Belly boarding in Australiasia

South Australia

A Victorian, Kev's travels took him west. Photo Kev McManus.

South Australia

Bellyboards were used in South Australia in the pre 1950s, however, there is little evidence of use after that period. John Arnold a South Australian surfboard manufacturer is reported to have made some finned concave bellyboards in the 1960s (Brown 2009). Brown (2010) rode a Bennett bellyboard at the age of 14, over the period 1964 - 1967, before exclusively surfing a longboard. Brown surfed the Mid-Coast and around Victor Harbour. A similar transition has been reported by Taylor (Taylor 2010) who surfed his brother's home-made fibreglassed maranti board. The board was about a 1 and half metres long and used when the surf was really hollow. Taylor rode this board for about 4 or five years before riding stand-up boards.

John Arnold bellyboard. Photo Mike Brown.

John Arnold bellyboard logo. Photo Mike Brown.

John Arnold bellyboard c1963/64. Mike Brown collection.

Leigh Tingle lived in South Australia for four years, from 1969, surfing around Victor Harbour. He is also featured in a 1963 Surfabout article surfing Boomer Beach (Waldeck 1963). Nat Young described Boomer Beach as being like Newport Wedge (Young 1986), so it would have been well suited to a paipo. Lifesavers also rode bellyboards around Moana (Unknown 1961).

Leigh Tingle at Boomer Beach. Surfabout 1963.Photo J Arnold.


1960s cutdown Hayden mal. Believed to be from SA.
Gary Clist collection.

1960s cutdown Hayden mal. Believed to be from SA.
Gary Clist collection.

Section Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Paipos, bellyboards, lameroos, chestboards - what's in a name?
  3. Australia pre 1950s
  4. New Zealand pre 1950s
  5. The mixed fortunes of bellyboards since the 1950s.
  6. Queensland
  7. the North coast
  8. Manly to Palm Beach
  9. Maroubra to Bronte
  10. Cronulla and south
  11. Victoria
  12. Tasmania
  13. South Australia
  14. Western Australia
  15. New Zealand from the 1960s
  16. Final comments, acknowledgements and information sources