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Tag Archives: Nat Young

Monster day at Bells, Easter 1965

Rod Brooks describes the monster day at Bells with waves at “fractionally over 20 ft.” In April 1974 Ted Bainbridge interviewed Brooks for a Breakway magazine special on the Bells Easter contest.
At the time Brooks was managing Klemm-Bell Surf Shop in Torquay. A year later Brooks and Fred Pyke would launch Piping Hot wetsuits, another business from the small Victorian seaside town to become a global player in the surf industry.
Bainbridge asked about the famous Bells waves and Brooks recalled 28 straight days of “over 6ft. and perfect”.
He said the most memorable Bells contest was in 1965, “the biggest and probably the most exceptional time at Bells.
“There have been days that big but there hasn’t been the number of people there to take advantage of it. On that particular occasion, top surfers from all over Australia were there and it was probably as big as it ever gets.
“I’d say fractionally bigger than 20 ft., but certainly 20. This was only on one particular morning then eventually it closed out on the low tide. The wind went around from N.W. in the morning, banking west all day and also the waves tended to wall across to WinkyPop.
“Robert Kenneally won and Nat Young came second. Jeff Watt, from Torquay, was third.”

BREAKWAY APRIL 1974

The young Trigger Brothers on boards and best surfers

Ted Bainbridge talked to his friends, The young Trigger Brothers Paul and Phil, for this interview published in Breakway, December 1974.

The brothers remain successful board makers and retailers to this day, operating out of their headquarters at Pt Leo, Victoria, their spiritual home.

At the time Phil, the glasser, was 22 and Paul, the shaper, was 24.

That year Paul qualified for the Australian team to compete in the World Titles and was Victoria’s top seed in the team for the Australian Titles. Phil was fifth in the Bells Easter Contest against a field of internationals and Australian surfers. He went on to win Victoria’s only other professional contest – the Pt Leo ‘1200’, where he regularly surfs.

 

TB: How many boards do you ride and what dimensions are they?

Phil: I’ve only really got one at the moment because I’ve sold all my others in our summer secondhand board sellout. I would like to ride 6’8″, 7’0″, 7’4″ and 7’8″; I think that would give me a really good range for all surfing conditions that I’d find in Victoria.

Paul: I’ve got a 6’8″ hot dog board, a 6’10” “good wave” board and a 7’1″ “power wave” board. I haven’t really got a big wave board because I don’t like big boards, but I like riding big waves. I’ll probably make a 7’8″ speed machine pretty soon though.

TB: Are they all basic boards?

Phil: We’re definitely basic surfers. Surfing’s a basic thing so you should stick to basics. A basic (board) should go best because it’s a flowing sort of an art.

TB: But isn’t a concave a basic thing in a board?

Phil: They only have a real affect if they’re pretty deep and right at the back of the board.

Paul: We’ve ridden boards with bonzas, tronzas, twin finners, five finners, swallow tails, scoop-outs and we always go back to a basic board.

TB: You’ve competed against all the top surfers in Australia and seen them in action, who do you think is the best?

Phil: Michael Peterson: he’s the best contest surfer.

Paul: He can go out in any contest and get a tube, do re-entries, cutbacks, and manoeuvre his board anywhere.

But in bigger surf there’re better surfers than him. There’s Farrelly, Nat Young, Drouyn, Wayne Lynch, Ian Cairns, Ted Spencer and Peter Townend.

Out of the international surfers, Lopez is about the best I’ve seen because he can manoeuvre his board radically but with continuous carving arcs.

He’s incredible because he’s about the best tube rider in the world, but if you watch him hot-dog he can hot-dog better than anyone, too. A lot of people don’t realise that: he impressed me as much as Peterson and Drouyn did at Bells’ contest, but he didn’t get the waves they did.

TB: Who do you admire the most in Victorian surfing?

Phil: I’d say Alan Atkins and Rod Brooks. Those two guys have been in the finals of almost every contest since the A.S.A. started down here (Victoria). Rod even won the last contest we had. His surfing has improved out of sight this year compared with the last couple of years. When you look at those guys, you can see that as long as you have enough time in the water you can still improve even through you’re middle and late twenties.

 

Read the entire interview by downloading the issue or the whole set.

 

BREAKWAY DECEMBER 1974

At 16 Tommy Carroll was chasing the cash

Tom Carroll won the Australian Junior Title in 1978, the Pro Juniors in 1977 and 1980, the 1983 and 1984 ASP World Tour, and the 1987 Pipe Masters. He became the first surfing millionaire after signing a contract with Quiksilver in 1989.

Surfing press polls have rated him among the top 10 surfers of all time. He was 16 in December ’78 when Hugh Hamilton taped an interview for Breakway at Carroll’s home beach of Newport.

You’re both really aggressive in the water.

Well, when we surf we look upon aggressive surfers. People like. Michael Peterson, aggressive radical surfers like Col Smith and a few smooth surfers like Nat Young in an old movie I saw, this was when I was a small kid. And I thought the only way to surf was to watch someone and learn. That’s the way I learnt, just watching in the movies and stuff.

Anyone influence you heavily?

Derek (Hynd) was a heavy influence when I started. He was a bit of a snob when I first knew him. I just watched him surfing. He was a lot better than most surfers at Newport then.

What do you think of commercialism in surfing, turning surfing into a major sport at last?

Surfing should become commercial if it’s going to survive. Otherwise it’ll just go off into its own little world, and just completely empty out. If they try to keep the prices low business is just going to run out. They’ve got to raise the prices in boards or they’ll go out of business.

Do you think it could become a Olympic sport?

Yeah. Surfing should become like skiing, tennis or golf. Its so unrecognised now.

BREAKWAY DECEMBER 1977