Duke Nagtzaam born and bred in the South West

Duke Nagtzaam was born and bred in the South West. He is the son of Mark and Arlene Nagtzaam of Yallingup.

The whole family surfs and are known by locals colloquially as Team Nagtzaam. Duke’s mum Arlene is a former Australian Longboard champion and his dad Mark assists Duke with surf competition coaching. Duke’s sister Riley is also a talented surfer and has had competition success.

Duke started surfing at the age of six. He is a member of the Yallingup Board Riders Club and has been successful in state and national surf contests.

Duke’s dad Mark and Jim King (Dunsborough) captured these images of Duke surfing various breaks in the South West.

Image #1 Duke forehand carve. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #2 Duke nose pick air reverse. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #3 Duke air reverse. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #4 Duke in the barrel. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #5 Duke warm up pre surf. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #6 Duke forehand snap. Jim King pic.

Image #7 Duke cutback. Jim King pic.

Image #8 Duke vertical re-entry. Jim King pic.

Image #9 Duke carve. Jim King pic.

Image #10 Duke layback. Jim King pic.

Duke is sponsored by Rip Curl Wetsuits, Clear Water Surfboards, Shapers fins, Dakine, Reef and Inlayz.




Rich pickings at Yallingup

After a week of cold fronts the weather gods blessed the South West’s west coast with off-shore winds and a solid swell for the last weekend in autumn.

Photo: Autumn line-up at Yallingup Main Break. Loz Smith pic.

Yallingup carpenter and cowboy movie buff Rich Myer picked off prime set waves at Yalls Main Break on his favourite long board.

Rich – I had my long board hand made by Bill Foote in Hawaii 14 years ago. It is made of polystyrene foam and epoxy resin. I only use the board at Yallingup. It has snapped twice and been repaired. On a trip to Hawaii, I took the two pieces of broken board with me for repairs (there was no-one here to fix EPS boards back then) and the guy at Hawaii airport charged me for two boards. I argued that it was one broken board, but he was a big ‘Brudda’ and I had to pay double!

Photo: 2013 Rich with his favourite long board on the steps at Yallingup. Bruce King pic.

Quindalup surfer/ photographer Loz Smith captured these images of Rich surfing Yallingup.

Highlights from Saturday 27 May 2017 by Loz Smith

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #1.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #2.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #3.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #4.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #5.


Highlights from Sunday 28 May 2017 by Loz Smith

While the water temperature was warm on the Sunday, there was a cool breeze blowing down Yallingup valley and out to sea.

To keep warm between surfs, Richie wandered around the carpark wearing his full wettie with a hoody and ugg boots. He also spent time warming up in his work Ute with the heater on.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #1.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #2.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #3.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #4.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #5.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #6.

Photo: the ‘Peanut Gallery’ spectating on the retirement seat at Yallingup. Loz Smith pic.

L-R Rich Myers, Barry Day, Craig Hitchens and Jim King.

Rich I’m not materialistic, but I was born with the name Rich and I will die Rich. Ha!



1965 My First Trip Down South by Errol Considine

My First Trip Down South – over 50 years ago!

By Errol Considine

December 1965 saw my first trip Down South – I was 14. The memories of that first taste of the magic of the Capes region remain vivid today.

My brother Jeff and I had been bitten with the surfing bug a few summers earlier and ridden our first boards on our home beach at Scarborough, and been part of the local ‘crew’. Eventually, both becoming members of Scarborough Board Club.

We were in awe of the stories we kept hearing from the older guys – especially Murray Smith and the North End Board Club crew, who were also Scarborough-based – about the monster waves on the Yallingup-Margaret River coast. We were busting to get down there.

By ’65, Jeff and his mates in their last year at Scarborough High School had started getting driver’s licences and some were picking up an assortment of old cars and fitting them with roof racks.

So when Jeff finished his Leaving Exams in early December, we loaded up his new 9’6” Dibben-Cole single stringer onto high schoolmate Fred Bosich’s Austin Lancer, along with his board too, on a Monday morning. Jeff and I packed our boardies (ours were custom made by Jenny Cordingley – Fred wore black footy shorts to surf!), wax and sleeping bags and headed for Mandurah, cutting across to Pinjarra, and then on the narrow and winding South West Highway on the s-l-o-w trip South.

We headed to Margaret River and the Prevelly caravan park, which had old buses fitted with bunks and a gas stove, and I think a single light bulb! Camping down south also meant taking along a stash of tinned taste delights like braised steak and onions or baked beans, as the staple diet ….I reckon global warming was given a kick along by a spike in methane gas emissions rising into the atmosphere from the Capes Coast of SW WA during that era!

The following year, we camped at Prevelly. Brother Jeff had started as a Cadet Architectural Draftsman at the Public Works Department in early 1966 and saved enough to buy his first car, the Mini, which carried us for many surfing weekend Down South.

“Funny but early in our Down South days we seemed to always stay at Prevelly. One weekend, we were even being drafted in by the Scarborough Board Club boys to help on the wheelbarrows and shovels to lay the cement slab for their corrugate iron clubhouse which was erected there. North End Board Club built another one nearby. But after the first few summers we all gravitated to staying at the top of the Capes Coast Yallingup, and sleeping on the grass in front of the dunnies.

Geoff Moran, another of Jeff’s mates who also lived near us in Doubleview and went to Scarborough High, joined us on later trips Down South. He had a good camera and snapped the black & white pics which appear with this little vignette memoir….buying and processing colour film was expensive!

Geoff later got called up for Nasho’s and went to Vietnam and I sort of lost contact with him after that….”

Photo: 1966 Jeff’s Mini Minor laden with surfboards in the camping area at Prevelly Caravan Park. Geoff Moran pic.

Photo: 1966 Jeff sitting on Malibu boards on top of his new mini. Geoff Moran pic.

“The top board strapped on the Mini is Geoff Moran’s McDonagh – I recognise the ‘competition stripe’ (it was light blue)…So the bottom board would have been Jeff’s Dibben-Cole 9′ 6”, single stringer, laminated wooden tail block, yellow D-fin, no colouring’.

Photo: 1966 Geoff Moran’s McDonagh surfboard (ex NSW) at the back of the Moran’s house near us in Doubleview – his sister Pam in the shot. Geoff Moran pic

Photo: 1966 Geoff Moran’s EK Holden sedan at Doubleview. Geoff Moran pic.

“Geoff’s Holden took us on other surf adventures – I remember going to Avalon for the first time one summer’s Saturday morning in this car, driving over an open paddock to a wire fence and having to clamber over it to get to the top of a sand hill to check out the waves – it was small and as we got there the sea breeze came in and turned it to junk! Didn’t get wet that day..”

…but I digress – back to the tale of my first ever trip Down South…

The surf spots we knew about in late ‘65 and could locate between referring to our Shell road map, plus by drawing on the knowledge we’d picked up from other guys who’d already been regularly making the trek south, were: Yallingup, Smiths Beach, Indjidup Carpark, Cowaramup Bay (Huzza’s and South Point), Gallows, and Margaret’s Mainbreak and River mouth.

In his autobiography, “Nat’s Nat and that’s that”, Nat Young wrote about his first trip West. He and Rodney ‘Gopher’ Sumpter were recruited by Paul Witzig to shoot an Australian sequence for filmmaker Bruce Brown for his movie “Endless Summer” – including a segment on a surfari to WA. The ground breaking movie was first released in 1964, with worldwide release in 1966. So their trip must have pre ’64.

Nat wrote: “In Perth…the waves were a bit of a disappointment (not surprising!) …and we headed south towards the Yallingup-Margaret River area … we drove to Yallingup and booked into the Caves House hotel… The next day, we tried to get out through the big, nasty waves at Margaret River, but found ourselves washed back up on to the beach after only half an hour – we couldn’t even get out the back…we felt like complete failures and had to admit the waves were too big for mere kids.”

If up and coming, and soon to be world-ranked surfers like Nat and Gopher who we’d seen in the surf magazines couldn’t ride the big stuff Down South, what chance did we have?!

When we first laid eyes on Yalls and Margaret’s Main Break … well, it looked like Hawaii in the surf magazines and we just crapped ourselves, and decided not to sacrifice our young lives to the surf gods and venture way out there!

And, in those pre-leg rope days, South Point had a fearsome reputation for snapping boards lost in the take-off zone – and so that was also a no-go zone!

But we still had a week of what we thought were epic waves.

We all rode some neat little runner rights breaking back towards the south corner of Smith’s, on a bank formed near the out flowing creek; had a few great sessions at Huzzawooie; and then two or three consecutive mornings of what in my mind’s eye now, over half a century later, were sensational small rights at Margaret River mouth – consistent and clean, and within our capabilities back then.

With only two boards on the car, as the younger hanger-on grom I had to wait for one of the older guys to come in and borrow one of their Mals. But I got my share of waves and was stoked.

“It would not be until 1968 – my last year at high school – that I could afford to buy my first new board! I was a serial pest, driving everybody nuts borrowing their boards….during school holidays, I used my brother’s board midweek while he was at work!”

“We obviously liked the small rights at Margaret River mouth – these pics were taken in ’66 and we were back there for more”.

Photos: 1966 Surfing Margaret River mouth.  Geoff Moran pics

Top: Jeff paddling out & Errol surfing the wave.

Bottom: (Left) Jeff performing a Quasimodo head dip (Right) Errol performing a Cheater Five.

One day during that very first trip in December 1965, there were perfect right-hand sets peeling off the sand point out from the River mouth towards what we now know as ‘The Box’ ….they were too far out for us to work-up the courage to tackle them but we thought they looked like the peeling walls of California’s Rincon that we’d seen in “Surfer” magazine. I’ve never seen it break like that again, in my many trips south over the past 50+ years…

I think my brother and Fred Boshart also had a session at Inji Carpark, but I was not up for that yet and watched from the shore!

In those first trips we often headed down random tracks of Caves Road hoping to find other waves.

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol ‘on surfari’ at the back of Cowaramup. Geoff Moran pic.

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol goofing around for the camera at the back of Cowaramup. Geoff Moran pic.

I think, looking for waves also meant goofing around for the camera! I think we were inspired by the antics which always featured in the USA surf movies by Bruce Brown and Bud Brown – that this is what surfers did when ‘on surfari’!”

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol kissing the ground after digging the mini out of a dirt track. Geoff Moran pic.

“After digging the Mini out of a dirt track (maybe the notoriously boggy Gallows), we were happy to be back on the bitumen of Caves Road”.

Crowds were certainly not a problem in that first week Down South. We saw just two other surfers! On the whole coast!! They were staying in one of a small group of cabins at Prevelly. We said hullo and chatted at the caravan park but only crossed paths with them in the surf once, during one of our long afternoon sessions at Huzza’s … as I recall.

Photos: 1966 South West coastline. (Left) unidentified surf coast. (Right) Cape Naturaliste. Geoff Moran pics.

Photos: 1966 Jeff exploring Canal Rocks. Geoff Moran pics.

The surfing horizon opened up for us in December 1965 – and nothing would ever be the same again. Our eyes had been opened to somewhere unique on the planet. It would keep drawing us back on countless weekends and holidays… seeking out the many Down South adventures and life experiences which eventually came to pass over the following decades.

In “Offshore and Pumping”, the booklet released by Surfing WA to mark its 40th anniversary, Down South legend Bob Monkman wrote:  “…we were different. We had long sun-bleached hair, wore different clothes and were always happy from the buzz of surfing all day…”

“We were a relatively small group, everyone one knew each other and crowds weren’t a problem. In fact, we would often wish for a few more people to be out on the line-up because it was always good to have someone to fetch your board if you had to swim or tell you which way your board went.”

There’s much truth in Bob’s words. Being part of that small crew regularly travelling Down South – after that first expedition at the end of 1965 – did make us feel special –and different. We were in the right place at the right time, and on the right side of our surfing history, in terms of crowds and surfing new waves.

And, over half a century since that very first trip “Down South”, I still get a huge buzz every time I come over the crest of the hill and Yalls and see the whitewater, and that stunning coastline and cliffs stretching away north towards Three Bears and Sugarloaf Rock. The magic remains …undimmed by the years. What an amazing adventure it all was…

Footnote:  If you think about it, our generation of salt water addicts have left more than footprints in the sand…like, social impacts. The term “Down South”, for example, was originally a bit of a secret verbal code we all shared back in those early days – initially our parents and other “oldies” did not have a clue what we were talking about most of the time… Now, of course, ‘Down South’ is a universally recognised and used term by just about everybody in Perth.

Errol Considine







Epic Yallingup images by Loz Smith

A solid 8ft plus ground swell powered into Yallingup main break on Saturday 5 May 2017.

Resident big wave chargers Taco, Addz, Karl Leavy and Damon Eastaugh were out there enjoying nature’s gifts.

Quindalup photographer Loz Smith captured some of the action.

Photo: Yalls line-up. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Addz one legged bottom turn. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Taco bottom turn. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Taco frog exit. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Damon bottom turn. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Karl Leavy tucked in. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls Karl Leavy bailing out. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls empty right handers. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: Yalls waves viewed through the melaleuca trees. Loz Smith pic.

Thanks for sharing your pics Loz.




1950s Toothpicks, Okanuis and Malibus

In the early 50s WA surfers used hollow plywood 16ft Toothpick and 10ft Okanui surfboards to surf metro waves.

Surfboard designs changed in 1956, when a visiting American surf team put on a surfing display in conjunction with the Olympic Games held in Melbourne. The American boys (including famous big wave surfer Greg Noll) impressed Aussie on-lookers at Vic and NSW beaches on their light weight balsa Malibu boards.

WA surfers then started importing balsa boards from NSW manufacturers while others made balsa boards in their backyards.

In the late 50s surfboard innovators Brian Cole and Barry ‘Joe’ King made themselves 9ft triple stringer surfboards out of coolite foam glassed with epoxy resin.

This is a collection of 1950s surfboard images with comments from SW surf pioneers Terry Williams and Brian Cole.

Terry ‘Horse’ Williams:From 1958 Yallingup was visited on a fairly regular basis, I must have still had the Hillman Minx. I continued surfing on various types of belly board. The most popular type of stand up board after the 16 ft toothpick was a ply Okanui board about ten feet long. Also around at that time, there were ply double (Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen) and single skis. They were all hand-made and were beyond my very limited wood working skills. Occasionally someone would arrive with one of the old canvas covered stand up skis. They didn’t last long in the Yallingup surf. The people who paddle today’s stand up boards (SUPs) think they have something new, but they were around back then”.


Photos: 1950s Ron Drage & Dave Williams with Toothpick surfboards at City Beach. John Budge pics.

Photo: 1954 Ray Geary with his Jasper design surfboard at City Beach. Ray Geary pic.

Photos: 1955 Ray Geary & Rob Wakefield with Toothpick surfboards. Ray Geary pics

Left: Rob Wakefield & Ray Geary with Rob’s new 16’6” board.

Right: Rob with old 13’ and new 16’6” board.

Photo: Mid 1950s City of Perth clubbies Ron Drage, Dave Williams, Cocko Killen and E Mickle with plywood Toothpick paddle board at City Beach. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1956 Tony Harbison with broken toothpick board at Yallingup. Brian Cole pic

Note: old Yallingup timber change rooms in the background.

Photo: 1956 Ray Geary’s homemade four man surf ski at City Beach. Ray Geary pic.

L-R Ray Geary (19), Neil Chapple (17), Rob Wakefield (18) & Colin Taylor (17).

Photo: 1958 Dave Williams with toothpick surfboards at Miami Beach near Mandurah. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1958 Peter Docherty (age 13) with his 12ft plywood surf board at City Beach. Peter Docherty pic.


The following material on Okanui surfboards was sourced from History of Okanui Surfboards in Australia by Bill Wallace published in Pacific Long Boarder Magazine 3 April 2012.

In the early 1950s world renowned surfing industry legend Bill Wallace was making four Toothpicks a week as well as wooden skis for clubbies throughout Sydney. During this period Bill and his mates where known to surf 20-foot waves off Bronte, Bondi and fairy bower on 16′ to 20′ toothpicks. The toothpicks weighed around 30KG – this would be thought of as ludicrous to the big wave surfers of today as the toothpicks had no fins!

In 1956 Greg Noll and other surfers from the USA brought the Balsa Malibu to Australia, when Bill and others saw the board in the water they couldn’t believe how a board could ride across the wave and turn so easily. Bill set out to replicate that board, but at that time you could not buy Balsa wood in Australia. So he made it like the toothpicks from the ’40s – hollow in the middle and chambered with Marine Ply. These boards would be known as the “Okanui.”

Bill Wallace:Most people think the Okanui was a Hawaiian word, but I think Bluey Mayes came up with it. ‘Oka’ Meaning Aussie and ‘Nui’ meaning new, the new Aussie surfboard!”

Photo: 2012 NSW Bill Wallace with a 1957-58 Wallace 9’6” Okanui surfboard. This hollow board is made out of Marine ply and has Hope Pine and Surian Cedar rails. It is the last Okanui made by Bill Wallace.

Jim ‘Lik’ MacKenzie: I bought my first Malibu style board from an older Scarborough Surf Club member at age 13. Due to the lack of Balsa wood from WW11, the board was made of marine ply and was hollow inside with ribs like a boat. It also had a bunghole in the nose to drain any water out. It was the Australian marine ply version of the USA balsa Malibu surfboard and was called an Okanui.

My son Sol collects vintage surfboards. He located and purchased my original Okanui surfboard for his collection…see pics below.

Photos: 1958 Jim ‘Lik’ MacKenzie’s original 10ft marine plywood Okanui surfboard. Jim MacKenzie pics.


Terry ‘Horse’ Williams: “The board that really shook up the surfing scene then was when Laurie Burke arrived back in Perth with a nine or ten foot balsa Malibu board. That had everyone amazed. My first board was a balsa board made by Danny Keogh in Sydney. I can’t remember the price of the board but I remember the cost of air freight was pretty steep. I know my board arrived pre-dinged. The airlines had no idea how to carry them, there was no bubble wrap then. I must have used that board for a year or two. The trouble was that when they got dinged they soaked up water like blotting paper and became very heavy”.

Photos: 1957 Bernie Huddle with his homemade balsa board at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

Brian Cole:Light weight 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.

Most of the balsa boards were imported from eastern states surfboard manufacturers Gordon Woods, Bill Wallace & Bill Clymer. Pioneer 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.

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

The balsa was purchased in lengths 9ft x 4” square. Then they were glued & clamped together prior to shaping with electric & hand planners. A spoke shave was used to take shave off rough edges of the timber. 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 fin was glassed onto the board.”

Photo: 1957 Dave Williams with his monogrammed balsa board at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

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.

Photo: 1958 homemade balsa surfboards at Yallingup. John Budge pics

L-R John Budge & Don Bancroft.

Photos: 1950s Balsa surfboards.

Left: 1957 Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill with balsa board at Miami Beach near Mandurah. John Budge pic.

Right: 1959 Brian Cole with balsa pig board at Coolangatta in Qld. Brian Cole pic.

Photo: 1959 surf pioneers with balsa surfboards at Mettams near Trigg Beach. John Budge pic

L-R Colin Taylor, Dave Williams, Cocko Killen, Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill & Artie Taylor.


In the late 1950s WA surf pioneers Barry ‘Joe’ King and Brian Cole rode homemade 9ft triple stringer polystyrene (Coolite) surfboards glassed with epoxy resin.

Photo: 1958 Barry ‘Joe’ King with his homemade three stringer epoxy surfboard at Yallingup. John Budge.

Brian Cole’s homemade 9ft three stringer epoxy board can be seen in the following photo. (Brian is second from left).

Photo: 1959 a quiver of epoxy, Okanui, and Malibu surfboards at Yallingup. Brian Cole pic.

L-R Ray Nelmes, Brian Cole, Jim Keenan, Des Gaines, Laurie Burke, John Budge & Artie Taylor.

Coming soon 1960s Surfboard Designs