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, November 11, 2011

New Book: Australia's Hottest 100 Surfing Legends

Noosa Heads, Queensland based, surf journalist and author, Phil Jarratt will launch is latest book, Australia's Hottest 100 Surfing Legends at the Museum of Sydney on Sunday afternoon, November 13th.

Four times world champion Mark Richards will be on hand to officially launch the book.

Newcastle's very own super legend;
Mark Richards
MR, whose brilliant Backdoor Pipe bottom turn features on the cover of the book, will be joined by a stellar cast of champions, including Tom Carroll, Terry Fitzgerald, Simon Anderson, Mark Warren, Bruce Raymond, Rob Bain and Captain Goodvibes. Industry legend Shane Stedman [Luke Stedman's father] will co-host proceedings in a chat show format that is sure to produce a lot of laughs.

The launch, to be held in the Museum theatrette, is slated to run from 2:30pm to 4:30pm and is open to the public and free.

Everyone who visits for the launch is invited to view the Museum's current Surf City exhibition, presenting the history of surfing in Sydney from the 1950s, at the concession price of $5.

May we suggest: If you are looking for that extra stocking stuffer for that loved one who surfs - what a perfect opportunity to grab the book, get it signed on the spot and in addition; you'll get to rub shoulders with some of the book's iconic surf legends to boot!

Author Phil Jarratt [right] with 1978 ASP World Champion
and fellow Queenslander; Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew
A cash bar will operate at the lower level and guests are invited to bring the family, enjoy the show, and meet the legends of surfing over a leisurely beer or a coffee.

Author Phil Jarratt will be signing books before and after the show. The veteran surf journalist and author has written 27 books, including Mr Sunset, The Mountain & The Wave, Kelly Slater For The Love, and last year's Salts & Suits, which won him his third Australian Surf Culture Award and was short-listed for the Blake Dawson Prize. He is currently writing the official history of Surfing Australia.

When: Sunday Nov 13, 2:30pm until 4:30pm
Where: Museum of Sydney, Bridge St & Phillip St, Sydney
Cost: Book Launch is free, with cash bar, Bonus: Surf City exhibition for a reduced entry of $5 for book launch attendees.

Website for: Museum of Sydney


Thursday, October 20, 2011

FREE: 18seconds Surf Magazine on-line

18seconds - Issue No.7
Read it for free on-line
FREE MAGAZINE: The new Issue, No.7, of '18seconds' Surf Magazine is now available on-line. In fact you can read all previous 6 issues for free on their site.

Just in case you’re unaware: 18seconds magazine provides a rich reading experience through multimedia and interactivity, by bringing the best surfing from around the world. 18seconds can be viewed on all media devices including iPads, Iphones and Androids.

In the new issue; they track down Murray Bourton of Queensland-based Base Surfboards and discover, after all the chaos, there are great changes in them hills.

Read it for free on a nice digital platform at: 18seconds Surf Magazine

Don't forget to mark in your calendar:
Mick Mock's Vintage Surf Auction
Harbord Diggers Club
Freshwater Beach, Sydney
Viewing: Saturday 26th November, 2011 - 3:00 to 5:00pm
Auction: Sunday 27th November, 2011 - From 10:30am

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vintage Swap Meet - Coolangatta

Underground Surf
One Slightly Obsessed Collector holds his own Swap Meet

Coolangatta Event poster
Slightly obsessed - they're the best kind aren't they?

Co-owner of Underground Surf in McLean Street, Coolangatta, Andre 'Ondi' Marsaus has his own Vintage Swap Meet coming up on Saturday 8th October, 2011.

A highly impassioned collector, Ondi, runs the surf emporium with his partner Maree.

So if you're in the market to buy/sell/swap up any old vintage surfboards or related gear, the Southern end of the Gold Coast is the place to head on October 8th.

If you want some of idea how deep Ondi is in - you have to have a peek at the current issue of the awesome free bi-monthly surf magazine, Smorgasboarder.

They just published a two-page spread featuring Andre 'Ondi' Marsaus and part of his collection of over 300 boards. [see insert right].

Meet the Fleet: This assemblage of foam and fibreglass
represents about one quarter of Ondi's classic
surfboard collection. Above are pages
48-49 of the new Smorgasboarder Magazine

[Click to enlarge]
Event organisers, Ondi and Maree are on the lookout for more contributions to add to the gathering. So if you have something to display or offer, consign, swap, or just want to get an appraisal done - then make sure you contact them.

Should be a real fun day and a good chance to rub shoulders with many fellow enthusiasts. It's always interesting to see what gets dragged out from the rafters.

This is all part of testing the waters for the big Bleach Surf Festival that will be coming up on the Gold Coast in February in 2012.

Here's the skinny...

Location: Underground Surf
Date: Saturday 8th October, 2011
Time: 10:00am until 2:00pm
Call: 07 5599-1040 for more info or help

READ FREE: The new 164-page Smorgasboarder Magazine on-line. Click here

You may also be interested in:
Our report from Mick Mock's 2010 Vintage Surf Auction

You can purchase Steve Core's '75 Ocean Rhythms DVD at Underground Surf, Coolangatta