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jackson : riding the rollers, 1963 

Gainor Jackson : Riding the Rollers, 1963.

Extract from
Jackson, Gainor W.: The Australian Beach and Boating Book.
Cassell Australia, 210 Queen Street Melbourne, Victoria, 1963.

Introduction.
A very basic overview of surfboard riding.
Note the lower price for the, now superseded, balsa boards and the longer length of the current foam boards.
Jackson was an experienced yachtsman


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Riding the Rollers on Surfboard
Australia is one of the great surfing paradises of the world.
Hundreds ride the rollers at Manly and Bondi every summer week-end that the surf is in.
You will see them also at Catherine Hill, Crescent Head, Voodoo, or Boneyard Bay, among many other beaches.

A foam plastic surfboard will cost maybe 40 and a good secondhand one from between 15 to 25.
Be careful when buying old foam boards, since many are weakened with bubbles.

Balsa wood boards, once very popular, are cheaper, and might be bought secondhand for about 5 to 18.
Old Balsa boards are usually shorter in length than is common today, but they are quite satisfactory on the down-hill run. Nowadays boards average about 9 feet to 10 feet in length, and bigger boards are used for the giant waves.

It is usual to rub a board regularly with paraffin wax to prevent it becoming too slippery.

So now you have the board and are ready to learn to ride it.

To paddle out you should lie or kneel on the board so that it floats evenly.
Use strong and even strokes, and these will eventually take you through the breaking waves to the clearer water beyond.

Wait a little before attempting a run, and have a look at the wave formations and where they begin to break.
Let the first one ...

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... go (they usually come in groups of two or three), since this will deepen and calm the water inshore.

Turn the board toward the shore, paddling steadily, and let the wave come at you from dead astern.
Slowly at first the board will begin to lift and run down the front swell.
Now is the big moment to stand up smoothly with one foot ahead of the other and knees bent.
Stand on the board at a point about two-thirds of its length from the front.
Adjust your weight through the knees, arms and the slope of your body.
It is usual to lean slightly forward with one shoulder leading.
Directional changes are made (much as they would be in snow ski-ing) by altering the direction of your shoulder and transmitting the twist through a somewhat stiffened torso.

It is wiser to try straight runs first until you get the feel of it.
The surf differs in average size from one beach to another.
Sydney surf is usually not as big, for example, as in some country areas.
If the surf is big, be very cautious, especially if you are a beginner.
Study the way the waves come in, and study them for at least fifteen minutes before paddling out.
Finally, if you get 'rolled in' under a big wave try to struggle up as quickly as possible to the surface.

All in all it is a great sport, thrilling, healthy, and spectacular.


A typical poly-ether fibreglass covered surfboard


Jackson, Gainor W.: 
The Australian Beach and Boating Book.
Cassell Australia, 
210 Queen Street Melbourne, Victoria, 
1963.

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Geoff Cater (2011-2018) : Gainor Jackson : Riding the Rollers, 1963.
http://www.surfresearch.com.au/1963_Jackson_Aust_Beach_Boating.html