Surf Museum


By December 19, 2017 No Comments


Pictured, Tommy Walker is one of a small group of Australian surfers documented to have been surfing in Australia before Duke Kahanamoku’s famous visit in the summer of 1914-15. This photo along with others is understood to be taken in 1911-13 at Yamba on the New South Wales far North Coast.

Craig Baird, friend and the current Curator at the Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay recently mused that he often wondered what has happened to Tommy’s surfboard. Did it end up with his nephew Ainsley “Sprint” Walker who used to catch a ferry from Melbourne to Portsea so he could surf on a solid timber board, and famously buried the board in the sand at Portsea Back Beach until his next surf?

Sprint helped establish the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club (Victoria’s first) where his board was on display when the clubhouse burnt down in July 1970. Did a significant part of Australian surfing history disappear in those flames, or is there a slab of solid timber (imported from Hawaii) hiding under a house somewhere?

Something for one of us Surf History tragics to uncover, somewhere, sometime………?

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