Showing posts with label Ex-Cronulla Surfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ex-Cronulla Surfers. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keith Paull and Psychedelic surfboard

Keith Paull

When I was working at Peter Clarke Surfboards in Brookvale during 'The Summer of Love' in 1968, we did the artwork on this board for ’68 Australian Surfing Champion, the late Keith Paull.

It was totally Keith's concept and to achieve this end in strong, vibrant colours we purchased ordinary colour markers from the nearby news-agency and set to work.
Keith Paull and his '68 'Flower Power' Peter Clarke surfboard.
Long Reef, Sydney. Photo: Jeff Carter

As a collaborative artwork - it was a disjointed affair. Keith himself took pen in hand to draw and colour some of the smaller fill-in flowers in the design.

The words you can see: 'Clarke' [under Keith's hand], 'Surrealistic Clarke', 'Psychedelic' and the big 'Love' where all my hand drawn craftwork.

Keith in a 'HangTen' clothing 
ad from US Surfer magazine
Circa: late '60s
This influence was late ‘60s social recoil, as Keith was in the early stages of experimenting with drugs, discovering his own exploration, so this surfboard had an authenticity of its own.

Remember there is no absolute authentic originality in art, all art builds on other art. My ideas were spurred by music album covers & rock concert posters of the time [late '60s] that we all embraced. The board's bottom is embellished with all the peaceful ornaments of Hippiedom. It had no real manifesto.

It encountered no public indifference.

It was a first full-scale artwork on a surfboard of its kind, its clarity of form, its high spirits and legibility - were almost of mural scale.

It was delivered in the pre-air brush era and clearly signaled a time where surfers began to awake from an artistic subconscious. As themes diverged, top surfers began decorating their boards with individual visions to define themselves.

Along with World Champion Mark Richard's Superman logo and World Champion Peter Townend's pink theme, followed a short time later by the Sultan of Swing; Terry Fitzgerald’s Hot Buttered fertile air brush designs that elaborately revealed the dreaming surfers mind in paint.

Much like we did here with Keith’s board in the Age of Aquarius in 1968.

Ironically; Roger Daltrey, the lead singer of 'The Who' had a very famous line of lyric from their '65 No.1 song 'My Generation' - that said; "I hope I die before I get old". Sadly, we lost our good friend Keith in 2004.

For more Keith Paull information visit these links ...

Read a Keith Paull Bio: on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing blog site

Read a Keith Paull Obituary from Fairfax Media

Keith Paull's surfing can be seen in Steve Core's 1971, 16mm classic surfing film 'In Natural Flow' - for a look at the 'In Natural Flow' trailer Click Here


Friday, September 5, 2014

Jackson Surfboards tribute to a master, Wayne "Zombie" Johnston

Remarkable resemblance of what symbolised the '60s: 

Jackson Surfboards tribute to a Cronulla surfing master, Wayne "Zombie" Johnston

In a thoughtful and passionate tribute to a Cronulla surfing legend, a master shaper brings some old magic back to life. The Leader's John Veage wraps up the feeling nicely.... 

Legendary surfboard craftsman, ex-Jackson Surfboards' head shaper, Laurie "Froggy" Byrne - 
hands over 5 cobalt blue retro '60s single fin reproductions to the late Wayne Johnston's five sons.

L/R: The five Johnston boys; Dane, Blake, Ben (Laurie Byrne in stripes) Adam and Sam.

Photo taken in Jackson Surfboards showroom in Taren Point. Photo John Veage
Story & Photos by John Veage

There are times when a surfboard is not just for surfing. A surfboard, like many objects and experiences, can be an emotional attachment to the past.

Cronulla's five Johnston boys — Adam, Ben, Blake, Dane and Sam — took this on as a tribute to their late father, Wayne, when they commissioned legendary surfboard craftsman Laurie "Froggy" Byrne to recreate a quiver of the late-1960s retro, single-fin traditional Jackson "Frogman Shaker" model surfboards, in memory of their father.

Wayne "Zombie" Johnston surfed for — and worked at — Jackson Surfboards in the late 1960s and early 1970s with Froggy, Brian Jackson, Denny Childs, Frank Latta, Billabong creator Gordon Merchant and others.

Wayne Johnston working at Jackson Surfboards in the '70s
achieving a tradesman's respectability.

It was a seminal period for surfboard development and the shortboard generation was in full swing.

Current Jackson Surfboards owners Jim Parkinson and Dave Matterson who started at Jackson in the mid-'70s handcrafted the five identical blue-tinted boards to the specifications of the day, even down to the tinted, fixed, wooden fins and unconventional resins.

Wayne rode Laurie's boards as a sponsored schoolboy at Jackson Surfboards, and later Laurie was the best man at Wayne's wedding.

It was a fitting tribute that almost 12 months to the day since Wayne died, the five cobalt blue boards (Wayne's favourite colour) were handed over at the Jackson surfboard factory to be hung in pride of place on the five boys' walls as a constant reminder of their late father's presence.

A foam artist who set this cultural machinery 
going. Laurie Byrne - shaping at Jacko's
in the halcyon days of the '70s ...
It was Ben and Laurie's idea that the boards would be built for "display only" - but brother Blake, the current NSW head surf coach, thought it would be a terrific board to surf at Voodoo Reef on a good day.

"Zombie" would have agreed.

Read John Veage's Surf Column in the Leader

Visit Jackson Surfboards website or visit their Facebook page.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Jim Davidson: from Cronulla to Mooball


Jim Davidson, entering his fifth decade of surf art

North Coast surf artist Jim Davidson is purely ex-Cronulla, simply another offspring child and a true descendant of The Shire's surfboard industry.

For well over the last forty years, Jim’s inimitable style would be instantly recognizable to many surfers, and if they were around in the '70s, '80s, '90s or even ‘00s there’s a good chance they would have either ridden a surfboard featuring one of Jim's surf inspired artistic creations, played a surf DVD that carried his cover design, worn a surf t-shirt bearing a logo that he designed or owned a surf poster featuring his artwork.

Over a lifetime dedicated to the surfing industry and art in general, Jim has specialized in comic-character style surf inspired art for screen printing, spray painting on surfboards, decal designs for surfboard manufacturers and airbrushed posters for surf movies.

Ex-Cronulla artist; Jim Davidson
Getting his start in 1974 spraying surfboards at Jackson Surfboards in Cronulla, Jim soon became Gordon & Smith surfboards’ full time spray-artist, when they were producing up to 100 surfboards a week.

This gave Jim a lot of time to experiment and refine his skills, and soon his work was in hot demand and adorning surfboards shaped by labels including Emerald, Southern Comfort, Force 9, Carabine, Byrne Brorthers, Skipp, Christie, Bennett, Aloha, Channel Islands, Friar Tuck, Island-A-Classic, Natural Flight, and Midget Farrelly, and boards generated by pro-surfers, shapers and surfing identities like Terry Richardson, The Bronzed Aussies, Peter Townend, Cheyen Horan, Mark Occhilupo, Jim Banks, Critter Byrne, Mark Richards and even Michael Peterson among many others.

Even though work was flowing, it was Jim’s dream to move to the North coast - he’d watched the classic surf film; Morning of the Earth and the seed to a country life was sown. So in 1981 Jim and his wife moved to the Northern NSW cow town called Mooball, smack in between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Artwork by Jim
On the Gold Coat, original Kirra Surf founder, Peter Turner introduced Jim to the crew at his Local Knowledge surfboard factory and plenty of work soon followed. Then additional work for Fingal Surf Co, Gordon and Black, Blitz, Pipedream and Nev were just some of the local Gold Coast surf companies sending work his way. Before long Jim was branching out into the clothing industry, designing the logo for top surf brand; Mango and print designs for Billabong and banners for Cheetah Swimwear.

Then came the chance to airbrush the surf movie poster for Storm Riders for Jack McCoy, Dick Hoole and David Lourie, a major milestone in Jim’s career.

In the 1980s Jim created logos and surfboard sprays for Maddog. The iconic dog logo had arrived and ruled over Byron Bay - one version on a billboard greeting people into town was 14 meters tall. Meanwhile surf movie-maker, the late Chris Bystrom had seen the Storm Riders poster and wanted some of the same. Jim became Chris’s artist and good friend, producing 20 or more surf movie posters over the next 15 years.

During this era Jim also dabbled in making surfboard wax with his iconic Green Stuff Board Wax label, designed t-shirts for Sportsart and Roo Shirts, co-founded a screen printing business called Mental Giants and hand drew surf maps of iconic breaks around the world.

Part of Jim's collection on exhibition at Surf World on the Gold Coast
His dazzling works span the entire spectrum of modern surf art. 
Before long Jim’s growing sons were coming of age and following in their father’s brush strokes. Jim and his son Shannon set up a surfboard spraying factory and companies like Mambo, Coca Cola, Dick Brewer and Gordon & Smith all had designs from the father and sons. By now, Jim’s second son Joel was painting some fantastic and wild designs, and the third son Jerrod was hot on the artistic trail too. The boys couldn't have avoided the artistic lifestyle - there was a drawing board and pens in every room of the house.

Back at Mooball the local service station needed a face lift, so Jim suggested a cow theme and created a facade for the entire building and surroundings, adorning the town with black and white cow print and propelling Mooball into the spotlight on Rove TV and featuring in the Lonely Planet guide.

These days Jim runs the nearby Burringbar General Store, a job neither connected to surfing nor art, but it allows him plenty of time to surf and plot his next assault on the surf art world. His contributions to the surf art have been wide and varied, and something tells us there’s plenty more to come.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not Occy: Favourite Cronulla son honoured...

He's back...

Iain "Ratso" Buchanan, the former Cronulla pro surfer who turned his hand to judging and rose through the ranks to become head judge of the world professional (ASP) tour in Europe, returned to Cronulla on the weekend to celebrate with old surfing mates winning the 2011 World ASP Masters Surfing title in Brazil.

Photo: Prodigal son: Cronulla mates such as (from left, rear) Richard Maurer, Cameron Johnston, Barry Tyte and Mark Henderson gathered on Saturday when Iain "Ratso" Buchanan (front) got life membership after winning the World Masters surfing title. Picture: John Veage

The New Zealand-born Buchanan, 50, recently managed to topple Australia's former world open surf champion, Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew, to win the World Masters title. Rendering himself the first Kiwi to ever take the title.

While he was crowned at an end of the 2011 year ASP Tour Banquet last week in Queensland, his old Cronulla friends got together and decided to also toast his success at Cronulla's Amodus Cafe on Saturday — and make him a life member of the Cronulla Boardriders Club.

Want to read more? For the full story see: St George & Sutherland Shire Leader

In case you missed it; for our story on Ratso's Masters win last year Click here

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ex-Cronulla surfer takes World Surfing Title

How a surf judge perfectionist, who painstakingly agonises over every ride, became an unlikely specimen World Champion...

Ex-Cronulla Kiwi surfer, currently New Zealand's top world-rated, European based ASP Head surfing judge, Iain Buchanan dusted off his competitive prowess again in taking on the living super legends of the sport - to poach the World Grand Masters Championships crown in Brazil this week. Rendering himself the first Kiwi to claim the title.

There has been a long standing stigma about surf judges, a belief in some critical corners that they may not know enough about wave riding's intricacies. Iain has beautifully interwoven the harmonies of riding a wave with the requirements of interpretive judging skills, breaking any disconnect that may have been layered between the two pursuits. Iain's soaring victory in Brazil, creating surfing history, will instantly end such idle chatter from any self-styled experts. 

Leaving his Winter base home of Biarritz, France, Buchanan was over the moon to be even invited to the prestigious event. The World Masters invitees compose up 16 of the most iconic surfers this planet has ever produced. In the final, Iain defeated renowned robust competitor and former World Title holder, Queenslander, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew.

Ex-Cronulla Kiwi, Iain 'Ratso' Buchanan raises the spoils of his victory in the ASP's World Grand
Masters Championships
in Arpoador, Ipanema, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil this past week.
'Ratso' also picked  up a check for $25,000 for his awesome efforts. Photo courtesy of ASP

A retired ASP Pro-Tour surfer himself, Buchanan needed to switch hats and transfer his vast accumulated judging experience back into the water at this event to come away with a good result, something he was confident in doing.

"I've been judging the best surfing in the world for the past few years, so I think I know what the judges are looking for. But all the guys I was up against are hardened veterans and truly seasoned competitors, and they know how to win heats and indeed they have all won major contests and world titles. It was very competitive for sure."

Shaun Tomson (ZAF), aged 55, a quarter-fianl
victim to Iain Buchanan in Arpoador, Ipanema.
Photo C
redit: © ASP / CESTARI
In a spectacular start to the man-on-man section of the event, Iain took out former World Champion, South African, Shaun Tomson in his first quarter final. Tomson also was returning to competitive surfing after a multi-year hiatus in retirement.

Iain then accounted for Aussie legend Glen Winton. While Rabbit knocked out Thruster Inventor - Simon Anderson in the other semi-final to reach the Grand Final. All these surfing legends help revolutionise surfing in the '70s and '80s.

"I was originally the head judge for the event," Buchanan said. "But some invitees couldn't make it, and I was next on the list, so the ASP asked if I wanted to compete."

Ironically, it was the first time Buchanan had entered a serious competition as a competitor since the 2003 New Zealand championships in Dunedin, where he won the over-35 and over-40 divisions.

Five time New Zealand Champion, Iain Buchanan
on his way to victory at Arpoador, Ipanema, Brazil
Photo Credit: © ASP / CESTARI
The waves at Arpoador, are mostly beach breaks, but predominantly a fast breaking lefthander, suited Buchanan who spends most of his time surfing the Piha bar at the south end of Piha beach, during his New Zealand summer breaks when he comes home from Europe.

"I'm hoping they'll ask me to judge (next year)," Buchanan said. "That's what I was originally going to do. When ASP's Al Hunt and Head Tour Judge, Richie Porta talked me into surfing, and I'm glad I did. I'm happy to get the spot I did, but there will be other guys that qualify next year, and I'd love to judge".

What a great result and story. Iain rocks up to Brazil thinking he's going to judge the world's best surfing legends in a Masters event. But instead he transposed his role, took to the water and became a competitor. Along the way he steam-rolled over some ex-World Champions and ended up taking the first place trophy in the event!

So he's a Current World Grand Masters surfing champion and a current ASP head Surfing Judge - what a combination. That unique 'double' has never been achieved previously by anyone. So from everyone in Cronulla; - your life long dream of becoming a World Champion as been realised - well done Ratso! We are proud of you mate [and he is an old mate].
© Steve Core

To read Iain's more than 10 year history in Cronulla, including working behind the counter at Mark Aprilovic's Cronulla Surf Design and shaping at Gordon and Smith Click here

Check my brand new blog; Swap Surf - a blog [as it grows] that will list, detail and report on Surf Swap meets, exhibitions, displays and any dry land surfboard events. Click Here

Something to add or say? E-mail us at:

Watch some Grand Masters, Brazil highlights below on You Tube...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Surf Industry Veteran forced out by cheap imports

After 42 years making surfboards, original Emerald Surfboards founder Steve Griffiths is forced to quit the industry - why?

 Blackwidow Surfboards owner Steve Griffiths says Chinese imports are forcing local board makers out of the industry. Picture: Robyne Cuerel. Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld) - Feb 2011.
Sunshine Coast, Qld: Ex-Cronulla surfer, master surfboard craftsman and the original founder of Emerald Surfboards, Steve Griffiths has been forced out the industry he loves.

Cronulla surf icon, Steve Griffiths started shaping surfboards at Gordon & Smith in Taren Point in 1972 and went on to found Emerald Surfboards in Taren Point in 1978. He sold the Emerald business in 1982 and moved to Queensland's Sunshine Coast to manufacture Black Widow custom surfboards.

Here's the story courtesy of the Queensland Sunday Mail: Australia's iconic surfboard makers are giving up after a futile battle against cheap mass-produced Asian imports.

After 42-years in the industry, craftsmen like Steve Griffiths, from the Sunshine Coast, are closing their factory doors. An influx from China and Thailand in the last five years made it hard to etch a living, but the last year has been killer.

Mr Griffiths has posted a "For Lease" sign outside his Warana factory, Black Widow Surfboards, and may try medicine cabinet making. Industry insiders have warned this scenario is being repeated across the country also because of an economic slowdown.

Mr Griffiths said Australia was losing more than just locally made surfboards. "The thing with China and Thailand is there will be no innovation, only copying," said Mr Griffiths.

"All the innovation from guys who shaped boards in their backyards, and made boards better and tried new styles, all that will be gone." Surf shops are making huge profits on imported boards because of the massive mark up.

Mr Griffiths said a Chinese longboard was imported for about $300 and sold for about $1100 - an $800 profit. But the Australia version cost about $1000 to make and retailed between $1200 and $1400 - only a maximum $400 profit.

"The only reason people go to Asia is to make more money. You don't go there for a better product," said Gold Coast materials supplier Darren Burford. "(But) the end user doesn't see the better price. It's the guy selling it that gets more money."

Surf shop owner Neil Raaschou makes a point of supporting local craftsmen and stocks 90 per cent Aussie boards in his four stores. However Mr Raaschou does sell quality Asian-made beginner boards, like mini mals, because of customer demand.

"It does serve a purpose. Generally the beginner and novice market is driven by price because they don't want to fork out a lot of money," he said.

As a consoling tribute to Steve Griffith's years of fine craftsmanship and creativity, collectable Emerald Surfboards in good condition, bring high prices at surf swap meets and surf auctions across the nation.


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]