Surf City, Sydney

an Historic Houses Trust blog

Larry Cohen, 1967


Cronulla surfer Larry Cohen with his new Scott Dillon V-Bottom 1967 – photos courtesy Larry Cohen

Board collector and surfer Larry Cohen sent in some photos recently, along with a few notes…

Here’s what he says… I first tried surfing when I was about 9 years old on my cousin’s 9ft 6″ Norm Casey D Fin Malibu Gun. When he wasn’t around I would sneak down and drag it out from under their house and drag it down the beach. (He never caught me). I pestered my old man for a board of my own for about 3 years and then in early 1967 he cracked and bought me a 2nd hand Scott Dillon Stringerless V Bottom “Stubby”. Breakthrough !!!!

It was 8ft long by 24 inches wide and I couldn’t even get my arm around it. It was the best thing I had ever had in my entire life. Nothing I owned or wanted could compare with that board, it was like a piece of magic to me. I kept it in my bedroom where I could just look at it anytime. The Vee Bottom was hard to surf on but way better than my cousin’s old Malibu “plank”. It was like an aircraft carrier to stand on, but I learned to trim and turn it. A surf would last about 4 hours in those days.

After about a year (& more pestering) we traded it in on a Jackson 7ft 8″ double ender pintail shaped by Gordon Merchant. The Jacko was noticeably easier to turn, trim and manoeuvre, and it was faster along the walls of those Cronulla Beach sandbank shooters. I could actually get my arm around the pintail to carry it.

I was oblivious at the time but I had started surfing at the very beginning of the short board revolution. From then on, we all updated our surfboards regularly to keep up with the fast changing surfboard design trends.

Thankfully I still have several of my old boards that weren’t traded in on the newer boards. These days I surf on a state of the art quad fin, semi fish board made by Force 9 Surfboards at Caringbah. It is a dream to surf on and I often wish we had these fantastic boards when we were kids back in the 1960’s. However, I’ve never lost my love of the old Stringerless boards from the Transition era (1967 – 1971), they are still magic to me. I already had about 3 of them up in the garage rafters, but about 15 years ago I started collecting them for some reason. Now I search for them anywhere & everywhere and when I find another one I get an excitement like a kid on Christmas morning. My long suffering wife doesn’t share my passion for the boards and I may need counselling at some time to deal with my addiction. But in the meantime, if anyone has an old board out there….give me a call , OK !!!

keep on surfin…
Larry Cohen

Written by garycrockett

September 20th, 2011 at 3:49 am

Posted in 1960s

2 Responses to 'Larry Cohen, 1967'

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  1. nice he should keep his surfing up lets go larry


    29 Aug 12 at 12:33 am

  2. your the bestest surfer ever yeahhhh brahhhh barell


    29 Aug 12 at 4:25 am

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