Men Of Wood And Foam (+ Shorts)


May 20, 2017

Big Screen Cinemas Caloundra

12.15 – 1.45 pm

Entry: $12 + Booking Fee


“That board became the template for the entire Australian surfboard industry.”

Men Of Wood And Foam PosterMen Of Wood & Foam follows the story of six friends from Brookvale who shaped the history of surfing in Australia. We dive into a golden decade when surfing was transformed into a sport and a culture with its own music, movies, fashions and heroes. From the primitive factories in a former market garden at Brookvale, bordering the favoured wave spots of Dee Why Point and Fairy Bower, these pioneers became known as “The Brookvale Six”.

The films’s producer Phil Jarratt continues: “Together with filmer Shaun Cairns and former pro Mark Warren, I recently spent a couple of weeks in the company of men ranging in age from 75 to 90, and guess what? I felt exhilarated and inspired by the experience! What amazing lives these old blokes have led, and what reserves of energy they still have left!”

“We’ve been filming a TV documentary about the pioneers of the Australian surfboard industry, the men who set up factories on an old market garden at Brookvale, behind Sydney’s northern beaches, in the postwar years and built a tiny cottage industry into a surfboard boom that changed our beach culture forever. The grandest old men of the industry are Gordon Woods, 90, Billy Wallace, 89, and Scott Dillon, also 89. Given his seniority, the remarkable Mr Woods seemed like a good place to start.”

“As we filmed him with the board, I suddenly realised that Gordon was buggered. “Do you need a breather, old mate?” I asked. “Perfectly fine,” he snapped, and continued posing with undisguised pride with his creation, the board that started it all nearly 60 years ago.”

“That board was a copy of a red balsa board that Gordon had seen ridden at Manly by American lifeguard Bob Burnside, in Australia for an international surf carnival held in conjunction with the Melbourne Olympics. He’d been amazed by the way Burnside had turned the shorter (only 10 feet) and lightweight board with a big D-shaped fin across the wave and ridden diagonally to shore as he walked up and down the deck. Gordon drove to the Games in Melbourne, then on to Torquay, where he extracted a promise from Burnside that he would sell him the board before leaving the country.”

“That board became the template for the entire Australian surfboard industry.”

See the full transcript of the conversation here.