Surf City, Sydney

an Historic Houses Trust blog

Allan Levick, Bondi 1950s


Former Bondi boy Allan Levick called recently to talk about his 1950s Gordon Woods ‘Okanui’ surfboard. I asked him to send in some pics and pen a few memories.

photos courtesy Allan Levick

I had only used this brilliant surfboard for around 3 months………(it was fantastic to ride a board which you could take where YOU wanted to go, not just where the wave dictated)…….when I was invited to join a group of “Bondi Boys” to go water ski-ing, which was still in it’s infancy here in Australia. I immediately became addicted to this “new” exciting water sport, and, rather reluctantly, stored my board away.

Here’s a few words on the origin of my nickname “IKE”. As a young Bondi kid, of around 12 years of age, I decided to try my hand at being a “paper-boy”, selling newspapers on the Bondi trams, to earn some “pocket money”, in order to fund my regular trips to the “flicks” (movies) and my growing addiction to “Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate” (which remains with me today ! ) The owner of the Newsagency Shop, Alex Griffin, grew a moustache and I “christened him “IKEY-MO”. However, HE turned it back on ME and instructed the rest of the team of “paper-boys” to ALWAYS, in future, refer to me as “IKE” and the name has stuck to this day!!

I am also sending pics of the “high-jinks” we young “Turks” used to get up to on the Beach, in those Halcyon Days!

Bondi Beach c1950s, photos courtesy Allan Levick

Just one more anecdote……when I was around 15, I bought my first 16ft long “toothpick” surf board and put together a 2 wheel trolley using old Bike wheels to walk the board down to Bondi Beach (about a mile from the family home in Denham Street).

Bondi Tram photo sourced from lindsaybridge on flickr

On countless occasions, I would “scale” on the rear of a tramcar, and trail the board and trailer all the way down to the beach behind the tram! (Quite a remarkable sight!) The conductors thought it was a great “lark” and, only once, did the local “cops” grab me and gave me a “strict talking to”!

photo courtesy Allan Levick

In conclusion, (not really anything to do with surfing, but you may be interested), water-ski-ing became my passion and I used to get up to all kinds of tricks, eg. barefoot ski-ing, ramp jumping, and the most spectacular and unique, of all, was my own invention…..”ski-ing” atop a 6ft tall stool (ladder) on a 3ft diameter, plywood disc and executing 360 degree turns and backwards ski-ing.

photo courtesy Allan Levick

The “stool” was not attached to the disc which made the exercise even more demanding. Sounds unbelievable but, fortunately, I have photos to prove it, some of which I will attach. I am retired now and still ski occasionally, but haven’t been “up the ladder” for 5 years (I reckon I could though!).

With kind regards, Allan Levick


Written by garycrockett

January 23rd, 2012 at 1:50 am

Posted in 1950s,1960s

7 Responses to 'Allan Levick, Bondi 1950s'

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  1. you must have been going so fast on that thing Al it blew all your hair off –

    pete bowes

    23 Jan 12 at 10:31 am

  2. good to see you stil have it all but the hair .

    phil luck

    9 Feb 12 at 5:52 pm

  3. Hey Pete, Thanks for your humorous comment ! Just remember the old saying….”you can’t grow grass on a busy street”! And as my beautiful wife used to retort….”nor will it grow on barren ground ” !

    Allan Levick

    11 Feb 12 at 11:46 am

  4. Well….I’ll be a “Bondi Beachbum”. Great to hear from you old friend, “Fearless Phil”…….Al.

    Allan Levick

    11 Feb 12 at 11:54 am

  5. Allan, you’re a legend! (My new contact details


    23 Feb 12 at 2:10 am

  6. Great pictures. Glad to know you Allan.


    22 Jul 20 at 4:05 am

  7. I have been thinking of you today. Must be at least 30 years since we saw each other at City Tats. We had fun water skiing in Queensland, 1957? Hope you are keeping well!

    Elizabeth Boon

    21 Sep 21 at 12:04 am

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