Ace Cool. Part 2.

I love the bumps in the road, the forgotten heros and the cultural footnotes that make up our colorful history of surf culture. Particulary 70's and 80's surf culture when there were lots of interesting things happening on the side lines have have been mainly lost to the mainstream telling of surf history.
Alec Cooke or as he and I prefer 'Ace Cool' is one of my favorites.
So I cant tell you how stoked I am to have found this early 80's tri fin pin tail shaped for Ace by LaRoy Dennis. LaRoy is a prolific Hawaiian based shaper who has shaped for , Creative Shaping surfboards, Hawaiian Designs (Ed. Sinot.) surfboards, Jeff Crawford surfboards, Mike Tabeling surfboards, Sunset Beach surfboards and Wave Trek surfboards.
This unbranded board was done just for Ace, with Ace's own decal.
Ace himself is an interesting character and much malined for his shameless chasing of hype and self promotion that largley overshadows his acheivments. Such as the day he, Mark Foo and Ken Bradshaw faced a 50ft close out at Wieamea bay and had to be helicopter lifted to safety. Still regarded as the biggest surf faced by paddle only surfers and done at a time when big wave surfing did not attract much media or industry attention. The story is retold here by Stu from Swellnet (who very nearly joined me on this south coast road trip).

Alec himself details his big wave paddle credentials with claims on his own website that "I was flown by Helicopter to outer reef Pipeline (Log Cabins) in 1985 and caught a 35 footer as seen in the Postcard that has sold over 500,000 copies. In 1984, I was flown by Helicopter to Outside Makaha and caught a 35 footer. I surfed Kaena Point off a fishing boat in 1984 when the waves were was 25 foot plus and I was out at Waimea Bay on Jan. 18th, 1985 with James Jones and Mark Foo when the 48 footer closed out the Bay."

Ace being helicopter lifted after the 48 footer closed out the bay. 

iphone photo by me

I made a call to do a run down the coast to a well know reef break that can pack a bit of punch. Stuggling to chose a board from the collection that could save me from a kicking I went for the rounded pin tail and additional foam of the custom Ace Cool board with thoughts of the similar size and power in Hawaii that the board was made for.
It turns out that my choice to head down the coast was the right one, the choice of the thick, heavy and slow early 80's design tri fin was not....

Getting some shade.

80's style self promotion

it was a pretty nice size

The first wave I saw after pushing through the bushes at the end of the track. Looking good!

Shaped by LaRoy Dennis for Ace
I love this shot, guy in the tube and the board under water.
Not so easy on your backhand but this guy was managing well.

You would think by looking at it that this board was the right tool for the job.

Veiw from behind the peak.
This is an amazing wave as the take off is quite manageable before it seamlessly wraps into the long hollow tube section.
This shot is a good indication of the size of the one I took on the head.

There were not a lot of empty one coming through, but there were a few

Soft rails

The one that got away.
In case I forgot where I was there was plenty of signs to remind me.

In this pic you get a hint of the problems that were in store for me. Yes, the board is nice and long and thick and was a joy to paddle, but the added glass and foam made the board heavy and clumsy. The thick soft rails did not give much hold and the completley flat bottom, devoid of any concave or vee made it slow and unresponsive.

Frame 1- Have a look top middle left of this pic at the pack of surfers on the peak 50 mtrs away.

It was crowded and hard to get a wave so I knew I'd need a strategy. I decided to take advantage of the foam and lenght in the board and sit deep and way outside and try and get a set all the way through.

Frame 2- Look out, here I come!
Coming through from way inside.

Frame 3- Dive bogger dive!

Frame 4: Here comes the good bit.

Frame 5: Look Mum no hands!

Frame 6: Light at the end of the tunnel.

Tidy little pig dog.

There's a point you get to as you run down the path were you can see the foam draining off the end of the reef into the bay. When you see this much white water you immediately get butterflies.

THE GREEN CATHEDRAL gong surf show program.

THE GREEN CATHEDRAL gong surf show
A celebration of the history and culture of surfing on the South Coast.
This exhibition includes contemporary surf art, classic boards and memorabilia, photography and film.
A contemporary surf art show including Ozzie Wright, Peter ‘Beatle’ Collins, Nell, Abbey McCullock, Richard Tognetti and Jon Frank, Chris Anderson, James Angus, Paul Ryan, Mark Osland, Stan Squire, Gerry Wedd, Chicks on Speed, Reg Mombassa, and Katrina O’Brien.
Opened by Nell Schofield 2pm 8 Dec 2013
Lecture by Gerry Wedd date?

Workshops with artist and surfer and 1000 board recycle program Chris Anderson- how to decorate and breathe new life into your old board.

SHOOTING THE CURL! The Green Cathedral Photography Exhibition
A photographic exhibition of local breaks, fully sick barrel riding, classic Gong shots and underwater waves by contemporary surf photographers. Also a “locals only”, a looping slide show of Gong surf images from private Illawarra albums.

A handsome quiver of boards and local surf memorabilia from deep within the garages of local shapers and collectors.
Lecture by local legendary surfcyclopaedic board collector and creator of Geoff Cater on the Illawarra’s surf history, 2pm Sat Dec 14 in the Mann-Tatlow Gallery.

BOARDCOLLECTOR Surfboard meet.
Sat Dec 14 in the Blue Scope gallery and gallery forecourt.
Vintage and contemporary surfboards and collectibles.

Bring your crew and lounge on the grass in the Arts Precinct behind the gallery for a screening of the locally made award winning feature film RAW and shorts by young Gong emerging filmmakers.
Thurs Oct 31st 7.30pm
Opened by pro surfer Dean Bowen and RAW filmmaker Mark Brightwell

PUBLIC PROGRAM as part of photg show...

Wollongong is a breeding ground for reknown surf photographers, join in the slideshow discussion and Q&A with 6 decades of experience as they discuss anything from world travel horror stories to camera housing, including David Milnes, Nat Palmer, Mick McCormack, Steve Conti, Alan Love and Ray Collins. Hosted by Mark Newsham. FREE
Bluescope Gallery Thurs 12 Dec 2013 6-9pm

WORKSHOP to go with photography show

Youth Surf Photography Workshop with Mark Newsham
Ever wondered how to get the best out of that new GoPro? Or how to shoot in the line up or from a helicopter?!
Have all your surf photography questions answered by seasoned pro surf photographer Mark Newsham in this hands on workshop.
Bring your gear!
Ages 16- friday 31st Jan 4 hours $30 each between 10-20 people

Green Cathedral Surf Festival - Surfboard meet.

Boardcollector presents "Green Cathedral" surf board meet.
Woollongong Art Gallery Saturday 14th December. 
Due to a fantastic response to the event we have updated the format.

As well as hearing a fantastic talk and slide show by Geoff Cater from  on the history of surfing in the Illawarra and the amazing and seeing the Shooting the curl! exhibition and contemporary surf art show including painted boards by Ozzy Wright, you can now come and see the latest cutting edge and alternative surfboard designs for sale and on display and a fine selection of Vintage surf craft and memorabilia.     
- As part of the surfboard meet there will be surf inspired art, photography and merchandise. 
- Come and talk to the shapers about surfboard designs from around the country. 
- Free vintage surfboard appraisals. Bring along your vintage board and find out how much it's worth and all about its history. 
- Vintage surfboard market.  Bring your vintage surfboard and we will sell it for you while you enjoy the exhibition!!  

- Free stalls for exhibitors.
- Free entry for visitors.

- Enquiries
-0417 716 937.

We have 20 x 2mtr x 3mtr stalls with tables on offer.
Stalls are free.
So far exhibitors include.
- Deus Ex Machina including custom motor bikes hand shapes by Joel Fitzgerald.
- Vampirate surfboards.
- Dead Kooks surfboards.
- Mako surfboards.
- The amazing Geoff Cater from will hold a "show and tell" where you can bring any interesting surf related item or mystery board and get its history.
- The best in Australian surf art and photography.
- Photography and books by Matt Johnson of 'A Sea Life'.
- Photographer Andrew Bass.
- Books by Switchfoot.
- Artist, photographer and writer Simon Perini.
- Foam Symmetry's Justin Bevan.
- Thiroul's coolest surf emporium Finbox.
- The boy's from Critical Slide Society.
- Vintage Surf Memorabilia and bric a brac by Geoff.
- Fins and boards by Barnacle Studio.
- Spunk records beautiful surf tunes.
- Mexican food made on the spot!

We are now looking for a few more modern and alternative surfboard shapers, fin makers etc to come and show their wares and talk about their craft.

The 20 Surfboard meet stalls and tables will be in the amazing Blue Scope gallery.
It will take the format of Scott Bass's Sacred Craft surfboard show.

In addition we have use of the front drive where we will do a vintage pre-1990 surfboard sale and swap.
Bring your old board, we write your price and phone number on it and we sell it for you while you enjoy the exhibition.

pre-1990 surfboard sale and swap, you browse, we sell for you.

Geoff's vintage bric-a-brac

Surfboard swap.

Spunk records music sale