OBSA Surfers Club  

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Bill & RayThe OBSA had its humble beginnings in 1962, an enthusiastic crew of guys got together in the garage at Stan Green's place. It was here the founding members conducted the first meeting to elect the President and Treasurer of the Ocean Beach Surfers Association. A good effort by a bunch of knockabout surf bums (the current popular opinion of surfers). Let it be said though, there are a few professional types thrown in there, having all the skills needed to achieve in live. No, that's not correct, there just happened to be a unique mix of talented, enthusiastic & inspired young people. Some of who would aspire to great heights in one direction, others in the other direction.
The club colours, a white strip (around the 11cm mark) with two brown stripes each side was also the colour of John Monie's new Holden 179 station wagon, brown & white. How's that for an executive decision? Matching parkas and boardshorts completed the ensemble. The OBSA club badge that was sewn onto all Parkas and Boardshorts helped make you feel one of the boys & everyone wants to belong. There is an original shot of the guys in the classic boardshorts at the bottom of the guys page. Check it out!! This group of guys, surfers from OB had an influence on my life forever, well - for a while anyway!

The logo of a surfer sitting on the beach looking towards Lion Island was instigated by the talented Keven (Sabbath) Oxford. How do I knowKeven Oxford aka Sabbath  this - well, Sabbath told me! That's our man on the right, who at the time had a particular dislike for work and was inclined to believe that every day was a "day of rest", the Sabbath --that's how the nickname . The Byron Bay Grass Roots & Blues Festival held over four days during Easter each year, Keven helped nuture and build it, from it's humble beginngs at the Piggery in Byron Bay, into the spectacular show that it has proven to be today, a major drawcard on the touring circuit for overseas artists.  Take a look! at the local restaurant that he now calls his money spinner. Good on yeah Kev., now it's time for the feet to go up. 'Sabbath' displayed his ability by taking a trophy for first place junior division during club competition.

After eight months in existence the OBSA established itself as the strongest surfers club in the State within the club contest arena. Although they didn't win a title during the Newcastle Championships (which they entered every year) they were "way out" leaders in the unofficial point score. All ten acceptances were received by the Newcastle Association and leading the team was  John Monie who caught the wave of the day on Saturday to gain the top point score. Monie reached the semi-finals of the senior event before being eliminated. Announcer Ross Kelly made a comment to the effect that it seemed to be all Ocean Beach in the heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals. Two members that really impressed were the Monie brothers (they rated space in Tony Pratt's column in the "Sydney Sunday Herald") and their future in the surfing arena looked promising. Both possessing powerhouse styles with confidence and ability which helped to get thobsa club badgeem under the lip more times than not. There was not a boardriders club on the east coast that could better the OBSA except WindanSea of Manly and that was only because half of the OBSA members were members of WindanSea and had to surf for the WindanSea Club during competitions.
In 1965, Barrie Sutherland captured on film the biggest swell ever at Bells Beach.  Included in this stunning photographic exhibition is an image of John Monie surfing a monster 25 foot plus wave at Bells Beach.

Up and coming young surfer from Ocean Beach, Robert Hancock won the junior event. The six surfers who made  the final were the best  juniors on the coast - Robert Hancock, Bill Monie,Warren Egli, Lenny Fisher, Ray Wessell, and Colin Wall, (who won cadet title) - all members of the OBSA. The contest finished and some of the boys travelled to Avoca looking for more waves. As each surfer knows, every so often they enjoy a "really good session". This was to be it for Bill Monie, "Big" Jack Maloney, Warren Egli, Lenny Fisher. Kevin, who is a Bondi local, was living with some of us in Centennial Park, Sydney at the time. "The Head" is a no-nonsense, aggressive surfer and this received no argument from anyone after watching him perform in challenging surf. No one else was out and they took over the beach and point breaks. The guys actually "destroyed" the point and made the waves look easy with Jack taking off so far inside and making waves that were impossible to burst through. The lefts were showing form so Len and Kevin displayed their talents. Avoca is one of the best surfing beaches on the Central Coast. The point, with long tubing reef break waves, and the centre with its giant peaks and long fast lefts. The point will hold waves to about eight feet and then they tend to close out, but the centre is a different story, it'll hold a wave to between 10 and 12 feet.

Kerry PurdonKerry Purdon's (right) win in the "Central Coast Express" surfboard title (senior division) was thoroughly deserved. It was Kerry's powerhouse style and can't be beaten attitude that set the standard for others to follow. I remember Kerry as "the  calming presence", a mentor to many aspiring young surfers who wanted to turn the sport into their own personal lifestyle. As the following  link shows, there is no slowing the man down, still surfing contests and still taking out the Number One! eg Noosa over 65 yrs.

The favourite home break for most locals with talent, was "The Box", a magic place, breaks about 'two mile' off Ocean Beach at the northern end.. A series of sandbanks enable a left from "The Box" to the beach. The takeoff is 50 m from the rocks and as soon as ya hit the bottom it starts lining up but is still a little slower for a while until it hits the inside bars. An eight foot wave, lining up for what seems like forever, turning into an insideout tuberide and jumping to 10 feet in height as it hits the sandbar, cruising for around 150 yards, a big section would come down, then it would peel off perfectly for about another 150 yards and repeat that nearly all the way to the beach. Only breaks on a large NE swell however, best with NE offshore winds. If you go to the Guys page you will find a picture of Ocean Beach at the bottom showing the whereabouts of The Box. It breaks about half way back from the furthest point out, which is "Box Head", where the Brisbane Waters meets the sea - not a bad paddle for a group of young lads. The Box could be easily spotted with binoculars, from the back road of Palm Beach. Sometimes, while out at the take-off waiting for a wave you would look across past Lion Island, toward Pittwater and see 3 or 4 half cabin boats loaded with surfboards on top, heading toward the best left on the East Coast. Yeah!, no-one likes to share their waves, no matter who they might be. Always liked to see a tourist wipe out, knowing that it was going to be a long time, without help from anyone, before he hit the Takeoff Area again. No leg ropes, just a long swim.

the club todayPoint Break

My affinity wlocal stickith the sea began when I moved to Ettalong Beach from Sydney at a young age. It's been a long time since I rode my first wave at Ocean Beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales. This site is dedicated to those early surfing friends of mine who helped me enjoy one of the most memorable parts of my life, friends who never received the praise that their surfing proess and friendship deserved. Living out of a car/sleeping bag, usually parked on a Headland, overlooking a point break, gett'n ready for that magical, early morning session. Ah, just thinking about it all raises memory of Avoca Point, probably one of the most popular breaks, and a postcard place that saw many an overnight stay.
This site will be constantly under revision so remember to come back soon and see what new garbage has appeared. Help is also needed from you, in the form of stories, photos, and ideas, especially photos relevant to the site. Some of the shots contained in this site are old and leave a lot to be desired, so we need those photos coming in.

The email address is barsam1@optusnet.com.au 

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