Teena Christon from Miami (now named Falcon) near Mandurah took up surfing at age 12. She learnt to surf on a 2nd hand plywood surfboard purchased by her father from a Mandurah hardware store. Teena mastered the plywood surfboard and moved onto a new Len Dibben fibreglass surfboard at Xmas time. Her surfing improved rapidly and she became a member of the Miami Surfinks Board Club.
Teena: “In the 60s my parents built and ran the Miami store located on Falcon Bay. I left Pinjarra High School at age 15 and became a professional fisherman like my father. I fished in the Peel Inlet at Mandurah. I worked for myself and put down nets at night and collected them in the morning. That left me most of the day to surf, go water skiing & skin diving.”
Photos: 1965 Teena with her Len Dibben board at Miami Beach. Photos courtesy Teena Christon.
In 64 Teena competed in WA’s first State Women’s Titles at age 14 and came third. She went on to win the next three Women’s surfing Titles and represent WA at three National surfing Titles.
State Womens Surfing Titles.
1964 Womens 3rd. Teena (Miami Surfinks) finished 3rd behind Jenny Shackley (Scarborough) in WA’s first Women’s Surfing Titles held at Cowaramup Bay (Huzza surf break). Jenny is John Shackley’s wife & Jamie Doig’s sister.
1965 Womens 1st. Teena (Miami Surfinks) defeated Jenny Shackley (Scarborough) & Stephanie Meyers (West Girls) at Yallingup.
1966 Womens 1st. Teena (Scarborough Boomerang Club) defeated Maureen Farrell (Yallingup) at Cowaramup Bay.
1967 Womens 1st. Teena (Scarborough Boomerang Club) defeated Jenny Shackley (Scarborough) & Maureen Farrell (Yallingup) at Yallingup.
Photo: 1965 Teena surfing to victory in WA’s Women’s Surfboard Championships held at Yallingup. Photo credit Len Dibben.
WA State Surfing Teams.
1965 Womens National Surfing Titles held at Manly in NSW.
1966 Womens National Surfing Titles held at Coolangatta in Queensland.
1967 Womens National Surfing Titles held at Bells Beach in Victoria.
Teena: “Ampol Petroleum sponsored WA Women’s Surfing titles from 1964 to 67. In 64 Ampol paid for the girls to stay at Caves House Yallingup with my mother as chaperon. In 65 & 66 Ampol paid for my mother to fly over east and chaperone the WA Women’s surf team. Ampol paid for everything.
At the 67 National contest at Bells, WA judge Doug White (surf journalist Sunday Times) told me he knew I had won my heat but he put me 2nd because he didn’t want to appear biased. I won the heat anyway based on the other judges’ scores. The semi-final was then called off as it was too windy at Bells. Later one of the guys told me it was on again at Torquay, so I raced to Torquay but was too late and missed the semi by 15 mins. I was not a happy girl!”
Teena was the first and may be the only female surfer to win three consecutive State Women’s Surfing Titles in WA.
Yallingup Board Club’s Carl Schumaker also won three consecutive State Junior Titles in the same years as Teena (1965-67).
In April 1965 Woman’s Day magazine featured an article on the Miami schoolgirl titled ‘Top of her Class’.
Image: 1965 Teena’s magazine article courtesy of Woman’s Day magazine.
By 1965 surfboard manufacturer Len Dibben was sponsoring Teena and she was surfing for the Len Dibben Surf Team.
Photo: 1965 Len Dibben Surf Team L-R Rod Slater, Dave Richards, Jeff Jowlett, Steve Farbus, Teena Christon, Peter Stephens, Art Sherburn & Doug White. Photo credit Len Dibben.
Photos: 1965 Teena with surfing contest trophies and her Len Dibben surfboard at Leighton Beach. Photos courtesy Teena Christon
Teena: “I practiced surfing mainly in winter because local beaches were always crowded on good summer days. I found winter surf near Geary’s shack at Miami as good as the best elsewhere. My only concession to the cold was a wet suit jacket, the top half of a skin divers suit.
When the Miami Surfinks Board Club disbanded in 66, I joined the Scarborough Boomerang Board Club”
In 1966 the local Mandurah Newspaper featured an article titled ‘Teena Tops the Fem’s’.
Image: 1966 Teena’s media article courtesy of Mandurah Newspaper.
In 1967 Teena (age 17) gave up competitive surfing soon after winning her 3rd State Women’s Surfing Title. She moved to Exmouth and worked as a civilian on the US Navy base. She joined her father George who worked for Kailis Fisheries in Exmouth at the time.
In 1972 Teena travelled overseas and spent a year in Africa. She surfed Jeffries Bay. In 1973 she spent a year driving a Kombi overland to England via India.
After the overseas trip she moved to Vic and surfed Bells Beach. In 1979 Teena joined the WA Public Service and worked as a Finance Officer for 23 years until retirement in 2002 at age 54.
Photos: 1970s Teena’s overseas travel pics. Photos courtesy of Teena Christon.
Top: (Left) 1973 Johannesburg South Africa. L-R Sue Sims (Mandurah), Teena & Helen Loder (Vic). (Right) 1973 Paris France Teena.
Bottom: (Left) 1973 Afghanistan heading into a mosque L-R Helen Loder, Sue Sims & Teena. (Right) 1974 Perth Scotland Teena.
In 2004 Surfing WA celebrated its 40th Anniversary at AQWA in Hillarys. Teena was invited to officially cut the Anniversary cake with WA politician John Quigley. There was an image of Teena and her surfboard on top of the cake.
2004 Surfing WA Anniversary function photos: (Left) Teena cutting the 40th Year birthday cake with politician John Quigley. (Right) Len Dibben, Teena & Murray Smith. Photo credits Loz Smith.
In 2004 The West Magazine ran an article titled ‘Swell Times 40 Years of Surfing in WA’. The article featured photos of Teena and other well-known WA surfing identities .
Cover Photo: 2004 L-R Teena Christon, Murray Smith, Len Dibben, Mick Marlin and Gary Vaughan. Photo courtesy of WA Newspapers.
Teena lives in Halls Head near Mandurah. Her mother still lives in Falcon two doors down from WA surf pioneer Ray Geary.