Showing posts with label Jackson Surfboards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jackson Surfboards. Show all posts

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.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bobby Brown: Back to the Heartlands

Bobby Brown Exhibition at Jackos

Part of the Exhibition in the Jackson Surfboards
showroom in Caringbah.
The Bobby Brown Exhibition yesterday returned to Brown's former mystical home at Jackson Surfboards showroom in Caringbah. The official unveiling launch yesterday, marked the start of the 10-day temporary exhibition.

This concept collective is set in a venue that has been a surfboard-maker's showroom for the last 48 years. Its daily role is normally an impressive collection of surfing memorabilia and accolades. Artifacts on display represent milestones to not only Bobby Brown, but fellow surfing luminaries and immortal Jackson stablemates like; Gordon Merchant [founder of Billabong], Laurie 'Froggy' Byrnes, the late Frank Latta and a host of others.

At a time when we all get hectored about lowering our expectations, surrendering our attention spans, and settling for less - a deeper look at the small Bobby Brown collection wants us to demand for more.

Even though as diverse as surfing is now, and being rather somewhat fractured with sub cultivations, it is worth noting that this exhibition, in this showroom, captures the sense of deep culture that embraces all surfers - no matter what they ride or how or when they rode it.

From left; Curator Andrew McKinnon, Steve Core
and veteran South Coast photographer Dave Milne.
The offering is the culmination of several years of research by self-recruited curator Andrew McKinnon. As the last winner of the Bobby Brown Memorial Contest in 1970 and holder of [what became] the perpetual trophy, Andy Mac was there yesterday to chair the floor, fill in any missing gaps and assist guide the launch.

Amid the distinctive special guests were Brian 'Jacko' Jackson, down from his semi-retirement home of Crescent Head. Founding Surfabout Magazine publisher, a doyen of '60s surf photographers, Jack Eden and his wife Dawn. Because of the strong, life-long connection of Jack Eden and Jackos, Eden's powerfully iconic images of Bobby Brown surfing were debuting to the public in this format for the very first time.

Amongst other special guests were Bobby's older brother John Brown and fellow Cronulla surfing great, now surf artist, Garry Birdsall. In his address to the gathering, John earnestly recounted great stories of growing up in an unremarkable Cronulla in the '50s and '60s. When the vast Kurnell peninsular sand dunes sprawled right down into Elouera Beach and there was a dairy farm close to the breaking waves.

Cronulla surfing legend, Garry Birdsall [left] and
Surfabout founding publisher, Jack Eden.
In summary, everyone seems to agree that Bobby Brown was a certain World Champion in the making. Nobody really says 'Number One'. Therefore; carefully not claiming any significant rating of who was the best, even though the deepening interest in old surfing is diverse, the idea of a numerical ranking is not hardwired into surfing's DNA.

There's a huge trust factor with many of Cronulla's old surfing guard and a small posse [that are still left in the Cronulla area] ventured out to pay homage at the exhibition and recount old times. I spotted Mark 'Bluey' Aprilovic, Bruce 'Fox' Hennesey, Andy Britton, John Coleman, Freddy Farmer, John Vass, John Veage, Chris Stroh, Greg McCarthy, Dave Milne, Jamie Hocking and Lazza Lane. Apologises to all those I don't know or didn't recognise.

Many thanks to our hosts; Jackson Surfboards owners since '97; Jim and Christina Parkinson and Dave Mattison

The Exhibition runs for the next 10 days and guess what, in this day of tightening purse strings in the community - it's totally free. No matter what label you ride or where your allegiances may lay, drop in and check it out and say Hi to the good folk at Jackos.

For an extensive photographic coverage of the launch festivities, see the Jackson Surfboards Facebook site.

All the photos in this report are courtesy of Jackson Surfboards.

Steve Core

If you like this you might also be interested in:
Huntington Beach Surfboard pioneer 'Gordie' passes away
Bobby Brown Exhibition launch on the Gold Coast - November 2010
PT's Seventies Sessions

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Exhibition: Legend Bobby Brown - the Edge of Glory

The starlit wave is still, home is the surfer, home from the sea...

Bobby Brown in the North Cronulla
shorebreak in '62. Photo: Bob Weeks 
[Click to enlarge]

After successfully touring the East Coast from the Noosa Festival of Surfing earlier in the year, down to Victoria for the 50th Anniversary of the Bells Beach Easter Pro Surfing event, the exquisitely put together Bobby Brown Exhibition is coming to Bobby Brown's spiritual home in Sydney's South - in the Sutherland Shire.

The Exhibition will be on display in the showroom of Jackson Surfboards in Caringbah for just 10 days. From Saturday September 10th until Sunday September 18th, 2011.

The Exhibition forms part of the Jackson Surfboard’s “living history” philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of surfing, surfboards and the golden age of Australian beach culture.

I was on the Gold Coast 10 months ago for the opening night of the Bobby Brown Exhibition at the Surf World Gold Coast Surf Museum in November 2010. To view my original report of that launch night and my summary of the exhibition click here.

The Exhibition is meticulously put together by its Gold Coast-based curator, former pro-surfer, Andrew McKinnon. As a 16-year old surfer back in 1970, Andrew was the last winner of the third and final Bobby Brown Memorial Surfing Contest held on the beaches of Cronulla.

Rabbit co-MC'ed the opening
night at Surf World
on the Gold
Coast last November.
Photo: Core
As an extension of all his research into Bobby Brown’s history, and inspired by the depth and expanse of the story, Andrew is currently working on a book that will encapsulate the life and times of Bobby Brown - surfing legend.

If you want have a look at a nice clip of the Exhibition you can see the clip that was posted on the Coastalwatch website by clicking here.

This showcasing at Jacksons will be the last public display of this collective for some time, so if you are from any part of Sydney, or for that matter, anywhere in NSW, you might want to plan a trip to Sydney's South side over this 10-day period to check the exhibition being held in one of the very surf establishments in which Bobby Brown spent the early part of his surfing career.

At the Gold Coast launch, Cronulla
surfing identities, Steve Core [left]
and guest
speaker Gary Birdsall.
Photo: Terry Baker
So mark it in your diary or stick a post-it note on the fridge. On Saturday 10th of September there will be an official launch function, kicking off at 1:00pm ,with a free sausage sizzle. Special guests will be Bobby's brother; John Brown and pioneer surf photographer and publisher of Surfabout Magazine, Jack Eden.

Next year, Jackson Surfboards will celebrate their 55th year in the business and they have been in the same location for the past 48 years. That was long before Mick Fanningg was even born! That's some history in this young sport of ours.

Check on-line at: Jackson Surfboards
or the Jackson Surfboards Facebook site

Or have a look at the Bobby Brown Surfing Legend website.

Check out my new blog on Surf Exhibitions, Forms, Swap meets and dry land surfboards events. Called Swap Surf Click right here to see it.

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