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Book tells history of surfing from rebel fringe to cool

The launch of Noosa author Phil Jarratt's book, Surfing Australia is at Surf World, Currumbin on November 30. Photo: Contributed
The launch of Noosa author Phil Jarratt's book, Surfing Australia is at Surf World, Currumbin on November 30. Photo: Contributed Contributed

BRINGING surfing history to life is the aim of a book to be launched at Surf World, Currumbin, on November 30.

"Over the past 50 years surfboard riding in Australia has moved from the rebel fringe to the sporting mainstream producing some of the greatest champions the world has seen, while maintaining an edgy cool.," said Surf World's Mal Sutherland.

"For the first time this book tells the complete story, not just of the half century of organised surfing, but of the years of adventure and experimentation that preceded it."

"Surfing Australia" is a definitive history of Australian surfing by Phil Jarratt.

Mr Jarrett will be ably backed up by a panel of pivotal players in the development of the sport from its amateur status to the professional organization Surfing Australia is today.

Hosted by 'Bushy' Mitchell with special guests Paul Neilson, Alan Aitkins and Rod Brooks, the event is sure to be a fun night with Phil and the panel members recounting past experiences.

Mr Jarratt is the author of more than a dozen books documenting surfing's development as a sport, lifestyle and industry.

"There could be no more fitting place for the Queensland launch than Surf World Gold Coast," Mr Sutherland said.

"There is so much history there, I get goose bumps every time I visit."

Surfing Australia, a whopping coffee table book illustrated with more than 150 photographs and with forewords by multiple world champion surfers Layne Beachley and Mark Richards, provides the first ever detailed account of the sport's pioneering years, from the repeal of the surf bathing prohibition, through the first attempts at standing on surfboards, to Duke's demonstrations during the Great War, then on through the paddleboard years to the introduction of the Malibu performance surfboard in 1956.

The book then recounts the years of the surfing boom and the development of competitive board riding leading to Australia's dominance in the professional era.

"I developed this history in conjunction with the governing body of the sport, Surfing Australia, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013, but when I started to write it I realized I had to explain why a bunch of free spirits who rode the waves had felt the need to get organized, and that meant going right back to the introduction of the surfboard," Mr Jarratt said.

The launch is at Surf World Gold Coast on Friday, November 30 from 6.30pm.

Entry costs $10 with drinks and BBQ also available.

Topics:  book launch, surf history book, surf world


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