Surf legend launches book
AUSTRALIAN surfing legend, board shaper, entrepreneur, and self-confessed larrikin Bob McTavish will make a special public appearance in Grafton today to launch his new book, Stoked!
Well-known author Tim Winton describes Mr McTavish as “... a natural born storyteller”, while the founder of Billabong Gordon Merchant notes him as “... an icon of Australian surfing ... his carefree lifestyle exemplified a true surfer that always followed his heart”.
Mr McTavish describes his book as an exploration of the foundation and evolution of Australian surf culture, taking a look back at Australia during the 1960s, when the days were long and the best surf breaks uncrowded.
“It’s a quirky, wild and colourful account of the early days of surfing culture,” Mr McTavish said when describing the semi-autobiographical yarn.
“Looking back into the past brought the memories of the era flooding back.
“Travelling the coast with Midget Farelly, Nat Young and David Treloar, better known as ‘Baddy’, it was a carefree, happy-go-lucky era.
“They are all fantastic surfers and every day we were surfing was a good day.”
Indeed Mr McTavish’s personal story is immersed in the surf-culture narrative and any account of the Australian surfing scene would be incomplete without mention of his name.
Celebrated as being among the first to design and develop the now ubiquitous shortboard in the mid-1960s, Mr McTavish earned his international reputation and his trade as an accomplished surfboard shaper in-between glorious days spent riding waves.
Now living and operating his internationally successful surfwear and board shaping business from Byron Bay, Mr McTavish’s own account of the early years promises to be a fantastic read for anyone with even a passing interest in Australian culture, let alone the surfing scene.
“I’ve probably been working on it for more than 20 years. It’s been a labour of love,” he said.
Stoked! is 432 pages and includes more than 50 images, many previously unpublished.
Meet the legend today between 11am and 2pm at Collins Booksellers, Grafton Shoppingworld.