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Bob Newland

In reponse to several errors in, in late 2013, Bob Newland forwarded a large amount of interesting material on the surfing industry in Bryon Bay 1965-1980.
His complete notes have been edited here, with various additions or corrections made to the associated entries.

Many thanks to Bob for this information and the images.

Bob Newland, aged 17, immigrated to Australia in 1967 and started working at Scott Dillion Surfboards in Sydney.
He was taught to glass by Darrell Holmes while at Gordon Woods Surfboards, and spent some time at Peter Clark's in north-side factory in Brookvale.

San Juan Surfboards was started in Byron Bay in 1967 by Ken Adler, who made the finals of the 1965 World Championships in Peru.
His first employee was Dick Hoole, producer of Tubular Swells with Jack McCoy in the 1970's.
Bob Newland started glassing
at San Juan in the the summer of 1968, and the following winter, in-house shapers included Bob Rasby and Bob McTavish.
Meanwhile, George Greenough was filming the Intermost Limits of Pure Fun
at Lennox Head.

Around 1969, "Wilderness Surfboards was started  on a farm that McTavish had outside of Yamba, along with Chris Brock and the Key's brothers," and Surf Research's WaxMate was brought over from the U.S. by Garth Murphy.
The wax was produced on Garth's farm at Brooklet, just out side of Byron Bay, the farm and business later sold to Paul Hutchinson (Surfboards).
Paul was previously a part owner of Pete's Stor-a-Board at Manly.

In 1970, Bob Newland returned to California, "glassing only boards shaped by Bob Mctavish at Hollow Wave Surfboards in Ventura," and "worked
for a short time at Bing Surfboards, when Mike Eaton invented the Twin Fin concept."

In 1971, "after a falling out with the new managment at San Juan," Bob started Bare Nature Surfboards on his farm outside of Byron, assisted by Bob Rasby.
then started a partnership with Roy Meisel, an "old and still best friend" recently arrived from the U.S., and the business then moved into the Bay, with a stable of prestigous "sculptors."
Rasby later moved to N.Z. and started his own shop in Gisbon. 

Bare Nature Surfboards:
second advertisement in Tracks, 1971.
[Lennox Head, cropped]

"P.S. Re-ad: Midget never made it there that year to shape boards boards for us."

Subsequently, Roy Meisel purchased Bare Nature Surfboards outright, however, "before he closed the doors, someone stole the name and trade marked it.
Roy, very laided back, couldn't be bothered defending my original name which he owned, (and which) I was ready to buy back from him.  Bob Newland then "spent some time working for Warren Cornish Surfboards, before starting Surf Aids in 1973.

Bob notes that "The history of surf leashes is vague even for me.
I remember seeing someone in the Bay in 1969 with a rag around his leg attached a rope, attached to his board.

The first commerical leashes were made by Control Products in Santa Monica, a part of Con Surfboards.
These leashes were made of latex tubing (speargun rubber) with rope running the thru the center to absorb shock."
While on a visit to California in 1972, the possibility of manufacting leashes was suggested to Bob Newland by a friend, Bill Blinky Hubina.
owned the Ventura Surf Shop, and was also the inventor of SlipCheck spray-on wax in the mid-60's.
"About 1974 urethane was extruded into a cord like material, either soild or hollow, a giant leap forward.

"Surf Aids manufacturing was trying to improve some of our existing products, mainly in board covers.
We were tired of the wet soppy nitted covers in our area, started with a duck canvas that would last and keep things dry.
In fact, Chris Brook told me that when Greenough sailed the Morning Light to Australia, they cut the nose out and used it as a sea anchor and it held up all the way.
Still not stoked with our covers we worked with different qualities of air bubble for our padded covers.
This eventually lead us to the first travels boardcovers made with high density foam.
A local employee Ron Bulitt, help in this development.
I still have and use one of of these covers over 30 years later. 
I sold SurfAids in 1981, as I just wanted to stop traveling and stay at home and SURF.

Surf Aids: original rack card photo, 1973.

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Geoff Cater (2014) : Bob Newland.