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4/11/17

I’m kidding. Sort of. It wasn’t Greg Noll alone who convinced Australian surfers to quit riding for Queen and clubhouse in 1956, and just do it for their own selfish enjoyment. No, peel it back further and I think what this great protean moment in surf history comes down to is how you look while carrying your craft across the beach. It’s like the way teenaged boys used to pick up guitars, to get into bands, to get onstage, to get chicks. The young male brain. Unformed in many ways, but smart enough, cunning enough, to understand what draws the female eye. So look below. Put yourself in the beanie-covered mind of an Sydney beach clubbie. There’s your mates over there, grimacing manfully toward the shorebreak, each one yoked to his club ski like he’d committed a crime against the shire. And now here comes the Yanks, relaxed, crooked little half smiles, holding those new boards like pool cues.

Surprising, really, that Aussie surf life saving clubs lasted beyond 1957.

  • surferpl

    Just bitchen all way ’round. Great music and liked the groms. (Future Bra Boys thugs.)

    • Matt Warshaw

      the freckled kid!

  • Samuel Ortegón Pepke

    You slay me! … cowboy yodeling with hawaiian guitar … perfect!

    • Matt Warshaw

      Slim Dusty of Nulla Nulla Creak. That song would’ve been on the radio in 1956, as would the Little Richard tune.

  • John

    I’ve seen some early footage of Rennie Yater, tearing it up, on what must have been a later trip. These visits arguably had greater impact than Duke’s.

    • Matt Warshaw

      Oh yes. They would have been in the water, on boards, with or without Duike. But I think the ’56 visit gave them a huge kick in the ass. You go straight from there to Midget, to Nat, to MP, to Tom Carroll, to Fanning.

      • John

        What year was Yater there? I recall seeing some beautiful long glides, making sections, cross stepping and back peddling unlike anything I’ve ever seen by Greg,

        • Matt Warshaw

          don’t know, I can’t remember seeing the footage. If you remember the movie, I’ll try and find it.

          • John

            I wish I could remember! The narrator was American, not Aussie, I think, and noted that the length of Rennie’s board (10 plus) made it possible to make sections the Aussies couldn’t on their equipment(?!)

            I enjoy your posts, if I encounter the film again somehow I’ll let you know.
            John