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  mctavish  : man made reefs, oct 1967

Bob McTavish : Writing in the sun is a cinch.
  Surf International
October-November 1967 Volume 1 Number 1.

The article does not have a formal title - the first line is quoted.
After a wild and impressionist appraisal of the latest advances in surfing performance Bob McTavish raises the problem of crowded waves.
His first suggestion proved to be thoroughly impractical - hotter boards, hotter surfing and cooler heads mean more guys per wave with just as much fun.
The second is man made reefs,  employing mankind's overgrown scientific knowledge to construct a series of reefs in suitable locations, such as the north side of Long Reef, Sydney.
Never approaching McTavish's idealised vision (a pipeline, an Ala Moana, a Malibu left, a Sunset walling into a Laneakea, a Rincon, a Ti Tree, a right Pipeline), in the 21st Century millions of dollars were expended on mechanised surf-pools.
The accompanying full page portrait of Bob McTavish is by John Witzig.

McTavish's one page article was followed by contributions (not transcribed) with photographs of  Nat Young and Midget Farrelly.
Also see McTavish - Young - Farrelly.

Noting the contributions of McTavish, Young and Farrelly, the cover features Butch Cooney at the recent Newcastle Contest.
His board-shorts are decorated with a rotated Union Jack, the flag of the North Shore Surfriders Club, also worn in the photograph of Nat ridding the nose with intense aggression.
The back page is a advertisement for The Crystal Vessel by Russell Hughes at Shane Surfboards, now trading at Brookvale and the original factory at Eastwood.
The copy reads Look up through a crystal vessel and get nailed to the wall - quoting George Greenough?
Also see Shane Surfboards.

The dates of Surf International are not specified in the publication details, some commentators have dated this issue as early as September 1967.
However, the cover article on the Newcastle Contest notes it was won by Russell Hughes on 10th September 1967.
Printed in Hong Kong,
there was often a lag of up to 6 weeks before the magazine appeared on news-stands,hence the estimated date as October-November.

Volume 1 Number 1: Contents
About the New Magazine
Colouring Contest
Bob McTavish
Nat Young
Midget Farrelly
Newcastle Blows its Mind - Garth Powel, John Witzig.
Electrical Stair Case - Michael de la Rue
Ti Tree - John Witzig
Wave Length
The Last Wave

Page 8
Page 9

 WRITING in the sun is a cinch.
The paper bounces back very white, heads full of waves, skins encrusted with salt!
The words come easy but they are a primitive coarse tool to connect two units.
About all they can do is maybe stir the curious worm from your apple, baby. What did Cleary the surf-writer stumble across 18 months ago?
What did I.S.M.'s "Creative Era" try to say about the same time?
And what of David panthering for 11.4 seconds up tip?

What did it say?
What's it saying now?
High Performance!

Mind, Body, Soul; Surfer, Board, Wave; Total and Complete Involvement.
Let the mind unshackle, set it free.
Let it stroll, run, leap, laugh in gardens of crystal motion and sun and reality.
Talk with the caretaker on the Plastic Telephone.
Weave and paint with the hand of your imagination, with the fingers of your body, brush of fibreglass.

 See that Cavity up there?
I'd love to be there, upside-down, carvin' off a cutback.
The horizon's going over, up!
Sssswishsssss, sswoooop!!

Toes pressed through wax job.
Stomach in upper reaches of chest cavity.
Feeling the bounce of the re-entry.

Ridden the explosion of the close-out today?
Yes, the 360 after the weightless was rather good.
Dragged my whole bum in one of those backhands.
Yes thanks.
Share this one.
Try a dual tube?
You call the turns.
The circus is in town.
Yes, I'd love a rose.

Listen to the radio.
The artists, the individuals and the small groups sing of love.
Turn on the TV - the big companies and entertainment factories turn out violence, killing, hate.
See how simple it is?
The individual artists have it all over the system people.

Surfers are individual artists.
Surfers are beautiful.
Their medium is so clean, so spiritual, so involving, so natural, so good.
As artists they reflect all this good and beauty.
Life is fun.
You can't have fun, kid.
Get a steady job.
But I like the sun.
You're not allowed kid, the system won't let you.
What if I go ahead and dig it, live, love?
We'll jail you.
You can't.
The only prison is the mind, and the door is stuck open.
Hoo Ha!

Surfers dropped out years ago.
Remember the rat race shouting after us as we walked into funland, "lemondrop kids", "surfies"! Poor kids aren't we ...we even forgot how to frown, too busy living to remember.

Of course with all this groovy stuff happening around us we're going to attract more drop-outs, or drop-ins.
Crowded waves.
Two ways around the problem.

First, hotter boards, hotter surfing and cooler heads mean more guys per wave with just as much fun.
What you sometimes lose with the slightly crowded feeling, you'll gain with a couple more wakes to play in, more motion as other guys go flying around in front and beneath and above you.
More laughs.

The second answer to crowds is more waves.
It's time for man to employ his overgrown scientific knowledge towards fun, instead of that other thing that makes him build fighter planes, war ships, arms, bombs, missiles.

The three million that one fighter plane costs us, the three million that comes from our pay packs, the three million that no- one gets to enjoy, could give the friendly people a well shaped surfbreak to accommodate 300 people.
I'm sorry to have to mention the war-tool bit, but that little piece of ugliness now may help us all to a freer more surf-filled life. ..each time you hear or see the word Vietnam, cancel out the blackness with a picture of a beautiful man-shaped wave, a piece of love-nature.
Make waves not war.

Practical application of the idea.
A grant of several million dollars towards surfing research and development.
A group of surfing minds.
A headland that receives good swell and favourable winds.

Let's try the north side of Long Reef, Sydney, a half mile of coast around a rock bottomed pair of coves, the whole place takes any south quarter-wind, cops any swell at all, and has a lousy bottom shape.
Really central.
Conditions are excellent three to five days a week.

Accurate chart of the bottom, suggestions for wave shapes, models, testing tanks, research on cement and plastic combinations and varieties, methods of anchoring, and go to town.

A pipeline, an Ala Moana, a Malibu left, a Sunset walling into a Laneakea, a Rincon, a Ti Tree, a right Pipeline, a few more imaginative breaks, some big and power some small.
All varying with tides and swell sizes.

Southerly this morning?
Off to the Reef.
Only 200 guys out, only about ten each break.

Slip into wetsuit, grab wax, might just sit on nearby headland for a bit and raise sensitivity to those waves, maybe get a rough plan figured on how to put together the session.
Shape preferences, tide, frame of mind ... Hit it!

Stay out in that paradise till something blows, mind, body or maybe north wind.

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Surf International

October - November 1967
Volume 1 Number 1

Cover :
Butch Cooney - Newcastle Contest

Back Page :
Look up through a crystal vessel and get nailed to the wall
The Crystal Vessel by Russell Hughes.
Shane Surfboards
Brookvale - Eastwood.

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Geoff Cater (2000-2020) : Bob McTavish: Writing in the sun, 1967.