Lefthanders (or ‘Lefties’) surf break south of Grace town has been surfed since the early 70s. State Titles and rounds of the National Titles have been held at the break.
There is some debate about who was the first to surf the break. WASRA credits Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell & Peter Dyson but Bob Monkman, Peter Mac, Micko Gracie & Bruce King also lay claims to being the first.
Murray Smith – I remember in the mid 60s we were surfing Big Rock and Scarborough’s John Bartle walked up to Lefthanders and reported the break’s potential.
Living on the Beach
Lefthanders beach had some inhabitants in the early 70s. In 73’ Pat Bloomer and his American mates lived in a timber shack built on the beach and Frank ‘Little Big Eyes’ McVeigh lived in a beach cave for a whole summer. Both residences were located south of Lefthanders.
Beach Parking Facilities
In the early days, surfers walked along the beach from an old dirt car park located near the site of existing car park & amenities. Then in the early 1970s fisherman and/or surfers pushed through a sand track along the coastal sand dunes to Lefthanders. This dirt track and it’s rocky car park was closed by Dept of Conservation & Environment (DEC) in the late 70s for environmental reasons.
Bill Gibson – I used to drive up to the break in my old Falcon. Sometime I would continue onto Ellenbrook. I wasn’t happy when DEC closed the dirt track to Lefties.
Murray Smith – In the 70s I used to drive right up to the break in my VW Beetle.
Pat Bloomer – Although the dirt track was primarily for 4wd, I used to drive my Kombi Camper up to Lefthanders.
Bruce King – Sometimes we would drive to Lefties along the dirt track from Ellenbrook in Micko’s VW Beetle.
Today’s bitumen road & car park with toilets located north of near Lefthanders were built in the mid 70s. Surfers walk approx. 700 metres along the beach past a series of popular reef breaks to reach the waves at Lefties.
Photo: 1973 Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston and vehicle at former dirt car park located behind Lefthanders. Photo credit Ric Chan.
Photos: 1975 Lefthanders car parks. Ric Chan pics.
(Left) Original car park located north of surf break near Gracetown. (Right) Former dirt car park located behind Lefthanders line-up.
Photos: 1975 Lefthanders wave line-ups. Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1973-75 topless beach girls at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pics
Photos: 1973-76 Beach people at Lefthanders. Surfing Craig Bettenay top right and Chris Reynolds bottom left. Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1975-79 Surfing at Lefthanders. (Top) Steve Hannett & Bruce Smith. (Bottom) Unidentified surfers. Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1976-77 spectator & surfing at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pics.
Top Right: Surfing Tony Hardy, other surfers unidentified.
Photos: 1978 Aust Surfing Titles held at Lefthanders. Vehicles are parked in former dirt car park located behind the surf break. Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1980s Surfing at Lefthanders. (Top) 1980 Chris Fullston. (Bottom) 1981 Dave Macaulay. Ric Chan pics.