Gallery

Three Bears surf break & track in the 70s

In August 1971 surfers George Simpson, Mick Pearce & Mark Rudenberg discovered Three Bears surf break at Kabbijgup Beach. The boys had seen waves breaking along the cliffs north of Yallingup and walked in from Sugarloaf Rock to find the surf break.

American expatriate surfboard shaper Tom Hoye named it MGM after the initials of the three guys who discovered the place, but Perth guys later renamed it Three Bears after the 3 surf breaks Baby’s, Mama’s & Papa’s.

Tom was the first surfer to drive into Bears. He forged a track to Bears from his backyard in Dunsborough, along paddocks and fire breaks to connect with the beach track behind d’Espeisses’ property.

Circa ‘72 Tom and Craig Brent-White used their 4WD’s to create a rough track to Bears through coastal scrub land at Yallingup. In ‘73 Ralph Redman used his 4WD to improve the alignment of the coastal track from Yallingup.

Then the floodgates opened and Bears became an established surf location.

This a collection of anecdotes & photos from ’70s Bears user’s………

George SimpsonWhen we walked in to find Bears Beach in ’71, there were no tracks and the ground was rocky with spiky shrubs. I broke my Dunlop thong in the first half hour. The torturous 10klm trek along the cliffs from Sugarloaf Rock to Yallingup took us 7 hours.

I recall a big day at Bears in ’76. My brother Michael, Peta Baker from City Beach and Tracy (who later became my wife) and I were heading up the track to Bears and we passed Tom Hoye and Dave Hattrick coming back. They told us it was too big to surf and the bombies were wild. We found it was big and breaking outside the Mama’s boil. There was no one else there and it took Michael and I ages to get out the back… we got two waves that broke right through from outside Papa’s, right through Mama’s into Baby’s and were unable to get back out. It was pretty wild!

Photo: 1972 George Simpson surfing Injidup Car Park on a Geoff Culmsee single fin surfboard. Photo by Ian Ferguson courtesy of West Country Surf magazine.

1972-injidup-george-simpson-on-geoff-culmsee-single-fin-wcs-mag2

Tom Hoye – One afternoon, the boys came staggering into Caves House with raving stories of the perfect left-hander, saying, “You gotta go, you gotta go.” We trudged in at dawn to find a perfect 4 to 6ft left hander. A perfect day at Bears.

Photos: Tom Hoye in the SW.

Left: 1971 Tom Hoye outside old shack at Contos Beach, Margaret River. Gary Kontoolis pic.

Right: 1980 Tom Hoye surfing solid Baby’s. Photo (damaged) by Peter Davies.

1971-80-tom-hoye-conto-bears-picmonkey-collage

For detailed Three Bears recollections from George Simpson & Tom Hoye refer to the Surfing Down South book published by Margaret River Press in 2014. Reprinted 2014.

Bears track pioneers

Craig Brent-White – Circa ’72 Tom Hoye and I used our 4wd’s to create a coastal track to Bears from Rabbit Hill at Yallingup. Glen Lance was a passenger in Tom’s car and Tony Harbison was in my car when we made the first track to Bears from Yalls.

Ralph RedmanIn 1973 I strapped a steel railway line on the front of my Toyota Land Cruiser and pushed a coastal track through to Bears from Yallingup. It connected with an old air strip Budge Guthrie had made on top of the cliffs using an overgrown mineral exploration track. Earlier Tom Hoye had put through a track to Bears from Yallingup, but it was no good as it was high on the hill and too rocky.

Photo: 1976 Ralph Redman surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

1970s-bears-mammas-ralph-redman-andy-jones-dsc00406

Bruce KingMy version of the first surf session at Bears differs from George Simpson’s recollections in the SDS Book. 

I was with George and a few others the first time it was surfed. Craig Kalmund was also there and remembers arriving at the beach and George’s reaction was “F**k it’s a bit bigger today!” George was the first to enter the water and surf Bears. It was a classic day with the 3 distinct breaks, the bigger one outside, then the medium one, then the smaller break inside that’s why I called it “3 Bears”.

The area itself was referred to as “MGM’s” after the three George, Mark and Mick had walked from Sugarloaf to Yallingup a few days earlier. I remember them arriving back at Yalls and frothing about the waves they saw. In those days it was a walk along the cliffs from Sugarloaf & took about 40 minutes. Later on we worked our way into Bears in our cars from Rabbits at Yalls, sometimes spending the whole day just digging our cars out from the bog while trying to get up the sandy hill, no one had 4wd’s in those days.

Some days on the beach we had a real menagerie of people including Charlie “Dingbat”, Trevor “Yipyip” Anderson, Laurie “Pup” Nesbit, Ronny “Ratshit,” Steve “Horny” Campbell and other rascals. Charlie Dingbat and some of the others ran around naked. No one took water or any supplies, but hit the Dunsborough Bakery big time after a day’s surfing.   

Photos: 1973 Bruce King at Three Bears on Bill Oddy’s trail bike. Bruce King pics.

1973-bruce-king-at-bears-3-collage_photocat

Stewart BettenayIn the early 70s my brother Craig & I walked into Bears from Sugarloaf twice on the same day. It nearly killed us as we surfed heaps and had no food or water. We knew Tom Hoye had found a way to drive to Bears in his FJ Holden but didn’t know where the track was. Then one day we saw the sun glinting off the windscreen of his car and we discovered that he was using a track along firebreaks from Dunsborough. When the coastal track was pushed through from Yalls to Bears we used that track.

Photo 1983 Stewart Bettenay surfing Mama Bears. Dave Sheen pic

1983-bears-mommas-stewart-bettenay-dave-sheen-pic-003

Stewart Bettenay – Shortly after 3 Bears was being surfed by the next crew of surfers after the originals, a 17 year Craig Howe (Kalbarri and Gnaraloo pioneer) heard that the way to get there was from Sugarloaf Rock high along the cliffs, as there was no beach access.

Craig took this to be high up on the Ridge, so off he set by himself on a very hot March day. After 3 hours of walking and even throwing his board up on top of thick scrub and crawling along it, he finally arrived battered and scratched to be greeted by the sea-breeze. Surfers leaving the beach showed him the walk track back along the cliffs. Howie never got to go for a surf and described the experience as a “hideous journey” and never returned.

Photos: Mid ‘70s Trevor ‘Yip Yip’ Anderson (middle) and his mates surfing fun waves at Bears. Ric Chan pics.

1970s-bears-trevor-anderson-mates-picmonkey-collage

Ross UttingShortly after news of Bears leaked out I walked in from Sugarloaf Rock along the cliff tops with Bruce King & Micko Gracie. It was a solid one hour walk, although Bruce reckons he could do it in 45 mins. When we got there Baby’s was 4-5ft & beautiful, but there were 3 other guys already there. We knew them so it was ok. We surfed it all day, but because it was so crowded (ha!), we tag teamed so that there was never more than 3 or 4 guys in the water at a time.

Between surfs, one of the other guys showed me a pool just north of the big rocks at the Baby’s end, it was packed with abalone. Being a bit peckish, because we took neither food nor water, we managed to prise a couple off the reef & ate them raw. I recall them tasting a bit like coconut.

The next day I returned, this time with Russell Stranger, Stewart & Craig Bettenay. The waves weren’t as good, but we were the only ones there. I was better prepared this time, still no food or water, but armed with a screw driver & a canvas board bag.  Between surfs I collected about 10 kilos of abs & shoved them in my board bag. Big mistake! Lugging a board under one arm & 10kilos of abs stuffed in a bag over my other shoulder for an hour, after being completely surf out, was hell.

When we got back to Greenacres Holiday Homes, where Russell was staying, we tenderised the abs with a tyre lever & Russell’s wife Anne crumbed them & we cooked them on the BBQ. We ate the lot. Beautiful!

Photo: 1976 Mamma Bears line-up. L-R Steele George, Joe Fimmano & Graham Waddell. Jim King pic

1976-bears-s-george-j-fimmano-g-waddell-j-king-img164

Mal Leckie – Surfside, Caves House and the Yalls carpark were the social pivot point for everyone who came down from Perth and most blokes slept there each night regardless of where they surfed each day.

At the end of each day most people would tell where they had been surfing and you built up a picture of who was going where. Mostly it was the same general area because of the swell. We knew everyone’s cars and you would see them driving along Caves Road or up to the Cape and turning off etc. Those were the days of thumbs up, thumbs down as you drove past each other haha.

I remember that we became a bit suspicious of a few guys who didn’t seem to have surfed anywhere; nobody had seen them and they weren’t talking at the pub. George was the one who stood out for his disappearing act as he was a prominent personality and usually very visible in a line-up, most often Margaret. Likewise Micko Gracie went quiet.

Those blokes kept the secret for a long time and went to all sorts of lengths to sneak away so nobody would follow. Even when three Bears was well known about as a break, how to get there was not. For a fair while I thought you had to walk there along the beach. I reckon it was ‘73 before most people knew where the track was.

Photos: 1972 Tom Blaxell Surfboards panel van on Bears track. Jim McFarlane photos.

Left: Greg ‘Egory’ McDonald, Bruce Elliot & Tom Blaxell on the Bears coastal track.

Right: Blaxell Surfboards panel van negotiating boggy section of Bears track.

1972-blaxell-panel-van-bears-track-picmonkey-collage

Andy Jones – Bears wasn’t crowded those days, as a lot of guys didn’t know about Bears and a 4WD was required until mid 70s. You knew everyone in the water. Then Ralph Redman & Tom Hoye pushed through a new coastal track from Rabbit Hill at Yallingup to Bears. Ralph drove a Volkswagon buggy or a 4WD and I used my VW sedan to access the dirt track to Bears. Later Ray Knott, Craig Brent-White, Mark Moody, Al Bean, Pat Bloomer, Laurie ‘Pup’ Nesbit & I started surfing the Bombie and Three sisters (south of Bombie) on big swells. Peter Mac nearly drowned at Three Sisters.

Photo: 1976 David ‘Dappa’ Plaistead surfing Mama’s. Andy Jones pic.

1970s-bears-david-dappa-plaistead-andy-jones-dsc00378

Photo: 1976 Dave Seward surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

1970s-bears-mammas-dave-seward-andy-jones-dsc00386

Photo: 1976 Mark Moody surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

1970s-bears-mammas-mark-moody-andy-jones-dsc00380

Photo: 1976 Snowy from Eastern States surfing Mamma Bears.  Andy Jones pic

1970s-bears-mammas-snowy-from-es-andy-jones-dsc00400-copy

Photo: 1976 Ralph Redman surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

1970s-bears-mammas-ralph-redman-andy-jones-dsc00374

Barry YoungIt was one of those classic autumn days. Ruler edged 4’ perfection and maybe 6 guys at Momma’s (my favourite) and after about 3 hours, although tired it was still too good to go in. I was praying for the onshore to kick in. By this stage only one other guy and I were out. He decides he has had enough and goes in. I stay out about another 20 minutes and finally some sort of light onshore wafts in. Not enough to really worry it but a good enough excuse. As I walk up the beach there’s the guy I had just been surfing with and his girlfriend. He’s sitting there with a cold beer in his hand and his girlfriend was kneeling behind him topless (as was often the case during the 70’s) and she is giving him a massage! As I walked by I couldn’t help but say to him…..” and I thought I was having a good day! “

Photo: Mid-late 70s. Barry Young surfing good sized Momma’s. Steve Russo pic.

1970s-bears-barry-young-steve-russo-pic-img_5032

Barry Young – I remember Taj as a 2-3 year old playing with his tractor and dump truck in the sand on the water’s edge at Bear’s while Vance and Nancy were playing in the waves. Apparently he loved bouncing down the Bear’s track in their car and knew that was part of the deal once they got there. They always had their eye on him and besides Nance didn’t stay out too long. Taj was really at ease and happy anyway making truck noises etc.

Photo: 1977 Nancy Burrow surfing Mama Bears 4mths pregnant with Taj. Burrow family pic.

1977-bears-momma-nance-4mth-pregnant-vb-img2

Vance Burrow – I remember surfing 8ft Bears on my own hoping someone would turn up. It will never be like that again!

Photo: 1978 Vance Burrow 3 hour surf session at Baby Bears on a Tom Hoye surfboard. Burrow family pic.

1977-bears-babys-vance-burrow-on-tom-hoye-board-3hr-session-burrow-pic-img_0012

Vance & Nancy Burrow – In the 80s Park Ranger Mike Bachelor used to police the Bears track checking for dogs illegally entering the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. He disliked dogs and used to stand on the Bears track with his arms folded checking surfers cars for dogs. He would tell us to leave with our dog Papaya, but there was no way we were leaving if the waves were good. We would say to him “is our dog violating National Park air space?”

Editor’s note: Richie Myers told me about a SW surfer who used to sit his dog in the middle seat of his ute with a cap on, to get past the ranger.

Photo: 1977 Vance & Nance Burrow’s ‘Huey’ the VW checking the surf and ‘Papaya’ the dog checking the camera. Burrow family pic.

1977-bears-burrow-vw-huey-checking-waves-papaya-checking-camera-burrow-pic-img_0001

Coming soon Three Bears surf break & track in the 80s.

————————————————–

 

Gallery

1960s WA Board Clubs – Part #1 History

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).

Boomerang
Casuarina (Bunbury)
City Beach
Cottesloe
Dolphins
Indiana (Bunbury)
Kontiki
Miami Surfinks
Mid Way
Moana
North Coast
North End
Sand n Sea
Scarborough
Southern Surfriders
Southside
Surfari
Surfers Inc.
Surfers United (Albany)
Tangaroa
Tarni
Warrain
West Coast
West Girls
Yallingup

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.

1970s WASRA membership card Arty Sherburn collage_photocat

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.

1965-69 Paddle Through Perth images 3 collage_photocat

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.

1962 Yalls WCBC shack L Burke's FB Holden & Ghost's Holden panel van - Brian Cole pic img268

Photos: 1964 Board club shacks at Yallingup. Photos courtesy of Ernie Potter.

(Left) Dolphins shack. (Right) Yallingup & West Coast club shacks.

1964 Club shacks at Yalls Ernie Potter pics collage_photocat

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.

1960s Club shacks Margaret River 1 collage_photocat

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.

1965 Len Dibben surf team Leighton Beach L-R Rod Slater,Dave Richards,Jeff Jowlett,Steve Farbus,Teena Christon,Peter Stephens,Art Sherburn,Doug White-Len Dibben pic 01

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.

1950s-cbbc-memorabilia-picmonkey-collage4a

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.

1960s cbsr memorabilia 6 collage_photocat

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.

1960s Dolphins memorabilia collage_photocat

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 SweenyIt 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.

1965 Miami Board Club Teena's & Tom's trophies collage_photocat

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.

1964-65 Arty Sherburn & Mid Way wettie collage_photocat

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.

2015 North Coast Surfers 69er T-Shirt IMG_001

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.

1969-2011 Howard Smith Tarni & City Beach collage_photocat

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.

1960s-west-girls-board-club-picmonkey-collage

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.

1960s YBC memorabilia collage_photocat

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

—————————————————-

 

Gallery

1969 Billeting arrangements Aust Surfing Titles

Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Championships for the first time in May 1969.

Major WA board clubs billeted many eastern states surfers here for the Australian titles. The billeting arrangements were coordinated by WASRA and President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor.

Image: 1969 WASRA billeting arrangements. Image credit Sunday Times.

1969 Aust Titles WA - billeting arrangements- Media image

Floreat youngsters Ross Utting & David ‘Bull’ Moss from the City Beach Club hosted South Australian surfers Alistair Boot & Graham Symonds.

Ross UttingBull & I took the boys down south for the contest. I remember Ali bagging gutless WA waves while we were surfing pre contest at Yallingup. He got his comeuppance a couple of days later when he was nearly decapitated by his board when mowed down by a big wave at Margaret. Ali spent the rest of the week walking around with a bleeding tea towel on his head.

In Bali some 40 years later South Australian surfer Clint Habib told me that Ali has been scarred for life by the experience of big Margs & still hears the roaring freight train sound in his nightmares.

Photo: L-R 1969 Floreat locals Ross Utting & Dave Moss with SA competitors Ali Boot & Graham Symonds. Photo credit Ross Utting.

1969 Floreat R Utting, D Moss & A Boot, G Simmons (SA) - billets-Aust Titles R Utting pic

Subiaco brothers Jim & Bruce King from the City Beach Club billeted World champion Nat Young & NSW champion Ted Spencer.

Bruce KingI drove to Perth airport to pick up our eastern states billets late at night. When I got there WASRA President Doc Naylor allocated Nat & Ted to our family. I was stoked to have them staying at our parent’s place.

Jim KingI didn’t go to the airport and had no idea who had been allocated to our parent’s place in Subi, so I was really surprised when I called in next morning and found mum serving a cooked brekkie to Nat & Ted. NSW surfboard manufacturer Shane Stedman (Shane Surfboards) used to come around & pick up the lads for surf commitments and chase mum around the Hills Hoist clothesline.

Photos: 1969 Nat & Ted at King residence in Subiaco. Photos courtesy of King family.

Top: (Left) Ted & Nat. (Right) Ted, Mrs King & Nat. Bottom: (Left) Ted, Jim & Nat. (Right) Nat & Jim.

1969 Aust Titles Nat & Ted Subiaco collage_photocat

Contest rounds which were held at Scarborough & Margaret River with finals completed at Yallingup.

Misfortune struck some of the visitors at the Australian Surfing Titles down south. Nat Young (NSW) broke his favourite surfboard in the big swell at Margaret River. Alistair Boot (SA) was hit by a flying board at Margaret River and needed 19 stitches in his head. Ali went home with a sore head.

Images: L-R 1969 mixed fortunes Nat Young (NSW) broken board & Alistair Boot (SA) head injury. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1969 Aust Titles WA - Nat Young (NSW) & Ali Boot (SA) injuries - WA News (1)

Jim KingContest head honcho Doc Naylor recruited me as a contest official for the rounds held at Margaret River. I got the job of chaperoning the girls out in big waves at Main Break. The girls weren’t happy being sent out there & neither was I. Every time we spotted a big dark swell line on the horizon, we would paddle towards the middle bay to avoid getting cleaned up. It was great seeing Oz’s best surfers up close, but my wife Kath wasn’t too impressed, as we were on our honey moon at the time (-:

Photo: 1969 unidentified competitor surfing a solid left at Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.

1969-marg-river-aust-titles-ric-chan-026

On completion of the successfully run contest, an Award Night function was held at Caves House Yallingup. It was attended by surfers, officials and friends. Peter Drouyn & other talented surfers entertained the troops. The next day the wind was on-shore and the visitors started heading home to their respective States.

Contest results and photos will be included in surf journo/photographer Ric Chan’s coverage of the ’69 Oz Surfing Titles. Ric’s SDS article is coming soon.

—————————————-

 

Gallery

1970s Rotto fly-in surf trip

In the 70s the Rottnest Island Board (RIB) flew Independent Newspaper photo journalist Ric Chan and some of his surfing mates to Rottnest for a photo shoot to promote surfing on the Island.

RIB financed the plane trip and provided a vehicle & accommodation for the weekend photo shoot.

Ric’s surf team consisted of Bruce King, Phil Henderson, Steve Cockburn and Mark Johnson. The boys enjoyed the Island’s hospitality.

These are boy’s recollections.

Bruce King

I remember on the flight over the pilot wanted to turn back because he reckoned it was too windy, we persuaded him and eventually landed, once on the ground we were treated like movie stars, transport provided not quite 5 star limo, but an old service truck, we were given a cabin for overnight stay, all this supplied by way of Ric Chan’s smooth talking. There was a horse hire place then, which Ric persuaded the owners to let us avail ourselves with the promise of exposure in the “Independent” newspaper.

We scored well with waves, at that time we didn’t know if others had surfed some of the places, I’m sure they would have. One surf break was Strickland Bay which Ric called King’s Reef because I was the first one out. Another was Chicken Reef which I think Sheepdog named because Ric was too chicken to go out, I think it is still called that today.

Phil Henderson

It’s funny but YEAH that trip was a bit of a blur. I remember it was blowing its box off and we had to convince the pilot to land in such a bad crosswind. He was not happy but we made it. Cannot remember much else other than Ric’s photos. It was good fun though.

Steve Cockburn

Ric Chan arranged our venture to Rottnest Island. Flying from Perth to Rottnest was ok, but when our light aircraft attempted landing, with the extremely strong wind, the plane was blown sideways at an angle to the runway making it unsafe to complete the landing, so the pilot aborted that first landing attempt and circled to try landing a second time, which was successful.

We made our way to the Rottnest Island Board Offices and Ric went off to discuss some marketing that the Board wanted done, they had lent us the old truck (as seen in the photos) and we all soon headed to the south side of the Island. The surf was flattish, blown right out by really strong north to north west winds.

I don’t remember much about the surfin, but on the second day we decided to go horse riding and hired horses at the local stables then headed off to the north side of Rottnest and along sand tracks leading out to the West End near the lighthouse. The horses were stubborn and it was hard to get going, even to get them to canter on the way out, but as soon as we were returning towards their stables they all bolted and went uncontrollable in full gallop towards their home. My horse suddenly swerved to the right when we arrived at a fork in the track. I was flung off the saddle and swung around the under horses neck, with both legs wrapped tightly around its neck, the horse came to a stop and I walked it the last short distance to the stables.

When it was time to return to Perth, we thought we may get stuck on the Island due to the still very strong wind and the possibility the plane not being able to land and pick us up. But when the time came the pilot made a safe landing and soon we were off back home.

Ric Chan

Muhahahaha. The only reason in know I was there is the pics. Maybe we can wangle another wagon, a boat and a weekend over there.

Photos: 1970’s aerial snaps of Rotto Island. Ric pics

1970s aerial snaps of Rotto Ric Chan

Photos: 1970s fly-in to Rotto airport. Ric pics.

Top: Bruce & Phil unloading surfboards.
Bottom: Sheepdog collecting luggage & the boys playing footy at the airport.

1970s rotto fly-in airport Ric Chan

The RIB provided the boys with an old ex-military truck to drive around the island in.

Photos: 1970s Island transport. Ric pics.

1970s Rotto island transport Ric Chan

Photos: 1970s surfing Strickland Bay (aka King’s Reef). Ric Pics

Top: Bruce King take-off & Mark Johnson.
Middle: Phil Henderson & Bruce King.
Bottom: Sheepdog x 2.

1970s Rotto surfing Kings Reef Ric Chan

Photos: 1970s surfing Chicken Reef.

Top: Chicken Reef line-up and the boys on surf watch.
Middle: Sheepdog & Mark Johnson.
Bottom: Bruce King & Phil Henderson

1970s Rotto surfing Chicken Reef Ric Chan

Photos: 1970s horse riding. Ric pics.

Top: Phil Henderson. Bottom: Steve Cockburn & Bruce King.

1970s Rotto horse riding Ric Chan

The Rottnest Island Authority is now creating an interpretative sign and short DVD on the importance of Rottnest to the surfing community, to be installed on Rottnest Island WA. They plan to use some of Ric Chan’s 1970-80s Rottnest based historic images for their interpretation products.

————————————————-

Gallery

Origin of skateboarding in WA by John Harbison & Charlie Roper

Skateboarding was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s, when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. Source: Wikipedia.

Photo: Early homemade skateboards courtesy of Skateboard Hall of Fame USA.

1960s-Collection-5-homemade-early-Skateboards-made-from-old-roller-skates.

WA surfing pioneers Terry ’Horse’ Williams and Brian ‘Blackballs’ Cole introduced the concept to WA on their return from California in the early 60s. They had seen skateboards in action while touring the west coast of USA.

Former City Beach surfer and City of Perth Beach Inspector John ‘Roo Dog’ Harbison witnessed the first skateboard in WA. He documented the moment for a Board Club reunion held at City Beach in 2011.

John is the brother of surfing legend Tony ‘Harbo’ Harbison and Peter Harbison.

Sadly John passed away in May 2014 at Dunsborough.

Photos: 1958-74 City Beach pics. Photos courtesy of Harbison family.

Top: (Left) 1958 City Beach shop L-R Garry Stewart, John Harbison, Charlie Roper & Terry Jacks (Right) 1959 John Harbison surfing City Beach on plywood toothpick surfboard.

Bottom: (Left) 1967 John Harbison sweep on City of Perth surf boat. (Right) 1973-74 Beach Inspector John Harbison herding topless girl off City Beach.

1958-67 John Harbison City Beach.collage_photocat

First WA skateboard by John Harbison.

Back in the early 60’s, I think 1963/64, Terry Jacks, Charlie Roper, Ernie Potter & Brian Cole produced what would have to have been the 1st skateboard to appear in WA.

Skateboards were unheard of in WA at the time and I don’t know where they got the idea from, but they turned up at City Beach one weekend with this piece of equipment they’d made out of the side slat of a wooden fruit case with half a roller skate at the front, the other half at the back

We all spent the afternoon having turns riding it down the road in front of the shop. That night everyone else was digging out old roller skates and getting slats of wood to make their own. Next day they took it up to Scarborough for the Scarborough crew to try out and the following week down to Cottesloe. Before long you had all these homemade skateboards appearing about the place.

A year or so after that skate boards were being produced commercially by Midget Farrelly.

City Beach surfer Paul Meink who was good on them & won a big radio station sponsored skateboard competition held at the Floreat Forum southern car park. Place getters at that competition were Floreat boys Ross Sarson, Mike Schafer and John ‘Viz’ Fletcher.

John Harbison

Photo: 2011 City Beach Surf Riders Club 50 Year reunion. L-R Brian Cole, Keith Campbell, Zac Kochanowitsch & John Harbison. Bruce King pic.

2011 Brian Cole, Keith Campbell, Zac Kochanowitsch & John HarbisonCity Beach CBSR 191 - Bruce King

Wembley lads Charlie Roper & Brian Cole made the first skateboard in WA.

Photos: 1963 Scarborough Beach. Ernie Potter pics.

(Left) Charlie Roper & Ernie Potter. (Right) John Harbison & Charlie Roper surfing.

1963 Charlie Roper Scarborough Ernie Potter pics collage_photocat

First WA skateboard by Charlie Roper.

In the early 60s WA surf pioneer/Subiaco footballer Terry ‘Horse’ Williams bought the idea back from California where he had been travelling. He described what was happening with skateboards and what the kids were doing with them.

I thought I could make one of them. So in 1962, Brian Cole and I got an old piece of pine timber and attached wheels from my sister’s roller skates (unbeknown to her). We made the first WA skate board at Coley’s King & Cole Surfboard factory in Roydhouse Road Wembley.

I kept the old skateboard in my garage and my sons Jamie & Brett learnt to skateboard on that piece of equipment.

Photos: Charlie Roper & Brian Cole’s original skate board. The photos were taken in 2016 outside Charlie’s parents place in Wembley. Photos courtesy of Roper family.

1960s WA 1st skateboard Roper family pic collage_photocat

Photo: 2009 City Beach Surf Riders Club reunion. L-R Keith Campbell, Charlie Roper & Zac Kochanowitsch. Bruce King pic.

2009 CBSR Reunion Keith Campbell, Charlie Roper & Zac. Bruce King pic IMG_8461

Other 1960s WA skateboard recollections.

Craig Henfry I remember Paul Meink pulling off a jump trick on his skateboard in the car park at Floreat Forum, a trick I practiced until I got it too, once or twice. The last time I got on a skateboard I lasted about 2 secs and nearly cracked my skull, oh to be 16 again.

I had a Midget Farrelly skateboard up until a few years ago when I gave it to a mate’s son who then proceeded to trash it. I saw similar ones on some collectors show on TV and immediately regretted my generosity. A quick search on google turned up one that looks exactly like the one I had, I was also staggered to see what sort of money people pay for stuff like that.

Photo: Mid 1960s Midget Farrelly 26” timber deck skateboard sold Sept 2008 for $1200. Source: Von Weirdos

1960s Midget farrelly skateboard dscf4988

Bruce KingI remember the skateboard exhibitions at Floreat Forum car park, we were part of the Midget Farrelly competition team. There was a slalom course, high jumping and walking up and down stairs.

“Ollies” (today’s jumps) weren’t thought of then, we used to go barefooted and wrap your toes around each end to make the board jump. Paul Meink, Dave Condon were the jets, they even had Farrelly team t-shirts and parkas, I unfortunately came in to the team at the back end and missed out on getting my “Team Farrelly” gear.

Another time I went skate boarding down Mount Street in Perth, it was about the steepest street and I thought would be a good challenge.  This was before the freeway was there & the street went straight through and joined up with St Georges Tce. Anyway about half way down I got the wheel wobbles up and couldn’t bail out, I ended up in the Terrace dodging buses and cars.

Ross UttingAfter a while of skateboarding on the gently sloping carpark at Floreat Forum Shopping Centre some of us were looking for more of a challenge than just doing tricks. Ok, so we just couldn’t compete with the likes of Paul Meink, Ross Sarson etc in the tricks department! Then we found “Brookdale Entrance”. Brookdale Entrance was the eastern entrance to Perry Lakes Stadium & was short but seriously steep. It was the big wave equivalent of skateboarding. You had to do 2 or 3 big turns to keep your speed down before sweeping down to a final turn at the bottom. If you made a mistake you were dead meat.

One time we were at The Entrance when Glen “Roy” Carroll’s older brother Lindsay turned up big noting himself. Lindsay was a seriously fit guy & at the time was playing full forward for Claremont in the WAFL. He grabbed a board & took off but couldn’t turn & hit the bottom absolutely flying.

He smashed the security grills around the turnstiles off their hinges. We were too scared to laugh in case he came after us, but the episode added to the Brookdale Entrance legend.

————————————–