Vintage South West surfing images.

This a collection of late 50s & early 60 South West surfing images from various photographers in the Surfing Down South archives. It features a pod of WA surfing pioneer legends.

Photo: 1957 Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino riding plywood toothpick boards at Yallingup. Water photography by John Budge.

1957 Yalls Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino surfing wooden toothpick surfboards - JB pic img568

Photo: 1958 Yallingup Main Break surfer John Budge on home-made balsa board. Water photo courtesy of John Budge.

1958 Yalls John Budge - John Budge pic IMG_0005

Photo: 1962 Gallows outside break Jim Keenan & Puppydog (NSW) riding Barry Bennett boards from NSW. Jim Keenan pic.

1962 Gallows outside break J Keenan & Puppydog on NSW Barry Bennet boards - J Keenan pic

Photo: 1960-61 South Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfer. Steve Mailey pic

1960s South Point Cowaramup - Steve Mailey img343

Photo: 1962 Yallingup Main Break surfer Murray Smith. Photo courtesy of Glen Campbell (Dolphins Board Club).

1962 Yalls surfing Murray Smith - Glen Campbell Dolphins Board Club pic IMG_6348

Photos: 1962 Surfing legends at Gallows. Time ravage images courtesy of Brian Cole.

Top: (Left) Bob Keenan. (Right) Brian Cole.

Bottom: Dave Williams both images.

1962 Gallows surfing Brian Cole pics collage_photocat

Photo: 1963 North Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfers. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Cowaramup Bay North Point unknowns - Tom Collins pic img235

Photo: 1963 Bunker Bay ‘The Quarries’ unknown surfer. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Bunker Bay The Quarries unknown - Tom Collins pic img219

Photo:1963 Terry ‘Rat’ James doing a ‘quasimoto’ at Gallows. Photo courtesy of Sonny James.

1963 Gallows Terry James - unknown photograher_0001

Photo: 1963 former City Beach surfer Mick Lindsay surfing Gallows. Mick now resides in NSW. Photo courtesy of Geoff Berry.

1963 Mick Lindsay Gallows SW3

Photo: 1964 Margaret River Main Break surfers L-R Murray Smith & Jim Keenan. Photo courtesy of Jim Keenan.

1964 Marg River Murray Smith & Jim Keenan surfing - J Keenan pic1

Photo: 1964 WA’s first State Mens Champion Alex ‘Zac’ Kochanowitsch surfing Margaret River Main Break on his ‘Rising Sun’ surfboard. Ernie Potter pic.

1964 Zac Kochanowitsch Marg River - Ernie Potter pic

Bonus Images.

These 1950s images were sourced from pioneer WA surfer/photographer John Budg’s vintage photo collection. The actual photographers are unknown.

Image: 1950s unidentified pin-up girl.

1950s unknown pinup girl - John Budge pic img367

Image: 1950s unidentified Eastern States surfers riding plywood Toothpick surfboards at an unknown location. .

1950s Aust Surfing toothpicks unknown - John Budge pic img357.jpg A

Thanks to the various photographers for providing the vintage pics.




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




1950s Miami Bay near Mandurah

In the 50s Miami Bay (now Falcon) near Mandurah was a popular surfing venue. It was a day trip from the city and on a good day there were waves wrapping from the point into the bay.

Photo: 1950s Rice’s Tea Rooms at Miami Bay. Photo credit John Budge.

1950s Mandurah Miami Rice's Tea Rooms - John Budge pic img358

In 1954 Ray Geary and three of his City Beach Board Club mates put on a surfing display at Miami Beach.

Image: 1954 Beach Board Sports article in Mandurah newspaper. Image courtesy of Ray Geary.

1954 City Beach Board Club display - Miami News - image courtesy Ray Geary

Photo: 1958 Miami point waves – Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Miami point waves - Brian Cole pic IMG_02

Photo: 1958 the boys standing on an old bomb on Miami beach. L-R Owen Oates, John Budge, Colin Moore & Brian Cole – Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Miami old bomb on beach Owen Oates,John Budge, Colin Moore & Brian Cole - Brian Cole IMG_03

Photo: 1958 Young Dave Williams at Miami Bay with two hollow plywood toothpick surfboards. Photo credit John Budge.

1958 Mandurah Dave Williams Miami beach - JB pic img359

Photo: 1958 Beanie boys at Miami Bay car park. L-R Owen Oates, Ken Hamer & Brian Cole. Photo credit John Budge.

Brian Cole recalls: “The hollow plywood surf skis on the roof of Owen’s FJ Holden ute were made by Owen (a carpenter) and myself. I used to shape paddles for the wave skis from Oregan timber. I would glue blocks on the ends of a square shaft and then hand shape the timber into wave ski paddles. The hollow plywood Malibu surfboards in the back of the ute were made by Ian Scott & myself.” BC

1958 Miami Bay Owen Oates, Ken Hamer & Brian Cole. Owen's FJ Holden ute - John Budge pic img361

Photo: 1958 Miami Bay. City Beach Board Club members searching for waves L-R Ian Scott, Colin Moore, Sue Rankin, John Budge & Owen Oates on roof of his FJ Holden ute. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Miami City Beach crew Ian Scott, Colin Moore, Sue Rankin, John Budge & Owen Oates on roof FX Holden ute B Cole picA

A SDS blog on surfing at Miami Bay in the 60s will follow.








1956-57 Surfers Camping at Yallingup

In the 50s’ pioneer SW surfers camped under melaleuca trees in front of the Yallingup Beach car park.

Surfside Tea rooms was available for meals at the time but the beach Caravan Park and Hideaway Homes accommodation options didn’t happen until the 70s.

Photo: 1956-57 Yallingup campsite L-R Tony Burgess, unknown, John ‘Red’ Abbott (hammock), unknown, Bernie Huddle, Alan Hamer, unknowns (3). Photo Credit John Budge.

Let us know if you can identify the unknown persons.

1956-57 Yalls camping Tony Burgess, unknown, John 'Red' Abbott (hammock),unknown, Bernie Huddle, Alan Hamer, unknown- JB pic img583

Photo: 1957 Surfers cooking on camp fire at Yallingup Beach. L-R Des Gaines, Jim Keenan, unknown, Laurie Burke, Bernie Huddle & Artie Taylor. Photo credit Jim Keenan.

1957 Yalls Des Gaines, Jim Keenan, unknown, Laurie Burke, Bernie Huddle & Arty Taylor - J Keenan pic



1950s Balsa Surfboards

Balsa surfboards were introduced to WA in the late 50s to replace the heavy plywood toothpicks surfboards. The boards were light weight but the balsa sucked water in if the fibreglass coating was damaged.

Pioneer WA surfer Brian Cole: “Most of the balsa boards were imported from eastern states surfboard manufacturers Gordon Woods, Bill Wallace & Bill Clymer. Veteran NSW surfboard manufacturer Joe Larkin did his apprenticeship with boat builder Bill Clymer. Bill Clymer had a one man surf boat at Manly. He would row out into the waves and use the sweep oar to steer back to the beach.”

Photo: 1959 Team photo of WA surf pioneers with balsa surfboards at Mettams beach near Trigg. L-R Colin Taylor, Dave Williams, Graham ‘Cocko’ Killen, Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill & Artie Taylor. Photo credit John Budge.

1959 Mettams C Taylor, D Williams, C Killen, Moonshine & A Taylor - John Budge pic

Some of the balsa boards were home made in back yards from balsa blanks purchased from Boans Department store in Perth city.

Brian Cole recalls the balsa board making process: “The balsa was purchased in lengths 9ft x 4” square. Then the boards were glued & clamped together to meet required dimensions. A ‘spoke shave’ was used to take shave off rough edges of the timber prior to shaping with electric & hand planers. Resin & fibreglass cloth was purchased from Monsanto in Subiaco. The shaped balsa was glassed with a single coat of 10 ounce glass…it was difficult to wrap the glass around rails! A filler coat was added, but no gloss coat. Fins were made out of plywood & glassed with a bead on the edge. The wooden fin was glassed onto the board.”

Photo: 1958 Bob Keenan (on pogo stick) shaping a balsa board in his backyard surfboard studio at Subiaco. The balsa blank was purchased from Boans Department store. Photo credit Bob Keenan.

1958 Subiaco Bob Keenan on pogo stick shaping balsa blank from Boans - B KeenanA

Photos: Homemade Balsa Boards

Left: 1955 John Budge with Nirvana balsa board at Yalls. John Budge pic.
Middle: 1958 Don Bancroft with homemade balsa board at Yalls.
Right: 1959 Brian Cole with balsa pig board at Coolangatta Qld. Brian Cole pic

1950s Homemade balsa boards IMG_002

Pioneer surfer Bernie Huddle meticulously looked after his balsa board.

Brian Cole: “One weekend at Yallingup in 1958 Bernie put his balsa board in the shade under the melaleuca trees while he was sunbaking. A church group come along and set up a picnic and started singing hymns on the beach front. Surfer/musicians Don Bancroft & Colin Taylor started accompanying the hymns with their instruments (trumpet & trombone). The Rector got upset with Don & Colin and asked for “a bit of decorum”. Then some of the church kids started jumping on Bernie’s balsa board and were putting holes in it….when Bernie saw what was happening he let forth a blasphemous tirade. The church group quickly packed up & left the beach within 2 minutes. Afterwards Dave Wiiliams said “Everybody got a piece of watermelon at the picnic. Hellelujah.”

Photo: 1957 Bernie Huddle with balsa surfboard at Yalls. Photo credit John Budge.

1957 Yalls Bernie Huddle & board - JB pic img600

Image: 1960 Dave Williams riding his imported Bill Clymer (NSW) round tail balsa board at City Beach. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1960 City Beach Dave Williams on Clymer Balsa Board - West Aust IMG_01