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04 Australian Surfing Hall Of Fame Awards Paul Neilsen

Paul Neilsen andd Rod Broooks : photo Surfing

2004 Australian Surfing Hall Of Fame Awards

Paul Neilsen Inducted!

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 March 2004: - - I first came in contact with a malibu board at Torquay beach in Victoria in November of 1956 at the Olympic Games Surf Carnival. The coach of the Californian team, a Mr Arthur Parkyn, who is a foundation member of Mooloolaba Surf Club, introduced me to some of the Californian Team members who had malibu boards with them. I was able to take one of the boards out for a few waves that day and was immediately impressed with the wave riding capabilities of the craft. And from that day on I was hooked!

On returning to Queensland I made several inquiries and was able to locate a board that was of similar type, made by Gordon Woods in Sydney so I immediately ordered a board from him and that was delivered to me in April of 1957. I commenced surfing that board at the Sunshine Coast and was at the time, the only person with a board of that type in the area. On a trip into Noosa, which was accessed from the small town of Cooroy, I discovered what was a classic wave for the use of this type of board and so I commenced surfing Noosa whenever the surf was on and continued to surf Noosa on my own for the next 4 years. During that 4 year period I was an agent for Gordon Woods´ boards in the Sunshine Coast area and somewhere in that period, around 1961-62, I commenced making boards under the brand name of HAYDEN. I was the shaper, the glasser, the sander, the glosser, the salesman and the test pilot! Hayden Surfboards are still made today in factory here on the Sunshine Coast. Although my tools have probably gone rusty due to the lack of use, I still stay in close contact with the operation.

A long and illustrious career in Surf Life Saving was combined with my love of surfing. While married with 3 children (all married), and 4 grandchildren (with 2 more on the way) I still love living on the coast, I check the surf everyday but don´t surf that often ´cause I hate crowds!

In 2002 Gordon Woods personally made for me a replica of the first board he made for me in 1957. The board holds pride of place on the wall of my living room (Fae wouldn´t let me put it in the bedroom!)

Today I am retired but still live at the beach at Alexandra Headland and have completed 25 years of helicopter rescue service, the last 12 as a full time rescue crewman which has kept me very in touch with the ocean, and I am a member of Mooloolaba Surf Club."

Joe Larkin

Joe had his first solid Oregon surfboard in 1942, he built his first board in 1947 and has continued making boards and promoting the sport of surfing to this day. He has also been known to have the odd beer or two.

Yours in surfing Joe Larkin.


Murray Walding

Murray Walding is a writer and surf/pop archivist. His articles have appeared in numerous local publications, The Australian Surfers Journal, Surfing World Magazine, Breakway Magazine, ShoreThing, The Geelong Advertiser, The Sunday Herald Sun and The Age. He is a contributing writer with Pacific Longboarder. His collection of surf-related memorabilia is rated as one of the most extensive in Australia.

He is currently working on ¡¥Plastered-The Poster Art of Australian Popular Music.¡¦ which will be published by Melbourne University Press in late 2004. Married with two sons, Murray and his wife live in the Great Ocean Road town of Lorne, on Victoria¡¦s south-west coast.

ABOUT BLUE HEAVEN ¡K.. Blue Heaven tells the story of Australian surfing from its origins, through its era as a renegade sport, and on to its acceptance as a mainstream sport and lifestyle. All the greats ¡V Midget Farrelly, Pam Burridge, Tom Carroll, Nat Young, Gary Elkerton, Rabbit Bartholomew, Layne Beachley, Mark Occhilupo and more ¡V are included.

Fully illustrated with fantastic surfing photographs as well as memorabilia from each surfing decade, Blue Heaven celebrates the heroics of surf life-saving, the sixties boom of surfboard riding and the transition of surfing from a lifestyle to a bustling energetic industry.

From The Atlantics to Midnight Oil, from panel vans to four wheel drives, from Jantzen to Billabong, and from Duke Kahanamoku to Mick Fanning, Blue Heaven covers everything on Australian surfing and beach culture.

INNOVATION AWARD - Two Winners tied.

Phillip Island Boardriders Super Grommet Program

Accepting their award was Mark Fairthorne

Super Grommet Program introduced through Phillip Island Boardriders, with the aim of introducing the 12 and under age group to the surfing world and to give them the knowledge about the ocean and water safety that they will require in the sport of surfing.

Starting approximately 2 years ago the program has been so successful that the club has almost had too many kids turning up. Currently they have almost 50 kids turning up every Sunday to participate in introductory surf competitions and water safety lessons.

The Phillip Island Boardriders Club members should be congratulated for their commitment to the program. Last year 12 club members gained a level one coaching accreditation, with another batch currently signing up to complete one in April/May.

Surf Tech

Surftech is a surfboards technology company who are taking surfboard production to the next generation, by using a composite vacuum formed construction.

The company is headed by Randy French who long term surfer / shaper from Santa Cruz took his knowledge in composite construction develop after along association in the sailboards industry with his company Seatrend and refine this to the surfboard industry.

The outcome has been that Surftech now produce board designs from the Worlds best shapers using what they believe to be the most advance construction known as TUFLITE.

To the shapers this means they can spend more time as designers and less time production shaping. To the consumer this means refined test shapes that are lighter and stronger.

Dave Byrne of Surftech Australasia received this award.


Max Perrot & Kellie O´Brien

Max Perrot & Kellie O´Brien are from Lennox Head having moved there from W.A. 15 years ago. To their credit they have had a very positive influence on the sport particularly in the areas of women´s and junior surfing. They founded the ¡¥All Girls Surfriders´ club in 1991 which is still Australians largest with 150 members and in 1993 organised the ¡¥All Girls Surf Showdown" the biggest all female event in Australia. In 1994 their achievements were recognised with a Prime Ministerial Women in Sport award.

In 1996 they launched the "Rusty Gromfest" with 400 competitors aged between 8 to 16 years old; it was and still is Australians largest junior event and is unique with equal prizes and recognition for both girls and boys. It is considered the premier indicator event for future success with all major industry managers in attendance to sign up new talent. In addition they are accredited coaches, judges and competitors with Kellie winning a QLD title and Max an Australian title.


Joe Larkin

Joe had his first solid Oregon surfboard in 1942, he built his first board in 1947 and has continued making boards and promoting the sport of surfing to this day. He has also been known to have the odd beer or two.

Yours in surfing Joe Larkin.


Mick Fanning

Recognised as an outstanding surfing talent from a very young age, Mick Fanning´s fast, free flowing and powerful surfing style saw him achieve high level competitive success from a very young age.

From local club success through to state and national amatuer success, Fanning rapidly moved onto the World Professional stage and in a short period of time was winning highest level World Qualfying Series events and World Championship Tour events.

Now firmly established in the worlds top five, along with a number of other young Australian surfers, he is a serious challenge for a world professional surfing title.


Layne Beachley

Last year Layne Beachley not only added to her own greatest ever number of world titles, her achievement by claiming a sixth consecutive world title is unprecedented in the sport of surfing.

Layne has captured mainstream Australian and world media attention to levels never experienced by surfing and her representation for both women´s surfing and the sport in general has been amazing.

As current world champion she remains as determined as ever to win World Championship events and chase even more world titles!

Unfortunately Layne couldn´t be here to night to accept her award.


Awarded for Services to Surfing

Stuart "Stu" Hawken

He is a man who has been involved in surfing all his life. For the past 10 years years he has been the rock upon which the Torquay Boardriders Club has been built.

This man works at the grass roots level of surfing. He is a quietly spoken man that has the ability to lift and inspire members, especially the juniors to take the next step and become actively involved in their chosen sport.

Born in New Zealand he was always involved in surfing. He was the country´s head judge and secretary of the New Zealand Surfing Association.

Coming to Australia due to his passion for surfing he joined the Torquay Boardriders Club and immediately took on the role of secretary. At this stage the club was about to fold and Stui along with Mick Ray and Mick De Sciacio took matters into their own hands and the Torquay Boardriders Club was reborn with a lot more organization and structure put in place.

He has always displayed initiative and with no junior division in the club, he created it. Working behind the scenes in the club as treasurer for the past 10 years and when working on contests there has never been a fuss or complaint.

This award comes at time when after 10 years at the club and many more before that, he is now wants to take a backseat in the running of the club.



Ross Phillips accepted their award.

For the first time, the Surf School of the Year award is being be presented. This award recognizes exceptional customer service and professional practices special programs and strategic partnerships, safe surfing program delivery

branding and promotion strategies, coach development, learn to surf development and environmentally friendly practices.

Established in 1992, Wavesense surf school is now recognized as the nation´s premiere surf school under the Surfing Australia Surfschool banner.

This surf school provides an innovative, safe and professional service. Wavesense offers excellence in professional development for instructors, student skill progression, resource development, innovation, community service and professionalism. Some of the initiatives which set them apart include:

„X Specialized camps and programs

„X Professional ¡§on the beach¡¨ presence

„X An extensive program for coach development

„X On going client servicing

„X Commitment to the safe surfing program

„X Risk management protocols

The driving force behind the business comes from founder and director Ross Phillips. Ross has surf the world for 20 years, been an active lifeguard, competitive surfer and passionate surf coach. He has combined knowledge of teaching with a passion for sharing the sport with others. He¡¦s spent 15 years developing, evaluating, improving and fine tuning both written and practical systems for teaching surfing at all levels. What matters most though is that all Wavesense staff receive the benefit of his experience and are guided and developed in house into best practice instructors who take pride in their jobs and in their ability to run the safest and most cutting edge instructional service on the planet.

Congratulations to the Wavesense team for being the inaugural recipient of the Surfing Australia Surf School of the Year Award.


Point Lookout Boardriders Club

Accepting their award is Bede Durbidge

Established in 1972. Point Lookout Boardriders successfully blends the rich social lifestyle of surfing, junior development, family and competition. Club teams have won major team events including the 2003 Straddie Assault. Individually members have won WQS, national junior and Queensland women¡¦s titles. Four Australian finalists, two national junior representatives plus several state and regional finalists and semi finalists come from this tiny island population.

The Boardriders club caters for all ages and interests of surfing. First day beginners through to elite level competitors, from community elders to babies, indigenous and females all enjoy the efforts of the club.


Paul Neilsen

In addition to Paul´s personal surfing and business career, his commitment to our national team came at a crucial time in our development.

Paul began working with Surfing Australia coaching projects in 1982.

He has made a lasting contribution to instilling the ¡§coaching ethic¡¨ into the ranks of Surfing Australia officials, as he was the focal point for our coaching as Australian Team Head Coach. His success in this coaching area has established a legacy for future national coaches and teams representing this country.

It should be pointed out that the World Surfing Games program is over 10 competition days, making it a unique event in surfing terms for all involved.

Australia has had great surfers and teams over the years of Paul¡¦s involvement [1982 ¡V 1998] by far the majority of whom fed hungrily on his approach of team spirit, solidarity, organisation and self-confidence.

In this area Paul¡¦s strength is his ability to grasp the ¡§essence¡¨ of the competitive situation at hand, whether tactical or psychological and impart its importance to the team or surfer concerned. It helps being an outstanding surfer / competitor in his own right.

Paul brought his leadership and personnel management skills in business to our touring team and its approach to events.

There were great Aussie milestones that Paul was influential over, from Puerto Rico [1988] were the Australian Team was so far ahead on placing points we had won the team event before final day, in France [1992] where Jason Frost after being relegated with an interference, surfed through 7 repercharge heats before getting to and winning the Open Final and in Brasil [1994] where Australia and Brasil entered the last event of the 10 day program equal on points and Sasha Stocka took the final on the last wave in the dying seconds of the contest.

Other ploys such as hiring the only deckchairs available at Bathsheba for the Caribbean Cup finals for the Aussie team and supporters and various social sacrifices in leading opposing team officials astray at crucial times of events were Paul¡¦s specialty.

Paul has served a term as Vice President of Surfing Australia.

He has also been awarded Surfing Australia¡¦s Duke Kahanamoku Award for distinguished and outstanding contribution to our sport in Australia.

Paul is also an industry advisor to our Diploma of Sports Management [Surfing Studies] being conducted by Southern Cross University.

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