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Pioneers Night - Gordon Woods, Joe Larkin, Bill Wallace and Ken Wiles

Pioneers Night Gordon Woods, Joe Larkin, Bill Wallace and Ken Wiles


A fine night was had by all…

Surf World Gold Coast is fast becoming the centre of quality surf related events on the Gold Coast. Last Saturday night’s event featuring four surfing pioneers, Gordon Woods, Joe Larkin, Bill Wallace and Ken Wiles, who substituted for Scott Dillon, was a chance for those who attended to learn about the dramatic changes to board construction and surfing lifestyle in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Gordon, Joe, Bill and Ken kept the audience entertained with their stories of the characters who took surfing from the 16 foot hollow ply boards into the then new era of the Malibu board. Their stories of experimenting with foam and fibreglass construction and of the fires and explosions that almost destroyed their factories and businesses while serious at the time were hilarious in the retelling. Ken who opened Australia’s first surf shop had everyone laughing when he told of selling condoms and playboy magazines under the counter to make ends meet.

An entertaining and informative night was had by all.

Surf World Gold Coast is hosting an evening on 28th May featuring Joe Larkin, Gordon Woods, Scott Dillon and Bill Wallace, four of the pioneering fathers of board manufacturing in Australia and the industry and lifestyle that followed in their footsteps. These four men between them trained some of the most highly regarded shapers and manufacturers involved in the industry today.

Listen to their stories about the introduction of the Malibu in 1956 and the transition from 16ft hollow ply boards, to ply Okanuii’s, to balsa and then to foam and their humorous stories about the disasters they had in creating the modern foam blank.

Hear how the ‘Gidget’ era changed surfing into a mainstream sport in the early 60s’ and how the short board revolution affected their businesses in the late 60s’.

All good surfers in their own right these four together, are part of the living history of our sport. With larrikins Joe and Scott and gentleman Gordon and Bill telling their stories it promises to be an entertaining night not to be missed and one that all those in the industry should attend.

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Stephanie Gilmore Exhibition on Display

Stephanie Gilmore


Surf World Gold Coast is proud to present a display from four times World Champion Stephanie Gilmore’s extensive collection of trophies. Curated with the assistance of Steph’s father Jeff and sister Whitney the display includes Hawaiian Triple Crown, Roxy, and World Championship trophies. Along with these and other trophies the display includes photographs, competition rash shirts and even Stephanie’s favourite stuffed toys.

Story boards created by Whitney are displayed throughout the exhibit and document Stephanie’s rise to world dominance since 2005.

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New Exhibition to Celebrate a Surfing Legend

bobby brown poster



Surf World Gold Coast hosted a special exhibition dedicated to celebrating surfing legend Bobby Brown on the 11th of November 2010.

Timed to coincide with the Kirra Surf Stock Festival, the exhibition celebrated the life of a surfing enigma and his significant contribution to the classic sixties era of surfing.

Brown was ranked alongside Midget Farrelly, Nat Young and Peter Drouyn as one of the best surfers of the 1960s.

He was only 17 years of age when he qualified for the final of the first World Surfing titles in 1964 won by Midget Farrelly at Manly Beach.

His short but impressive surfing life featured in movies like Bob Evans’ 1963 “Young Wave Hunters” and Paul Witzig’s 1967 groundbreaking movie “Hot Generation”, both of which will feature in the exhibition.

Following Brown’s tragic death in 1967, an annual memorial competition was held in his honour at Cronulla from 1968-1970.

Midget Farrelly won in 1968, Frank Latta won in 1969, and in 1970 a 16-year-old rookie from the Gold Coast, Andrew McKinnon, won the third and final event at Wanda Beach.

Now a well known Gold Coast beach and surf reporter, McKinnon has put together this exhibition that will feature timeless surfing photos of Brown and others from the 1960s, archival movie footage, surfboards, clothing, surf magazines and newspaper clippings.

The exhibition will also feature the impressive Perpetual Trophy, modeled on Jack Eden’s classic photo of Brown’s famous “soul arch” bottom turn at Sandon Point, which is a priceless piece of surfing art that has been McKinnon’s prize possession since 1970.

“Even though I never had the chance to meet Bobby, I’ve treasured the memorial trophy for the last 40 years,” said McKinnon.

“So to celebrate that occasion and the legend of Bobby Brown, I decided to pay homage to his surfing genius by putting together a significant exhibition.”

McKinnon and former world champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew will be the special hosts for the official opening night of the exhibition on November 11 from 6.30pm.

The night is open to the public with tickets available at the door (Tomewin Street, Currumbin) or by phoning (07) 5525 6380. Tickets are $15 which includes a sausage sizzle and drink as well as a tour of the museum.
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SURF WORLD A WINNER AT THE GALLERY AND MUSEUM ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS 2010

gamaa best volunteer run organisation at the Queensland Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards


Surf World Gold Coast was announced the winner of the best volunteer run organisation at the Queensland Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards on the 15 October 2010.

Chairman Mal Sutherland and Daryl Barnett, two of the driving forces behind the establishment of Surf World Gold Coast, were on hand to receive the award.

“I believe the award is recognition for all the many wonderful volunteers who ensure that the doors of Surf World open each day,” said Sutherland

“Running a museum is a huge task and we have a team of over 50 people who do everything from vacuuming the floors to maintaining the website.

“It’s also a credit to our major supporters Gold Coast City Council, Connecting Southern Gold Coast and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary who have been instrumental in the establishment and success of Surf World.”


Surf World Gold Coast is a museum dedicated to celebrating the history and culture of surfing. It is located at Currumbin (opposite the wildlife sanctuary) and hosts an impressive array of surfing memorabilia including surfboards, photos, books and clothing.
Since its opening in 2009, Surf World Gold Coast has hosted many significant events and exhibitions including the highly successful Divas of Surfing event in 2009 and the Art of Surfing in 2010.

Its latest exhibition, celebrating the life of 1960s surfing legend Bobby Brown, will commence on 11 November 2010.
Members of the public and school groups are welcome to visit Surf World each day between 9.00am and 5.00pm.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit the museum or phone direct on (07) 5525 6380.
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The Divas of Surfing – Kathy “Gidget” Kohner Zuckerman, Layne Beachley, Phyllis O’Donell and Stephanie Gilmore

Divas of Surfing – Kathy “Gidget” Kohner Zuckerman, Layne Beachley, Phyllis O’Donell and Stephanie Gilmore


Two special events honouring legendary women surfers were held at Surf World Gold Coast. The ‘Divas of Surfing’ exhibition was officially opened on Thursday, 18 March 2010 and a special Divas of Surfing evening was held on Wednesday, 24 March 2010.

Both events focus on four women who had pivotal places in surfing history: Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, Phyllis O’Donell, Layne Beachley and Stephanie Gilmore.

Kathy Kohner Zuckerman was the original Gidget surfer girl and was once named the seventh most influential surfer in history. Her fictionalised life on the beach at Malibu was the subject of the classic 1957 book “Gidget” and the first ever Hollywood surf movie. Subsequent Gidget movies, musicals and TV series heralded the rise of surfing into popular culture.

Born in Sydney, Phyllis O’Donell began surfing at age 23 and was the surprise winner of the first ever World Surfing Championships in 1964. For her efforts, she was rewarded with $250, a surfboard and numerous packets of cigarettes. Nevertheless, at a time when the sport was dominated by men, Phyllis was a trailblazer for future generations of female surfers.

Since becoming a professional surfer at the age of 16, Layne Beachley has achieved a record-breaking career. Layne has won a record seven world titles, including an amazing six titles in a row from 1998-2003. She has also appeared in numerous surf movies, and since 2006 has staged the richest event on the women’s surfing tour at Sydney’s Manly Beach.

The first rookie to win an ASP world title in 2007, Stephanie Gilmore has become the dominant force in women’s surfing. She has won the last three world championships and is probably the most recognisable female surfer in the world today.

“Women’s surfing often does not get the recognition it deserves and the Divas exhibition and Divas evening focusses attention on some fantastic female surfing achievers,” said Surf Word Gold Coast Chairman Mal Sutherland.

The Divas exhibition features a rare collection of trophies, photos, rash shirts and surfboards. Additionally, profiles of all 13 Australian women who have been world champions since Phyllis O’Donell in 1964 are included (full list appended to this release).

The Divas of Surfing evening featured addresses from all four surfing divas as well as canapés and refreshments.

“This is a really historic event that brings together two pioneers of women’s surfing with two current legends of the sport,” said Sutherland. “It should provide a real insight into the past and future of women’s surfing.”

Supported by Southern Cross University, Darcy Surfboards Currumbin, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, Gold Coast City Council and Australia’s Surfing Life magazine, the Divas evening was an unforgettable event for surfing buffs.

Some of the displays from the night are still at the museum so come down to have an in-depth look at the history of these amazing women in surfing.
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Deductible Gift Recipient

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.

 

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