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


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