Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Following a shout-out in the Shire News the gallery was besieged by locals offering up all sorts of memorabilia from much treasured surfing trophies to old planks with their original surf craft permits still attached! Yes, amazing though it seems to us today, there was a time when you had to pay for the privilege of paddling out. 
Graham Beetson from Heathcote (pictured below) still had his 1964/'65 permit stuck on the tail of his old Ron surfboard along with the actual receipt from the Sutherland Council for 34 pounds, which seems like an awful lot of money for those days, especially for "a factory second". 
Money is no object for Peter Sheil (above) who has an impressive collection of 35 vintage boards (the other 20 in the garage are for his own  personal use). The most valuable stick in his quiver is a 1963 balsa wood Mal, again with its original permit attached. Worth about 10k the board stays on the display rack in Peter's living room but over at Mark Riley's place in Miranda there are some excellent boards made of balsa wood on offer for a test ride. Mark uses recycled polystyrene sourced from Foamex in Reevesby, Sydney for his blanks then decks them out with thin sheets of light-as-a-feather balsa wood imported from Ecuador. I'm sold on their enviro cred so I'm taking one out for a ride next week. If all goes well, I'll be the proud owner of a brand new Wax On board.

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