Book: Surfing in the Sixties

In late November I was fortunate to be invited to a book launch in Torquay of a compilation of surf photography “Surfing in the Sixties”. This wonderful book was put together by 4 leading surf photographers from that era; Mal Sutherland, John Pennings, Bob Weeks and Barrie Sutherland. Barry was present at the launch.

This beautifully put together book epitomises the golden age of surfing the early to mid 60’s. Chapters in the book include a terrific foreword from legendary shaper and surfer Bob McTavish, the Malibu era, beach fashion, pop culture and the coming of the short board revolution .

Each of these stunningly visual chapters detail what particular trend, style or revolutionary change helped shape surfing in the sixties and how now there is a resurrection of that era today.

The book takes in some classic photos from all over Australia from perfect Bells to baddy country Angourie, Crescent Head, Bondi, Narrabeen and Dee Why to mention just a few. A chapter on surf craft helps you visualise what a true surf wagon was in those days !


Surfing competitions take up a major section of the book with a great shot of Manly Beach packed to the rafters for the first World Titles which showcased such names as Midget Farrelly, Bob McTavish, Nat Young, Peter Drouin, Peter Troy and our own local champion Gail Cooper.

I could go on and on about this wonderful piece of surfing memorabilia but you need to see it for yourself it’s a beautiful book for the coffee table at home or at the beach house and would make excellent Christmas present for the discerning collector or an old bloke like myself. So get down to one of our stores; Frankston, Point Leo or Purchase Online here and grab a copy before they run out the door!

I would like to thank Barrie Sutherland for inviting myself and good friends and fellow board collectors Dr Surf and Ian Lording to the book launch it was most enjoyable and many tales were shared with Barrie on how the book came together, and also to Madelaine, Barry’s lovely wife who was instrumental in the chapter on beach fashion.

Madelaine’s insight to how she got started with bikini making and becoming a fashion-ado of surf apparel was most interesting as you will see, she looks like she’s just stepped off the beach from those days in the sixties. Barrie sent a signed copy to Paul and Phil with some special wishes from Madelaine to the boys !! woo hoo!


Thanks also to Bar 61 at the Quiksilver building for great night and should you be down that way and wish to catch up with Barrie pop in to his gallery WATER MARKS GALLERY 38-40 BELLS ST TORQUAY I’m sure he will be stoked to see you and have a look at some of his classic photography and memorabilia that adorn the walls of the shop.

Phil Newman -T.S.A.