slessor : surf, all about it, 1931
No author, editor or publishing
are in evidence.although the copy in the Mitchell Library,
a pencil annotation on page seven which appears to attribute
or contribution to
The work is included in papers held by the National Library of Australia. see below.
The only articles with by-lines are simply identified as "Medico" and "Eve", the later advising on Beauty and the Beach, pages 27 to 29.
Profusely illustrated with black and
illustrations (some of high quality) and cartoons, the later the
description for the Surfing Map on page 49.
Probably the work of several artists, the finest illustrations accompany a poem, Jan'tzen Josie, and a song, Bluebottle Blues, on pages 37 and 40 respectively.
Slessor, Kenneth / Papers
Library of Aus.)
Series 4: Slessor's publications
Books by Slessor in this series are Thief of the moon, Earth visitors, Darlinghurst nights, Portrait of Sydney, Australian profile, The grapes are growing, The story of Australian wine, and Canberra.
Also included are copies of the index of first lines to One hundred poems 1919-1939 and a small book by Slessor about surfing called Surf; all about it.
Australian Dictionary of
National Centre of Biography, Australian National University
Slessor joined the idiosyncratic
Weekly in 1927 and remained there until 1940, serving as
He enjoyed its unconventionality, interest in film and humour, and, probably, its 'knock-'em-down' vulgarity; he later described the period as 'the happiest chapter of my existence'.
During these years he wrote most of his major poetry, the bulk of his light verse (which was published in Smith's, with illustrations principally by Virgil Reilly), numerous articles and film reviews.
Slessor's 'Five Visions of
was included in a booklet, Trio (1931), with poems by
and Colin Simpson.
In 1932 he published his third major collection, Cuckooz Contrey, a collection of illustrated light verse.
Darlinghurst Nights (1933) and a collection of children's verse, Funny Farmyard (1933), followed.
In 1939 the small paperback Five Bells: XX Poems appeared.
Norman Lindsay again provided drawings for Cuckooz Contrey and Five Bells, but Slessor's work increasingly seemed to belong to another world from that of Lindsay.
The elegy 'Five Bells', a meditation prompted by the death from drowning of Joe Lynch in Sydney Harbour in 1927, is generally agreed to be his finest poem.
It placed him among Australia's foremost poets.
A. K. Thomson (ed), Critical Essays on Kenneth Slessor (Brisb, 1968)
D. Stewart, A Man of Sydney (Melb, 1977)
A. Taylor, Reading Australian Poetry (Brisb, 1987)
G. Dutton, Kenneth Slessor (Melb, 1991)
A. Caesar, Kenneth Slessor (Melb, 1995)
P. Mead (ed), Kenneth Slessor (Brisb, 1997)
Southerly, 31, no 4, 1971
D. Haskell, 'Sheer Voice and Fidget Wheels', Australian Literary Studies, 13, no 3, 1988, p 253
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Jan 1919, 2 Apr 1940, 25 Feb, 3 Mar 1944, 5 Nov 1953, 1 Jan 1959, 30 Dec 1967, 17 Sept 1971
Slessor papers (National Library of Australia)
SP109/3, item 392/17, and resignation of Mr Kenneth Slessor, A5954, item 609/3 (National Archives of Australia).
Haskell, Dennis, 'Slessor, Kenneth Adolf (1901–1971)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/slessor-kenneth-adolf-11712/text20935, accessed 23 May 2012.
Comics Down Under
Reilly was also an accomplished book illustrator, providing artwork for two collections of poetry by Kenneth Slessor: Darlinghurst Nights (Frank Johnson Publications, 1933/Reprinted in 1974) and Backless Betty from Bondi (Angus & Robertson, 1983).
This article originally appeared in the March 2004 edition of Collectormania magazine
Kenneth slessor: a biography
Dutton, Geoffrey, 1922-
Ringwood, Vic. : Viking, 1991
Duke Kahanamoku's Style
IF there is anything more graceful or more beautiful than a human being poised upright on a breaker, as it rushes to the beach, nobody, with the possible exception of Pavlova, has yet discovered it.
of surf-shooting and the ordinary method of riding a wave,
there is as
much difference as between a limousine and a bicycle.
Yet, strangely enough, few of the thousands of surfers who think nothing of spending a day in the farthest line of breakers venture to climb aboard that de luxe express train of the Pacific, the
of this reluctance is due to the supposition that the art of
riding a board
calls for some abnormal talent in the surfer.
Others again are under a false-idea of the dangers and difficulties attendant upon doing so.
Both of these popular delusions are entirely wrong.
It is no harder for a moderately skilful surfer to learn the use of the board than it was for him to learn the art of shooting.
And the risk of danger is certainly no more.
Many authorities, indeed, are prepared to argue that it is considerably less.
to have been invented by the superb swimmers of that St.
Andrews of the
surf, Waikiki Beach.
To-day, it could be claimed that Australians have learnt to ride surfboards even more successfully than the Hawaiians.
In support of this, numerous experts have pointed out that the Waikiki rollers offer a far easier passage to the board than the shorter, and generally fiercer, breakers of the Australian coast.
Hawaiians, for instance, are able to enjoy a much longer period on the board before reaching the beach.
Despite this handicap, any impartial critic must agree that Australian surfboard users have attained just as high a degree of perfection as the Hawaiians.
that if you can shoot a breaker, there is no earthly reason
why you should
not pass on into the brotherhood of the board.
And the first thing you must do is to acquire a suitable surfboard.
need be wasted on the use of the "short boards."
These are really more for the assistance of the beginner, who is learning the feel of the surf.
When practising the in-shore glide (see Lesson One, page 7), you will notice the enormous
assistance derived by holding one of these little boards extended in front of you.
Let us take
that you have secured a smooth and nicely balanced "long
Once again, it is necessary to repeat that three-quarters of the battle is won if you have CONFIDENCE.
Cast your fears aside as you walk down the beach.
Remember these three comforting facts:-
ever yet attacked a swimmer with a surfboard.
The big brutes are frightened of anything unusual.
safer OUTSIDE the breaker-line than you are inside.
For one thing, the sea is much smoother.
you are in danger of being carried out to sea.
As a matter of fact, you could paddle several miles on the board.
must do is to notice whether any special atea has been set
aside for surfboards.
If not, do your board-riding close to where the ordinary surfing is going on, but not close enough to run the risk of colliding with anybody.
Remember that a blow from a moving board can inflict a very serious injury.
Carry your board down to the water and slide it in.
The first thing you've got to learn is how to manoeuvre yourself and your board safely out to the big stuff.
Wait till there is a momentary lull in the breakers, launch the board, and waste as little time as
possible in the shallows.
The board is twice as difficult to handle here as farther out.
And take care you don't get bumped by it.
Push it, DON'T TOW IT, through the breakers.
you're pushing it from the back, don't make the mistake, if
it is swept
out of your control, of trying to recover it from the
Approach it from the direction of the breakers, so that there is no chance of it being flung on top of you.
You'll probably have to start swimming as you approach the farthest breaker-line.
Keep on pushing the board, righting its direction every time you are buffeted.
Once past the line where the waves are breaking you'll find the sea much easier.
other side of the breakers.
Lift yourself smoothly on to the board, lying face-down, with your legs and knees just over the sides. Now you will have to pick out your wave.
Just as in Lesson Two, on the art of surf-shooting, the importance of properly timing the breaker cannot be over-emphasised.
the right wave, move the board in front of it by paddling
till it overtakes
Never try to mount a wave that is in the act of breaking.
Catch it immediately before.
has reached your board, you will feel yourself gliding
rapidly with it.
The principle of putting weight in front of a wave you are in danger of losing must be again applied.
If the breaker shows signs of leaving you behind, pull your body further up in the direction of the front of the board, and concentrate your weight there.
as still as possible, and balance yourself in the exact
You are bound to roll off during your first few attempts, but stick at it without fear.
It won't be long before you taste the intoxication of whizzing in to the beach on your trusty steed. Once you've done it, you'll want to live on your board.
must be taken if you fall off not to let the board strike
If, at the moment the wave breaks, the board dives vertically, simply let yourself go down with it, slide over the top, ...
... avoid it falling on you, and try again.
a master of horizontal board-shooting before you try to
By that time, you'll have a much finer sense of balance, and your confidence in the board will have greatly increased.
You may find that standing on the board is a more difficult thing in its early stages.
Balance and timing are again the essentials.
Combine these with constant practice and you will triumph.
the wave before it breaks.
Lie face-down on the board, exactly the same way, until it has gathered speed, and the wave has burst.
Then, smoothly and without changing the centre of balance, rise to a stooping, all-fours position, facing across the board, side-on to the beach.
Stand up very gently, sliding your legs wide apart, and adjusting your balance so that your weight is distributed centrally.
try dozens of experiments in the art of balance till you
have found the
position that suits the board and the wave.
But it's great fun- even falling off!
Don't think you can't succeed.
It's just a matter of patience, practice and confidence.
And once you've learnt to stand up on a breaker, you may consider you have won your final degree in the university of the surf.
Follows Where to Surf Around Sydney, pages 46 and 47, that detail Bondi, Bronte, Coogee, Clovelly, Cronulla, Manly and Maroubra Beaches.
have taken to the surf as eagerly, and in such
Few other countries, indeed, can boast such a splendid sweep of breaker-beaches as those that stretch almost continuously from Southport, up in Queensland, to Cottesloe in West Australia.
But the surfer who is fortunate enough to be able to travel to other oceans or other coasts will find
an absorbing interest in the bathing- fashions and surfing-peculiarities of the celebrated beaches whose fame has spread across the sea.
easily the most noted beaches are those of Hawaii, swept by
the same old
Pacific that knocks at Manly's door.
St. Andrew's. the shrine of golf, is a name of no greater veneration than WAIKIKI to the surfer.
a fortnight's travel from Sydney, by luxurious liners,
Waikiki, the cradle
of surf-riding, flaunts all the tropical splendors of blue
golden sand and green palm-trees, hibiscus and frangipanni
profusion enough to make a painter sob into his palette.
At first sight, the famous beach seems rather surprisingly small to Australians accustomed to the huge half-moons of the eastern coast.
But what Waikiki lacks in vastnest-, it gains in the nature of its surf.
It is possible to swim out, and secure shoots, two miles from the shore!
still to the cautious surfer, the sea around Waikiki Beach
is quite free
from sharks. The breakers bank up slowly, and their crest
does not form
until they have come close inshore. There is not the same
degree of curl
about them as with Australian waves, and their long, flat,
is ideally suited for surfboard-rilflng.
The nearest Australian equivalent to Waikiki would, perhaps, be some such beach as Freshwater, in a light southerly breeze.
Africa's most famous bathing-beach, stretches along the
shore of Durban
Bay in Natal.
The surf, though rather weak, is warm and inviting, and there is a system of nets and ropes, for the assistance of the novice and the prevention of sharks.
A pier extends into the water, and there are many attractions on land, including, of course, the gaily dressed ricksha-boy and his carriage.
most famous bathing-place, is not, of course, a surf- beach,
but its waters
are none the less distinctive, as much for their warmth and
beauty as for
the colorful people who splash the hours away in them.
The Lido is next-door to Venice, and all the romance and charm of Italy seem to converge on the rainbow- painted beach.
The sands teem with exotic bathers: dukes jostle American millionaires; pyjamas and peignoires of every conceivable tint and pattern swarm on the terraces.
The beach is lined with a double row of gaily colored bathing-boxes, and forests of blue and white poles protrude from the sea.
the sand is as popular as in Australia: many enthusiasts
live almost entirely
on the beach, in nothing but bathing-costumes or pyjamas.
There is a pier running into the sea, on which more crowds of bathers sit at blue tables, siopping orange drinks.
All sorts of fantastic amusements are pursued in the water- the sports range from water-bicycles to gymnastics.
But, alas, there is never a sign of a good Australian breaker and the water is warm, shallow, and cloudy, with none of that invigorating sting which adds zest to the Australian surf.
Page Fifty-one (Inside back cover).
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Surf - All About It.
Surf - All About It.
No author, editor, artist or publishing
details in evidence.