1960s surf photographer Greg Woodward’s recently interviewed veteran surfer Jim King and asked about his recollections of Trigg Point.
Greg – My memories of Trigg point are fuzzy at best, but I do recollect it was where I took my first surf photos in 1966 [out of focus]. Where I learnt to surf on a leaky missile made of plywood, where I got bogged in the “car park‘’. Where I saw fisherman sitting atop metal tripods on the reef and casting into the surf for their supper.—and in the winter saw big close out swells beating effortlessly upon the beach south of the point.
However, someone who has very good recall and local knowledge of Trigg is Surfing Down South’s own Blog master Mr Jim King. Jim surfed Trigg in the 60s and 70s and had these answers to my questions about the golden years on Perth beaches.
Photo: 2017 Jim King rigged up for winter in the South West. Ric Chan pic.
Greg’s interview with Jim King follows:-
When did you first surf Trigg?
Jim – In the mid 1960s. It was a long drive thru the burbs from Scarborough to Trigg point on an old inland road.
Did you have a car then and what type?
Jim – I owned a two door Ford Anglia. I don’t remember what year, but do remember it was narrow and unstable….and used to spin out on the City Beach traffic roundabout on wet days (-:
Photo: 1967 Jim’s Ford Anglia with Cordingley V Bottom surfboard on the roof. Jim King pic.
What sort of surfboard were you riding?
Jim – My Cordingley V bottom board with twin nose riding concaves was a passing fad and wasn’t easy to ride. I much prefer flat / concave bottom surfboards because they go faster and work for me.
Photo: 1968 Jim King bottom turn on V-Bottom board at Trigg. Greg Woodward pic
This image appeared in Greg Woodward’s WA Surf designs article in ‘Surf International’ Magazine (USA) in 1968.
What sort of wave was at Trigg then?
Jim – It was a point break with sand covered reef from January to April each year.
Could you talk a bit more about how the sand moves around the city beaches?
Jim – Nature moves the sand on our beaches. Sometimes groynes and other man-made structures stuff things up. The sand at Trigg Point gets gouged out at the end of summer by north winds and returns the next summer with the return of the afternoon sea breezes.
So what do you think was the best onshore wind for a good swell?
Jim – As mentioned earlier, early sea breezes in early summer, set up the sand at the point. I guess the best swell would be from the west fanned by a north east offshore breeze. You see, southerly swell / winds push into the reef at Trigg Point and impact on the wave shape, whereas the west swell pushes straight into the line-up and with north east offshore winds it helps waves wrap around the reef and peel into the bay, sand banks permitting!
Was Trigg Point crowded 66-70s?
Jim – Trigg Point is the best wave in the metro area and has been crowded since the coast road from Scarborough to Trigg was built. It was busy from dawn to dusk and we used to share point waves with Trigg Island clubbies and their surfboat. It was not fun having an out of control surfboat careering towards you side-ways in 2-3ft of water. I remember throwing my board away and diving for the bottom hoping the surfboat, oars and bodies would wash over me without contact. Looking back it is amazing no one was killed out there. There has always been the odd squabble out there because of overcrowding.
Photo: 1975 Trigg Island SLSC surfboat (Alan E White) surfing waves during an Ocean Surf Shop surf contest at Trigg Point. Ric Chan pic.
What sort of wave does Trigg have now in 2017?
Jim – It’s now too crowded and the wave shape doesn’t seem to be as good. In the old days when sand banks and wind wave conditions were good, two to five foot waves peeled from the point down the beach for a 50-100 metre ride.
When was the last time you surfed at Trigg Point?
Jim – Ha! I haven’t surfed there since I moved down south permanently over a decade ago.
What was the most memorable surf day you’ve had at Trigg 66-70?
Jim – I remember catching some long fast 3-5 feet walls from the point down to the front of the Surf lifesaving club. I don’t remember any specific day, but do remember one time I was doing a side slip on the wave face and my board swung right around and with momentum I came back down the wave behind a guy behind me…..it was my only 360deg turn ever. I went straight in to the beach, because I knew I couldn’t top that! Stewart Bettenay was there and saw it happen.
I wish we had a sand point break set up like Trigg down south now!
Another memorable Trigg day was in 1970 when you won the Annual Trigg Point contest. Can you tell us about that event – did you have a strategy?
Jim– My preparation for the 6KY Trigg Point contest wasn’t copy book. I was sick in bed for the week before the comp. I had a quick paddle the day before the event but was hopeless. Then on the day, things just fell into place in the small well shaped waves.
Image: 1970 6KY Trigg Point Contest review by surf journalist Doug White. Courtesy of The Sunday Times.
Image: 1970 Jim’s brother Bruce competing in the 6KY Trigg Point contest. Courtesy of the West Australian.
Image: 1970 Scarborough’s Fred Annesley competing in 6KY Trigg Point Invitational event. Courtesy of the West Australian.
Did you have any more competition success in the 70s?
Jim – I had a successful year in 1970. In addition to winning the Trigg contest, I finished 2nd to Rick Lobe in the State Spring Titles and was a finalist in the WA State Titles at Yallingup [and reserve in the State Team]. I also did well in club competitions and was runner up to Fred Annesley in WA Surfer of the year award. Similar to Peter ‘’Spook ‘’Bothwell, I stopped surfing competitively in 1970 and then spent my spare time ‘’free –surfing’ down south.
Coming soon The dazzling Young Riders Photo Exhibition – Greg Woodward’s #3 Trigg Beach.