Surf City, Sydney

an Historic Houses Trust blog

Allan Levick, Bondi 1957


A few months ago I posted a piece on Allan Levick and his hollow mal. Here he is in action at Bondi in 1957.

In 1957 Vern Cooper filmed his friend Allan Levick surfing at Bondi on his ‘hollow mal’, built by Gordon Woods. This is extremely rare footage, possibly unique, featuring the Australian hollow mal, which was a plywood adaption of the American ‘malibu’ style board that first appeared in Sydney in 1956. Big thanks to Allan Levick for providing the footage and Dennis Greaves for the digital transfer. Kind thanks to Vern Cooper for making his amazing footage available.

Written by garycrockett

May 24th, 2012 at 8:16 am

Posted in 1950s

3 Responses to 'Allan Levick, Bondi 1957'

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  1. Gary, I love this stuff, really filling in the blanks in surf history for me. Awesome stuff,

    tim baker

    24 May 12 at 9:25 am

  2. Thanks Tim,I am happy that you found the 8mm film footage of me, in action, on my “Ockanui” board, both interesting & emotive.I agree with Gary Crockett that it is almost certainly “unique” and filled in that gap in surfing history. I pay tribute to my very best mate of 60 years, VERN COOPER, for his foresight, in actually “shooting” that footage on Bondi Beach, on his “U-Beaut” 8mm movie camera. Little did he know that he would be responsible for filling in that little bit of surfing history! Sadly, Vern passed away 10 days ago, but he was fully aware (and proud of)the small part he played in “History”.Kind regards, Allan.

    Allan Levick

    16 Jun 12 at 2:44 am

  3. Hi again Tim, just an addendum to my message a little earlier. I believe that it is both sad and unfortunate that the “ockanui’ board was only in “vogue” and produced for a year or two. What many people don’t realize is that this board, being HOLLOW and therefore very buoyant, allowed us to pick up “green” (unbroken) waves, up to 30 or 40 metres further out in the bay, compared to the shorter, less buoyant Balsa/GRP “Hot-Dog” board riders,having to wait for a wave to curl and break!It is probably unfair to make comparisons, BUT I still reckon that us “Ockanui riders had (by far) the best of both worlds, particularly with the “magic” fin which allowed us to really steer and change direction quickly , as a result of which we used to have longer duration rides compared to the “hot-doggers”.Maybe not as spectacular, but, in my book, much more satisfying ! I just know I will be branded an “OLD FOGEY”, but I will wear that label with pleasure ! Cheers Again…….Allan.

    Allan Levick

    16 Jun 12 at 3:24 am

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