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Longboard surfing in WA

Longboard surfing in Australia has been around since it was first introduced by Duke Kohanamoku in 1915 and the first Australian to ride a surfboard was a lady by the name of Isabel Letham.  During the time up until the 1940’s, surfboards were predominately 10-15ft solid wood planks and as a consequence not too many boards were being surfed. However, hollow plywood boards became prominant and the sport started to catch on, moreso in the life saving club fraternity than from individuals.

It was then in the 1950’s and 60’s that the experimental use of Fibre glass, balsa wood and in some cases Polyethelene foam, launched a new wave of surfers separate from the life saving clubs. In addition, the Americans were embarking on the growth of a social community of surfers spurred on by cult films such as Gidget.

Australia was also defining itself in this new culture and were making strong advances into competition surfing, led by Midget Farrely, and Nat Young. Not to mention surfboard design by the legends such as Bob Mctavish and George Greenough.

Western Australia has a long list of surfers who have represented their state and country but also into the professional arena in longboarding and shortboards. People such as Ian Cairns, and Taj Burrow have helped the old school and new school of surfers understand their roots.


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