Surfblanks why we do it

“People who love surfboards love Surfblanks foam”

Surfblanks Australia’s physical home is in Brookvale, right by the beaches of Dee Why, Curl Curl and Freshwater, thirty minutes north of Sydney. Freshwater Beach is the birthplace of Australian surfboard riding triggered by the visit of Duke Kahanamoku, the board he made, and the waves he rode at Freshie in 1914.

Dee Why, Curly and Freshie form the heart of the Sydney Northern Beaches. These beaches stretch from Manly to Palm Beach and have produced more surfing World Champions than any other on the planet. Manly was the birthplace of the World Championships in the 1960’s, amateur at first*, then morphing off into professional (more like birthing professionalism), as surfing broadstreamed into whole world consciousness. Today on the SNB every form of wave riding can be seen and experienced, every craft that ride/rode a wave is /was/will be made here.

Freshie Boat Crew 1964 - Photo: Ron Perrot                                                                 

Freshie Boat Crew 1964 – Photo: Ron Perrot 

Brookvale is the 1960’s birthplace of the modern Australian surfboard manufacturing industry.

First there was local wood (from 1890’s) solid sugar pine, followed by plywood (often Australian cedar), Equadorian balsa in the late 1950’s, then urethane (early 1960’s). EPS/epoxy rushed in and out during 1957-58 (resurfaces every 10 years).

At one time (early to mid 1960’s) there were up to six urethane blank makers in Brookvale competing for the exploding custom surfboard market. 2009 sees just two SNB blank makers after the brief surge that followed Clark Foam USA’s closure.

Midget Farrelly created Surfblanks Australia in order to break a local monopoly that was strangling the surfboard industry by offering unlimited credit (on blanks and materials) while at the same time competing against its customers by retailing finished surfboards at wholesale prices.

Midget’s first passion was surfboard making (from age 14) but he recognised the reality of having to become a foam maker in 1968 as he watched long established brands go out of the industry with huge blank and material bills they could not support.

Surfboard makers are creative people. Their product is more like art than consumer product. They inspire other surfers with new design, shape and colour. Their joy comes from what they make with their hands. Being business minded is near to last on their priority list.

Midget always encouraged shapers/makers to avoid debt (blanks and materials), look at their bottom line and be profitable so that they might stay in the industry they love.

1970s blanksThe image at left was shot in the early 1970’s in the West Street, Brookvale factory, which is still in operation.

Blank shapes were quite limited as surfers all rode much the same design, ie seven foot, single fin, down railers.

Very few females were surfing in these times and it would be another twenty years before longboards re emerged and opened the door for everybody to participate.

Most of these blanks went to the far reaches of Australia and even though there were three other foam makers, exporting blanks had not really begun.

The formula for the foam of these times was very basic compared to what Surfblanks makes today. If the same foam was used it would be said to be big celled, heavy and soft by comparison.

Today Surfblanks Australia ships foam blanks to shapers all over the world.

Surfblanks Australia also ships foam system (for making blanks) to South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. Surfblanks Australia’s sister foam making companies are shown in the Links section.

Over the years Max Wetteland in Durban and Fernando Camara in Brazil have contributed greatly to what is now the current Superwhite formula.

 

Surfblanks Australia, Africa and Brazil.

These three factories are the exclusive producers of Superwhite Foam blanks. Midget, Max and Fernando have shown a life long passion and committment to surfboard foam making at the highest possible standard. Through all the ups and downs of competitors trying to muscle into the worldwide market with substandard product and cutthroat prices, the three factories have continued producing foam blanks that are way beyond the quality levels others struggle for or can imagine. Long time users will often relate that they have finished boards out there that have been ridden for the last three to five years, and are still good. Happy owners too!

Surfblanks Africa - Morgan Ngcobo light checks a Superwhite Mega/Blue (left) & (right) Surfblanks Brazil - ready to ship - up to 600 per day!

Surfblanks Africa – Morgan Ngcobo light checks a Superwhite.

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