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Early Surfing in the British Isles

This chapter in the LEGENDARY SURFERS collection is free for viewing here and also available as an ebook for $2.99. To purchase, please go here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075FRGWZ8/. The advantages of the ebook over the online edition is that it is portable, you don't need an internet connection to read it wherever you want to on a PC, tablet or phone. Additionally, it is shareable with friends and family for two weeks after sending and it is a file for yours to keep.

Whether you read it here or in ebook form, I hope you enjoy learning about the earliest days of prone and stand-up surfing in the British Isles!

Appreciations


You are about to read about the earliest days of surfing in the British Isles, including prone surfing on body boards as well as stand-up surfing. In collecting all I could about the subject, I am greatly indebted to the work of Peter Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing; Roger Mansfield, author of “The Surfing Tribe”; the Museum of British Surfing; and J. M. Ormrod, author of “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937.”

For images, my thanks to the Museum of British Surfing and Jeremy Oxenden.

Introduction


Surfing along the coasts of the British Isles is far older than most people realize.
It used to be that we thought of surfing in this part of the world as beginning in the 1960s. There is an element of truth in this belief as stand-up surfing did not really catch on in the British Isles until then. However, there had been stand-up surfers long before then, as well as the far more numerous “surf bathers” who rode wooden body boards prone off the coasts of many resort areas.

Fact is, Hawaiian surfers first rode at Bridlington, in 1890; a local Briton in North Devon in 1904; numbers of vacationers in Newquay in 1921 and St. Ouen’s Bay in the mid-1920s. At Newquay, surfing on body boards has continued to present day.1

Piikoi Brothers, 1890


After introducing surfing to Santa Cruz during the time they were going to school in California in 1885, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi and his brother Prince David Kahalepouli Kawanaankoa Piikoi took a trip to the British Isles to further their formal education and surfed there briefly, on vacation. They were in company of their English guardian on holiday in Bridlington, Yorkshire, September 1890.

A letter, believed to be the earliest report of the sport in Great Britain, was uncovered by Hawaiian historian and author Sandra Kimberley Hall in 2011. Pictures of the trio and details of their vacation are part of the growing historical collection housed at the Museum of British Surfing.2

The fact that not only do we now know that Hawaiian royalty surfed while being educated in England in the late 1800s, but also that they chose a relatively obscure surfing destination like Bridlington on the east coast to paddle out and catch a few slides is just fantastic,” declared Peter Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing.

“This is the earliest proven instance of surfing in Britain so far – previously we had thought it was the 1920s in England and the Channel Islands – but this blows our history right out of the water.

“The Victorian locals must have been incredulous at the sight of these Hawaiian princes paddling out, and riding back into shore most likely standing on large wooden planks, their dark skin and hair glistening in the North Sea waters.

“I only wish I could have been there to see it.”3


In a letter to consul Henry Armstrong from Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi, the prince wrote that he and his brother, Prince David Kahalepouli Kawanaankoa Piikoi, were allowed by their tutor believed to be John Wrightson – to holiday in Bridlington.

The pair were given the reward for good work in their studies at colleges around Britain. They had been in England studying for almost a year.

On September 22, 1890, a joyful Kuhio could not restrain his enthusiasm in his letter to Armstrong:

“We enjoy the seaside very much and are out swimming every day. The weather has been very windy these few days and we like it very much for we like the sea to be rough so that we are able to have surf riding.

“We enjoy surf riding very much and surprise the people to see us riding on the surf.

“Even Wrightson is learning surf riding and will be able to ride as well as we can in a few days more. He likes this very much for it is a very good sport.”

It is thought the Hawaiian princes, the orphaned nephews and heir to Queen Kapiolani, would have made their surfboards from timber acquired from a Bridlington boat builder.4

The princes were cousins of surfer Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani, the half-Hawaiian, half-Scottish heir to the Hawaiian throne who was educated in Brighton a couple of years later, in 1892.

Sandy Hall pointed out that it is possible “She [Ka‘iulani] may have been the first female surfer in Britain, but the only tangible evidence – so far – is a letter in which she wrote that she enjoyed ‘being on the water again’ at Brighton.”5

Surfing did not spread from here. It was an isolated event and it was not until three decades later that body boarding became popular at some beaches along the British Isles.6


Prince of Wales, 1920


Edward Windsor-- the Prince of Wales and future but brief king Edward VIII -- surfed at Waikiki, Hawaii, in 1920.7 To Edward Windsor and Earl Louis Mountbatten go the honor of being the first Britons photographed surfing; Edward the first one to stand.8


He had gone to Hawaii in April 1920 on HMS Renown and was taken out by Duke Kahanamoku on an outrigger canoe, told Peter Robinson. He had a surf lesson and did OK, but absolutely loved it. He later [in July] ordered the royal yacht to go back to Hawaii so he could surf for three days. Duke was out of the country when he returned so David Kahanamoku took him out and these pictures were taken then.

According to an interview with David Kahanamoku in a Hawaiian canoe club newsletter in 1950, the two young royals surfed for two hours every morning and three hours every afternoon during their July stay.

“The prince learned quickly to ride the board standing, although he did have some spills,” Kahanamoku recalled. “Louis Mountbatten never mastered the art but was content to lie prone.”9
Despite their enthusiasm for the sport, there are no known efforts by either Edward or Louis to foster surfing in Great Britain.10

Agatha and Archie, 1922


Two years after Edward Windsor surfed in Waikiki, in 1922, his friend and famous crime novelist Agatha Christie became one of Britain’s earliest stand-up surfers while visiting Cape Town, South Africa, as well as Waikiki.

Christie spent her teenage years on the south coast of England, around Torquay, where “sea-bathing” -- body boarding prone on a short wooden board -- was, by then -- a seasonal activity of young vacationers.

After the First World War, Agatha’s husband Archie was offered a position to help organize a world tour to promote the British Empire Exhibition scheduled to be held in London in 1924. The couple left England in January 1922, leaving their baby daughter in the care of Agatha’s mother and sister. They arrived in Cape Town, South Africa in early February and soon took to “sea-bathing” at Durban. There, they were introduced to prone surfing at the popular Muizenberg beach. Two years later, she wrote about her surfing experience in her novel The Man in the Brown Suit.

“Surfing looks pretty easy,” Agatha Christie wrote. “It isn’t. I say no more. I got very angry and fairly hurled my plank from me. Nevertheless, I determined to return on the first possible opportunity and have another go. Quite by mistake, I then got a good run on my board and came out delirious with happiness. Surfing is like that. You are either vigorously cursing or else you are idiotically pleased with yourself.”

Agatha Christie and Archie continued their promotional tour to New South Wales, in Australia, and New Zealand before arriving in Honolulu on August 5, 1922. They quickly hit the beach and were soon stand-up surfboard riding at Waikiki, as Prince Edward had done two years earlier.

The larger boards and real surf were difficult for them to handle, at first. Also, like most Westerners, they were prone to sunburn. Cut feet from standing on coral also proved a limitation. At one point, Agatha’s silk bathing dress was almost swept off her by the Waikiki surf. To protect their feet, they bought soft leather boots. Her flimsy bathing suit was replaced by “a wonderful, skimpy emerald green wool bathing dress, which was the joy of my life, and in which I thought I looked remarkably well!”

Waikiki beach boys would swim the couple out through the break, help them select a wave to ride on and then retrieve their boards when they got away from them.

“I can’t say that we enjoyed our first four or five days of surfing –” Agatha wrote, “it was far too painful – but there were, every now and then moments of utter joy. We soon learned too, to do it the easy way. At least I did – Archie usually took himself out to the reef by his own efforts.”

“Most people, however, had a Hawaiian boy who towed you out as you lay on your board, holding the board by the grip of his bit toe, and swimming vigorously. You then stayed, waiting to push off on your board until your (beach) boy gave you the word of instruction. ‘No, not this, not this, Missus, no, no wait – now!’”

“At the word ‘now’ off you went and oh, it was heaven! Nothing like it. Nothing like that rushing through the water at what seemed to you a speed of about two hundred miles an hour; all the way in from the far distant raft, until you arrived, gently slowing down, on the beach, and foundered among the soft flowing waves.”

“It is one of the most perfect physical pleasures that I have known. After ten days I began to be daring. After starting my run I would hoist myself carefully to my knees on the board, and then endeavor to stand up. The first six times I came to grief, but this was not painful – you merely lost your balance and fell off the board. Of course, you had lost your board, which meant a tiring swim, but with luck your Hawaiian (beach) boy had followed and retrieved it for you.”

“I learned to become expert, or at any rate expert from the European point of view. Oh, the moment of complete triumph on the day that I kept my balance and came right into shore standing upright on my board!”

“In fact, on a rough day I enjoyed the sea even more.”

Agatha and Archie stayed in Honolulu from August until October, 1922.

It’s not known whether she continued surfing or not, upon returning to the United Kingdom. She had a writer’s retreat built at Burgh Island, Bigbury, South Devon, in the 1930s and that spot overlooks some small but very beautiful surf.11

Surf Bathing


In the Barnstaple and North Devon Museum there is a photograph, dated 1904, of Hobart Braddick, founder of Braddick’s Holiday Centre, and his surfboard. It is not known to what point he surfed on it. What little surfing there may have been at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, at least until 1921, was very rare.12


It is believed that surf bathing -- body boarding prone -- was introduced to Great Britain by Australian lifeguards, during or after World War I.13

J. M. Ormrod, in a paper titled “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” wrote that “Surf bathing was a leisure pastime enjoyed along the south coast of England in the inter war years and up to the early ‘60s when its popularity waned in favour of the stand up surfing which we know today... Surfing was associated with swimming and... became known as ‘surf bathing’. ‘Surf bathing’ was conflated in the 1940s to ‘surfing’. Surf bathing was also known as ‘Cornish surfing’ in North Devon, [and] ‘Surf Riding’ in Cornwall...”14

Surf bathing in the early twentieth century was an activity supported and promoted by a developing tourist infrastructure, however, it was quite different from modern surfboard riding. First, the surfboards were: flat and made from plywood, squared at the body end and rounded at the other end, sometimes this end had a slight upward curve. Second, one did not stand up on the surfboard: The expert rider takes off lying prone on his surfboard on the crest of a wave that is just breaking, and providing his timing is correct he will get a run of anything up to a hundred yards, at a speed of ten to fifteen miles an hour. Third, the surfer did not surf in deep waters. This aspect of surfing is emphasized in most of the guidebooks, ‘Surf Riding makes a particular appeal to non-swimmers as it is never necessary to go into deep water’... this aspect of surf bathing is of crucial importance in its longevity and promotion as a holiday activity. Last, it was not a subcultural activity and was enjoyed by everyone: ‘…most people surfed – it was just the normal thing to do and accepted by all.’”15


1921 is the date usually given for the first native “surf bathing.

“The earliest images and references of surfing in Britain originate from photographs relating to colonial discourse, travel posters and guidebooks,” wrote Ormrod. ”... The earliest images discovered feature surfers at Newquay 1921-1922. The images show surfers in what was to become an iconic image in surf culture; featuring the relationship and centrality of the surfboard. In the photographs surfers stand on the beach with their surfboards either by their side, behind them or they peep out from behind their boards. Their boards, however, are coffin lids. It is not known whether these surfers rode the boards standing up or on their stomachs. The three photographs are dated 1921-22 and have been issued as postcards for sale around Newquay.”16

The seaside became the natural choice for crowds of holidaymakers to escape from inner city squalor: ‘They came not for their health, to decipher nature’s code, or for spirituality, but for sheer delight.’ By the early twentieth century England boasted ‘…a system of coastal resorts whose scale and complexity was unmatched anywhere else in the world.’ In 1911, Walton [who was the first to write about these resorts] estimates there were a hundred ‘substantial seaside resorts’ in England and Wales.”17

“Beaches in the early part of the twentieth century tended to be class specific,” continued Ormrod, ”... Cornish and North Devon beaches tended to be associated with the middle classes who often traveled from London eager to benefit from a healthy environment... Newquay and North Cornwall was a getaway resort first for the upper classes and increasingly for the middle classes at the beginning of the 20th century. The growth of the middle classes was also a factor in the steady increase of tourism.. The inter-war years was a time when stable income and continuous employment meant that middle class affluence and disposable income was growing... However, there is little doubt the most significant factor in the development of resorts was railway access.”18

St. Ouen’s Bay, Mid-1920s


Jeremy Oxenden’s family was surfing at St. Ouen’s Bay in the mid-1920s. In 2009, Jeremy wrote to me about it, attaching photographs:

Jeremy wrote of the above photograph: That is Oxo with the 5.5 prone surfboard. He surfed in Hawaii some time between 1919-1923... The Island Surf Club of Jersey UK was formed in 1923...


“The Girls in the beach hut are Dot and Ching Martin, left and right, and Pat Oxenden in the middle. The beach hut went up in 1924. The... Army knocked all the beach huts down in 1940. My Grand Parents re-built their hut just after the war (WWII). It was their top priority. We still have the beach hut and still surf from there... Thank you for including Oxo and his surfing Gang.”19

“Snow,” 1928


Toward the end of the 1920s, Australian surfer Charles “Snow” McAllister visited England and surfed standing up at several locations.

“Snow” McAllister is considered to be the “Father of Australian Surfing,” who not only was one of the first stand-up surfers in New South Wales, but also became a championship swimmer and surfer.
In 1928, Snow gave a demonstration of surfing on his way home from the Olympics held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he had been competing.

By this time, surfing prone on short wooden body boards had become popular at some of the beaches that held consistent surf.20 But, like Duke Kahanamoku had done in Australia the decade before when Snow first got his start, demonstrations of stand-up surfing really captured peoples’ imagination. Not only that, but Snow had perfected a headstand while surfing, just like George Freeth had done back in Southern California.

The Daily Mail reported on September 12, 1928, that McAllister intended to “popularize surf board riding, described as the most thrilling sport in the world, at English seaside resorts.” It’s not known how many Snow visited, but he almost certainly visited Newquay. Years later, he told Tracks magazine about how, at one spot, the locals called the police when they saw him heading into sea because they thought he was going to drown, and the police escorted him from the beach for his own safety.21

About this same time, two other Australians were noted by J. M. Ormrod as surfing while vacationing at Croyde:

“Susan (Tunbridge Wells)... holidayed in Croyde, North Devon 1927-8 with her mother and sister when: ‘who should turn up but a couple of cousins from Australia who took one look at the breakers in the sea and were amazed to see no surfing. Without any loss of time they went to see the local village carpenter and supervised the making of two wooden surfboards and took us all down to learn how to surf…’22

Rosenberg, Rochlen and the Elveys, 1929


A year later, in 1929, Lewis Rosenberg and three friends traveled by train from London to Newquay, in Cornwall. Rosenberg had seen film footage from Australia of surfing off the coasts of that country and had carved his own homemade surf board.23

Rosenberg and his friends Harry Rochlen and brothers Fred and Ben Elvey were part of a close-knit group of Jewish immigrants who lived in London and Hove. They had reportedly been riding four-foot long wooden body boards in the West Country and Channel Islands for almost a decade. But in 1929, inspired by the Australian newsreel, they built a longboard, wrapped it in linen sheets, and took it on a steam train from London to Newquay, the most popular surf destination of that era and years afterwards.


Not only did they try to teach themselves how to surf standing on their board, they also filmed their exploits. This rare footage laid untouched in a Cambridgeshire loft for many years before it was discovered by Ben Elveys daughter.

When Maxine Elvey visited one of our exhibitions,” Peter Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing said, “and told us she had film of her father’s surfing exploits on a wooden longboard in 1929 we were totally blown away. We took the reels of fragile 9.5mm stock to the local film archive for them to be preserved and transferred to digital tape – it’s a national treasure.”

The film is special for a number of reasons. Not only does it show Lewis and his friends attempting stand-up surfing for the first time, but it also shows what it was like being part of a group of friends enjoying life on the then-unpopulated Newquay beaches – sometimes riding the waves naked, and dancing the Hula wearing costumes made from seaweed.

Lewis even made a waterproof housing for his video camera, which was innovative for its time in Great Britain.

Maxine Elvey said her father Ben Elvey recalled they surfed in 1928 or 1929, but that it could have been as late as 1931. “They also saw a film called ‘Idol Dancer’ which showed Hula dancing in Hawaii – they copied this as well and made grass skirts from seaweed and danced and sung the lyrics ‘Goodbye Hawaii, my island paradise, we’re bound to meet again someday,’ on the Cornish beaches.”24

“We interviewed three of the old boys who were part of the surfing gang, and they were totally stoked on what they were doing,” said Robinson. “They were in their mid 90s when we filmed them, but as soon as we spoke about surfing and their beach lives, their eyes lit up and their memories came flooding back. It was truly emotional.”

Speaking in 2006, Harry Rochlen recalled that “We swam out and when the waves came in, my friend Lewis tried to stand on the board, like they did in Australia. After a lot of practice, we managed to do it. It was incredible, it really brings back memories. It was really thrilling, to be able to stand on the board and go on to the beach.”

It is unknown how many seasons Lewis Rosenberg, Harry Rochlen and Fred and Ben Elvey surfed together. Sadly, the eight foot board which had been lovingly shaped from a solid piece of wood was later stolen from Rosenberg’s home in London.

“I had no idea my father’s surfing would turn out to be so special,” said Lewis’ daughter Sue Clamp. “We knew the films were important but mainly because they showed the build up to World War 2 and the racial and political tension. It’s fantastic the lives of Lewis and his friends is being remembered in this way.”25

Jimmy Dix, 1937


The earliest British surfers we have detailed information about are Jimmy Dix and Papino Staffieri.
In 1936, Nuneaton dentist Jimmy Dix summer vacationed with his family on the north coast of Cornwall at Newquay. There, local people and visitors had been prone surfing on thin, flat plywood boards for well over a decade.

Jimmy liked bodyboarding, but was intrigued by an encyclopedia photo-picture showing “Hawaiians gliding shoreward standing on boards, as if Gods, propelled by the waves.

“This looked worth a try, but it needed a real board,” Jimmy recorded.

He decided to build one, himself. So, he wrote a letter to some one or some organization in Honolulu. He explained his predicament and requested the dimensions of a board that he might be able to ride standing up. It is possible he sent the letter to the Outrigger Canoe Club, but this cannot be verified.
He had a long wait for his reply. It was a time before international airfreight and letters had to cross two oceans and one continent by ships and land vehicles.

What eventually arrived at his front door in Warwickshire in 1937, was a large box containing a 13 foot long hollow wooden surfboard of the Tom Blake design, weighing 30 kilograms and signed by Blake with a hand painted map of the Hawaiian islands upon its deck.

Using this Blake hollow board as an example, Jimmy built a smaller one for his wife. In the summer of 1938, they both headed to Newquay in his Alvis to holiday and experiment with riding the two boards.26

Papino Staffieri, 1940-43


Papino Staffieri was born August 3rd 1918, a son of an Italian family who moved to Newquay at the beginning of the century in order to pursue the ice cream business there.

“Pip,” as he was known to his friends, grew up in Cornwall overcoming a minor disabling of his left leg through polio at two years of age. He grew up to become very much a local boy in Newquay, with a love of the water and some prowess as a long distance swimmer.

He had watched the Pathe newsreels in the Pavilion cinema above Towan Beach in the mid-30’s. These had shown him the great Australian surfboats in races including epic wipeouts while being surfed to shore. He connected the surf in Australia with his own local waves; the same raw material rolling into his home beaches.

After surfing prone on the local flat surf-planers [bodyboards], Pip’s first opportunity to ride waves in a different manner came with a group of local boys who had taken to building canoes. George Old, who lived further down the street built canoes with canvas stretched on a wooden frame. Old was also the most skillful canoeist in the area. It was he who led the experimentation with wave catching among the group, which Pip managed to join for a while.

Unfulfilled, however, Pip dreamed of surfing as depicted in the picture he had seen of men surfriding off Waikiki beach, with Diamond Head in the background. This picture was from the 1929 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica which he had originally seen at the dentist’s office as a youngster.

Stand-up surfing suddenly came closer to reality for him one day as he set up along the sand with his pony and trap to sell ice cream to the holiday-makers at the Harbour. Two surfboards lay on the sand side by side. It was 1938 and Jimmy Dix and his wife had come to the beach at Newquay. He hadn’t meet them yet, but seeing and being able to touch real surfboards stirred him into action.

He left the beach with his a mental blueprint of a working design for his own board. Pip was a competent craftsman and pursued the construction of his own hollow wooden longboard with some variations on the Tom Blake model:


His board was 136 long, with greater width than the Blake board. Its construction was of 3/8’’ Deal strips screwed to oak frames by brass screws with the whole shell sealed with a varnish finish. Dry, it weighed 112 lbs. Like all hollow boards, it had a nose drain plug to empty absorbed water. Most significantly, at a later date (circa 1941), he added a 3’’ deep fin for greater directional guidance. It’s not known whether this was an original thought or one he picked up.

Dix and Staffieri never actually surfed together. August was a busy time and Pip, the worker, spent all day selling ice cream before taking to the water in the long summer evenings. This was when Jimmy, the professional man, normally retreated to the hotel for dinner with his family.

A couple of summers later (1942), Jimmy, hearing of another man with a surfing board, visited Pip and took him out for a drink and chat. During their first time together, Jimmy showed Pip some simple box camera pictures of Jimmy and his wife standing, riding white water near the beach.
Dix and Staffieri would meet again over a few intermittent summers; but for Jimmy, his visits were only annual two weeks holidays.

Papino “Pip” Staffieri was the first stand-up surfer in the British Isles to ride for any significant length of time. Not only had he built his own board in 1940, but then learned to ride it with no example to follow, in the summer of 1941.

Pip’s favorite surfing spot was off the point between Great Western and Tolcarne beaches. Here, he would surf evenings, alone. Over time, he learnt to paddle and swim-push his board out through bigger swells to ride larger surf.

Pip continued surfing until about 1943, after which his seasonal involvement started to wane. The war had truly arrived and the world was in upheaval.

During the war, Australian Air Force officers on a reprieve from active service found themselves on “R&R” (rest and relaxation) break and lodged at the Great Western hotel overlooking Newquays’ surf beaches. They found opportunities to borrow Pip’s board for paddling and wave riding. Pip, in turn, was inspired by these men from the Australian surf life-saving tradition and subsequently devoted himself to body surfing.27

Surf writer Paul Holmes wrote to me in 2009: “As kids [at Newquay in the 1960s], we used to buy ice cream from Staffieri’s van. It was the best ice cream I ever tasted, but even as he knew we were all getting into surfing, he never talked about it.”28

As a man of 85, when his story became more widely known, Pip reminisced: “I don’t want you to think I was a great surfer – nothing like all the acrobatic stuff young people do on waves today. Some waves I’d ride lying down or on my knees part of the way, in between standing.”29

Riding surf standing up definitely did not catch on until the 1960s, as Paul Holmes noted to me:

“When I grew up in Newquay during the 1950s, surfriding on plywood bellyboards was a big deal during the summer months, especially during July and August when the water was at least passably warm and hordes of tourists flocked down from the industrial cities of the midlands and north. Our local ‘beach boys’ rented out such boards, along with deck chairs, canvas windbreaks (the northwest wind could be a beach party killer even when the sun was blazing) and visiting tourists could get a ‘tea tray’ with a pot of tea, cups and saucers, mini milk jug, sugar pot, teaspoons and a plate of scones and jam with Cornish clotted cream...

“From the time that I could swim, I and like-minded friends would ‘surf’ from May through September on such bellyboards, usually plywood but (like my favorite) sometimes a single plank about four feet long, a foot wide and one quarter to one half inches thick... All had a scoop nose steamed in. Usually they were ridden in the foam, launching into an already broken wave and planing to shore... But, I guess because we did so much of it, us ‘locals’ found that on small days, when waves broke in waist or chest-high water, we could launch across the face and get at least a short ride in the ‘green water.’ By 1960-61, I and a few others figured out that on a big swell we could swim out with our boards, using kid’s size swim fins, and take off on bigger waves, getting a much longer ride on the open face, especially at high tide when waves refracted/reflected off the cliffs, giving a wedge effect. (I should point out that conditions varied rapidly and radically because of the 17-22 foot tidal range).

“It's funny to me that even supposedly well-informed people so underestimate the wave action on the coast of Britain exposed to the North Atlantic. ‘Oh, there's surf in England? It must be pretty weak!’ Not so. I grew up with fishermen who knew where to avoid 60-foot cloudbreaks. I've seen bigger seas off the coast of Cornwall than I've seen on the North Shore of Oahu.”30


4  There is a possibility that the Piikoi brothers were bodysurfing and not stand-up board riding. This is just my thought in reading the wording of the letter.
5  Western Morning News, 11 April 2012.
8  Booth, Robert. “The Prince of Wales: new UK surf museum unveils sports noble roots,” The Guardian, 4 April 2012 at: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/apr/04/prince-waves-uk-surfing-museum
9  Booth, Robert. “The Prince of Wales: new UK surf museum unveils sports noble roots,” The Guardian, 4 April 2012 at: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/apr/04/prince-waves-uk-surfing-museum. David Kahanamoku quoted.
11  See http://www.museumofbritishsurfing.org.uk/2011/07/27/agatha-christie/. See also “Agatha Christie, 1922,” posted at LEGENDARY SURFERS, August 2011: http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2011/08/agatha-christie-1922.html
12  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 1.
13  Holmes and Wilson, 1994. Cited in “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” by J.M. Ormrod, 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 1.
14  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 1.
15  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 3.
16  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 28. Ormrod added about the origin of surfing coming from Australians: “this has yet to be corroborated.”
17  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf. Page 13.
18  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf, pp. 15-16 and 20.
19  Oxenden, Jeremy. Email to Malcolm, December 2009. Replicated at: http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2009/12/1920s-st-ouens-bay.html
22  Ormrod, J. M. “Middle class pleasures and the safe/dangers of surf bathing on the English South Coast 1921-1937,” 2001. Posted on the Internet in 2004 at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/617588/9/Such%20a%20jolly%20holiday%20(8).pdf, p. 29.
24  “The Idol Dancer,” by D.W. Griffith; silent film, 1920. Maxine Elvey quoted.
26  Ben Marcus’ notes for an exhibit for the Surfing Heritage Foundation (renamed Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center [SHACC]), 2008. See also “Newquay Surfing, 1929,” posted at LEGENDARY SURFERS, June 2010: http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2010/06/newquay-surfing-1929.html - original source: “UK surfing history started in 1929,” SurferToday.com, May 12, 2010.
27  Ben Marcus’ notes for an exhibit for the Surfing Heritage Foundation, 2008.
28  Holmes, Paul. Email to Malcolm, March 2009. Also replicated at: http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2009/03/cornwall-beginning-1960s.html
29  Ben Marcus’ notes for an exhibit for the Surfing Heritage Foundation, 2008.

30  Holmes, Paul. Email to Malcolm, March 2009. Also replicated at: http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2009/03/cornwall-beginning-1960s.html

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