: bob newland
In reponse to several errors in surfresearch.com.au, 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
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
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
Meanwhile, George Greenough was filming the Intermost
Limits of Pure Fun at
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
falling out with the new managment at San Juan," Bob
Nature Surfboards on his farm outside
assisted by Bob Rasby.
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
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
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."
later moved to N.Z. and started his own shop in
Bare Nature Surfboards:
[Lennox Head, cropped]
Re-ad: Midget never made it there that year to
shape boards boards for us."
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.
notes that "The history of surf leashes is vague even for
I remember seeing someone in the Bay in 1969 with a rag
around his leg attached a rope, attached to his board.
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."
a visit to California in 1972, the
possibility of manufacting leashes was suggested to Bob Newland
by a friend,
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."
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
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
I sold SurfAids in 1981, as I just wanted to stop traveling
and stay at home and SURF."
Surf Aids: original rack card photo,
(2014) : Bob Newland.