Monday, February 16, 2015

Cronulla legends rebound ...


15th February, 2015: Surf legends hit Cronulla town this past weekend for the continuing Duke Kahanamoku 100 year celebrations of surfing in Cronulla.

It took me 50 years to get my photo taken
standing with two of Cronulla's all-time
surfing legends. Now; a treasured moment ...
Left, Steve Core, middle, Garry Birdsall,
right, Nigel Dwyer
Tonight, I was pleased to host in the Watergrill Restaurant for dinner, two iconic Cronulla 1st generation absolute living surf legends.

I could not pass up the fantastic and rare photo opportunity and here I am [yes!, finally] pictured with two of my surf heroes; Garry Birdsall [middle] and Nigel Dwyer [right].

These two men were powerful cultural idols of their time. Both of these guys were featured in the leading surfing magazines of the '60s and were recognised to be among the best surfers in Australia. 

In the early to mid '60s, Cronulla, along with the rest of coastal Australia - beach resorts and towns were in full economic surf boom. This surf image, helped build the very props on which Australia's broader self-image has been raised on.

Both Garry and Nigel worked for leading and innovative Taren Point-based Surfboard builder - Norm Casey Surfboards in the '60s.

In a career highlight moment [for any surfer, of any era] Garry was memorably photographed and featured on the cover of Australian surf-rock band, The Atlantics, 1963 surf music album Bombora - taking an incredible backside drop on massive wall at Cronulla Point. Iconic images like this were spikes on a surf fever popularity chart.

Garry, who once designed surfwear for Golden Breed has developed into one of Australia's leading surf artists - you've seen & know his work I'm sure... check it out on his website:

Nigel departed the shores of Cronulla for New Plymouth New Zealand where, 50 years ago, he established his surf business. There's no better example of how Nigel went on to build one of New Zealand's most iconic surf brands & shops.

I was so stoked to see these two guys I used to look up to and just worship. Needless to say they formed a big part of the weekend's reunion of old Cronulla surfers celebrating Cronulla's rich and colourful surfing history.

It's taken me 50 years to get my mug in a photo with these two living Cronulla surf legends. Stoked.

To have a better look at Garry Birdsall's amazing surf artworks, you can visit his on-line store by clicking here.

To read more about the history of '60s surf rock band The Atlantics click here