In the late 60s & 70s West Coast Surfboards in Fitzgerald St West Perth was run by surfboard craftsman Bob Gairdner and partners Mick Dalziel & Eddie Warner.
West Coast Surfboards attracted a stable of fine surfers in Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell (dual State Open Champion), Ian Cairns (dual World Champion), Barry Day (Duke Kahanamoku Trophy winner) and Craig Howe (NW surfing pioneer).
Photo: 1973 West Coast Surfboards showrooms in West Perth. Photographer unknown.
Photos: Vintage West Coast Surfboards (Left) 1969 surfboard logo & (Right) 1970 single fin surfboard. Photos courtesy of Phil Woods Collection.
Bob Gairdner shaped all of ‘Spook’ Bothwell’s West Coast surfboards.
’Spook’ Bothwell: “My introduction to Bob Gairdner was through David Beamish with whom I was friendly with. It was after I won the 68 State Title on my John Arnold which Malcolm Loch organised for me, that Beamish introduced me. Bob made me a board to ride in the Australian Titles, in Sydney. The board was based on Midget’s pintail which I rode when he was at Yallingup in 68.
Bob Gairdner made every board I rode for years. Terry Jacks also rode them. Mick Dalziel who was an original Southern Surfrider was also a partner and an influential design collaborator.
Other surfers who surfed the Coasters were Al Fixter, Neil Peacock and Dave Plaisted to name a few.
The thing about Bob was he was interested in the process, the surfers themselves, surfboard design and everyone respected him for it.
Northbridge was a different place back then”.
Photo: 1972 ‘Spook’ Bothwell surfing a West Coast side slipper shaped by Bob Gairdner at the back of Cowaramup Bay in the SW. Photo credit Ric Chan.
West Coast’s surfboard construction team was comprised of master shaper Bob Gairdner, Eddie Warner (Cottesloe) glasser/sander. In 1972 Barry Day (City Beach) glassed, sanded & polished boards. State Surfing Champion Ian Cairns (Cottesloe) also shaped some boards for West Coast in the 70s.
Barry Day: “In 72 Ian Cairns shaped me a slide slipper surfboard based on his own blue coloured Midget Farrelly slide slipping surfboard. It was a wonderful board and we had a lot of fun together“
Photo: 1972 Barry Day at Yallingup with his Ian Cairn’s shaped slide slipper board with platypus nose and red colour design. Rod Slater is crouching next to Barry. Photo credit Ric Chan.
Barry Day rode an Ian Cairn’s shaped West Coast Surfboards 6’2” area rounded pin with twin fins when he won the Duke Kahanamoku Trophy at the 1972 Australian Titles held on NSW beaches.
Photo: 1972 Barry Day’s Duke Kahanamoku trophy back home at Yalls. Photo credit Bruce King.
Photo: 1973 surfer Craig Howe & Bob Gairdner inside the West Coast factory. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.
Ian Cairns rode a West Coast Surfboard to victory in the 73 Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships (de facto professional World Championship) held at Laniakea in Hawaii.
Barry Day: “Either Bob or Ian shaped Ian’s blood red coloured board and I glassed and sanded it”.
In 1974 Ian Cairns shaped Barry Day a 6’8” x 19.5” single fin swallow tail board at West Coast Surfboards.
Barry Day: “I made the fin, glassed, sanded, gloss coated, polished and then waxed & surfed the board”.
Photos: 1974 Barry’s West Coast swallow tail surfboard shaped by Kanga. Photos courtesy of Jim King.
Image: 1974 Barry Day footballer/surfer working at West Coast Surfboards. Image courtesy of The Daily News.
Photo: 2010 Old boys reunion at Marybrook function. L-R Loz Smith, Barry Day & Bob Gairdner. Photo courtesy of Loz Smith.