pods for primates*
the Origin of Surfboards
or, On the Origin of Watercraft and Oceanic Navigation.
Jacob Bronowski: The Ascent of Man, 1973.
|*The first edition
was presented online about 1998, originally
pods for primates: a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900.
The title was taken, borrowed, stolen, or in homage to, Bob McTavish's
seminal articles on the history of Australian surfboard design:
Pods for Primates : Part 1 and Pods for Primates : Part 2
Tracks, Number 31, Apri 1973 Tracks, Number 32, May 1973.
Left: Bob McTavish and Little Red, Honolua Bay, Maui, December 1967.
Photograph: John Witzig.
Surf International, Volume 1 Number 12, 1969.
The cover was kindly signed by Mr. McTavish at the launch
of his book, Stoked!, at Manly Beach, November 2010.
Subsequently, the website appeared under the URL
As its scope and content has somewhat exceeded the original parameters,
from June 2013 the page headers are being adjusted to the URL.
The URL was similarly derived from another prestigious source,
Surf Research was Californian company producing a range of products from the mid-1960s,
including their coloured and scented surf wax, Waxmate.
The principals were Garth Murphy, Mike Doyle, and Rusty Miller.
Doyle and Miller were outstanding surfers,with substantial competitive careers and regularly appearing in magazines.
Left: Cool waxmate for surfboards by surf research, circa 1970.
At the end of 1960s the Californian company was sold and Mike Doyle relocated to
Mexico, Rusty to Kauai,
In the early 1970s, Rusty Miller also relocated to Australia and he currently resides in Byron Bay.
Rusty contributed to Witzig's ground breaking Tracks and featured in the Bali sequences of Albert Falzon's The Morning of the Earth.
Left: Cover of
Dixon, Peter L.: The Complete Book of Surfing, G.B., 1966.
Rusty Miller, Sunset Beach, c1965.
Photograph by Dr Don James.
The cover was signed by Mr. Miller while attending the 30th anniversary
of the introduction of Simon Anderson's Thruster at
North Narrabeen SLSC, 20 November 2010.
Many thanks to Rusty, Tricia, and Simon.
See Glossary : S : Surf Research
Bruce White and
(1958 - 2004)
Paul Flack and
Unfortunately this site and blog is no longer online.
Surfresearch.com.au used to regularly contribute content to the once highly recommended www.surfblurb.com
| The Photographs
1. H. Phillips: Surfboard riders, Manly Beach, circa 1928.
Note the range of board design and decor, in particular the text, I'en nui, on the nose of the board to the far right .
Also note the age range of surfriders and the female surfrider.
- Phillips, H: Surfing Beaches of Sydney N.S.W.
Photographer, Printer and Publisher
99 Victoria Avenue Willoghby, NSW, 1930.
The item is not dated but has one photograph at Bondi dated March 22nd, 1930.
Max: My web page gets 500,000 hits per month!
Siegfried: I find that very hard to believe.
Max: Would you believe 500 hits per month?
Siegfried: I don't think so.
Max: How about 5 hits, and one recommend to a friend?
Ve don't Twitter, ve don't Blog, ve don't Linked-in, ve don't Instagram, ve don't Pintrest, and ve don't Facebook, here!
- Ludwig Von Siegfried, Vice President in charge of Public Relations and Terror.
By the dawn of the 21st century,
surfboards appeared all around the globe.
Including this 9ft Malibu stashed in the barn of
Shaun the Sheep on Mossy Bottom Farm.
The duck and four birds ride an ironing board
on a wave of the farmer's trash.
The Real Mattress and Base Co.
A companion site to
The Annotated Recordings of Bob Dylan.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail, Steal a lot and they make you king.
- Sweetheart Like You, Infidels (1983)