2014 will mark the centenary of Duke Kahanamoku’s historic visit to Australia in the summer of 1914/15. To mark the occasion, surf writer, Tim Baker, has written a compelling history of Australian surfing that reveals some previously untold chapters in the story of wave-riding Down Under. How was Tommy Walker surfing years before Duke’s visit and why has his place in history been obscured? What does our beach culture owe to the Indigenous coastal lifestyle? Why was the 1939 Australian surfboard champion locked up as an “enemy/alien”?
A slideshow of historic images from the book, many previously unseen, will be shown along with a lively surf history discussion. Books available for sale on the night.
Queensland’s first surfing museum, Surf World Gold Coast, opens its doors at Currumbin on Saturday, 27 June.
The museum celebrates the history and contribution of surfing and beach culture. A topic of discussion for many years, the museum has come to fruition in the last 12 months.
Chair of the steering committee, Mal Sutherland, said the exhibition opening followed months of hard work.
“We have over 100 boards showing the evolution of design and technology from the 1930s through to today, photographs of early surf scenes and current work by world-renowned surf photographers. This is just some of the collection,” he said.
The museum is located on the 1st floor of Honeyworld, opposite Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and entry will cost just $9 for adults, $5 for children and $20 for families.
“We have been very fortunate to secure a space in this building with the assistance of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a great synergy between “beach and bush” and both the sanctuary and museum see the benefits to be gained in co-locating these attractions.”
Besides the partnership with the Sanctuary, Surf World Gold Coast has also partnered with its sister museum Surf World Torquay to share its name and branding.
The museum has an another avid supporter in the local Divisional Councillor, Cr Chris Robbins.
“The experience of riding down a curling wave on a board on one of our iconic beaches has captured the imagination and spirit of generations of locals and visitors alike,” Cr Robbins said.
“Surfing and surf culture is integral to life on the Gold Coast and we now have a place to showcase this.”
Mr Sutherland said Cr Robbins had supported the project ‘from day one’.
“Without her support and financial contribution we would not be where we are now.”
The doors open for the first time on Saturday, 27 June after a ‘soft’ opening at 10am. “It will be wonderful to cut the ribbon and accept our first visitors,” Mr Sutherland said.
Surf World Gold Coast would like to acknowledge its partners – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, National Trust of Queensland ,Gold Coast City Council and Connecting Southern Gold Coast.
Only shown in Australia twice before to small restricted audiences, Surf World Gold Coast has been given permission by the producer to have a one off fund raising screening on the 7th June of his documentary Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story. Written and produced by two times Emmy Award winner Brian Gillogly, the movie documents the story of Kathy ‘Gidget’ Kohner whose diary of her experiences at Malibu in the 1950s were transformed by her father into a book, movies and later a TV series. The release of the movie Gidget in 1959 staring Sally Fields introduced surfing to the mainstream and changed surfing forever and is an insight into the way surfing has developed.
The Documentary features interviews from Sally Field to seven times World Champion Layne Beachley and all the other women surfers in between who have been nicknamed ‘Gidget’.
This is a historical documentary not to be missed.
A limited number of ‘Gidget’ books personally signed by Kathy for Surf World Gold Coast are available for sale. Be early to purchase your signed collectors edition.
Rusty Miller’s first ever book, Turning Point: Surf Portraits and Stories From Bells to Byron 1970-1971 has just been released.
The book Turning Point is a collection of rare photographs taken by Rusty of some of surfing’s most iconic characters. He has captured a fascinating era in surfing’s history. Half of the images were taken at the 1970 World Surfing Championships at Bells Beach, the other half a year later at Byron Bay/Lennox Head. From Bells to Byron he tells the stories of each portrait, as do the people captured in the photos.In collaboration with Tricia Shantz the book was put together having trawled through Rusty’s 40 year old black and white negatives and colour slides. They’d been tucked away in boxes all that time.
The surfers in the photos have proven to be some of the most interesting and creative individuals in surfing’s culture. Most of these photos have never been seen before.Rusty, not known as a surfing photographer, has taken images that are evocative portraits of the people at that time. In addition to the visuals Turning Point makes for fascinating reading.Surfing culture’s sense of community and cool are at the centre of Rusty’s photographs from this turning point in surfing’s time line.
Dave Rastovich, Surfer and Environmental ActivistFor further information or to order a book email:
Surf World Gold Coast is planning a fund raising auction in March in conjunction with the Bleach Festival at a venue to be decided.
As the survival of Surf World depends on funds raised from events we are appealing to the surfing community for donations or contributions of quality surfing memorabilia to be auctioned at the event. It is our intention to select only the best and limit the number of items to be auctioned on the night.
Selected items will be featured in our monthly newsletter. For information on donations and contributions contact:
Carl – 0412453555 Daryl – email – surfcollector(at)hotmail.com Mal – 0418181135
This months Auction Selection
Rip Curl MP Classic Kirra Board and framed poster signed by Stef, Mick, Doug Warbrick, Alby Falzon, MP and others. To be auctioned separately or as a pair.
Surf World Gold Coast has integrated a workplace Sustainability Program to reduce the environmental impact of our operations.
In order to qualify for ‘Bronze Level Certification’ we have successfully implemented more than 70% of office based environmental standards in our workplace. SurfWorld Gold Coast’s commitment to improving our sustainability means that we have assessed our current operations and put in place measures to reduce our use of non renewable resources, waste to landfill, use of paper products and water. This independent certification program is provided by GreenBizCheck and facilitated by CoEfficiency Australia.
John Witzig has become an icon of Australian surfing. In a ‘career’ studded by controversy, he has been a surfer, photographer, writer, editor and publisher. The former editor of Surfing World and Surf International in the 1960’s, founding partner of Tracks magazine in 1970 and Sea Notes in 1977 John has done it all. In 1967 John wrote a controversial article for the American Surfer magazine titled ‘We’re Tops’ which claimed Australian surfers were better than American surfers. The article was later described as splendidly inflammatory. Surf World Gold Coast is proud to announce that John will host a slide night on 6th October where he will show a selection of his photos from the 60s and 70s, with commentary on that evolutionary era in surfing when board design was changing rapidly and surfers were exploring the virgin breaks that have now become mainstream destinations.
John will be ably backed up by expat American, and world-renowned surf forecaster, Mike Perry. Though well known by the surfing hierarchy, Mike and his contributions to surfing have generally remained under the radar. Thanks to Paul Witzig, John’s brother, the night will end with the showing of 3 short film clips from his groundbreaking movies, Hot Generation, Evolution and Sea of Joy.
John Witzig BIO
John Witzig got lucky when some of his friends got famous. He was hanging around surfing in Australia with the right people at the right time. He misspent his youth involved with surfing magazines – writing, taking photographs, editing and designing – until it dawned on him that he’d better get a real job and he moved into mainstream publishing. He’s continued to misspend his adulthood in that field. Publishing remains a passion as do exotic places (just about anywhere out of Australia) and he travels as much as he can (which isn’t much these days). He surfed into his mid-40s when his body began to collapse around him. He would’ve liked to have been a great tennis player.
Mike Perry BIO
Just another surfer. Ex-pat Mike Perry has done most of what can be done in surfing except for riding giant waves, (or even pretty big ones.) Shaper, writer, magazine editor and ‘weather guy’; Perry has angled his way through life using Surfing as his entree, all the while managing to dodge fame. A self proclaimed ‘cog in the wheel of surfing’, Mike maintains contact with many of the overlords and underdogs of the art. With all that, he remains an individual who has simply peserved his love of surfing since first introduced to it in 1959.
Surf World Gold Coast is hosting a ‘Roast’ night on the 4th April to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of legendary surf pioneer and board manufacturer Joe Larkin’s move to the Gold Coast. Already a well known surfer/shaper in Sydney Joe opened his factory at Miles Street, Kirra in early 1962 and in doing so became the first commercial manufacturer of surf boards on the coast. Noted for his craftsmanship his factory quickly became the hang-out for budding surfers and later in the 60s’ a think tank in the short board revolution.
Always one for a good time some of Joe’s exploits are the stuff of legends and with the event hosted (toasted) by long time friend John JC Charlton it is expected that the roasting will be severe.
This event promises to be one of the highlights of Surf World’s calendar
Surf World Gold Coast is a charitable institution and is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) covered by Items 1 and 4 of the table in section 30 -15 of the Income Tax Assesment Act 1997. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.