Yallingup Surf: Lost Age Of Australian Surfing Unearthed

One from the archives...

Yallingup Surf: Lost Age Of Australian Surfing Unearthed

South Australia’s surf wars have lately been leading to death threats and property damage. Bondi beach recently saw a more indecent proposition than the 1993 film of the same name. The Gold Coast has been plagued with shark attacks, and Byron Bay is now seeing some crazy overcrowding.

All that in mind, it’s nice to see something positive come out of the world of wave sliding.

An old photo from 1963 has recently been doing the rounds on Instagram, providing Australian surfers with a sweet hit of nostalgia – and a peek into a long-gone era of cool cars and cooler surfboards (never mind that both struggled to do much other than go straight).

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The shot, taken at Yallingup (a town in the South West region of Western Australia, 256 kilometres south of Perth), features the boards and vehicle of an Australian surfing pioneer.


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As @surfing_wa recounts, “Fremantle surfer Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent was an acclaimed big wave rider in the South West in the early days.”

“He painted his face with white zinc cream & he would scream across Margaret River’s & Yallingup’s biggest waves.”

“Here’s Ghost’s Holden panel van parked up at Yallingup, overflowing with vintage malibu surfboards in 1963!”

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The post was liked by, among others, Taj Burrow – an aerial wizard and modern West Australian surfing phenomenon – who helped open the surfing world’s eyes to the potential of the region’s much-maligned ‘devil winds,’ and who, after a successful career as both a free-surfer and competition surfer, retired from the world tour in 2016.

This isn’t the first time an iconic image has been resurrected online, with Instagram account @surfingdownsouth sharing a 1970 Murray Smith photo of a single fin Hawke Surfboard, overlooking what appears to be Margaret River, to the tune of 99 likes, in 2018.

A blast from the past indeed.

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