WA surf pioneer Brian Cole toured the East Coast of OZ from 1959-61.
Earlier this year Brian documented his surf travels in White Horses Magazine Issue 12 – Life of Brian.
This is an extract of Brian’s article in White Horses Magazine plus some additional holiday snaps.
‘Word of mouth’ stories of well-shaped point surf on the East Coast had filtered back to WA (there were no OZ surf mags back then) so in 1959, I followed my dream and hitched a ride on a semi-trailer to Sydney.
I surfed & worked in Bondi, purchased a balsa pig board from Wallace Surfboards and headed off to Queensland in a Hillman Minx sedan with a WA guy. My surf board was too big to fit on the car and I had to fly it to Coolangatta. When I arrived I told the local Surf Club I was a clubbie and they let us stay there free. I surfed good waves at Greenmount for 3 months and met Bondi surfer Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan.
Then I headed back to Sydney & moved in with other WA surfing guys at Queenscliff. There were many great parties and a lot of shenanigans took place. I took over a milk run in Manly where some of the local Grems used to borrow the milk truck to carry their boards to the beach. When this happened I had to recover it from the beach front early in the morning. Back then, there was only a small group of surfers who surfed through winter on Sydney’s north shore. While there I met big wave rider Bob Pike, surf promoter Bob Evans and other surfing pioneers. Bob Pike & I (and others) did a modelling job for Flair fashion magazine. A bunch of us guys witnessed Freshwater surfer Dave Jackman tackle huge waves at the Queenscliff Bombora for the first time on a surfboard. Joe Larkin (board maker and beach inspector) was there taking photos.
At the end of 1961, I returned to Perth with WA surfer Laurie Burke. We drove straight to Yallingup in the South West. On arrival we had a beer with Bill Copley the proprietor of Caves House Hotel and he offered me a job. I was a barman at the pub for 3 months and surfed Yallingup on my own mid-week while waiting for mates to drive down from Perth on weekends.
In 1962 Barry ‘Joe’ King and I started King and Cole Surfboards in Wembley. We purchased blanks from Bennett Surfboards and were the first to produce foam surfboards in WA.
Brian’s East Coast holiday snaps.
Photo: 1959 Qld Coolangatta. Brian Cole with his Wallace balsa pig board. Photo credit Brian Cole.
Photo: 1960 NSW North Narrabeen. WA boys with a 1934 straight 1939 Chevy sedan. L-R Speedy, Bernie Huddle, Arty Taylor, Phil Mostyn & Cocko Killen. Photo credit Brian Cole.
Photo: 1961 NSW North Steyne. L-R John Sprigs & Brian Cole surfing. Photo courtesy of surf photographer Ron Perrott (NSW).
Photo: 1961 NSW North Narrabeen. L-R Brian Cole & big wave rider Bob Pike modelling for Flair Magazine. Image courtesy of Flair Magazine & Brian Cole.
Photos: 1961 NSW Dave Jackman surfing Queenscliff Bombora on a surfboard for the first time. Photos courtesy of surfboard manufacturer Joe Larkin (NSW).
Photo: 1961 NSW Queenscliff. Surfers enjoying Xmas Day keg on the beach. Surfers include Bernie Huddle, Bob Pike, Joe Larkins & others. Photo Brian Cole.
Photo: 1961 NSW Dee Why Point ‘mayhem’. Brian Cole is on the right. Photo courtesy of surf photographer Ron Perrott (NSW).
Photo: 1961 NSW Brian Cole & mates heading towards a surf break inside Sydney Harbour in a 1934 Studebaker sedan. Photo credit Brian Cole.