Update 6 Nov 2016:
Correction: Phil Usher & Nev Hyman and maybe Paul Rogers started Odyssey 75/76. See Phil Usher’s comments below:-
Phil Usher It was so long ago I can hardly remember so no wonder the stories get mixed up.
Nev Hyman started making boards when we were at school. I think Nev began in his garage and then teamed up with Paul Rogers and made boards at Paul’s house. Nev and I were mates at school. Nev invited me to join him and Paul to make boards once we finished school.
Nev and I and maybe Paul opened Odyssey on Cnr Newcastle and Loftus St in 1975 I think, maybe 76.
Paul exited either just before or after we opened. Nev and I then powered on. A few years later I bought Nev out. (He wanted to head east). Nev called me from Qld and said I had to go there. I did and we partnered up again. Gus Simpson and Bruce Smith bought Odyssey off me when I decided Qld was exactly what Nev said…the land of milk and honey….at the time.
This is the “pretty” correct short version.
In 1973 talented surfboard craftsmen Nev Hyman, Bruce Smith and Phil Usher set up Odyssey Surfboards in West Perth. The factory was located on the corner of Loftus & Newcastle streets.
Odyssey Surfboards sponsored a surf team to help progress new ideas and promote retail outlets in Perth & Fremantle.
Image: 1976 Odyssey Surfboards advertisement courtesy of WASRA Program & Odyssey Surfboards.
Nev left Odyssey to Phil & Bruce and drove over east and started making surfboards on the Gold Coast in the late 70s. These days Nev is recognised as one of the most innovative surfboard designers in the modern era.
Photo: 2012 Yallingup Small Fries Comp. L-R Nev Hyman, Taj Burrow & Mark Paterson. Photo courtesy of Loz Smith.
Photos: 1978 Odyssey Surfboard courtesy of Grant Mooney vintage surfboard collection.
Photo: 1980 Bruce Smith shaping at Odyssey Surfboards. Photo credit Ric Chan.
Photos: 1980 Bruce Smith surfing on an Odyssey Surfboard in Spring Titles held at Scarborough. Ric Chan photos.
John ‘Gus’ Simpson purchased Odyssey Surfboards in the early 80s and created the Odyssey Pro Am surfing competition.
Photo: 1980s Odyssey Surfboards factory in West Perth. L-R Gus Simpson & Bruce Smith. Photo credit Ric Chan.
Gus Simpson served as WASRA President 1981-82. He used his entrepreneurial skills to develop WASRA and Pro Am competitions.
Photo: 1980s Gus Simpson at Odyssey Surfboards. Photo credit Ric Chan.
For more information on Odyssey Surfboards and its personnel refer to Surfing WA Celebrating 50 Years book published by Margaret River Press in 2014.