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Craig Howe – Living the Dream

Kalbarri’s first resident surfer Craig Howe worked & surfed in the Mid-West region from 1971 to 2009. During this time he mainly surfed Jacques Point, he also surfed over on the Abrolhos Islands and first discovered Gnaraloo in 1975. He surfed it on a 7’4″ single fin West Coast surfboard.

Photo: 1974 Craig surfing Jacques Point at Kalbarri. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

1974 Jacques Pt Kalbarri Craig Howe surfing

Photo: 1976 Craig re-entry Jacques Point at Kalbarri. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

1976 Jacques Pt Kalbarri Craig Howe re-entry

Photo: 1977 Craig surfing uncrowded Jacques Point at Kalbarri. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

1977 Jacques Pt Kalbarri Craig Howe pic

From 2009 until now Craig has been living and surfing in the Philippine Islands, and makes a surfing trip to Indo now and then. In 2015 he built a house in the Philippines.

Craig Living the dream over here in the Philippines, it’s a very simple life style living in this fishing village. There’s lots of fresh fish and vegetables, some chicken and pork. Oh and the fruit is so good too, mangoes, pineapples, rumbutan, lanzones, magosteen, durian, jackfruit, water melon, bananas and fresh coconut water. Lots of fresh natural fruits growing here! I love surfing over here because the ocean is warm.

Photo: 2015 Philippines. Craig’s house on the beach. Photo courtesy Craig Howe.

2015 Philippines Craig Howe home built 2015

Photo: 2015 Philippines. View from verandah of Craig’s new home. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

2015 Philippines view from verandah Craig Howe IMG_503 - Copy

Photos: 2011-14 Philippines waves. Photos courtesy of Craig Howe.
Top: unidentified locations. Middle: Siargao Island. Bottom: Siargao Island.

2000s Philipines Siargao Island 5 collage_photocat

Photo: 2015 Philippines. Village security guard at a local surf spot ‘Love the rusty shot gun’ with Craig. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

2015 Philippines security guard & Craig Howe

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1960-70s Surfing Coolites at City Beach by Craig Blume

Craig Blume – Caveat before I start – I apologise now for missing out a lot of guys and events that occurred during the mid 60’s and early 70’s, but hopefully someone can fill in the holes so we get a great capture of the time.

These are my recollection of the early coolite days at City Beach from the mid 60’s-70’s.

What a fantastic time, free flowing spirits, evolution in the air with surfboard materials and sizes changing from wooden/balsa 10 foot plus down to Craig Bettenay’s 4’8” fibreglass, as mentioned in other articles. I think Craig also had a smaller green board made to trial which he referred to as the “Derringer”.

My first memory of surfing City Beach is as a 10-11yo in 1964/5. A mate and I would hitchhike from Wembley to City Beach along Cambridge Street /Oceanic Drive, hired inflatable rubber mats either off the beach or from the small blue kiosk in front of the old orange surf club, surf all day or until the nipple and gut rash became too painful.

In 1966 we moved to south City Beach, near Jeff “RE” Marshall’s place in Branksome Gardens. From that point on for the next few years I spent most of my time learning to surf a coolite near the groyne. I remember being in awe of the older guys surfing on fibreglass boards weaving thru kids on coolites and cheering the Surf Life Saving Club guys when they became unstuck on their wooden skis.

In the 60’s the City Beach coolite riders were a small close knit bunch of guys, extremely competitive and enthusiastic, with most attending City Beach Primary and High School, who were encouraged and mentored, at some stage, by equally enthusiastic members of the City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc. (CBSR).

Photo: Mid 70s Craig’s dog “Spike Milligan” guarding his coolites & foamies. Photo courtesy of Craig Blume.

1960s Coolites & Foamies guarded by Spike Milligan - Craig Blume

Surfing Coolites at City Beach Groyne

Most mornings around dawn, when there was surf, there would be a few CBSR crew on fibreglass boards and coolite riders, like the Howe brothers – Alan (Fagan) & Craig (Thurston), Bettenay brothers -Greg (Boris), Stewart (Big Silk) & Craig (Little Silk), Ross (Log) Lawrence, Ross (Duck) Craigie, Chris (Bum Dip) Warrener, David (Errol) Wishart), Grant (Shorty) Arnold, myself and other local school kids surfing off the groyne. (I believe ‘Pixie’ Moss gave some of these coolite riders the endearing title of – “Tiny Tits Little Shits” – that’s another story.)

Typically, the sequence of events was – the fibreglass board riders would tell us coolite riders to stop hassling and f!!k off and then, around 6am, the early morning “tubby club” would slowly arrived for their splash, chat and swim near the groyne and be given a whole bunch of profanities and encouraged to move away from the groyne to avoid being hit and giving all the surfers the shits. The same happened after school at 6pm when the Fremantle Doctor (sea breeze) was in.

I remember one time when there had been no surf for a while, so the north City Beach boys made a sacrifice to “Huey” to bring waves by burning a coolite. The surf eventually did come up, but unfortunately Stewart Bettenay burnt his foot badly during the sacrifice ritual on the molten coolite polystyrene foam and consequently was sidelined and out of action for some time.

Photos: 1969 surfboard riding City Beach groyne. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.
(Left) unidentified. (Right) Stewart Bettenay.

1969 surfing City Beach groyne unknown & Stew Bettenay collage_photocat

Coolites, Skegs and Swimmers

The interaction between coolite riders and swimmers to my recollection was initially sort-of tolerated because they didn’t have skegs, only two small rounded foam 1” keels running along the bottom near the rail, which didn’t hurt if you got run over, although it made them difficult to control and ride standing-up. I am not saying there wasn’t the occasional conflict when a swimmer got hit by a coolite.

Initially, if my memory serves me well, there were two types of polystyrene foam surfboards – Hardies coolites, which were available to general public and another – a foamy for Surf Life Saving Clubs use.

Before either of these foam boards could be surfed without serious chaffing they needed to be painted with exterior water based paint, many a coolite was melted and wrecked by using oil based paint.

Next, installing skegs in coolites – fantastic innovation, it improved their performance and manoeuvrability, usually started with cutting up wooden plank from a fruit crate and shaping it to mimic the latest skeg designs being used in new fibreglass boards.

Then precisely measuring and cutting a slot in the coolite to just fit the skeg and pouring melted bees wax around the skeg to hold it in.

Installing skegs allowed surfers to experiment and pull-off more radical manoeuvres, tube riding, radical turns, re-entrys etc, and cultivated an environment of ultra-competitive aggressive surfing styles like Howie’s and the “Silks”, it also favoured the brave in front of the rocks, especially goofy foots like Howie, and defined pecking orders – rewarded the committed and wrecked the hesitant.

Photo: 1975 Craig Blume & Craig Howe with fibreglass surfboards at City Beach. Photo courtesy of Craig Blume.

1975 City Beach Craig Blume & Craig Howe - Craig Blume pic

“RE’s Law”

I remember hassling and guys dropping in on waves off the end of the groyne intensified to the extent surfers and surfboards were getting wrecked on the rocks. I don’t exactly remember when RE’s Law was proclaimed, but it established a surfers etiquette between the locals – 1st out had priority, 2nd out had the next wave, and so. Once you caught a wave you went to the back of the queue. This law, like all laws, worked if everyone knew it and abided by it, which was most of the time, but fell apart quickly resulting in an exchange of abuse and unnecessary tension in the surf and on shore. When it worked, there was great vibe in the water, guys would be cheering each other on, pushing each other to go harder and bragging how far they surfed down into the bay.

Surfboards and swimmers don’t mix

With the coolite’s increased manoeuvrability due to skegs, it allowed surfers to get closer and further around the nose of the groyne and inside most swimmers which escalated the conflict with swimmers to a whole new level. Because – on the one hand if the fin hit an obstacle, the groyne or swimmer, it would usually rip the skeg and surrounding foam out, resulting in time out the water for repairs. On the other hand if the obstacle was a person, they would be pissed off.

In these early days if you couldn’t get back on your coolite quickly and get away from the swimmer there would a confrontation usually on the shore, due to no leg ropes.

I remember one time my board supposedly hit this fat tubby club swimming obstacle. When I went to pick up my board this guy was going to punch my lights out, however Keith “Woolly” Hawkins (a Leederville surfer who went on to glass Energy Surfboards with Ken McKenzie at Margaret River) had other ideas and came to my rescue and reversed the situation. Thanks Woolly!

Beach Inspectors

The increase in surfboard rider/ swimmer confrontations saw the City of Perth introduce a “swimming area” and restrict surfing times near the groyne to before 6am and after 6pm and beach inspectors to manage it. The first beach inspector I encountered was Warren “Wonk” Somerford (dec’d), a guy not to be messed with, took his role very seriously, no surfboards in the swimming area near the groyne between 6am-6pm, one warning to get out, next time your board was confiscated for a time he thought was appropriate.

Another beach inspector was John “Harbo” Harbison (dec’d) who also took his role seriously, but practically, he strictly enforced no surfboards in the swimming area near the groyne between 6am-6pm, if there were swimmers in the area, otherwise you could surf.

Photo: 1973-74 Beach Inspector John ‘Harbo’ Harbison herding a topless girl off the beach. Photo courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1973-74 CB Beach Inspector John Harbo herding topless girl off beach

Restricted Surfing Times

Restricting surfing times meant you had to be in the water before dawn to beat the “tubby club” and Beach Inspector. This resulted in guys sleeping on beach near the groyne, in the surf lifesaving club’s boat shed (on the beach side of “West Coast Highway” which ran passed the City Beach and Floreat groynes to Scarborough), and camping under a clump of big melaleuca trees behind the City Beach Tearooms, colloquially referred as ‘The Pad’, to get into the surf early.

Many great times and yarns were had around these campfires. There would be someone with a story about their surfing ventures or romantic encounter etc. Whilst everyone was engrossed in these stories or asleep they would on some occasions be sprayed with the contents of canned food and soft drinking which were put in the campfire, as joke, without being pierced and explode.

Fishing off the groyne

Fishing off the groyne was another area of conflict for surfers. Sunrise and dusk are the normally the best time to fish and coincidently before 6am and after 6pm were the times we were permitted to surf coolites near the groyne. Most fishermen cast their fishing lines away from the surfers around the end of the groyne for obvious reasons. On some occasions, however, there would be a passionate European fisherman who would cast their hook, line and sinker over the guys in the water, which would result in a barrage of abuse and profanities coming from the surfers with the occasional assertive person snapping the line off as it came near them. Inevitably someone would get hooked up and on one occasion I was the unfortunate one, getting hooked in the thigh resulting with fisherman losing his gear to the surf, once I managed to snip the hook-eye off, push the barb through the skin with a lot of swearing while pulling the hook out.

Mentors – CBSR Club Members

Most of the CBSR members were incredible enthusiastic dedicated surfers who won many Interclub, State, National and International surfing competitions. Others helped the club function and enjoyed the camaraderie.

The world was our oyster with advice from members like:-

Ron (Pixie) Moss, talented surfer with many attributes – enjoyed pushing coolite riders off their boards in front of the groyne, teaching groms how to fill in time while waiting for the surf to happen by instructing us how to play poker, pontoon, slippery sam etc for money in the City of Perth SLSC boat shed and “Pad”, etc.

Timon (Tiny) McKay – Great story teller, instrumental in transporting the “Tiny Tits Little Shits” to surf comps and surf breaks, putting up with Howie and me dropping around to his and Browneye’s house in Hasting St, Scarborough unexpectedly etc

Brian (Browneyes) Mawby-Brown – for providing advice on cars, driving, surf spots and put up with us visiting unexpectedly, etc

Bruce (Lumpy) King, Kevin (DO) O’Dwyer, Phil Henderson etc – dropping around Tiny’s and Browneye’s house with stories about surfing trips, cars, girls and the night before, etc.

In finishing I would like to especially thank Jim King for having the drive and foresight to gather and publish stories of surfing history in WA.

** see related material**

1960-70s Coolite surfboards – Wednesday 2 March 2106

1970-80s Foamie surfboards – Saturday 5 March 2016

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1970s Craig Howe NW surf pioneer **Updated 21 & 25 January 2016**

**Update 21 Jan 2016** Added Craig’s account of how he & Charlie Konstantinidis discovered Gnaraloo surf break in 1975.

**Update 25 January 2016**Added photo of Lynette, Anastasia and Charlie Konstantinidis with Ualay the dog.

Craig Howe & his elder brother Alan grew up surfing coolites and surfboards at City Beach & Floreat groynes in the late 60s & early 70s.

Stewart Bettenay recalls: “Craig Howe’s dad Allen ‘Bubs’ Howe was my first footy coach at City Beach. He was a great guy & very, very funny. Craig didn’t play footy and went surfing instead which created a lot of humour at training.

Kevin Merifield told me Bub’s was a very good league football player at Subiaco in the late 50’s and a comedian. Kev reckons Craig Howe is a good surfer and an interesting character too. He always calls in to see him when in Kalbarri.

The Howe’s are a great part of City Beach history”.

Photos: (Left) 1969 Craig with new twin fin at his City Beach home. (Right) 1970 Craig surfing Floreat groyne. Photos courtesy of Craig Howe.

1969-70 Craig Howe twinfin & Floreat Groyne collage_photocat

Talented goofy footer Craig left City Beach in the early 70s and moved to the North West coast to follow his surfing dreams.

Photos: (Left) 1972 Craig leaving City Beach for the NW. (Right) 1973 Craig with Bob Gairdner at West Coast Surfboards. Photos courtesy of Craig Howe.

1970s Craig Howe metro 2 collage_photocat

Craig has lived in Kalbarri and surfed Jakes Point since the early 70s. He has also surfed many other breaks in the region including the Abrolhos Islands and Gnaraloo.

Images: (Left) 1975 Ron Moss & Craig with Kalbarri snapper. (Right) 2003 Craig & Alan Howe article in Kalbarri newspaper. Images courtesy of Ron Moss & Kalbarri Newspaper.

1975 & 2003 Craig & Alan Howe Kalbarri collage_photocat

Photo: 1980 Craig surfing Jakes Point at Kalbarri. Photo credit Craig Howe.

1980 Craig Howe Jakes Pt Kalbarri #2

Photo: 1980 Craig surfing Jakes Point at Kalbarri. Photo credit Craig Howe.

1980 Craig Howe Jakes Pt Kalbarri #1

*** update 21 Jan 2016***

This is Craig’s account of how he & Charlie Konstantinidis discovered Gnaraloo surf break in 1975.

Charlie Konstantinidis, Lynette and their child Anastasia, Lynette’s younger sister Susie and I travelled up from Kalbarri in Charlies VW Kombi van to search for waves north of Carnarvon. There was also a dog in the Kombi on the trip from Kalbarri, Charlie’s dog named Ualay (pronounced YOU-LAY).

This surf adventure was planted into my brain, by a man named “John Julian” who was the top salesman at Faull’s Land Rover dealers just passed the subway in Subiaco. John Julian sold me that Land Rover you see in SDS blog photo. John Julian was the man that told me about waves north of Carnarvon. He saw waves there while on one of this missions to test drive Land Rovers. His mission was to test drive Land Rovers by driving around the coast of Australia. This was way before Toyota 4WD arrive in Australia. John Julian is the man that told me about waves north of Carnarvon.

We drove the Kombi down many tracks that ran off to the west of the main Gnaraloo road, to look for waves and we did get bogged a few times. Eventually we got to the Gnaraloo station home stead, where we asked for permission to camp the night somewhere on the coast. A station worker (who was the first really live cowboy I had ever met) said we could camp, but if we have a camp fire to be very careful and don’t knock down any fences. It’s was then that I asked this station worker “if he had ever seen other surfers in the area” his reply to me was “no”. He had never seen anyone surfing at Gnaraloo, only fisherman that explore for good fishing spots.

We set up a camp down close to the beach. In the SDS blog photo of Charlie and baby Anastasia and myself sitting on that sand hill, we were naked in that photo (it was the hippy thing in the 70s), it was then I said to Charlie “look down there Charlie, looks like a left hander.” The next morning we drove back south and turned the Kombi down this fence line track and drove to the coast. There it was, this long left hander, we were very excited even though it was only small and we paddled out and surfed this new wave on our single fin surfboards.

“We were the first surfers to surf Tombstones & Gnaraloo, Charlie and myself”.

I never named the Gnaraloo break Tombstones, I did name it Tablet Reef because of the tablet rock that sits on the shore in front of the take-off area, it reminded me of the biblical days when man wrote on rocks…

Dappa (David Plaisted made “SUNRISE SURFBOARDS” in the SW) got up to Gnaraloo station about 1 year after us. Dappa was the first to surf the break named “Turtles” but after the Gnaraloo station owner found out Dappa was growing pot on the station, he got told to leave. So Dappa left Gnaraloo, but he did name the Turtles break.

It was a few weeks or months after the Gnaraloo adventure that I went down south to enter a surf comp and while there I told Craig Bettenay, George Simpson and Tom Hoye that I had surfed this wave on Gnaraloo station. Wish I never had told them, but I was young and silly.

That was also the time I decided that surf comps were not for me as I did not like being told when I could surf and how long you were allowed to stay in the surf. Free surfing up in the warm water at Kalbarri was far better and more fun.

*** update 25 Jan 2016***

Photo: 1976 Konstantinidis family cooling off down south after Gnaraloo adventure. L-R Lynette, Anastasia and Charlie Konstantinidis with Ualay the dog. Photo courtesy of Craig Blume.

1976 SW Lynette Anastaisa Ualay (dog) and Charlie Konstantinidis

In 2001 Australia’s Surfing Life magazine credited Craig with being the first to surf Gnaraloo waves in 1975.

Image: 2001 Extract from Surfing Life article. Image courtesy of Surfing Life Magazine.

1975 Craig Howe Desert Pioneer Surfing Life 2001

Photo: 1975 Empty Tombstones line-up at Gnaraloo. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

1975 Tombstones at Gnaraloo lineup - Craig Howe

Photo: 2011 Board Club reunion held at City Beach. L-R Norm Kitson, Craig Blume, Craig Henfry, Chris Warrener, Craig Howe & Craig Bettenay. Photo courtesy of Bruce King.

2011 CBSR Reunion - Bruce King 177

In recent years Craig has been surfing uncrowded waves in the Philippines.

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1960s-70s West Coast Surfboards

In the late 60s & 70s West Coast Surfboards in Fitzgerald St West Perth was run by surfboard craftsman Bob Gairdner and partners Mick Dalziel & Eddie Warner.

West Coast Surfboards attracted a stable of fine surfers in Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell (dual State Open Champion), Ian Cairns (dual World Champion), Barry Day (Duke Kahanamoku Trophy winner) and Craig Howe (NW surfing pioneer).

Photo: 1973 West Coast Surfboards showrooms in West Perth. Photographer unknown.

1973 West Coast surf shop - unknown A

Photos: Vintage West Coast Surfboards (Left) 1969 surfboard logo & (Right) 1970 single fin surfboard. Photos courtesy of Phil Woods Collection.

1969-70 West Coast Surfboards Phil Woods Collection IMG_001

Bob Gairdner shaped all of ‘Spook’ Bothwell’s West Coast surfboards.

’Spook’ Bothwell: “My introduction to Bob Gairdner was through David Beamish with whom I was friendly with. It was after I won the 68 State Title on my John Arnold which Malcolm Loch organised for me, that Beamish introduced me. Bob made me a board to ride in the Australian Titles, in Sydney. The board was based on Midget’s pintail which I rode when he was at Yallingup in 68.
Bob Gairdner made every board I rode for years. Terry Jacks also rode them. Mick Dalziel who was an original Southern Surfrider was also a partner and an influential design collaborator.
Other surfers who surfed the Coasters were Al Fixter, Neil Peacock and Dave Plaisted to name a few.
The thing about Bob was he was interested in the process, the surfers themselves, surfboard design and everyone respected him for it.
Northbridge was a different place back then”.

Photo: 1972 ‘Spook’ Bothwell surfing a West Coast side slipper shaped by Bob Gairdner at the back of Cowaramup Bay in the SW. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1972 Moses Peter Spook Bothwell on West Coast side slipper - R Chan img530

West Coast’s surfboard construction team was comprised of master shaper Bob Gairdner, Eddie Warner (Cottesloe) glasser/sander. In 1972 Barry Day (City Beach) glassed, sanded & polished boards. State Surfing Champion Ian Cairns (Cottesloe) also shaped some boards for West Coast in the 70s.

Barry Day: “In 72 Ian Cairns shaped me a slide slipper surfboard based on his own blue coloured Midget Farrelly slide slipping surfboard. It was a wonderful board and we had a lot of fun together“

Photo: 1972 Barry Day at Yallingup with his Ian Cairn’s shaped slide slipper board with platypus nose and red colour design. Rod Slater is crouching next to Barry. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1972 Yalls State Titles Barry Day & Rod Slater - Ric Chan img095

Barry Day rode an Ian Cairn’s shaped West Coast Surfboards 6’2” area rounded pin with twin fins when he won the Duke Kahanamoku Trophy at the 1972 Australian Titles held on NSW beaches.

Photo: 1972 Barry Day’s Duke Kahanamoku trophy back home at Yalls. Photo credit Bruce King.

1972 OZ Titles NSW Duke Kahamoku Trophy B Day CBSR IMG_8308

Photo: 1973 surfer Craig Howe & Bob Gairdner inside the West Coast factory. Photo courtesy of Craig Howe.

1973 Craig Howe & Bob Gairdner West Coast Surfboards - Craig Howe A

Ian Cairns rode a West Coast Surfboard to victory in the 73 Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships (de facto professional World Championship) held at Laniakea in Hawaii.

Barry Day: “Either Bob or Ian shaped Ian’s blood red coloured board and I glassed and sanded it”.

In 1974 Ian Cairns shaped Barry Day a 6’8” x 19.5” single fin swallow tail board at West Coast Surfboards.

Barry Day: “I made the fin, glassed, sanded, gloss coated, polished and then waxed & surfed the board”.

Photos: 1974 Barry’s West Coast swallow tail surfboard shaped by Kanga. Photos courtesy of Jim King.

1974 West Coast Surfboard by Ian Cairns collage_photocat

Image: 1974 Barry Day footballer/surfer working at West Coast Surfboards. Image courtesy of The Daily News.

1974 Barry Day - profile ex Daily News A

Photo: 2010 Old boys reunion at Marybrook function. L-R Loz Smith, Barry Day & Bob Gairdner. Photo courtesy of Loz Smith.

2010 Loz, Baz & Brian Gairdner West Coast Surfboards Busso Loz picA

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1960s & 70s Ron Moss – another day at the office

Ron ‘Pixie’ Moss of Floreat started riding surf boards at City Beach in the early 60s. Ron was a talented body surfer and board rider on Malibu & coolite surfboards. He was easily recognisable with long blonde hair and red ‘sluggos’ (ie speedos). His surfing style was unique, he could paddle his mal in the squat position and used to stand on his board with arms folded while waiting for waves.

Ron was a foundation member of the City Beach Surf Riders Club (CBSR) in 1962 (along with Peter Docherty, Viv Kitson & others) and in 2000 was made a Life Member in recognition of his valuable service to the club over many years. He was an enthusiastic club member and encouraged the younger surfers.

Photos: (Left) 1964 Ron in sluggo’s at Scarborough – Carol McDonald pic. (Middle) 1966 Ron doing a head stand at City Beach – Daily News pic. (Right) 1967 Ron with Cordingley surfboard & CBSR boardies at Scarborough – Trevor Burslem pic.

1960s Ron Moss compilation #2

Early on Ron & surf promoter Trevor Burslem sold surf gear to shops and later established the Gasworks Surf Shop. At the time Ron worked as a postman so he could spend more time at the beach.

Ron surfed metro and South West beaches before being conscripted & serving in Vietnam in the late 60s. After National Service, where he trained to be a cook, he returned to his ‘office at the beach‘ and continued charming maidens while working as a cook at Hollywood Hospital.

Photos: (Left top) 1966 Ron surfing Scarborough on a Cordingley Board – Trevor Burslem pic. (Left middle) 1966 Surfers Ball held in South Perth. Ron 4th from left – Ron Moss pic. (Left bottom) 1968 Ron on National Service in Nui-Dat Vietnam – Ron Moss pic. (Right top) 1967 Ron working as a postman at Scarborough – Ron Moss pic. (Right bottom) 1966 Ron surfing a prohibited wave at Leighton – Trevor Burslem pic.

1960s Ron Moss compilation #1

In the mid-60s Ron Moss & Paul Meink paddled from City Beach to Rotto on their mals. It was a flat day & they were bored, so they did it. They took jelly babies for fuel on the trip. When they got to Rotto, the Authorities refused them access to the Island as their crafts weren’t registered. On the paddle back it was getting dark and they were spent. Luckily for them they were picked up by a passing cray boat. The boys were dropped off at Swanbourne Beach and left to paddle-in in the dark.

In 1977-78 Ron joined the City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club hoping to negotiate a meeting room for CBSR. While with the surf club he competed successfully at a National SLSC competition at Scarborough and rode a coolite to victory in a SLSC surfboard competition held at Trigg.

Because of his outgoing personality, Ron was widely known inside and outside surfing circles and was particularly popular with the ladies. He was/is a raconteur and a legendary character of WA surfing.

Ron is now retired and lives in Kalbarri.

Photos: (Left) 1975 Kalbarri residents Ron & Craig Howe holding a local snapper – Ron Moss pic. (Middle) 2008 Ron & Julie Angel at Rick Ardon’s 50th birthday party – Loz Smith pic. (Right) 2010 Ron & Peter Docherty with CBSR Docherty Perpetual Trophy – Jim King pic

2000s Ron Moss compilation 4

Footnote: Ron’s younger siblings are also competent water people. Colin was a talented junior surfer, sister Margaret was a swimming champion at the State level and David a veteran of Princess Royal Harbour (Albany) and Rottnest swims won the 60-69 year old division of the 2010 2.4km Alcatraz swim in USA .