorned with his specialised fine line work.

Benny from Six Ounce will showcase is collection of boards and represent the guys from Surf Culture at Bondi Junction. Semi-retired surf film maker, David 'The Mexican' Sumpter will be making the trip down from his hippy home in Byron Bay back hills and will be merchandising his surf collectable memorabilia.

The Board Collector will be hawking off part of his 60+ board collection, as he is moving to California soon. Additionally, Tony, is displaying his beautiful vintage surfboard collection - which is always for sale to the right buyer. Wayne from the Central Coast will be bringing down his lifetime collection of boards for show and sale. Monkey Bike Club will have bikes for sale. Plus heaps more.

Food is readily available both on site and at the next door Deus Cafe. There will be lucky door prizes.

Where: Deus Ex Machina, 104 Parramatta Road, Camperdown.

When: Saturday 9th October, 2010

Any enquires call Uncle Keith on 0417 217 530 or keith@deus.com.au

Admission is free - just bring a smile and some surf stoked enthusiasm.

For additional Info: The Board Collector or Deus


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Report: Action at Mick Mock's Vintage Auction

Mick Mock’s Surf Auction of Vintage Surfboards and Memorabilia.

The 9th Annual Mick Mock Vintage Surf Auction went down at the Harbord Diggers club on Sunday September 26th, 2010 on Sydney’s Northern beaches.

Old friend; Surf Film-maker Dick Hoole and his
'Storm Riders' framed poster.
This year’s auction started off with a preview of the goods and chattels of the massive 367 lots up for auction. The pre-auction viewing is the perfect chance for bidders and potential buyers to inspect the goods up close and at first hand. Remember all the goods that are sold at auctions like this are sold: 'as is, where is' and there are no warrantys or guarantees implied or supplied. So it is strictly 'caveat emptor' [Latin for; let the buyer beware].

So if you have a serious interest in any items, the pre-auction viewing is the perfect opportunity to inspect any item close up.

The 'viewing' walk-through was held for 2 hours on the Saturday prior to the Sunday auction. This viewing becomes a mini surf expo in itself with plenty of would-be purchasers, some vendors and interested parties all rubbing shoulders, taking pictures, talking surf, surfboards and chatting.

The viewing becomes a fun time to catch up with surfers, collectors, vendors, surf industry folk and fellow enthusiasts. Also cruising the aisles armed with notepads or cameras are an army of do-it-yourself surfboard restorers.

It also a time when people can register to be a bidder. This cost is $10 to register and you get a well-prepared and presented catalogue. The 50-page catalogue lists every item with a brief but detailed description and pre-auction estimate of the expected price. And it is designed to be an auction aid and is ideal for you to take notes on. It also offers tips, guidelines and auction rules.

Skateboards, poster and old magazines line the tables
during the pre-auction viewing at Harbord Diggers.
The 367 lots this year comprised of vintage surfboards, '60s longboards, '70s single fins and twin fins, skateboards, kneeboards, movie posters, original artwork, photos, clothing and original prints. Plus assorted ephemera of ocean collectables and surf craft rarities.

At an auction like this, you normally expect about a 65% sell through of goods with about 15-30% of items being negotiated for with the vendors for sale after the auction.

On the day of the Vintage Surf Auction, the sharp looking senior auctioneer; Simon Hill moved through the auction at a good clip. Simon is a professional auctioneer [in antiques] and it clearly shows in his smooth, time-conscious and efficient style. He is very comfortable on the Dias with the gavel in hand. Simon came complete with an in-built supply of funny, throw away one-liners to break the ice, keep buyers enthused and to entice healthy bidding. More importantly Simon is a surfer – hailing from Sydney’s Southside and Clovelly Beach. He was good and he knew his stuff.

The auction fell a bit flat when ex-Tracks editor Kirk Wilcox took to the microphone to give Simon Hill a well earned break. No where near as polished as Simon, Kirk made a few gaffs and didn’t quite know how to pronounce McDonagh Surfboards – a famous Northside manufacturer.

Your reporter, Steve Core, checking out some of 200
plus surfboards going up for auction. Photo: Terry Day
It entire auction took around 7 hours to get through from start to finish. It was a long but interesting day of surf auction action. Over 200 surfboards and way too many individual sales of varying interest to report all the details.

It was interesting to watch and hear the bidding unfold. A rare Barry Bennett ‘Toothpick’ 16’ x 20” hollow wooden surfboard from the 1950’s went for $4,000. It was in 9/10 condition and was originally custom and hand-made for a butcher at Avoca Beach. Amazingly, the board has only had two owners during its half century life. Quite a rare item and superb specimen of '50s surfcraft in Australia.

A couple of late sixties, Brookvale-built Keyo surfboards drew plenty of attention and bidding fever. A 7’ 11” Keyo ‘Plastic Machine’ Design Stringerless, circa ‘67/’68. In 7/10 condition, it went for $1,900. Another similar Keyo went for $2,000.

Apart from the surfboards, some of the more 'odd' items on hand were; an Andy Irons Bobble Head doll, commemorating his 2nd World Title, with a pre-auction estimate of $200-$400 - was passed in with no bids. Glass shower screens with ocean scenes also came under the hammer. Surf dance posters and old surf music LPs. The most interesting item that blew a few minds with its final fall-of-the-hammer price was a 1950's turtle shell that went for, wait for it... a cool $1,000.

Cronulla's Larry Cohen poses with his newly accquired
G&S Bobby Brown shaped 7'10" pintail. Circa '68/'69.
A good, long-time friend from Cronulla, Larry Cohen, picked up two boards to add to his growing collection. Larry is a niche collector of stringerless era surfboards and has about 60 surfboards in his collection. Larry paid $800 for a 8’ x 23” Peter Clarke ‘Stringerless’ Tracker Pintail single fin. Shaped by Glenn Ritchie and would have been finished coated by my good-self when I worked at Peter Clarke’s northside factory in Brookvale in 1968.

Larry also snagged another Southside classic that came out of the G&S Taren Point factory of Gordon & Smith circa '68/’69. A 7’10” pintail, in 8/10 condition and shaped by ex-Cronulla surfer, ‘Blond’ Bobby Brown [now of Forster, NSW]. It went at the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer for $600.

The auction featured surfboards from a massive range of famous and not-so-famous shaping names came up for bids. Here's just some of the shaping names; Dick Van Straalen, Midget FarrellySimon Anderson, Geoff McCoy, Bob McTavish, Michael Cundith, Mick Dooley, Nat Young, Peter Townend, Terry Bishop, Keith Paull, Colin Gow, Dominic Wibrow, Warren Cornish.

A signed photo of MP winning the first Stubbies in '77
being interviewed by Hawaiian Lord James Blears
Here's just some of the classic named surfboard labels; Country Corn, Nirvana, Lightning Bolt, Natural Awareness, Chris Crozier, Bob McTavish, Inner Release, Emerald, Summercloud, Mark Richards, KC, Maddog, Neilson Brothers, Bronzed Aussies.

There were even a few US made boards with well-known brand names like; Bing, Dewey Weber, Greg Noll, Lightning Bolt.

I had a short chat with the NSW Central Coast's shaping icon Bill Cilia [Nirvana Surfboards] who was in the house. I counted about 12 Nirvana or Bill Cilia shaped boards on the auction blocks. Bill was the vendor for some of the lots - does this mean we won't see a Bill Cilia Collection Museum on the Central Coast in the near future?

I noted that the momentum and the crowd numbers really dropped off towards the end of the auction [which to a certain degree is natural]. Mick and his team need to come up with some creative solutions to help hold the numbers towards the end of the day. Perhaps some cool door prizes where registrants needed to be present at the end of the day in order to claim a winning prize.

A selection of the surf movie posters up for sale. The
top right three are all Paul Witzig's classic old movies.
Interestingly, but not surprising, there were no surfboards from China or Taiwan present. As Mick Mock says and this term should become the catch-phrase of the auction; "Classic not Plastic".

All in all, a very enjoyable day. A big thanks to Mick and his hard working team for their co-operation to assist me to compile this report.

As our sport grows in age since its conception and our original surfers reach their tender, more well-heeled mature years, I think collecting surf memorabilia will only grow stronger and more valuable each year. Surf Museums have begun to spring up in recent years and surf industry giants have budgets and growing history now that is worthy of collection.

I can recommend the auction as being more that well worth a look in next year folks, plus the bonus is that the surf is just out the door if you feel the urge half way through the salty proceedings.

Story & Photos: Steve Core

AUG 2011: If you have an interest in Surf Swap Meets or Surf Auctions; then check my brand new blog; Swap Surf - a blog [as it grows] that will list, detail and report on Surf Swap meets and dry land surfboard events. Click Here

Something to add or say? E-mail us at: swapsurf@gmail.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mick Mock's Vintage Surf Auction

Preview: Tender disposal

It's Spring time - so it's on again. This coming weekend, Sydney's Harbord Beach cliffs will echo with sound of the auctioneer's hammer as Mick Mock conducts his 9th seasonal Vintage Surf Auction of surfboards and collectable surf memorabilia. Multi-vendor Surfboards from every era will be available for sale to the highest bidder.

Everything from the most popular collecting era's of original '60s longboards through to single fins and twin fins of the '70s and '80s and beyond will be up for sale.

Foam & Fibreglass float on a sea of blue carpet
at last year's auction at Harbord Diggers Club.

Photo: courtesy of The Board Collector
Additionally the auction encompasses many different collecting areas, including all types of collectable surf related items from skateboards, to surf movie posters, surfing magazines, artwork and photographs through to surf rarities. All will be on display and up for bids by serious collectors.

This year, a rare Mark Richards hand shaped, combo trifin/twin fin will feature as one of the eye catching classics going under the hammer. Along with a Terry Fitzgerald 7ft flyer swallow-tail.

Long board aficionados will be impressed with some fetching old Brookvale product also up for bid. Top names like Keyo, Barry Bennett, Bill Wallace and Gordon Woods should bring in top dollar bids; expecting to reach around the $2,000 mark.

I will be going along to see if there are any old south-side boards up for sale. I'll be looking for any old Norm Casey, Peter Clarke, Baron, Gordon & Smith or Jackson product.

If you are thinking of going, pre-auction viewings are your perfect opportunity to inspect each lot prior to the auction in a relaxed and unrushed environment. We encourage you to look closely and examine each object you may wish to bid for so that you are completely familiar with its condition prior to sale - as these items are sold without warranty.

Public viewing of the available of all lots is on Saturday afternoon September 25th from 3pm to 5pm and again on the morning of the Auction day: Sunday September 26th from 9.15am to 10.00am. All viewing sessions are free entry.

The first fall of the hammer begins at 10.30am on Sunday.

Harbord Diggers Club
Corner of Evans Street and The Drive, Harbord Beach, Sydney

No matter what your speciality collecting interest is, there's plenty to check out right across the surfing spectrum of collectables. Mick is an old analog guy, so there's no website related to the auction. Just simply turn up, Harbord is one beach north of Manly and the Diggers Club look right down onto the beach, then you can become part of the fun and excitement.

Something to add or say? E-mail us at: swapsurf@gmail.com


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cronulla's old Origin legend in the fight of his life

Darrell Eastlake

Old Cronulla surfing identity Darrell Eastlake is now back at his home on Scenic Drive, Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast after a recent near death stint in Hospital.

Darrell Eastlake at his home in Terrigal
Photo: Tim Hunter, Sunday Telegraph.
The 68 year old Big D rose to national fame as a cultural icon during his time as a the Nine Network's sports commentator with classic calls on everything from weight lifting, to surf club events, auto racing and of course; the NRL's State Of Origin co-hosting with another Cronulla identity - Jack Gibson.

Darrell has recently had more serious health battles to face with a combination of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and emphysema slowing down the once tall and strong man. His illness has rendered him bed ridden and relying on a walking cane to be able to move about.

Darrell has a long lost connection with the Cronulla area, living and surfing here for many years. I first met Darrell when I was working at Peter Clarke Surfboards in 1967 in Taren Point and big Dazza came in to custom order a new board. At the time I am sure he was a member of the Wanda Surf Club.

He ordered a purple solid resin board. Purple we all thought? Only Greek families used the colour purple back in those days - usually to paint their houses! But the Big D was always making some kind of statement. That's the type of guy he is.

At Burleigh Heads as a 4GG Announcer
in 1974. Photo: National Library
From his earliest days as a Qantas Baggage handler, Darrell was also involved administration wise with the early Bobby Brown Contests in Cronulla in the late sixties, he managed the Gordon Woods Surf Shop in the Beach Park Arcade and was the first person to do Cronulla Surf Reports live-to-air on AM radio for 2UW [before FM]. In the early days of Graham Cassidy's ground breaking 2SM/Coke Surfabout Contests, Darrell was a multi media reporter.

He also launched a famous campaign in the late sixties where he grew sick of the Northside domination of the Sydney surfing scene and he united our local Shire board builders in a promotion to jointly state that the South had risen again. Using the old US Confederate Army flag as a symbol of unity and rebellion.

Darrell spent 7 years on the Gold Coast as a 4GG sports caster and started the Gold Coast Rugby League Show. He then went to NBN-3 television in Newcastle where he hosted the Sports Show. I was even a guest on his TV show in Newcastle while promoting surfing films.

Darrell interviews Rabbit at the 2007 Stubbies re-union.
Photo: Surfinsnapps
Darrell went to Channel 9 in 1982 to call the Brisbane Commonwealth Games. He did the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and also co-hosted Sports Sunday with surfing's Mark Warren. He was the longest serving 9 Sports commentator until he announced his retirement in 2005.

There's a great August 2010 interview available on-line on Channel 9's 'A Current Affair' website with Darrell. Click here to see it if you missed it.

Although he's currently battling short term memory loss, if you watch the interview, you'll quickly realise there's plenty left in the Big D's long term storage tanks and occasionally you hear that booming 'huge' voice rise to excitement as he fondly talks about the good old days.

We all wish big Dazza the very best, hang in there mate, we love ya'.

Steve Core 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Frank Latta Tribute

Very sad news with the passing of Cronulla surfing legend Frank Latta in August 2010.

I knew Frank very well in his old Cronulla days. He actually shaped surfboards for me in 1969 when I was making surfboards under my own name, Steve Core Surf Boards in Taren Point.

The footage I have posted here on You Tube is from my 1971 16mm film 'In Natural Flow'. I shot the footage of Frank at Sandshoes Reef in Cronulla in 1971. In 2010, thanks to the technical wizardry of the guys at Video-8 the footage has come up really crisp and sharp - considering it is 39 years old.

I had the footage close on hand because in the past couple of months I have been preparing 'In Natural Flow' to be re-mastered onto the digital format for general release on DVD in September/October this year.

The original 16mm Frank Latta footage at Sandshoes Reef is a buried treasure unearthed, because 'In Natural Flow' has not been screened or seen the light of day anywhere for over 30+ years.

For more information and details on my two films 'In Natural Flow' [1971] and 'Ocean Rhythms' [1975] please visit my website at Utmost Spirit.

Steve Core

Ad from Witzig's Surf International
magazine in 1969 when Frank
shaped for me
[click to enlarge]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome to my new surf blog...

Hello everyone.

Thanks for visting my new blog...

I am starting to compile a list of Surf Shops and Surfboard Manufacturers and Surfboard Shapers from the Cronulla area.

This may become a reasonable reference tool for people researching old surfboards, equipment and surf people.

My interest is that in the Cronulla area I have worked in and owned Surf Shops, I have worked in and owned a Surfboard factory. I have also edited & published a glossy surfing magazine, I have been a 'still' surf photgrapher and I have made 16mm surfing films and videos - all over the past 45 years.

To start to build the reference files, I am dividing the blog's pages up into separate categories. Click on the right hand side of this page [under the pages heading] to visit the individual pages. As the information expands I may have to come up with another solution.

I would love to hear from anyone with further information to contribute, stories and even better if you have any photos or old images to accompany the words - that would be fantasic.

If you would like to read more about my personal history and the 16mm Surfing Films I have produced and sell on DVD have a look at my website Utmost Spirit.

Regards for now and please enjoy reading the info...

Steve Core