Keith Platt, writing in Breakway (May ’74), canvassed the problems associated with runaway boards and moves by safety organisations to mandate board design, outlawing pointed noses and sharp fins. The universal take-up of leg ropes and separation of swimmers and surfers at popular beaches headed off the confrontation.


As the number of people using surf beaches increases, so will the number of problems facing boardriders. Boardriding as a sport tends to make its followers oblivious to the many laws of man and acutely aware of the laws of nature.

It’s easy to flow with and accept the laws of nature, but man-made laws tend to hit the unwary with an uncomfortable crunch…

And if boardriders do not watch out, they may be hit hard from two directions:

  • The Australian Standards Association is presently looking into board design with a view to making boards “safer.”
  • The National Safety Council of South Australia wants board riding banned on all Adelaide beaches.

Efforts are already being made to approach the Standards Association to put surfers’ points of view and if possible stop a ban being placed on pointed boards and sharp fins.

But no organised action agalnst a possible boardriding ban has been announced.

Unless surfers get together to fight possible limitations on their sport they may find the rules being set by outsiders.

The call for a ban on boardriding on Adelaide beaches came from a Mr Colin Daddow, president of the safety council. He made this statement in a South Australian daily newspaper after reports of swimmers being injured by “lost” boards.

Mr Daddow said: “Surfboards should be banned from all beaches where conditions are ideal for swimmers.”

Meanwhile, surfers being an uncaring lot while waves continue pumping through will leave all the hassle to others and probably wake up one day to find themselves ordered to use only round-nosed foam rubber boards on a specially preserved reef break off the north-west coast of Tasmania each August.


Read the whole article in BREAKWAY MAY 1974

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