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Hollow plywood surfboard decorated with North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club colours

Date: c 1947
Overall: 4950 x 505 x 140 mm
Medium: Plywood, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Max Plumb
Object Name: Surfboard
Object No: 00032410
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This hollow plywood board was made by Gordon Woods. It was painted by Max Plumb in the blue and gold horizontal stripes of the North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club. The board is embellished with cursive script reading 'Max Plumb', and the design features a thin strip of metal on the nose and a metal plate with a ring attached at the tail. Plumb used the board for surfing primarily at North and South Cronulla, though he and other surfers would get together and hire a semi-trailer to transport boards to distant beaches like 'Fairy Bower' near Manly from the Eastern suburbs.

    Long hollow surfboard painted in horizontal blue and gold stripes on top and sides, and blue on its bottom surface. The top is embellished with a cursive script which reads 'Max plumb'. It also features two thin strips of wood along the sides and middle section (or width) of board. It also has a strip of silver metal on its nose and a circular disk on top- near front with a hole in centre cut out, probably copper. Back end has a metal plate and a ring attached.
    SignificanceThe board is representative of 1940s hollow board design and manufacture, with the blue and gold stripes connecting it with North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club's history.
    HistoryHollow plywood boards were used for recreational board riding as well as being part of standard surf life saving equipment. They were heavy and difficult to manoeuvre across the face of a wave and were later replaced by the shorter Malibu boards in the late 1950s after American lifesavers gave a demonstration at Freshwater in NSW and Torquay in Victoria.

    This board was bought by Max Plumb in Bondi, where he was associated with the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. The board was used during a season when he worked as a beach inspector at North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club in 1947-48. This board features the brightly coloured stripes of the North Cronulla club, which made the board more visible in the surf, and the colours also identified different clubs during competitions. The board was used in several rescues at North Cronulla. It also competed in board events in surf carnivals at Cronulla and Bondi, and at the first Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at Greenmount Beach in 1947.

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