1950s Surf Mobiles

WA surf pioneers had a fine array of surf mobiles in the 50s. They travelled with their large wooden boards to metro & south west surf destinations in their motorised chariots.

Photo: 1955 Ray Geary’s Essex ‘Super Six’ at Wembley with plywood wave ski tied on the roof. L-R Mark Whittome, Barry ‘Stretch’ Gallon & Ray Geary. Photo courtesy of Ray Geary.

1955 Wembley Essex 'Super six' Mark Whittome,Barry Gallon,Ray Geary

In 1956 Ray Geary (19) and three young Wembley lads Neil Chapple (17), Colin Taylor (17) & Rob Wakefield (18) spent 5 weeks (and £49) making a 24ft plywood four man wave ski.

Refer to Surfing Down Surf book for images of the four man wave ski and other old automobiles.

Photo: 1956 Ray with his Sign Writing work ute & homemade 4 man wave ski on roof rack.
Photo courtesy of Ray Geary.

1956 R Geary work ute picking up 4 man ski - Ray Geary1

Photo: 1956 Rob Wakefield’s Holden ute at City Beach with homemade 4 man wave ski on roof rack. L-R Colin Taylor, Neil Chapple, Ray Geary & Rob Wakefield. Neil & Rob are wearing City Beach Board Club parka’s designed & printed by sign writer Ray Geary. Photo courtesy of Ray Geary.

1956 City Beach 4 man ski on Ray's Holden ute C Taylor, N Chapple, R Geary, Rob Wakefield - Ray Geary1

Photo: 1956 John Budge’s Morris minor & surfboards in Yallingup car park (outside Surfside tea rooms). John Budge pic

1956 Yalls car park outside tea rooms J Budge's Morris minor & boards - John Budge pic img358

Photo: 1957 Owen Oate’s Holden FX ute, Brian Cole’s Morris Minor & Laurie Burke’s Mayflower at City Beach. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1957 City Beach Owen Oates Holden FX ute, Brian Cole Morris Minor & Laurie Burke Mayflower - Brian Cole pic

Photo: 1957 Ian Scott’s Austin A40 at City Beach. L-R Ian Scott & Brian Cole with hollow ply surfboards (Brian’s 10ft Malibu & Ian’s 14ft Toothpick) & WW2 flying suit on the car roof. Photo credit John Budge.

1957 City Beach Ian Scott & Brian Cole with Austin A40, hollow ply surfboards (Brian 10ft Malibu & Ian 14ft Toothpick) & WW2 flying suit - JB pic img586

Photo: 1957 City Beach crew including Brian Cole (2nd from right) heading to Cable Station for a surf in a Morris 10 . Photo credit Brian Cole.

1957 City Beach Brian Cole & crew Morris 10 heading to Cable Stn - Brian Cole pic

Photo: 1958 City Beach Board Club members with an assortment of autos on a day trip to Avalon Point. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Avalon Point Brian Cole & City Beach crew - Brian Cole pic




1960-80s Eye Candy

Surfing became an acceptable trendy pastime during the 60s. All types of Commerce were using surfers to promote their products. Photos of surfers featured in Fashion & Surf Mags and News media advertisements/promotions.

Some WA surfers were lucky enough to exploit their good looks on the meat market and supplement their meagre incomes through fashion photo-shoots and by strutting their stuff on the catwalk.

Photos: Flashback to the 60s. Photos courtesy of Brian Cole, Gayle Franks and Greg Woodwood.

(Left) 1961 Brian Cole & legendary big wave surfer Bob Pike modelling for Flair Magazine at North Narrabeen NSW. (Middle) Gayle ‘Copper’ Franks modelling on City Beach for ‘Broken Glass on the Beach’ campaign. (Right) Surf Magazine photo shoot featuring Eleanor Proud.

1960s models, Brian Cole, Gayle Franks, Eleanor Proud collage_photocat

During the 70s WA surf industry pioneer Len Dibben ran his own Surfboard manufacturing business and did modelling on the side initially to promote his surfboard business. Len also got WA champion board paddler/surfer Dave Ellis and some of his Warrain Board Club mates to join him modelling on the catwalk. Click on this link for more details of Len Dibben’s modelling career.

In 1972 photographer journalist Ric Chan did a fashion photo shoot with Len Dibben in the SW .

Photos: 1972 SW fashion photo shoot. (Left) Injidup Point surf wear photo shoot. (Right) Gracetown car park. Len modelling the latest head wear from Walsh’s Men’s Wear in Perth city. Photo credits Ric Chan.

1972 SW photo shoot Len Dibben collage_photocat

In 1973 Bruce King from Subiaco was holidaying in London with his WA surfing mates Bob Monkman, Micko Gracie & Peter McDonald. While there Bruce was employed to tour major cities in England & Wales promoting Viking Model Sewing Machines for Husqvarna Ltd.

Photos: 1973 Modelling Viking outfits in London. (Left) Igor (Vic) and Bruce King (WA). (Right) Bruce King decked out in viking apparel. Photos courtesy of Bruce King

1973 Bruce King LOndon Viking Sewing Machine photoshoot 3 collage_photocat

In the 70s photo journalist Ric Chan did a photo shoot for a jewellery advertisement in Perth. It featured Yallingup surfer Peter McDonald and model Cheryl Marrat.

Photos: 1970s Perth. Peter Mac & Cheryl Marrat modelling jewellery. Photo credits Ric Chan.

1970s Peter Mac & Cheryl Marrat jewellery photoshoot collage_photocat

Fashion photo shoots by photo journalist Ric Chan.

Photos: (Left) 1970s model Jane Priest, unidentified & surfer Bunky Miller with dog. (Right) 1969 unidentified model & Ric Chan modelling a wettie in South Australia.

1969-70s Ric Chan photoshoots 2 collage_photocat

Phil Henderson was a talented City Beach goofy footer and a good looking young buck back in the 70s.

Photos: (Left) 1972 Phil surfing in Blaxell Surfboards advertisement. (Right) 1973 unidentified model with Phil Henderson & his dog at City Beach photo shoot. Photo credits Ric Chan.

1972-3 Phil Henderson photoshoots collage_photocat

Business advertisements in WA’s West Coast Surfer magazine.

Images: (Left) 1980 Graham Noakes advertising his Margaret River business. (Right) 1980 Frank Thorson (Mitch’s dad) advertising his Rottnest Bakery. Images courtesy of Ric Chan.1970-80 photoshoot Graham Noakes & Frank Thorson IMG_001

Photos: (Left) 1973 Sandy & Norm Bateman modelling wetsuits for Oceans Surf Shop. (Right) 1975 Dave Kennedy (dec’d) from Star Surfboards in Perth City. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

1973-5 Norm Bateman & Dave Kennedy collage_photocat

In the 70s & 80s Ric Chan was busy juggling his career activities. During the day he worked as a photo journalist for The Independent Newspaper and as a professional model. At night time he was a DJ at Gobbles night club.

Photos: 1976 Jeans advertisements Perth. Ric Chan and unidentified girls modelling the latest jeans & accessories. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

1976 Jeans West advts Ric Chan 5 collage_photocat

Paul Mienk was a talented City Beach surfer & skate boarder in the early 60s. He was good looking and popular with girls.

Photo: Late 1970s Paul Mienk modelling a leather jacket in Bali. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1970 Bali Paul Mienk modelling leather jacket IMG_0410

In the 70s Trigg/Mettams surfer Steve ‘Hog’ Hannett featured in fashion photo shoots.

Photo: 1977 L-R Unidentified, Colin Earle & Steve Hannett at the Hang Ten WASRA School Boys Contest at Trigg. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1977 Trigg Hang Ten WASRA School Boys Surfing Championships Colin Earle & Steve Hannett - Ric Chan 009

Cottesloe surfer Bill Oddy was head honcho at Cordingley Surfboards and a guru in the Entertainment industry during the 70s. Bill was also a popular male model in WA.

Photo: 1977 Bill Oddy at the Hang Ten WASRA School Boys Contest at Trigg. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1977 Trigg Hang Ten WASRA School Boys Surfing Championships Bill Oddy - Ric Chan 014

WA surfer Gary Greirson became a professional TV model in the 80s and earned big $’s advertising Beer & Electrical goods in TV advertisements. Gary worked for a modelling agency and his fashion shots appeared in magazines & newspapers.

Photos: 1980s Gary Greirson fashion photo shoots. Photos courtesy of Gary Greirson and Bill Plowman from the Daily News.

Gary: “These were just work shots for which I was well paid. I don’t have any pics of when I was on the catwalk. I did a high paid TV commercial for Emu Export beer in 1984, but have no photos as it’s on video tape”.

1980s Gary Greirson Modelling 1 collage_photocat

In the 80s Californian pro-windsurfer & top surfer Rich Myers (Yallingup resident since 1990) was introduced to modelling through his windsurfing exposure in the USA. His image was featured in various US Magazines & Newspapers, covers, pictures, interviews & editorials.

He became a member of the Screen Actors Guild and appeared in TV commercials and had bit parts in ‘The Young & the Restless’, ‘The A-Team’ & T J Hooker TV series. He was the feature surfer in surf movies ‘Follow the Sun 11’ and ‘Tales of the 7 Seas’. Rich also featured in windsurfing videos.

Photos:  1980s pro-windsurfer Rich Myers featured in a Malibu Men Calendar. Image courtesy of Rich Myers.

Rich: “While the calendar wasn’t a big hit with the girls, it was very popular with the Gay community in San Francisco” (-:

1980s Malibu Men calendar Rich Myers collage_photocat

Photos: 1980s Rich Myers windsurfing & fashion photo shoots. Photos courtesy of Ric Myers.1980s Rich Myers modelling 6 collage_photocat - Copy

In 2006 ‘Outside Go’ Magazine featured SW surfer & yoga teacher Kathleen ‘Katie’ Coryell in an article on female athletes. At the time Katie she was a sponsored surfer with Surf Diva and was sent out to do a lot of projects like this one.

Photo: 2006 Katie Coryell image in Outside Go Magazine. Photo courtesy of Katie and Outside Go magazine.

2006 Kathleen Coryell Outside Go Magazine IMG_5480y




Brian Cole’s East Coast Surf Trip 1959-1961

WA surf pioneer Brian Cole toured the East Coast of OZ from 1959-61.

Earlier this year Brian documented his surf travels in White Horses Magazine Issue 12 – Life of Brian.

This is an extract of Brian’s article in White Horses Magazine plus some additional holiday snaps.

‘Word of mouth’ stories of well-shaped point surf on the East Coast had filtered back to WA (there were no OZ surf mags back then) so in 1959, I followed my dream and hitched a ride on a semi-trailer to Sydney.

I surfed & worked in Bondi, purchased a balsa pig board from Wallace Surfboards and headed off to Queensland in a Hillman Minx sedan with a WA guy. My surf board was too big to fit on the car and I had to fly it to Coolangatta. When I arrived I told the local Surf Club I was a clubbie and they let us stay there free. I surfed good waves at Greenmount for 3 months and met Bondi surfer Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan.

Then I headed back to Sydney & moved in with other WA surfing guys at Queenscliff. There were many great parties and a lot of shenanigans took place. I took over a milk run in Manly where some of the local Grems used to borrow the milk truck to carry their boards to the beach. When this happened I had to recover it from the beach front early in the morning. Back then, there was only a small group of surfers who surfed through winter on Sydney’s north shore. While there I met big wave rider Bob Pike, surf promoter Bob Evans and other surfing pioneers. Bob Pike & I (and others) did a modelling job for Flair fashion magazine. A bunch of us guys witnessed Freshwater surfer Dave Jackman tackle huge waves at the Queenscliff Bombora for the first time on a surfboard. Joe Larkin (board maker and beach inspector) was there taking photos.

At the end of 1961, I returned to Perth with WA surfer Laurie Burke. We drove straight to Yallingup in the South West. On arrival we had a beer with Bill Copley the proprietor of Caves House Hotel and he offered me a job. I was a barman at the pub for 3 months and surfed Yallingup on my own mid-week while waiting for mates to drive down from Perth on weekends.

In 1962 Barry ‘Joe’ King and I started King and Cole Surfboards in Wembley. We purchased blanks from Bennett Surfboards and were the first to produce foam surfboards in WA.

Brian’s East Coast holiday snaps.

Photo: 1959 Qld Coolangatta. Brian Cole with his Wallace balsa pig board. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1959 Qld Coolangatta Brian Cole balsa pig board - Brian Cole img662

Photo: 1960 NSW North Narrabeen. WA boys with a 1934 straight 1939 Chevy sedan. L-R Speedy, Bernie Huddle, Arty Taylor, Phil Mostyn & Cocko Killen. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1960 NSW Nth Narabeen 1934 straight 8 Studybaker Speedy, Bernie, Arty Taylor, Phil Mostyn & Cocko Killen - Brian Cole Pic img156

Photo: 1961 NSW North Steyne. L-R John Sprigs & Brian Cole surfing. Photo courtesy of surf photographer Ron Perrott (NSW).

1961 NSW North Steyne John Sprigs & Brian Cole - Ron Perrott picimg697

Photo: 1961 NSW North Narrabeen. L-R Brian Cole & big wave rider Bob Pike modelling for Flair Magazine. Image courtesy of Flair Magazine & Brian Cole.

1961 Models Brian Cole & Bob Pike Nth Narrabeen NSW

Photos: 1961 NSW Dave Jackman surfing Queenscliff Bombora on a surfboard for the first time. Photos courtesy of surfboard manufacturer Joe Larkin (NSW).

1961 Dave Jackman Queenscliff Bombora NSW - Joe Larkin pics IMG_001

Photo: 1961 NSW Queenscliff. Surfers enjoying Xmas Day keg on the beach. Surfers include Bernie Huddle, Bob Pike, Joe Larkins & others. Photo Brian Cole.

1961 NSW Queenscliff Xmas Day keg Bernie Huddle, Bob Pike, Joe Larkins & others - B Cole pic img686

Photo: 1961 NSW Dee Why Point ‘mayhem’. Brian Cole is on the right. Photo courtesy of surf photographer Ron Perrott (NSW).

1961 NSW Dee Why Pt 'mayhem' Brian Cole on right - Ron Perrott pic - B Cole img695

Photo: 1961 NSW Brian Cole & mates heading towards a surf break inside Sydney Harbour in a 1934 Studebaker sedan. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1963 NSW Brian Cole & mates heading towards Sydney harbour surf break in 1934 Studybaker - B Cole pic img690


Turning back the clock

During the week pioneer WA surfer/surfboard maker Brian Cole (76) surfed the Bunbury Break (now known as the Cove or Nancy’s Left) at Yallingup.

It was great to see the salty old sea dog enjoying himself in the water on his home-made triple stringer surfboard.

We need to respect our living legends and share some waves with them.

Comments from other water users:

From Len Dibben – “Nice clean small waves. Great to see an old fart having fun.”

From Brian Bell – “Great to see Brian out there and hooting him on a wave he was surfing, we have a great vibe amongst ourselves, it’s what surfing is all about.”

BC photos courtesy of Bruce King.

Photo: 2015 BC on Yallingup Beach.

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Photo: 2015 BC knee paddling in Yallingup lagoon.

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Photos: 2015 BC surfing #1

2015 Brian Cole Bunbury Break Yalls 1 collage_photocat

Photos: 2015 BC surfing #2

2015 Brian Cole Bunbury Break Yalls 2 collage_photocat



1960s Malibu surfboards

Malibu ‘Mals’ surfboards where introduced into the WA in the early 1960’s. They replaced the longer, heavier, less manoeuvrable Toothpick surfboards. At that time, there was no balsa or fibreglass surfboard business in WA and the Malibu boards were imported from Gordon Woods and Barry Bennett Surfboards in NSW.

Malibu Surfboards background

Malibu surfboards originated at Malibu Beach in California. The longboard shape has a slightly pulled in nose and tail sections for extra manoeuvrability. This classic shape has been ridden and praised by experienced surfers for its manoeuvrability and performance. Classic party tricks eg “Hang Five” and “Hang Ten” can be performed on a Malibu board. There was a resurgence of longboarding in the late Eighties and Mals are still popular worldwide.

Photo: 1959 the boys & their toys on Yallingup Beach. This image includes a collection of different surfboard types at Yallingup Beach. The boards range for plywood toothpicks to balsa and a few fibreglass Malibu surfboards. The boys include Ken Hamer, Bernie Huddle, Dave Williams, Cliff Hills, Mark Paterson & others. Photo credit Bill Pratley.

My beautiful picture

Jim Keenan: “My first Malibu board was a Gordon Woods balsa with a centre stringer for added strength. Balsa was imported from South America and was expensive to say the least. My board if I remember right cost about 30 quid and represented approximately five weeks salary. On a relative scale that would put a new board at approximately $10,000.
I well remember the Californian life guards performing at Torquay and Sydney in 1956. They certainly created surfing history with the introduction of Malibu surfboards into Australia.
We were so isolated in WA in those early days, as the ‘Septics’ had been riding Mals way back in the forties. Those bloody Gidget movies stuffed up surfing because it revealed the life style and as a consequence a greater participation.”

Photo: 1961 pioneer SW surfers resting on Yallingup Beach with imported Malibu’s & some homemade balsa surfboards. The crew includes Keith Campbell, Don Roper, Bob Keenan, Brian Cole, Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent and other unidentified persons. In the background are the old timber change rooms, timber steps and a shelter for the lifesaving reel. Photo courtesy of Terry Williams.

1961 Malibu Boards at Yallingup - Terry Williams1

In 1961 Brian Cole & Barry ‘Joe’ King formed King & Cole Surfboards in Wembley and commenced making fiberglass Malibu surfboards to cater for the local market.

Brian Cole: We used Bennett blanks and at that time Bennett Surfboards were experimenting with coloured foam. They blew foam with different colours and some of their surf boards had dual colour foam. Previously most fibreglass boards were coloured white to cover the discolouring in the foam.”

Photo: 1961 King & Cole Surfboards logo. Photo courtesy of Brian Cole.

1961 King & Cole Surfboards Wembley Brian Cole pic1

Photos: 1961 Howard “The Ghost” Kent surfing a King & Cole malibu surfboard at the Gallows in the SW. Photographer unknown.

1961 Ghost at Gallows on King & Cole surfboard unknown photographer1

By 1962 Dibben & Cole, Cordingley Bros & other surfboard manufacturers followed King & Cole and started manufacturing fibreglass surfboards in WA.

See Surfing Down South and Surfing WA celebrating 50 Years books for more details of WA’s surfboard industry in the 60s.