60s photographs

1969 Ric Chan’s East Coast and South Australian surf stories

Surf photographer Ric Chan left his home land NZ during the mid-60s and toured the East Coast of OZ in his gold VW Kombi meeting the locals and snapping surf shots.

Later Ric met up with some Crow-Eaters and spent time in South Australia before heading across the Nullarbor Plain to WA in late 1969.

Photo: 1960s Ric Chan on the road with his gold Kombi, surfboards and a dead snake in northern NSW. Ric Chan pic.

Talented NSW surfer John Henneberry travelled with Ric on many of his East Coast surf trips.

John Henneberry – While I was surfing at Narrabeen, I met Ric Chan who became a good friend and had a lot of faith in my surfing.

Ric did two articles on me in a Californian magazine called ‘International SURFING‘.

He also did articles in Oz’s ‘Surfing World’ magazine. He took me to their headquarters in the city of Sydney to see Bob Evans and his photographer Alby Falzon. Bob and Alby gave me a few of the Surfing World’s with Ric’s articles in them and I still have them somewhere.

When Ric and I were in Noosa back in the sixties, at night we would drive down Hastings Street, which was the main street. I would stand on his bull bar and when I saw a cane toad I would whomp it! Cane toads only came out at night and were only in Queensland at that time. Of course, it was the sixties! Cane toads have well and truly infiltrated down into NSW now. They were and still are an absolute menace as they kill our native wildlife.

On another surf trip I was sleeping in Ric’s Kombi when I woke up and noticed a snake in a bottle next to me. Scared the shit out of me ha!

Ric also did these amazing light shows on a big screen with music. He hired large halls where he did this.

Had a lot of fun with Ric, he’s a very talented guy.  My mum thought the world of him. 

You must understand when Ric came along I was overlooked by many of my peers and judges. But Ric had so much faith in me, then he left for Adelaide and Perth and I thought I may never see him again.

My efforts over the years to contact Ric finally found him on Facebook and I was able to reconnect with him.

Photo: 1968 Nat Young and John Henneberry at Avoca Beach at a NSW surfing contest. Ric Chan pic.

Click on this link to view the John Henneberry Story on Museumofsurf web site.

In January 1969 California’s International Surfing Magazine featured Ric’s OZ surf photos on the front cover and centrespread of their mag. They also published three of Ric’s OZ surf stories and photos in the same edition.

Budding surf/journo Ric Chan was on the road to stardom and earning a living doing what he loved best.

Note: International Surfing Magazine was later renamed Surfer Magazine and has since ceased print publication. The last issue of the magazine appeared in January 2017

Image #1. 1969 International Surfing Mag – cover featuring Wayne Lynch and friends.

Image 2: 1969 International Surfing Mag – Centrespread featuring Col Smith (North Narrabeen) surfing Green Knob mid-north coast NSW.

Ric’s published surfing stories were: –

  1. These Goofies Three.
  2. Curl Territory – A visit to McTavish’s Country Soul and some fun in considerable curls.
  3. Somewhere…Yorkes – Wayne Lynch and friends journey to the cold Yorkes Peninsula.


Story 1. These Goofies Three.

This story features three goofy footers Colin Smith (NSW), Wayne Lynch (Vic) and Lane Habib (SA).

Image 1.1 These Goofies Three.

Image 1.2 These Goofies Three.

Image 1.3 These Goofies Three.


Story 2. Curl Territory – A visit to McTavish’s Country Soul and some fun in considerable curls.

Ric based this story on his East Coast surf travels with NSW surfer John Henneberry.

Image 2.1 Curl Territory – Double page spread featuring John Henneberry surfing Burleigh Heads Qld.

Image 2.2 Curl Territory.

Image 2.3 Curl Territory.


Story 3. Somewhere…Yorkes – Wayne Lynch and friends journey to the cold Yorkes Peninsula.

This story is based on a surf trip to the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia with members of the John Arnold surf team.

Image 3.1 Somewhere…Yorkes.

Image 3.2 Somewhere…Yorkes.

Image 3.3 Somewhere…Yorkes.

Image 3.4 Somewhere…Yorkes.

Image 3.5 Somewhere…Yorkes.

Many thanks to Ric and John Henneberry for their assistance in compiling this material.

Coming soon Ric’s Memoirs of a Few Months Past story and photos featured in the March 1969 edition of International Surfing Magazine. In which our oriental correspondent from Australia scouts in and around some of the Land Down Under’s top wave spots.






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