GRAND YEARS SPECIAL! A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE!

JACK EDEN – HE WAS “THE PHOTOGRAPHIC BIOGRAPHER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURFING HISTORY.

THIS IS TO MARK THE TALENT OF THE LATE JACK EDEN, ONE OF THE BEST SURF LENSMAN IN AUSTRALIA; PERHAPS THE WORLD. EDEN, LIKE MAX DUPAIN, “DEFINED AUSTRALIA” NOT IN 1930s, AS DUPAIN DID, BUT IN 1960s. JACK, WITH SOME COLLEAGUES, FOUNDED SURFABOUT IN 1963. I JOINED THE NEW MAGAZINE FROM THE SECOND ISSUE AS EDITOR. I DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS NOT ONLY A GOOD FRIEND BUT, FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS, HE WAS MY BEST MATE.

EDEN SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION, WHICH TAKES IN THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1964, ALLOWS US, IF ONLY MOMENTARILY, TO REVIVE THOSE PRECIOUS AND UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES OF OUR PAST. YES, HE WAS A SUPERB CRAFTSMAN. JACK DIED ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2019. EARLY OCTOBER, HIS ASHES  WERE SCATTERED AT CRONULLA BEACH  BY A GROUP OF WELL-KNOWN SURFERS.

THE ABOVE PHOTOGRAPH OF MIDGET FARRELLY, FIRST WORLD CHAMPION, MANLY 1964, FROM THE SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION. PHOTO: JACK EDEN.

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FLASHBACK, 1960s: Belly boards put you in good physical condition –they still do!

PAIPO BOARDS AT FULL FLIGHT. PHOTO: JACK EDEN IN 1964.

LEE  TINGLE, AUSTRALIA’S TOP RIDER, BODYBOARD, IN HALEIWA, HAWAII. PHOTO: JACK EDEN IN 1964.

BELLY BOARDS GOT THEIR REAL START ON THE SURF SCENE IN THE 1960s. THEY, TOO, HAVE THE THRILLS AND COMPLEXIBITY OF SURFBOARD RIDING.

JACK EDEN      

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

THE BELLY BOARDS ARE HERE! THEY’RE THE SAME SHAPE AS THE PAIPO BOARD BUT THEY PROVIDE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT RIDE.

Belly boards, which have amazing speed and manoeuvrability are becoming exceedingly popular. They are cheaper than conventional surfboards and they combine the thrills of both body and, to a certain degree, surfboard riding.

Laminated wood or foam, measuring 2 ft by 3 ft, the board consists of two skegs, as part of the vessel keel. The people who follow this segment of surfing are in good physical condition.

A top-notch surfboarder, has become a top belly board rider. He has given up his surfboard to concentrate on mastering the art of this sport.

He rides a larger board than usual, which enables him to set further inside the wave and his take-off point is much further back than is normally the case.

On the whole, this rider is quite a character and is well-known for his rough-house tactics. He thinks nothing of elbowing anyone from the wave, which he considers rightly belongs to him.

THEY SLIP DOWN THE FACE OF THE WAVE IN A MANNER OF A STONE RICOCHETING ACROSS A POND. IT’S TAKES REAL STAMINA TO BE A BELLY BOARD RIDER.

The Paipo board is at times called the belly board. This is incorrect. The Paipo is an entirely different type of board.

It is saucer-shaped, sometimes made of plywood; or balsa, covered with fibreglass. The name Paipo is derived from the Hawaiian word, Paepae.

The interpretation Belly boards or Paipo’s simply means it’s a ‘body-planning’ board. Any type of surf is acceptable to the various riders of these boards. At Waimea, Hawaii, on some of the big-wave days, these board-riders can be seen free-falling so fast that they skip down the face of the wave in a manner of a stone ricocheting across a pond.

To be a successful belly board rider, one must be a strong swimmer in top physical condition. It takes real stamina to be a belly board rider.

Nothing but good can come out of this different facet of surfing. Females, too, are taking kindly to the sport. American Candy Calhoun has become an expert in this phase of surfing.

So, it’s out with the belly boards and head to where the big waves are roaring in.

<< SURFABOUT MAGAZINE, VOL 3, NO 1., 1960s.

COMING: How Jack’s pictures were taken! Surfaction, a column Jack Eden penned for the Sunday Mirror in mid 1970s. The newspaper is now defunct.

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NINETY NOT OUT! MARJORIE JACKSON, THE CHAMPION SPRINTER, MBE, AND FORMER GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, HAS TURNED 90. MARJORIE HAD THE HONOUR OF BECOMING THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN WOMAN TO WIN AN OLYMPIC GOLD TRACK AND FIELD MEDAL IN 1952. SHE MARRIED OLYLMPIC CYCLIST PETER NELSON IN 1953.
HOW TIME FLIES. IT’S 20 YEARS SINCE TWO PASSENGER PLANES PLOUGHED INTO THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE. TWO OTHERS PLANES CRASHED THE SAME DAY -- INTO THE PENTAGON AND A FIELD IN PENNSYLVANIA. ALMOST 3000 PEOPLE WERE KILLED. IT WAS A DAY THAT THE WORLD STOOD STILL.

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FLASHBACK: SURFING SIXTIES: “Surfabout Revisited Collection” was the first of its kind!

AN EVOCATIVE IMAGE OF SURFER GARRY BIRDSALL, SLUMPED AGAINST HIS OLD 1948 MORRIS TOURER, WITH SURFBOARDS POKING OUT THE BACK. HE DIDN’T KNOW IT THEN,  BUT HE WAS STEPPING INTO SURFING HISTORY. SAID JACK: IT IS “0NE THE MOST POIGNANT SHOTS OF THE EXHIBITION”.

HISTORIC PRINTS OF THE SURFING  SIXTIES WHEN CHAMPIONS BECAME LEGENDS.

FRANK MORRIS

THE SURFING SIXTIES, A NOSTALGIC DREAM THAT WE MUST KEEP ALIVE. THE SIXTIES WAS A DECADE OF PEACE AND LOVE, GENTLENESS AND COMPLACENCY AND SHOCK.

IT WAS “A TIME WHEN ALL THE WRONGS OF SOCIETY SEEMED, FOR A BRIEF MOMENT, TO BE CUREABLE”, OPINED A LEADING HISTORIAN.

THAT’S WHEN AUSTRALIA BEGAN TO FLEX ITS SPORTING MUSCLE IN THE POST-WAR YEARS; BUT IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR AUSTRALIANS TO MAKE THEIR PRESENCE FELT ON THE WORLD STAGE.

AUSTRALIA SHOWED SPORTING NATIONS THAT THEY WERE THERE TO BE COUNTED.

ENTER THE 1960S: A GROUND-BREAKING DECADE FOR AUSTRALIA  IN ANOTHER SPORT, WHICH HAD BEEN PRIMARILY THE DOMAIN OF HAWAIIANS -- SURF-RIDING.

YES, IT WAS THE SURFING SIXIES AND AUSTRALIA HAD CRASHED THE WAVES BARRIER.

JACK SET TO PUTTING TOGETHER  50-ODD STUNNING BLACK AND WHITE SHOTS FROM THE ARCHIVES AS THE BASS OF THE SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION, WHICH HERALDED THE BEGINNING OF  THE SURFING REVOLUTION.

IT WAS WHEN AUSTRALIA CAME OF AGE ON THE WAVES.  IT WAS, INDEED, A BLAST FROM THE GLORIOUS PART; IT WAS AN EXHIBITION THAT GOT TO THE COALFACE OF THE PERIOD – THE SURFING SIXTIES.

IT WAS SAID THE JACK EDEN’S SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION, ONE OF FIRST IN AUSTRALIA, IN NOT THE WORLD, WOULD BE PRESERVED FOR ALL TIME.

IT TURNED OUT TO BE AN IMPRESSIVE START TO AN HISTORIC FUTURE FOR AUSTRALIAN SPORT OF SURFING.

JACK HAS BEEN LAUDED FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPHY. THE FACT THE HIS SUPERB SHOTS WERE  BACK-LIT, GIVING THE COLLECTION THAT ‘CALIFORNIA’ TOUCH, WHICH WOULD STIR THE EMOTION. EVERYBODY COULD FEEL IT.

ALSO,THE LIFESTYLE, THE FASHION AND THE LEGENDS WHO STRUCK GOLD IN THE SIXTY, ARE STILL SURFING; OR PASSED ON.

THE SURFBOARDS HAVE ALTERED THEIR SHAPE. THE EVOLUTION OF OLD-STYLE “SOLID” HAS PASSED THROUGH HEAPS OF  SIGNIFICANT MODIFICATIONS. THEY HAVE BECOME MORE ELEGANT, MORE PURPOSEFUL.

IT HAD BEEN SAID THROUGH THE YEARS THAT THE SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION WAS THE ONE IN AUSTRALIA, PERHAPS THE WORLD, WHICH WOULD BE PRESERVED FOR ALL TIME. THIS WAS A  “NEVER TO BE REPEATED PIONEER PERIOD” IN A NATION’S SURFING LIFE.

THE SURFING SIXTIES GAVE IMAGE, SOUND AND A NEVER-TO-FORGOTTEN LIFESTYLE LIKE NO ERA BEFORE OR SINCE. THEY ARE STILL WITH US IN SOME FORM OR ANOTHER.

THE COLLECTION WAS HERALDED AS A TRIUMPH; AN EXAMPLE OF “LIVING HISTORY” THAT BECAME A WORK OF ART”.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHAMPIONS? THEY HAVE BECAME LEGENDS.

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They were “stoked”: Critics acclaim historic surfing prints collection

MAIL-OUTS FROM THE RESPECTIVE GALLERY.

NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINE WRITERS, AND TV PRODUCERS WANTED JACK TO TALK ABOUT THE SURFING SIXTIES AND THE CHAMPIONS THAT BECAME SURFING LEGENDS.

FRANK MORRIS

JACK EDEN’S SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION, AN AUSTRALIA-WIDE EXHIBITION – AND THE UK, AT CORNWALL --  HAS  BEEN ACCLAIMED BY ALL SECTIONS OF MEDIA. MORE THAN 100,000 PATRONS WHO WERE PART OF THE SURFING SIXTIES CAME TO SEE IT.

NO DOUBT, ONE OF THE COLLECTION’S MAIN DRAWCARDS, APART FROM THE GALAXY OF HISTORIC IMAGES OF THE SURFING SIXTIES, WERE THE SURFING LEGENDS.

HOW DID THIS EVENT GET OFF THE GROUND?

“SUDDENLY, EVERYBODY WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE SIXTIES”, I WROTE IN THE EXHIBITION BROCHURE, A TIME CAPSULE IN PRINT. SAYS JACK: “THE EXPLOSION OF INTEREST IN THE EXHIBITION THESE PAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS HAS BEEN PHENOMENAL”.

EDEN REGARDS THE SIXTIES AS SURFING’S “GOLDEN ERA”.

MIDGET FARRELLY WAS THE SEED FROM WHICH THIS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED COLLECTION GREW. JACK EXPLAINS: “HE RANG ME AND SAID, ‘JACK, DON’T YOU REALISE THAT YOU ARE THE RECORDER OF OUR SURFING HISTORY?’ “THAT’S HOW THE EXHIBITION GOT STARTED”.

WHAT A PORTION OF THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT JACK EDEN’S SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION:
“THE FOUNDING FATHER OF AUSTRALIAN SURFING PHOTOGRAPHY”. – MATTEW ARNEY AND ALIX WADE, UK MEDIA ORGANISTION.

“LUCKILY, JACK EDEN CAUGHT THE MAJOR PLAYERS OF THIS ERA ON BLACK AND WHITE FILM. HIS PRECISION IMAGES CONVEY THE UNIQUENESS OF A NEVER TO BE REPEATED PIONEER PERIOD IN AUSTRALIAN SURFING LIFE”. -- MIDGET FARRELLY, LEGENDARY SURFER AND FIRST WORLD CHAMPION.
“… STOKED WITH THE CHARITY OF PHOTOS DEPICTING MY CHILDHOOG HEROES”. – ANDY MAC, PRIME TV AND SEA FM SURF REPORTER.

“ … A HUMAN TIME MACHINE”. – NEIL RIDGWAY, TRACK MAGAZINE.

“… MAGIC PHOTOGRAPHS …” JOANNA RAMAGE, TRACKS MAGAZINE.

THE SURF, PUBLISHED FROM 1917 UNTIL 1918, WAS A ROARING SUCCESS, IS CREDITED AS AUSTRALIA AND THE WORLD’S FIRST “SURFING MAGAZINE”. IT’S NEVER BEEN DISPUTED. AS FAR AS PUBLICITY GOES, THE FRONT PAGE WAS GIVEN READILY TO A GIRL-RIDER (NO NAME) RIDING AN AQUAPLANE, WHICH IS TOWED BEHIND BY A BOAT.

“EDEN’S EXHIBITION CAPTURES THE FLAVOUR OF THE PERIOD WITH EVOCATIVE IMAGES OF SURFING GREAT”. – KEVEN MEADOW. THE AUSTRALIAN.

“THE COLLECTION CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF THE ‘60S SURFING EXPERIENCE”. – SIMON BLOCKTY. -- HERALD-SUN.

“EXTRAORDINARY .. OUTSTANDING COLLECTION … WONDERFUL EXHIBITION”. – STEPPING OUT, NORTHERN BEACH WEEKENDER.

“TOP SURFING SHOTS.” – GOLD COAST SUN.

“SUPER SNAPS OF SURFING GOLDEN ERA … BRILLANT”. – ST GEORGE LEADER.

“A REMARKABLE INSIGHT … YOU COULD ALMOST FEEL THE SUNSHINE BEAMING OUT OF THE BLACK AND WHITE IMAGES”. – ANTHONY WILSON, THE WESTERN REVIEW.

“SURF’S GARDEN OF EDEN…” – DIANA TAYLOR, DAILY TELEGRAPH MIRROR.

“CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD”. – HEATHER SMITH, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

“OLD SURFERS NEVER DIE … EDEN IS PROOF THAT SURFING IS NOT MERELY PART OF YOUTH CULTURE”. – IAN VERRENDER, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

“IT WAS ONE OF JEWEL IN OUT CROWN”. – SURFWORLD, TORQUAY, VICTORIA.

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Bisso, the surfing cartoonist …

“LOOK OUT! HERE COMES ANOTHER ONE”, SAID THE FIRST FISHERMAN. ILLUSTRATION: SURFABOUT, 1965.

NEXT: BACK TO THE BATAVIA TRAGEDY, ETC.

THE NEXT ISSUE OF GRAND YEARS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 8.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 September 21

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