jackson : riding the rollers, 1963
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.
surfboard will cost maybe £40 and a good secondhand one from
£15 to £25.
Be careful when buying old foam boards, since many are weakened with bubbles.
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.
you should lie or kneel on the board so that it floats
Use strong and even strokes, and these will eventually take you through the breaking waves to the clearer water beyond.
before attempting a run, and have a look at the wave
formations and where
they begin to break.
Let the first one ...
... go (they usually come in groups of two or three), since this will deepen and calm the water inshore.
toward the shore, paddling steadily, and let the wave come
at you from
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
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
The Australian Beach and Boating Book.
210 Queen Street Melbourne, Victoria,