1962-64 Alex ‘Zac’ Kochanowitsch

West Perth surfer Alex ’Zac’ Kochanowitsch purchased his first surfboard in 1962 and won WA’s first State Open Men’s Surfing Title in 1964.

1962 Zac’s first board

In 1962 Zac purchased his first fiberglass board from King & Cole Surfboards in Wembley. The 9ft Malibu board cost £28 pounds and was his pride & joy. (The surfboard would be worth a lot more at auction these days). Zac chained the surfboard to stumps under the City Beach Tea Rooms and hitch-hiked or caught the bus to the beach.

Photos: 1962 The Kochanowitsch brothers with their Malibu surfboards. (left) Zac age 17 with his new King & Cole Surfboard and (right) Len with his surfboard – manufacturer unknown. Photos courtesy of Ernie Potter.

1962 Zac & Len Kochanowitsch  compilation1

1962 Zac’s first SW trip.

Zac recalls his first trip Down South was quite by accident.

In the summer of ’62, I travelled to Avalon (near Mandurah) with my mates John McGuire and Boz Cummins in John’s mum’s new Morris Minor 1000. When we got there the surf was too small so John said “bugger this we are going to Gallows”. John immediately dismantled the car’s speedometer cable as he was told to go no further than Avalon and his dad always took a speedo reading to check how far we travelled that day. To save time we headed off down the Old Coast Road on a rough dirt track between Lake Preston Road House and Australind. Finally we found our way to The Gallows. To our surprise we were the only ones there, it was an offshore wind and a perfect head high wave. We surfed for 2 hours then John said “we have to go home now as I have to have the car home before 6pm”. So we headed home to wash the car & reconnect the speedo and pretend Avalon was as far as we went.”

By the next year (1963) Zac was spending most weekends down south surfing big well shaped waves.

Photo: 1964 Zac surfing Margaret River on his ‘rising sun’ design surfboard. Photo credit Eddie Potter.

1964 Zac Kochanowitsch Marg River - Ernie Potter pic

1964 Zac’s first surf Title

WA’s inaugural State Surfing Title were held in solid wave conditions at Yallingup in 1964.

Contest winners: Open: Zac Kochanowitsch, Bob Keenan, Tony Harbison. Juniors: Barry King, Richard White, Brian Boynes. Womens: Jenny Shackley, 3rd Teena Christon age 14 (Womens event held Cowaramup Bay).

Photo: Contest winners L-R Barry King (Juniors) and Zac (Open). Both surfers were from the City Beach Surf Riders Club. Photo credit WA Newspapers.

1964 Yalls State Champs Barry King & Zac- Newspaper picA

WA State Champions Zac, Barry King & Jenny Shackley went on to represent Australia at the first World Surfing Titles held at Manly NSW in May 1964.

Photo: 1964 Logo on Zac’s Australian Surf Team jacket. Photo credit Zac Kochanowitsch.

1964 Zac's Aust Surf Team jacket- Zac pic


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 .




1962 The Ghost at Gallows

1962 Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent grabbing the rail at Gallows. The Ghost was a keen SW big wave rider in the early 60s. He got his nickname from the white zinc cream he plastered on his face. Photo credit Brian Cole.

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1962 Bob Keenan surfing on a Malibu surfboard at Gallows. Brian Cole (of King & Cole surfboards fame) is pulling off the back of wave. Photo credit Brian Cole.

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1985 Loz Smith founder of Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic

Laurie ‘Loz’ Smith of Quindalup foundered the Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic (YalMal) competition in 1985. The YalMal will celebrate it’s 30th anniversary in November 2014. This photo shows Loz at the 1986 Yalls Classic with a Greg Laurenson shaped Santosha board. Photo credit Loz Smith.

1986 Yalls Yal Classic with GL shaped Santosha - L Smith pic img289A

Loz is a talented photographer/artist and maintains a photographic record of SW surfing events. Loz designed this collage of Sally Jones photo for Surfing WA to present to former world surfing champion Midget Farrelly in 2001. Image credit Loz Smith.

2001 Surfing WA Presentation at Yalls Beach to Midget Farrelly for 1969 Oz Comp - Sally Jones pics, Collage by Loz Smith.jpg