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Tom’s surf break by Mike Wynne

In the 60’s North Beach brothers Greg & Michael ‘Spike’ Wynne were talented surfers on Perth’s northern beaches. They attended Scarborough High School.

Michael (formerly Scarborough Board Club) was an inaugural member of the North Coast Board Club formed in 1969.

Older brother Greg was not a member of any board club. Greg took off in his Kombi in 1965 for 11 months with Michael Byrom and Michael Reynolds on a trip around Australia. They surfed NSW, Crescent Heads, Surfers, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and ended up in Noosa and stayed there for 4 months. Click on this link to view other SDS Blogs on Greg Wynne.

Photo: 1965 Greg & Mike Wynne outside their parent’s house in Beachton St North Beach. The boys are standing in front of Greg’s blue combi van with their new Cordingley surfboards. Photo courtesy of Wynne family.

1965 Wynne Bros Greg & Mike 17 Brighton St North Beach. IMG_0002

Tom’s surf break by Mike Wynne.

Tom’s is a right & left hand reef break at North Beach. It can produce punchy waves in solid swells and has a band of regular surfers.

Tom’s surf spot was named after Tom Wardle who started ‘Tom the Cheap’ supermarket chain back in the 60’s. Tom had a supermarket on the corner of North Beach Rd and West Coast Hwy – hence the surf break out the front was named Tom’s.

Photo: 2005 Tom’s surf break at North Beach. Jim King pic.

2005 Toms North Beach 030 J King

I must have had one of the first toothpick short board ever! My uncle Dave made it for me in 1961 when I was age 12. It was 6’6” long, marine ply frame, varnished, round nose with a drain bung and pointed (toothpick) tail. I fell off shooting the reef at Hamersley Pool near Tom’s at North Beach. The nose of board hit my top lip, split it wide open and scarred me for life – hence my moustache these days.

Photo: 2005 Tom’s surf break at North Beach. Jim King pic.

2005 Toms surf break North Beach 018 - J King pic

Tom’s has a reef about 300m out with a hole in it and used to be full of crays in the 50’s & 60’s. Depth about 45’. My brother Greg free dived on it for crays. I used to wait above on our 12’ marine ply surf ski and one day he was down for over 3 minutes. His mates were there as well, but nobody knew Greg was stuck in the hole in the reef and had lost his snorkel and goggles while trying to back out of the hole. Eventually he came flying out of the water right alongside the ski with blood pouring out of his ears. He has burst an ear drum and was down way too long. He was exhausted and rested before diving again.

Later Greg, Max Willey and Richard White shot this big ray about 5’ across with bazooka spear guns. Toms is known for sting rays all year round. Greg comes up alongside me and says “here take this spear gun and don’t let go. You hear me?” I said yep, just thinking I was minding it for him – little did I know what was about to happen, but Greg did! Next I was being towed out to sea, by myself. I finished up at Waterman’s Bay with Greg and his mates taking the sting ray off me on the beach.

All the girls flocked around and thought the boys were marvellous and brave. No one gave a shit about me! I was just little brother doing my bit….

Photo: 2005 Tom’s surf break at North Beach. Jim King pic.

2005 Toms Nth Bch 007 J King

I still go surfing at Tom’s even today. There are a lot of regulars who are always there and love the break. For some obscure reason it picks up swell when no other spot does, sometimes including Trigg Point. That is also when we get the TP “hotties” out at Tom’s trying to rule the break…..it doesn’t last long! I recently caught Toms on a perfect day and conditions and surfed for 3.5 hours, it was a great day with all good guys out sharing waves and no one trying to have more than their share, except for perhaps Oscar. I was really tired when I got out of the water.

It is a bugger of a place to get in and out of the surf as the rocks are very sharp and if you slipped over, the rocks could cause some serious damage to the old body. For that reason, it does not get too crowded in my opinion. There are quite a few guys now surfing it to the south, closer to Hamersley Pool where I split my lip open. There is a quick short right hander that has a small opening in the reef, then the reef comes right back at you!

The main left hander break has rocks like poles sticking up, bunched closely together. At low tide, that becomes seriously dangerous if you blow your take off. I recall once doing exactly that and in a split second I had to find a place to bail out and I only just made it. Not a good safe spot to surf on low tides.

BONUS IMAGE

The following Cordingley Surfboards advertisement appeared in West Coast Surfer Magazine in the early 80s. It features Cordingley Surf Team member & WA Junior Champion Damon Eastaugh and was photographed on location at Tom’s surf break, North Beach. Photographer unknown.

1980s West Coast Surfer Mag Damon Eastaugh at Toms (28a)

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