One last wave goodbye for former king of surf - Damien Murphy.

In his heyday … Michael Peterson has died at 59 from a heart attack. Photo: Alan Lambert

MICHAEL PETERSON, widely considered to have been the best surfer in the world 40 years ago, has died at 59 and suddenly a light has gone out for many baby boomer and younger generation surfers who rode his waves in their imaginations.
He died from a heart attack, his once paddling-honed slim Botticelli-like body bloated by years of drugs taken to combat schizophrenia.
Peterson had not ridden a surfboard for decades but his personification of the cool rebel surf purist so echoed down the years that his longtime sponsor Rip Curl is still selling aviator sunglasses he wore at his greatest victory for $140 a pair.
He was the Queensland surfer who bridged the early years between when Californian-style surfboard riding arrived and today's hyper competitive era.
In the late 1960s, surfing in Australia had drifted from a sport into a lifestyle of drugs, long hair and anti-Vietnam War protest, but Peterson led a bunch of tearaway youths who developed a style of fast surfing perfected in point breaks along the Gold Coast.
Peterson was nationally recognised when he became the poster boy for Alby Falzon's 1971 film Morning of the Earth. He was the king of Kirra, a break on the southern end of the Gold Coast.
The film celebrated country soul and was anti-competition but Peterson's finely tuned wave attack ushered in a dominance that saw him capture most major surfing events in Australia and win the Bells Beach Easter tournament three years running.
He lived the life. Fast cars, women, drugs. More drugs. He left the Gold Coast for Pambula and dropped from sight.
In March 1977, Peterson paddled out at Burleigh Heads for the final of the Stubbies contest. He was whacked to the eyeballs and beat Mark Richards in the first man-on-man contest. The publicity changed surfing from a bucolic pastime of drugs and drop-outs to $1 million superstars riding the world competition circuit and a billion-dollar-a-year apparel industry.
It also fuelled the myth of Michael Peterson, the hip rebel.
But while the surf companies made millions off him, Peterson never got with the program. He sank into drug addiction, was caught speeding in a car on Brisbane's Story Bridge in 1984 and jailed. Subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia, he went to live with his mother Joan Watt in Tweed Heads.
In recent years, Peterson had a resurgence. There were books and a surfing competition in his honour. He was the Kelly Slater of his time. But the comparison does not do him justice. Slater won world titles, not inspired lives.
Fifteen years ago, former pro surfer and writer Derek Hynd thought Paterson left little behind: ''There's very little legacy. Except the hundred thousand surfers expecting Michael Peterson to be God when they die.''

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A joy shared is a joy doubled.

Nothing gives me more joy than a Lightning Bolt twin fin!
My friend in California has given me great joy by sharing a few prized gems from his Lightning Bolt twin fin collection.

Nectar Thruster- Part 8.

Philipe wrote to say:-

I shot the Nectar ad, in 1984!  (the non action shots)
The rainbow spray board was mine! 
I bought it in San Diego in 1984 and the girl holding it by the Tropic of Cancer line (the white sphere) is my wife!
The lower right picture in the ad (rainbow thruster in front of a hut) was shot in mainland Mexico, in the fabled Matachen Bay (aka San Blas or Roca Bruja, Witches Rock). 
The photos were taken on the first long surf trip I took with my soon-to-be-wife, after doing several shorter ones to Baja. 
We went on a trip to the tip of Baja, by ferry to Mainland and to the incredible "ferrocarril de Chihuaha a Los Mochis" that crosses the Sierras and La Barranca del Cobre. We went hiking in Tarahumara country, back across to the Pacific and down to San Blas to surf. The photo was taken in San Blas where my friend Dana Fisher (aka "High Voltage" the Surfer Magazine photographer, who wrote the defining Nias story, after Erik Aeder's discovery) told me about "the longest wave in the world as featured in the Guiness Book of Records". 
It's actually a long, mellow right point break, that was so perfect for me! 

You can read the whole story here.

Illawarra Part 3.

Sitting in my hotel room on a cold, grey day in Hong Kong, my mind keeps wondering to the collection of boards recently posted to ebay OZ from Werri beach.  
This 6' x 19 3/4" x 2 3/8"  rounded square tail channel bottom 'Sunrise' quad shaped by Ken McDonald looks like it should belong in my 80's collection.
It would sit right next to my favorite Jackson twin fin. They look like they could be brothers. The Jackson and the Sunrise both have nice heavy 80's glossy glass jobs that have held up well over the years. The quad would be the high performance, jock brother, the twin fin, the laid back stoner brother.
long lost cousins

great condition for a 30 year old board

Jackson twin fin 2' tube ride. Sequence my Mark W.

Illawarra Part 2.

Marty sent me the link to this board on ebay Oz because he knew I would just LOVE it. 
Its fantastic, the hand cut "3" stencil that was clearly inspired by Simon Anderson's "3 fin thruster" logo. This is clearly the work of an excited enthusiast in 1981. It is an ISLAND SUN 5'10" x 19 1/2" x 2 11/16"  shaped and designed by Ken Gardner on the New South Wales Central Coast. The fin set up looks a little wacky and out of place like the Wave Tools tri fin from the same era. These boards were probably shaped within a few months of each other on opposite sides of the globe, inspired by the magazine articles about Simon's win at Bells and Narrabeen.

North Coast NSW 1981
Costa Mesa 1981

The Surf Trip- Festival

Gavin's Surf Trip- Festival is shaping up to be an amazing event.
Here is a sample of the boards that Gavin will have on display and up for sale. They give a fascinating glimpse into his collection that reveals his commitment to preserving important Hawaiian, Californian and Australian designs.
1978-79 Lightning Bolt 7'10" pigment coast, semi gun shaped and authenticated by Tom Parrish, glassed by Boscoe Burns (father of late Ronnie Burns).

1970 G&S "magic ryder" shaped by Skip Frye. 7' 8" with hard railed, semi 'S' deck.

1976-78 Ben Aipa "Sting" 7'6".

1974-75 Aipa/Wave Crest Sting - 6'10"x191/2"

1972-3 Brad Mayes / Wilderness with Mural 6'10" with Shane Egan spray (?)

Late 70's early 80's "Surfboards Hawaii" twin fin. 6'2" x 21", double bump, round tail. Original Plastic "Fins Unlimited" fins and boxes.

For your viewing pleasure, a beautiful Ben Aipa twin fin that may or may not be for sale. You'll just have to go up the coast and twist Gavin's arm.