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New documentary looks at Australia's early surfboard builders



Surf Culture

Phil Jarratt documentary digs into board-building from the 40s

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 January, 2016 - Australian surfboard pioneers Bill Wallace, Gordon Woods and friends started building surfboards in Sydney almost 60 years ago. As a youngster Bill Woods joined the local surf club and saw most members go off to World War ll.

In 1942 he built his first board, a 16’ toothpick design that was later refined. Building materials were so scarce at the time that it took a full year to complete the board. 

In the mid 1940s Gordan Woods received his first order for a hollow timber board, and sold it to a man named Stan Graham. 

Now Wallace, Woods, Barry Bennett, Greg McDonagh, Denny Keogh and others are now the subject of a new documentary by Phil Jarratt and Shaun Cairns of Panga Productions scheduled to air on Foxtel’s History Channel. 

Their upcoming film “Men of Wood and Foam” exposes the roots of Australian surfboard building from the 1940s into the early 1960s. 

By recording in-depth interviews with early industry leaders and surf legends the project seeks to expand beyond just surfboards and paint a larger picture of the Aussie culture at the time.

"For this to resonate for Foxtel, it had to tell more of a story than how surfboards began,” Phil Jarratt told Noosa News. “In fact it delivers the story of a whole generation of cultural change in Australia…now was the time to record the stories of these wonderful gentlemen, how they pioneered an industry and created a surfing boom and a culture."



Surfboard Building, Surf Film, Surf Culture, Board Building, Bill Wallace, Gordon Woods, Phil Jarratt
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