Club of the Waves

John Witzig


Photographer — New South Wales, Australia

Headless McTavish, 1966
Headless McTavish
Queensland, 1966

I was never a ‘photographer’… a photo-journalist maybe. I liked editing magazines best, and that directed the pictures I took. You need more than surfing action to tell a story… and anyway, standing on the beach with a big lens is pretty boring. The photographs that I took of the world around surfing are what interests me most now. Really I was simply documenting my life and that of my friends. I was fortunate that some of the people I knew got to be famous. Everyone deserves a bit of luck, that was mine. My ‘career’ in surfing publications covers a fifteen-year period from the mid-1960s. I have what’s arguably the best record of the Australian contribution to the shortboard revolution, and that was occasionally drawn on by magazines, books and films. The rest of my archive lay undisturbed by anyone including myself. An interest in a wider range of my pictures as a social document has grown over the last decade. That’s a surprise, and a nice one. John has published a wonderful photo book titled, A Golden Age: Surfing’s Revolutionary 1960s and ’70s.

Bob McTavish and the ’48 Holden, Noosa – 1966
Bob McTavish and the '48 Holden
Noosa, 1966
Nat Young, bottom turn at Honolua Bay, 1967
Nat Young
Honolua Bay, 1967
Michael Peterson at Narraabeen, 1970s
Michael Peterson
Narraabeen, 1970s
Bob McTavish, fly-paper, Treachery, 1967
Bob McTavish 'fly-paper'
Treachery, 1967
Midget Farrelly at Palm Beach, 1964
Midget Farrelly
Palm Beach, 1964
Bob McTavish and Gary Keys, NSW, Australia, 1969
Bob McTavish and Gary Keys
NSW, Australia, 1969
George Greenough and ‘not-Velo’, 1970
George Greenough and ‘not-Velo’
Sydney, 1970
Byron sign, 1970
Byron sign
Australia, 1970
Wayne Lynch at Bells Beach, 1969
Wayne Lynch
Bells Beach, 1969
Bob McTavish at Hololua Bay, 1967
Bob McTavish
Hololua Bay, 1967
Nat Young in Hawaii, 1967
Nat Young
Hawaii, 1967
Mark Richards at Haleiwa, Hawaii, 1976
Mark Richards
Haleiwa, Hawaii, 1976
David ‘Baddy’ Treloar and Owl Chapman, 1974
David 'Baddy' Treloar and Owl Chapman
The Bower, Manly, 1974
Buzzy Kerbox at Haleiwa, Hawaii, 1976
Buzzy Kerbox
Haleiwa, Hawaii, 1976
Mark Allon at Dos Coxos, Portugal, 1976
Mark Allon at Dos Coxos
Portugal, 1976
Mark Richards, 1977
Mark Richards
Bells steps, Mid-1970s
Bells steps
Australia, mid-1970s
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