MEN OF WOOD AND FOAM

Last week at my annual trip to the Noosa Festival of Surfing (that’s the 26th time for Lynn and I) I was given two treats. The first was a Legends Surfout on Saturday afternoon while the swell was still from the east. Not big, but who can say no to a half hour of empty First Point? I was nervous as all get-out as usual. Never did get comfortable surfing in front of a crowd… main reason I gave up competitive surfing in the late sixties I guess. My fellow surfers included the highly respected king of understatement, Thruster developer Simon Anderson; Former World Longboard Champ and local hero, Josh Constable; Current two-time World Adaptive Surfing Champion Mono Stewart, and this incredible skim-boarder from Laguna Beach, Cali, named Austin Keen, who paddled out on a 9 foot soft board with a skimboard on the front. He paddles in, jumps from the soft to the skim-board, and shreds all the way to the beach ripping, shredding, sliding, spinning and even nose riding a rotten little piece if plywood with no buoyancy!! Like a Bee, nobody told him it couldn’t fly. Amazing!

The second was I was inducted into the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame, based in Huntington Beach, Cali. Old mate PT, or Peter Townend, World Surfing Champion in 1976 presented me with the really thoughtful trophy, featuring some nicely laminated and shaped wood units representing a board on a fin, with a gold-plated planer mounted up front. Pretty cool piece of bling, fellas, Thanks! Then the screen exploded into Phil Jarratt’s epic movie "Men of Wood and Foam”, with the real Band of Frequencies playing the music live! Now that was a treat!! 

Bob McTavish