Surf City, Sydney

an Historic Houses Trust blog

McGRIGOR SURFBOARDS

17 comments

McGrigor team pose for photo shoot early 1970s, photo courtesy Bryan Hughes

I asked Bryan to supply some info on McGrigors…

McGrigor Surfboards started around 1970 by Brian McGrigor and was more than likely backed by Ken Bevan (Geronimo) founder of the “Dee Why Surf Shop”. McGrigor soon left to continue his travel’s and Ken took over ownership in the very early day’s.

Ken’s ability to create outlets for the boards with his “Dee Why” and later “Surf ‘n Gear” shop’s saw a factory that was always in demand of workers and the list of shapers alone is long and impressive. There is many a tradesman in the industry that owes at least some part of their learning to a stint at McGrigors.

Harbord Road in Brookvale has always been a surf factory road and McGrigors was no exception. Originally at 238 and ending at 186 the boards came out the door under Geronimo’s ownership till he sold to master laminator John Fleck who continued under the same banner until the factory closed in the late ‘70’s.

STEVE CORE ADDS…

I was an old employee of Ken ‘Geronimo’ Beaven and knew him very well. I worked in many of his shops over the three year period of ’65, ’66 and ’67. During that time I worked in our Rockdale, Bondi [two locations; Bondi Road and then Curlewis Street - where the IGA is now] I also worked in the Dee Why Long Reef store.
 
In the colour McGrigor photo – that’s Geronimo, hands on hips, in the white fur vest and Russian-style hat.
 
And Darryl Sykes [an old long-lost friend] was a Cronulla Point-based knee-boarder and originally a Kiwi – he ran the huge Cronulla Dee Why Surf Shop on Gerrale Street in the late sixties for Geronimo. Hence the obvious McGrigors connection there. He returned the New Zealnd in the early seventies and I am not sure where or what he does these days.  [THANKS STEVE]

 

McGrigor advert in Tracks Magazine, August 1972: L to R…Daryl Sykes, John Fleck, Barry King, Ian Grosvenor and Michael McCormack with Flecky’s dog ‘George’ in front… info Bryan Hughes

Written by Gary Crockett

August 22nd, 2011 at 10:09 am

17 Responses to 'McGRIGOR SURFBOARDS'

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  1. what’s with the fancy dress ?

    pete bowes

    23 Aug 11 at 4:53 pm

  2. They tell it was because their boards, as the tracks ad said ‘come in all shapes and sizes’ Pete

    Gary Crockett

    24 Aug 11 at 10:40 am

  3. 4th from the left has gotta be benny hill

    pete bowes

    24 Aug 11 at 11:35 am

  4. Found this old battered McGrigor board under a house. Had all 21 dings fixed, fitted a new fin and it’s ready to go. Beautiful old retro and shaped by Barry King. Should see it now!

    Steve Deppeler

    26 Mar 12 at 10:16 pm

  5. send us a photo Steve…!

    Gary Crockett

    23 May 12 at 2:14 am

  6. Found an old Mc Grigor under my house, nice looking board and would sell if interested? Call Ben 0421 868 087

    Ben

    6 Aug 12 at 11:11 pm

  7. The factory was still there and open in 1983, when I bought a 5’10″ twinnie

    Cameron

    4 Dec 12 at 2:15 am

  8. I am a friend of Brian McGrigor – have known him a few years now through his wife. I can tell you he is alive and well, happily married, living in Auckland and enjoying retirement. I am helping him launch a website all about McGrigor surfboards so watch out for it.

    Lesley

    26 Feb 13 at 3:57 am

  9. Im Brian McGrigor’s son. Yup he is still kicking! When I was a kid in the 80s and 90s he was still shaping for his mates. I dont know how to verify that except to say I was there.

    Hmm. McGrigor surfboards website huh? He didnt tell me about that!

    Ben

    27 Feb 13 at 12:11 pm

  10. My first brand new board was a 7 foot rounded pin tail single fin from the McGrigor factory in Brookvale in 1977. It cost about $180. I surfed it in everything from 1 foot South Steyne slop to 8′ storm swell. It got ripped off from under the stairs at a flat that I stored it at in Manly – heartless pricks. Manly was full of junkies in those days. I loved that board. It had the circular hippy tropical decal which I thought gave it an exotic look. If anyone sees a 1977 green bottom/rails, white deck 7 foot rounded pin tail McGrigor with a professionally fixed fin chop in the bottom of it – it’s mine!!!! I want it back!!!

    Nick Reese

    28 May 13 at 11:36 pm

  11. I came across a Barry King McGrigor twin fin in near perfect condition, one of the top boards in my collection :)

    Trevor Pocock

    29 May 13 at 10:52 am

  12. My first board (which I still have) is a 6’6 yellow in colour and still in reasonable condition. I purchased it in Adelaide at the top o taps surf shop for $105.00 in 1975. Loved riding this but never knew the history behind the company until reading this article.

    Brett

    17 Jun 13 at 8:22 am

  13. Thanks for posting these historical photos and interesting info on McGrigor Surfboards.
    My Dad, Peter McGuire was a glasser there is in the top photo, he’s wearing the Sombrero hat with a cigarette in hand.
    My mum believes this was taken in 1974, the year I was born.He passed away in 2008.

    Josh McGuire

    17 Sep 13 at 6:52 pm

  14. Thanks for the note Josh – this photo has got more interest than any other on the blog – sorry to hear about your father’s death a few years back. The memory lives on though.

    Gary Crockett

    18 Sep 13 at 10:18 am

  15. Hi All
    Took interest in this blog as we are lucky enough to have an immaculate ( 11/10) 70′s single fin with a Martin Worthington spray on the bottom from inside a barrell. Brian you dad may like to see the pics if you want to shoot me an email I’ll send them to you . Equally Josh and Gary can send to you if your interested.

    Keith

    Keith

    27 Dec 13 at 9:16 pm

  16. My misspent youth was watching guys surf at Cronulla Point! A big group of us would get together, I remember all the names. Great times at Cronulla, Cecil Hotel and Northies. The surf shop was an icon, right next to the Chinese restaurant, when Daryl Sykes was managing it. Caught up with him when he first went to NZ Cray fishing. I still live in Cronulla still enjoy it!

    Lynne Dumbrell

    6 Jan 14 at 11:39 pm

  17. Hey . Was fixing a small crack in one of the two fins this morning and thought i would google about my McGrigor board , Still love riding it .
    5:10 in Twin fin. 18 1/2 in wide and 2 1/2 in. thick..
    Not sure how to post photo’s but would love to know how old it is
    Shaped and designed by Barry King ..before you ask , Not for sale

    Greg Millington

    31 Jan 14 at 2:09 am

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