Early Days and 60’s

It was the time of Malibus, Nat, Beach Boys, Nose riding, Little Patty, Midget and Gidget. Surfboard riding evolved from Lifesaving in the Fifties but as boards got shorter and lighter the Surfers broke away from the clubs. It all began with the film Endless Summer that teenage youth suffered from Surf Fever and jumped onto the current summer trend called Surfing. At Cronulla riders like Bobby Brown, Frank Latta, Brian Jackson, John Coleman soon put the local crew onto the surfing map. Bobby Brown was the Southsides first major star and next big thing until his untimely death after a pub fight.

Spots like Cronulla Point, Sandshoes and Voodoo became known thanks to Jack Eden’s magic camera lens. Bob Weeks was also putting his camera to good use capturing the mood of the time.The original Cronulla Boardriders club began in the early 60’s and Graham Ferris, Norm Casey, Baron, G&S, Peter Clarke and Jackson Surfboards provided the equipment. By the later part of the decade music was changing with Hendrix and The Doors part of the Hippy rebellion. Hair was longer and boards were getting shorter. Kris Puckeridge, Ed Conlon and “Fast” Frank Latta were the first rippers to make the easy transition from long to shorter board length.

60’s Crew… Bobby Brown, Barry Regan, Norm Casey, Nigel Dwyer, Keith  Suann, Allan “Doormouse” Doorman, Bill Cochran, Jens Moller, Yance, Robert Eyers, Cancer,Wez King, Ken Williams, , Ross Longbottom, Frank Latta, Jacko, Billy Penrue, Mick Moylan, Ray Ryan, Bob Legs Halliwell, Blonde Bobby, Chicka Perryman, Terry Tumeth, Mal Dickey,Terry Stein, John Blanch, Graham Ferris, Eddie McQuire, Cathy Trout, Sammy McGaw, Tony Nicholas, John Rhodes, Larry Beaver, Keith Paull, John Coleman, Kris Puckeridge, Gary Birdsall, Ray “Dags”Greenaway, Dave Wilson, Alister Waddel, Neil “Nelly”Fisher, Terry Brown, Fred Farmer, John Gittins, The Fox, Billy Dews, Larry Cohen, Ed Conlon, Ian Nolan, Ray Wheeler, The Kurranulla Wahines, Macca  McDonald, Terry Brown,  Billy “Stumps”Cochran, Len Thick, Steve Cohen, Steve Hague, Bill Penrue, Greg Meluish,Andy Britton and many more local legends .

70’s

It was the Morning of the Earth era. Country soul and counter culture escapist dreams saw surfing take a new path. Train loads of Bankies from the Western suburbs were invading in the hundreds every summer. Animal surfers like Michael Petterson and the stylish Terry Fitzgerald ruled. The Point became the centre of attention as the world discovered its hollow powerful tubes.Steve Cores magazine “Surf” gave the local boys plenty of much needed exposure. Riders like Greg Meluish, Banksy, Gary Hughes , Popout, Chook and the unforgettable style of  Bob Radical rose above the pack. The 76 World Champ Peter Townend called 2nd Reef home for a time.  Photo guys Simo, Butto and Dave Shaw took water photography to new heights. Southern Comfort, G&S and Emerald Surfboards by Steve Griffiths shaped the way. Twin fins and stubby designs flooded the market.

Up the beach a new young crew was evolving and tearing up the contest scene. Ross Marshal, Pete Smith and Craig Naylor led the new rip and tear school. The Original Wall was smashed in the giant storm swells of ’74. Around the corner at Sandshoes the short but sucky barrel kept a hungry pack of local tube junkies stoked. The Ally Rip bowl became the centre focus of smash and bash ripping. KP, Voodoo and the soon to become infamous Shark island were all conquered and tamed. By the end of the Seventies Punk brought on a new Rock n Roll style.

The 70’s Crew…Gary Hughes, Wayne “Zombie” Johnston, Gerry “Popout” Manyon, Ed Conlon, Greg Meluish, Rolf “Rotten’ Myers, Richard Herbert, Luke Mulhall, Les Martin, Geoff Solness, Martin Flynn, The Glassons, Steve Core, Fat Tony, Dave Shaw, Greg Button, Rob Conneely, Alan Blyth, Greg Brissendon, Dean Hughes,Rob Glossop, Pete Smith, Ross Marshall, Craig Naylor, Lindsay Williams, Dave De’Figg, Mark Kelly, Bruce Weller, Jim Banks, Steve Robertson, CHAZ McCall, Peter Britten, Laurie Byrne, Glen and Chris Vickers, Jeff Day, Kevin Hall, Bob Shot. Peter Simons, Steve Doney, John Waterworth, Greg Hourigan, Shaun Smith, Bob Radical, Mick Anastis,  Greg McMasters, Barry Robo, Terry Bishop, Lional Royal, Choco White, Wayne Roach, Lazza, Bobby Liddel, Denny and Ray Childs, Ed Little, Steve Griffiths, PT, Tim Vanderlaan, William York ,Stevie Way, Mark Munroe, Michael Rallings, Ross and Gary Fielder, Paul “The Bear” Burridge “Bob and Al Colligan, Bluey,Rick Bourke,  Phil Bryant, Gary O’Mally, Syd Cassidy,Reno Gillespie , Colin Eagle, Brad George, Jim Parkinson, Dave Mathison, Bob Green,Ross Bullard,, Barry Robards, Greg “Kirby” Kerr, Matt Woodcock, Steve Boller, Jim Davidson, Rob McLaggan and the list goes on.

80’s

Fluro wetties, blow wave hairstyles, sticker sponsors, New Wave music and Corporate Surf brands like Billabong , Quiksilver and Rip Curl dominate the scene. Channel bottoms then Thrusters became the vehicles of choice. Force 9 shapes and Waterforce were happening .It was the age of Pro Surfing all business mindset as the circus comes to town.Local entrepreneur Graham Cassidy brought Night Surfing and Fancy Dress to thrill the masses.

It was also the rise of a new era of Cronulla rippers. Occy, Dog, Alby Ross, Gary Green, Glenn Pringle, Dean Whiteman, Adam Brown, Andrew Murphy, Ashley Gee,Troy Dennehy and the Darcy Brothers led the charge. Martin Potter moved into town and introduced high performance aerials as standard moves . Michael Mackie, Chris Iredale, Richard James and the late Geoff Solness dominated at Shark Island. Cronulla and the Elourea Boardriders Clubs develop a competitive rivalry that will last for years. Occy blitzes the World Tour aged just 16 and in his first year finishes in the top 16. A while later Greeny has a go as well and finishes 6th overall then retires soon later to go soul surfing. Dog after winning the Pro Junior then Aussie Open title hits the world pro circuit as well and stays a threat for over a decade. Glenn Pringle also has a dig at the big league.

80’s Crew…Richard Marsh, Occy, Richard Maurer, Robbie Carr, Michael Mackie, Ashley Gee, Beaver, Glenn and Shane Pringle , Alby Ross, Fanga Tyte,  Hendo, Sean Charters, Adam Brown, Andrew Murphy, Rod Baldwin, Kelvin Hawkins, Jason Meakins, Stuart and Dave D’Arcy,  Woofo, Mark Ryan, Grub, Chris Iredale, Richard James, Anthony Bates, Jughead, Jim Lucas, James Bickerton, Grant Coulter, Miles, Lundy, Scotty Baxter, Dave “Evo” Evans, Mark Moylan, Gofer, Gary Green, Stuart Gooch, Scott Topper, Wayne Tyte, Veage, Damian Hodge, Matt Brown, The Bear, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dean Whiteman, Rod Katis, Patto, Andrew Linegar, Tim Gibson, Luke Madjwick, JT, Brett Davis, Crawford Brothers, Michael Jackson, McCarthy Bros, Gav Aked, Kev Cassidy, Ben Horvath, Grant Muir, John Veage, Woofo etc, etc.

90’s

Occy and Dogs World title Assault.

The two old school mates from Kurnell continue to try their luck on the big boys circuit and establish Cronulla as a world force. Dog gets a sniff when he finishes 8th overall but its eventually Occy who comes out of retirement to bring home the elusive pot of gold .In 1999 he becomes the oldest World Champ ever. At home Rusty Moran, Sparky, Mark Ryan, Terepai, Jezza Hrbac, Boogs, Ox and Speg McKinnley go all out in the big stuff. Chasing down mutant swells on distant reefs way out on the horizons. Jetski towins become the new toy of the big wave hunter. The consistent and competitive Glenn Pringle continues to blitz one and all.

90’s Crew…Boogs, Rusty, Terepai, Jon Frank, Steve Hare, Jeremy Hrbac, Andy King, Grigsy, Troy “Nugget” Dennehy, Dave and Greg McKinley, Steve “Austin” Feinbeer, Paul Campbell, Aaron & Josh Blue, Dane Wilson,Craig Stroh, Michael Griggs, Shane Moran, Wes and Adam Player, Scotty Yealland, Danny Maloney, Chicka, Ricky Marshall, Simon Taylor, Richie Brown, Adam Brown, Wayne Palmer, Matt Clarke,Mick Majenavic, Craig Cordingley, Michael Crisp, Greg Brown, Jason Mckenzie, Brad Whittaker.

2000 and Beyond

The turn of the decade saw the rise of a new generation. At the beach a wave of red hot kids like Blake Johnston, Kirk Flintoff, Luke Palmer, Joel Bonning, Andy King, Todd Mingramm, Chris Gerard, Dylan Hayllar, Joe Sear, Kirk Jenkins, Dylan Hannah, Keelan Veitch, Jake Stalker, Chicka Jackson, Wylie Fowler, Luke Weinert, Matt and Tommy Mulder, Fletch Hayllar, Matt Griggs, Dane Durban, Jack Irvine, Rory Jenkins, Jarrod and Jesse Horner, Harrison Martin, Zac Scott, Lachlan Gill, Beau Junk, Jordan Windenstrom, Jared Campbell, Connor O’leary, Chris & Corey Robertson, Dane Long, Caleb Mclean, Rhett Clarke, Joe Wallace, Kurt Kiggins and longboarder Dane Wilson were making their mark.

Today the names and talent just keep coming. While ever the swells continue to break, Cronulla will produce future champion surfers and blow away the surfing world with the awesome reef waves the Shire is renown for.

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