There was a strong Board Club culture in WA in the 60s. You had to be a member of a Board Club and be affiliated with the West Australian Surf Rider Association (WASRA formed 1964) to compete in State Surf Riding Championships.
1960s Board Clubs (This list may be incomplete).
Sand n Sea
Surfers United (Albany)
Editor’s note: From 1953-57 Ray Geary and his surfing mates were members of the City Beach Board Club. It may be WA’s first board club and was the fore runner to the City Beach Surf Riders Club formed in 1961.
Images: 1976 Arty Sherburn’s WASRA membership card. Images courtesy of Arty Sherburn.
Regular intra & inter club competitions provided the platform for surfers to compete and gain contest experience and rise to National & International levels, if talented enough. WA’s Ian Cairns was invited to compete in the 1970 World Surfing Titles held at Bells & Johanna beaches in Vic.
Rivalry between the Clubs was fierce in surfing competitions and social footy matches.
Successful clubs held fund raising social functions and were sponsored by local surfboard manufacturers and business organisations. They provided members with Club outfits (parkas, board shorts, t-shirts) and membership cards.
Warrain Board Club in conjunctions with media sponsors held an annual Paddle Through Perth board paddling race.
Images: 1965-69 Paddle through Perth images. Images courtesy of Len Dibben & surf journo Doug White & The Sunday Times.
Top: (Left) 1965 Paddle race contestants leaving Barrack St jetty. (Right) 1969 Doug White’s Wavelets report on ’69 paddle race.
Bottom: (Left) 1968 Paddle race contestants passing under Narrows Bridge & heading to Crawley Bay. (Right) 1968 Surfboard Manufacturer Len Dibben presenting 3rd place award to Kim ‘Dish’ Standish with Don McDonald in background.
Most of the clubs were located in the metro area, however there were country clubs at Albany, Bunbury & Yallingup.
Some metro board clubs had the foresight to acquire Club shacks in the SW. West Coast,
Yallingup & Dolphins board clubs had club shacks at Caves House Yallingup.
Photo: 1962 West Coast Board Club shack with Laurie Burke’s FB Holden & the Ghost’s Holden panel van out front. Photo courtesy of Brian Cole.
Photos: 1964 Board club shacks at Yallingup. Photos courtesy of Ernie Potter.
(Left) Dolphins shack. (Right) Yallingup & West Coast club shacks.
North End, Southern Surf Riders & Southside board clubs had club shacks at Prevelly Park Margaret River.
Photos: Margaret River board shacks. Photos courtesy of Bill Mitchell & Murray Smith
(Left) 1964 Southside shack foundations. (Right) 1967 North End shack.
Within the Club environment there were also Surf Teams sponsored by Surfboard Manufacturers. While sponsored Surf Teams were recognised, the individuals still competed for their Club in State Rounds.
Photo: 1965 Len Dibben Surf Team at Leighton Beach. Photo courtesy of Len Dibben.
L-R Rod Slater, Dave Richards, Jeff Jowlett, Steve Farbus, Teena Christon, Peter Stephens, Art Sherburn & Doug White.
CLUB HISTORY (in alphabetical order)
City Beach Board Club 1953-57.
In 1953 Ray Geary (age 16) from Wembley started the City Beach Board Club with Graham Killen, Johnny Budge, Brian Cole and some keen surfing mates. Ray and the boys were former members of City Beach Surf Club. The owner of City Beach Tea Rooms gave the Club approval to dig out sand below the Tea Rooms and make an enclosure for Club meetings & surf board storage. The Club had no President or Treasurer and did not hold surf competitions. Club members just surfed and had fun. Club members paid one-pound per year to cover costs of padlocks & chains etc on the enclosure. Ray was a sign writer and printed City Beach Board Club logos on t-shirts & trench coats for members.
The club folded in 1957 when club members started travelling to SW & NW waves.
Photos: 1954 Beach display article and Ray Geary, John Budge & other CBBC boys at City Beach. Images courtesy of Mandurah News, Ray Geary & John Budge.
City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc. since 1961
City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc.(CBSR) was formed in 1961 by Peter Docherty & Viv Kitson (18 year old students ex Floreat). CBSR’s Barry King (Juniors) and Zac Kochanowitsch (Mens were WA’s first State Champions in ’64. In the late 60s Whisky-a-Go Go nightclub sponsored CBSR. The club is still operating today.
Images: CBSR memorabilia courtesy of Ron Moss & King family.
(Left) 2000 CBSR life membership Ron Moss.
(Middle) 1967-68 Bruce King with club memorabilia & FJ Holden sponsored by Whisky-a-Go Go night club.
(Right) Mid 1960s CBSR membership card & Competition Team sew-on badge & 1967-68 CBSR Club Calendar.
Cottesloe Board Club
Dalkeith surfer Peter Dyson was a junior member of the Cottesloe Board club in the early 60s before he defected to the Yallingup Board Club in 1966.
Peter de Bruin – In 1969-70 Cottesloe board club was re-formed by a breakaway group who were former members of Tarni Board club. The first meetings were held at the Quakenbush household (Earl and Guy). I was the first president of the newly formed club.
Dolphins Surf Riders Club
Photos: 1960s Dolphins Surf Riders Club emblem & signed t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Jim McFarlane.
Surfari Board Club 1963-66
Surfaris were set up as a purely social like-minded group of Cottesloe surfers in 1963 before folding and dissipating into separate ways in 1966.
Surfari members included Noel Sweeny, John Ventouras, Bill Oddy, John Balgarnie, Ray O’Neil, Trevor Baskerville, Russ Chapman, Trevor Orr, Graeme Copley, Barry Cain, John Pozzi & Michael Bibby.
Noel Sweeny – It was great times for us all. John Ventouras, Trevor Baskerville, Russell Chapman, Bill Oddy & I still get together once or twice a year over coffees and loads of bullshit at Lido in Cottesloe.
Miami Surf Board Club
Photos: 1965 State & Club Womens Champ Teena Christon with her trophies and Tom Collin’s 2nd Club Mens Champs trophy.
Mid-Way Board Club
Photos: 1964-65 Mid Way Board Club’s Arty Sherburn with his Dibben & Cole surfboard & home-made Mid Way Board Club wettie. Photos courtesy of Arty Sherburn.
North Coast Surf Riders Club
North Coast Surf Riders Club was formed by ex Scarborough surfers Robin Sutherland, Greg Laurenson and Mike Wynne in 1969.
Errol Considine – My brother Jeff was the first President of the Club… and he designed the first club logo & cut the silk screen at home for the t-shirts – which were chocolate brown with an orange logo….both very cool colours then. I think Jeff & Gooselegs came up with the ‘69’ thing – naughty boyz!
I remember one North Coast Club comp on a Sunday at Halls Head with perfect 1-2 foot long left handers….it was a big swell and Southerly wind…and bloody freezing – that was before they built the groynes at the nearby mouth of the Mandurah estuary….have never seen waves at Halls Head again!!– Place getters Mike Wynne 1st and Bob Monkman 2nd.
Russell Quinliven, from Scarborough was a Junior member….I remember the boys got Russell (who was about 12 or 13, or maybe 14) really drunk at a club Sunday arvo keg….we took him home to Scarborough in Jeff’s Mini and kicked him out near Luna Park and I vividly remember him.
Photos: 2015 the late Russell Quinlivan modelling the North Coast ‘69’ t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Peta Quinlivan.
Tarni Board Club
Tarni and City Beach board clubs held regular inter-club surfing comps and an annual footy match at Yanchep Oval.
Images: Howard Smith images courtesy of Sunday Times surf journo Doug White and Howard Smith.
(Left) 1969 Howard Smith elected President of Tarni Board Club. (Right) 2011 former Tarni President Howard Smith holidaying in Maldives with Ken Howie on the right.
West Girls Board Club
In 1963 Cottesloe surfers Tina Daly, Jeanne Abbott & Stefanie Meyers were members of the West Girls Board Club. This was WA’s first all girl’s board club.
Images: 1960s West Girls Board Club members. Left: Stefanie Meyers, Right: (Top) Jeanne Abbott (Bottom) West Girls & others at 1964 (first) State Titles held at Yalls. Images courtesy of Jeanne Abbott & WA Newspapers.
Yallingup Board Club
Yallingup Board Club (YBC) was formed in the early 60’s by a group of mainly Cottesloe based surfers. Colin Cordingley was President of YBC and an inaugural member. Cordingley Surfboards sponsored Yallingup Board Club.
Photos: YBC courtesy of A Orloff Studios Fremantle, Tina Wilson, Colin Morris & Peter Bothwell.
Top: 1964 undefeated YBC Club photo & club parka.
Bottom: 1960s Colin Morris’s YBC membership card & 1966 front door step YBC shack at Yalls on demolition day.
Interest in Board Clubs started to wane during the 70s with surfers moving down south and to other region’s seeking solitude in the waves.
Coming soon 1960s WA Board Clubs Part #2 Photo Galleries