TRYING his luck on the mechanical surfboard is 12-year-old Joshua Crabtree from Cudgen, helped by operator Peter Konrad at Twee
TRYING his luck on the mechanical surfboard is 12-year-old Joshua Crabtree from Cudgen, helped by operator Peter Konrad at Twee

Mechanical surfboard swell fun

By NADINE FISHER

WITH a passion for the surf, Peter Konrad put his mind to inventing a way for everyone to experience the thrill of a wave on a surfboard - and that was when the mechanical surfboard was born, over 20 years ago.

Mr Konrad, together with his father, worked on the design tirelessly before launching it at a Gold Coast nightclub.

"It was aired on Good Morning Australia and from there we went to Sydney for a promotion and stayed working in the city for over two years before moving onto Melbourne," he said.

"Now I travel to all different areas - from cities to outback towns like Bourke where the kids (who often have never seen the surf) just love it."

And now Tweed residents have the chance to get on the surfboard at Tweed City Shopping Centre this week and see if they can go the distance.

"We have heats every day at 11am, 12pm and 1pm, with the grand final on Saturday (January 14) at 12pm," Mr Konrad said.

"It's still really popular - I guess it's the challenge of doing it on dry land, with no fear of sharks," he said.

Mr Konrad said to do well on the board you needed to be relaxed and have balance. People with experience in ice-skating or rollerblading generally do well.

Mr Konrad, who has also invented the mechanical snowski, snowboard and skateboard, said the world champion clocked a time of two minutes and 10 seconds.

"This was a teenage guy in Wellington, New Zealand, about two years ago, who was a motocross rider" he said.



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