Tuesday, December 16, 2014

An Australian surfing classic returns: In Natural Flow

A Gathering of Eagles:

I am pleased to announce that the first 16mm surfing film I made, In Natural Flow, shot mostly in 1971, will make a Premiere re-release to the public for the first time in over 30+ years, at a special star-studded screening evening at the Surf World Museum on the Gold Coast on Friday January 2nd, 2015.

There will be an all-star line-up on hand on the night to celebrate the In Natural Flow screening. After the screening there will be a talk fest with the stars. The moderator will be noted surf journalist, Tim Baker.

In the talent line-up photo below, we have the Gold Coast residents who made up part of the 1972 Australian team to head off the World Titles in San Diego, California. 

From left to right: Judge; Terry Baker, Surfers: Peter Townend [1976 ASP World Champ], the late Michael Peterson, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew [1978 ASP World Champ], and Paul Neilson ['71 Australian Champion].

Above: Pictured in 1972 media call on the Gold Coast before leaving Australian shores for the US: an all-star Gold Coast line-up from the '70s. These five young men formed part of the Australian team that attended the 1972 World Titles in San Diego, California. 

From left to right: ASP retired Judge, Terry Baker, 1st ASP World surfing Champion, Peter Townend, the late Michael Peterson, 3rd ASP 1978 World Champion, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, and Paul Neilson.

Four of the five above will be present on the night of January 2nd, 2015 at the Surf World Museum for the In Natural Flow  screening. The late Michael Peterson will be represented in loving spirit by the attendance his mother, Joan.

The version of 'In Natural Flow' that will be screened on the night has been recently loving restored to a crisp digital format by Australian surfing film historian and archivist, Warren Delbridge. Avid Australian surf movie collectors will be pleased to hear that In Natural Flow will also be available now on DVD.

To view the classic '70s Kirra Point In Natural Flow 2-minute trailer: Click Here  Music sound-track for the trailer comes courtesy of the Wellington, NZ based band The Black Seeds. To learn & hear more about The Black Seeds - click here to visit their website. A big thank you to The Black Seeds boys for allowing us to use their hot track 'Slingshot' as it suits the tubular, sand-churning Kirra Point barrels to perfection.

To read the Media Release about In Natural Flow from surfing journalist Tim Baker [who is on the board of Surf World] and see the exclusive trailer click here.

On the beach at Bells Beach in 1974 - film producer Steve Core chats with late Michael Peterson. 

Michael went on the win the 1974 Bells Beach title in his unstoppable form.
Photo courtesy of Surfing World Magazine

Friday January 2nd, 2015 will be a one-off opportunity to rub shoulders with the surfers from this era all gathering together in one spot to celebrate the night. So come along and bring your camera for the classic photo op with your favourite '70s surfing super stars. Or just bring your smart phone and grab a selfie.

Even better - on the screening night at Surf World - I will be selling DVD copies of both 'In Natural Flow' and 'Ocean Rhythms'. A perfect opportunity to grab a personally signed copy by any veteran surf talent there on the night.

Where: Surf World - 1st Floor, Honeyworld, 35 Tomewin Street, Currumbin, Qld

When: Doors swing open at 6:00pm - on Friday January 2nd - 2015

How much to get in: $10.00

Available on the night for all: Chargeable drinks and BarBQ items

To visit Surf World - Gold Coast website: click here


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

PT's Bonzer

A few people have contacted me to ask "did I shape the board?" I am riding in the previous post [directly below].

No I didn't - it's actually one Peter Townend's ['76 ASP 1st World Champion] personal Bonzer surfboards. I worked closely with PT on the Australian development of the Bonzer at Gordon & Smith Surfboards in Taren Point.

PT with the Bonzer surfboard in Hawaii.
This is the same board I am riding in the previous post.

In 1973 - PT got all the Bonzer technical specs and intel from his good friend Mike Eaton, who at the time, was shaping the first production Bonzer surfboards for Bing Surfboards under licence at G&S in San Diego, California.

On his first trip to Hawaii for the Winter of '72, PT had met Mike Eaton in Hawaii where Mike was a resident North Shaper, shaping and making surfboards for all the leading Australian ASP world-touring surfers at the time.

For the full story on the Bonzer development at G&S in Caringbah please click here to see our own coverage.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Core Subject

A friend just sent me a link to the Cronulla Surf Museum's Facebook page.  It's a very popular and wholesome site that attracts a lot of viewers from Cronulla surfers of all eras.

Cronulla Surf Museum was founded and is run by an old mate of mine; Cronulla Surf photographer; Chris Stroh. Back in the '80s Chris worked alongside me on some of the World Pro ASP Tour 5-star rated events that were held in Cronulla like the Beaurepaires Open & the Straight Talk Tyres Open.

Quote from Cronulla Surf Museum blog:

"Surf entrepreneur and media main man, Steve Core this time the subject of Peter Simons
using a Nikonos camera at Garie Beach in the Royal National Park - mid '70s"

Under the guidance and direction of former ASP CEO, Cronulla resident, Graham 'Syd' Cassidy, Chris worked on the contest's beach admin - while I used to do the live beach commentary with former pro-surfer Mark Warren filling the role as my co-commentator. 

Ex-Cronulla surf photographer, Peter Simons [left]
chats with surfing journalist Nick Carroll at 
Bells Beach in 1980. Photo: Peter 'Joli' Wilson
The photo of me [above] surfing on a Peter Townend shaped Gordon & Smith board - was taken by another old friend and ex-Cronulla surfer & photographer, Peter Simons - who moved from the city to the peace of the bush surf country over 20 years ago. 

Peter lives and surfs in the small NSW South Coastal township at Milton [Ulladulla].

Many of Peter's great historic surf related photos of Cronulla regularly turn up on the Cronulla Surf Museum blog.

I like the Cronulla Surf Museum Blog and Facebook sites because they are free from political messages, that is to say they have no persuasive content and hold no ideology. They have a straightforwardness that is honest. Chris's peculiar mix of surf voyeurism and tracing Cronulla history through a melting pot of thematically related images are its hook.

To check the continually unfolding Cronulla surfing history on the exceptional Cronulla Surf Museum Facebook page click here


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