Kneeboards on the Net:
Before Tom there was George

If you type "kneeboards" on a search engine you get diverted to avionic clipboards and wake riding boards....I thought I'd ease the pain a little. Note, this is from a very Australian perspective.

Before Morey's invention, there always seemed to be at least a few kneeboarders at each beach. For me, growing up on Sydney's northern beaches many years ago, those guys were Barry Stark and Ricky Wright from Collaroy, and Tom Gubler with his Swiss flag pigment jobs at Mona Vale. Unique intelligent people. Great surfers. Individuals.

Then some time later, along came Californian George Greeenough with his flexing spoon and mind blowing Crystal Voyager visions, and Peter Crawford with his Crozier slabs, Nikonos camera and DY Point mastery.... and the kneeboard art instantly had widespread respect!

So many others made a mark along the way, excuse me if I miss someone notable out, but as well as the obvious two legends above, these were just some of the standouts (for all sorts of reasons sometimes for other than who was the best kneelo) to me:
Victoria's Neil Luke, still making a few boards on Phillip Island, lead singer with the "Breakers", married with a few kids and drinking light beer;
Manly's Flip Wilson, grabbing sly waves in warmer Qld waters;
Kevin Barr, made the move long ago from Canberra surfshop to Barz Optics on the Coast;
possibly the most stylish kneeboarder I ever saw, Ken Horton, back in Sydney after moves to Forster and the Gold Coast via such surf co's as O&E, Hot Tuna, Oakley, Quik, now with Spy sunnies, and settled in with family on the Upper North Shore;
Albert Whiteman, tragically gone, a classic one-off guy who made Knormal boards, out of Maroubra via HB, then Ulladulla;
the NN crew, Steve Artis, Simon Farrer and Michael Novakov most prominent. With how many world titles between the latter two? Steve's now on the Central Coast, but I saw he did well in the Worlds; Simon, (who features in our photo above) is trying to be an ambo and putting out kneeboard videos while still surfing insanely; Nova, also still powering; last I heard, he had a cushy job maintaining ninemsn's surf cams but they pulled them a while back, so?;
then there's the rest of the DY crew, the Cronulla Point/Shark Island get-barrelled-off-their-face guys.... For the Ladies, there's South Africa's Trudi Sanders, three times and current World Professional Womens Kneeboard Champion...
And through so many years, David Parkes is still ripping, just pipped for the 1999 World Title, an amazing few decades of staying at the top, still locked into making boards at the Bay;

But I shouldn't dally too long on my small field of experience, follow the links below to find out about the guys who are tearing it up now, kneelos like Baden Smith (Current World and Australian Surfmasters Champion), Matt Gallagher, Kyle Bryant, Rowdy Simpson.......

www.kneeboardsurfing.com.au Our address: Kneeboard Surfing Australia
P.O Box 1503
Mooloolaba Queensland 4557

The current email address is :kneeboardsurfing@hotmail.com

Please use this email address for all enquiries etc.

If you have an email address and do not already receive the K.S.A and World Title updates please email me at kneeboardsurfing@hotmail.com
Or
peterholman@dodo.com.au
and I will add you to our database.


To illustrate a little of the design evolution over the years, cutting edge kneeboard shaper Bruce Hart kindly let me photograph some of his collection of boards.

From left to right the boards are:
1959 Gary Birdsdall paipo style bellyboard (but knelt up on);
1964 Bennett bellyboard with twin half moon fins;
1971 Crozier shaped by the late Chris Crozier himself, single fin half round slab;
1974 Crozier shaped by Paul Connors, single fin flex tail step bottom:
1977 Hot Buttered, Steve Artis shape, Terry Fitzgerald influence wing twin;
1979 Clean N Natural ski tail by Rodney Ball:
1969 era flex tail spoon, classic Greenough shaped original, made mid 70's:
1985 Knormal thruster shaped by Albert Whiteman;
1988 Flashpoint Surfing single fin tri shaped by Bruce Hart;
1998 Flashpoint Surfing thruster shaped by Bruce Hart.

If you want to join a kneeboard club, contact Ken Stapleton at Kneeboard Surfing Australia on 02 9810 6145. Or there are clubs in such areas as Wollongong (contact: Smurf of WAKA 02 4283 5329), Newcastle (contact: Baden Smith re Nova 0412 789 426), Sunshine Coast (contact Sheila Robinson), etc.

Another contact name is Rob Slater at rslater@shoal.net.au who is also involved with WAKA and puts out the Australian Kneeboard Journal.

For a look outside Australia, check Buddy McCray's site in Hawaii, he's always been a fanatic, and his site is worth a look too
Blast

If you want to know all about the World Kneeboard Titles held in New Zealand last Easter, and see photos from it, plus rankings etc, visit
NZ World Tiles 1999

The well known Craig Ashdown has a kneeboard based website at ~kneelo

And all these Australian companies are fully involved in kneeboarding, so click on their names and see what they have to offer:

Flashpoint Surfing
Parkes Kneeboards
Gorilla Grip
Fin Control Systems
Wet Dreams
KneeOn Kneeboards