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This Is Northern New South Wales

History takes centre stage!

History will be opening the upcoming Byron Bay Surf Festival.

To really enjoy the “now” of surf culture and lifestyle it sure helps to take a peek at the gnarly, winding and potholed path that makes up the history of the world’s most fascinating sport. That is just one of many things that the Byron Bay Surf Festival are bringing to their exciting event to be staged in Byron Bay between October 21 and 23.

While much of the festival focuses on current surfing styles, art, music, film and lifestyle with an array of workshops, gatherings, social events, demonstrations and surf sessions, the festival also features three events that will fascinate and maybe even crack up participants by checking out how surfing got to be the way it is today.

Bob McTavish, truly one of international surfing’s most influential thinkers and presenters, kicks off the festival on Friday night at the Stone and Wood Brewery where he will not only demonstrate some of the sport’s most forward thinking board shaping ideas (with a live demonstration) but he will shoot the breeze with the audience spinning hilarious yarns about the earliest days of modern surfing in Australia (the 1960s) and how he, along with other surfers, brought their beliefs and lifestyles to beautiful but quiet and conservative country towns like Byron Bay and Lennox Head. Anyone who has seen one of Bob’s presentations will vouch for the fact that this is not an evening to be missed.

The next morning (Saturday, October 22) Surf World Gold Coast will present some of the most interesting examples from its collection of iconic objects, photographic images, ground breaking board designs, and fascinating bits and pieces that have fundamentally changed the way surfers have surfed and lived over the last 100 years. Jak Carroll, one of the Directors of the Surf World museum of surfing, (and Program Co-ordinator for Southern Cross University’s Diploma Of Sport management – Surfing Studies) aims to highlight some of the legendary surfers and events that have shaped surfing history.

The exhibition will be held at the Byron Bay Community Centre commencing at 10.00am and will be open until 5.00pm. Entry to the exhibition will cost a gold coin donation and all funds raised will support the work of the Surf World Gold Coast museum.

On Saturday evening Tim Edwards, lecturer in Surf History and Culture at Southern Cross University, hits the stage with his “Louts, Larrikins and Layabouts” show at the Community Centre. Over an hour or so Tim will pose such ticklish questions as… were Australia’s first surfers a rag-tag and troublesome bunch of nude body surfers from the Manly area… was Europe’s first surfer an English peasant woman with a penchant for teasing Cromwellian soldiers… was Duke Kahanamoku really the first person to ride a surfboard in Australia… and why did a surf club member refuse to allow Greg “Raging Bull” Noll, one of the greatest surfers in the world in the 1950s, to go surfing at a perfect point break where no one had ever surfed before?  Throughout the session Tim will try to explode some of the myths of Australian surf history while encouraging participants in the session to offer their own stories and opinions about the events put under the spotlight.

Tim hopes that one or two of Australia’s top experts on surfing history might make an appearance on the night to help keep the occasion exciting and interesting and to keep him honest with his own outlandish theories. The event kicks off at 5.00pm at the Community Centre. Participants will be asked to donate a gold coin to cover costs for room hire.

There is so much more going on at the inaugural Byron Bay Surf Festival, so checkout the website for more –