Source Documents
Tommy Peterson : Interview,  1975. 

Tommy Peterson : Interview
Number 23, October 1975.
Some comments by MP's brother Tommy on surfboard design following the Pa Bendall contest when MP introduced his Fangtail design.
Also his future plans, the use of leg ropes at the Newcastle contest, and some heartfelt praise for his mother's support and encouragement.

Tommy Peterson : Interview
Page 12

What sort of boards are you riding now?
Swallow tail flyers.

How long have you been riding them?
10 months.

What got you started on flyers?
One I got of Owl Chapman.
It was shaped by (pause) ... I think Owl shaped it himself, I'm not quite sure.
He broke the tail of it at the Bower at about 12ft so I bought it of him when he was up here ...

Page 13

... watching the Australian titles.
After that I sought of like flyers.

What size boards do you prefer?
Depends on the size of the waves.
If the waves are small I like a board about 6ft - 6ft 2", for waves around 4ft, but over 4ft I think about 6ft 6"- 6ft 7" by about 18 1/2" wide.
It all depends on where you ride too.
At Bell's I need a board that's thick at the back to float across the dead spots and at
say Lennox the best board is probably a pin.

How many boards do you have?

But I generally use one of them.

You said you were riding flyers.
Are all your boards flyers?
All of them.
Just different lengths, widths, thicknesses.
You've got to stick with flyers to make them work
You just can't jump on I don't think and just ride them.
You can get so much edge on them that you didn't know you could get before.
I don't think you could find the total abilities of a flyer
You can put as many flyers on as you want.
It's been proven.
You could put ten on the back of a board if you had the room and it would still work.
Like that one Mick had.

At the Pa
Bendall contest?
That double flyer fangtail pintail.
I rode that all the way through the Pa Bendall and I ended up 14th which was unreal.
I was stoked.

You had to do it the hard way.
You weren't even invited?
No, I had to go through six heats before I got into the top 40.

Do you hope to get invited to any contests in the future?
But I think I've got to prove myself first.

Do you mean the amateur thing?
The Queensland titles etc.?
You've got to prove yourself there before you get invitations.
It's like a course, an apprenticeship, you've got to do it before you become a pro.

You went down to the Newcastle contest just recently didn't you?


Any comment?

The contest was wasn't run too bad and the judging was adequate, but some of the things the organisers pulled were a bit filthy.
Like on the entry forms was no leg ropes - that was it.
On Saturday I rocked up and gets out the back of the car in a bit of a hangover state and here's this "Due to the inclement surf leg ropes can be used."
I don't even own a leg rope.
Never used one.
And they pull this on you.
Without a leg rope in a contest you are really at a disadvantage.
One swim and you've blown it.

How many people wore leg ropes?

Everybody except Les Aberdeen, Dave McDonald and myself.
It was unfair.

What are your pl
ans now?
I hope to go to Western Australia at the end of the year.
I've never been over there.

Just for the trip?

Just for about two months.
Just to have a bash at some big waves over there.
I've surfed Hawaii, but not over there, though I've heard a lot about it.

I know your mother has been a big help with Mick.

I suppose she has helped you quite a lot too?
She helped put me in Hawaii, She's been a really big help to both of us.
She's really a top lady.
A fairy godmother ... but we got more than three wishes.

Number 23,
October 1975.



Geoff Cater (2021) : Tommy Peterson : Breakaway Interview, 1975.