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why kneeboard riders cannot be trusted

It’s hard to write something negative about blokes you’ve known and liked for years, but we’ll make the exception with a couple here.

First name John, known as Deadly.

John is a big set of a fella with a pair of knees like Humvee hubcaps. He’s a kneeboarder. How he gets out in some of the bigger stuff confounds us all, put it down to an overpowering greed maybe because the old boy does blow a bit under pressure. Still good for a chat though, Deadly is always on the ball.

The biggest reason for wanting him to join a cappella outfit and sing at DY on weekends is that he only wants waves if somebody else is on it. He’s a sharer that way, and he’s probably singing from the same sheet today. This is a common enough fault with some under-powered boardriders but it cannot be suffered if the offender is on his knees when he’s doing it.

A man on his knees should be bloody submissive .. ! This is human nature at work. How many times do we have to shout that down at you?

He paddled out at Barrenjoey corner one fine day did Deadly, paddled right up to his good old mate who had been waiting twenty minutes for that one-wave set that had just appeared on the horizon. Reached him just as the wave got catchable, said hiya pete then swung right around and grabbed it.

Reminded me of another kneelo from Mona Vale, we’ll call him Mike. Lovely fellow, salt of the earth. He had the look of a Mona Lisa as he slipped away with your wave.

‘ Sorry mate, I thought you wanted the next one.’ This plus a lovely big mile when he got back out, then he’d start talking about ways to cook marinara.


header pic – greenough @ lennox ’66

25 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ben #

    Kneelo’s are a very rare species in my neck of the woods.
    They pump to their own drum beat.
    I like them and can forgive their obvious difficulties with deportment and ‘vetements de mode’ out of the water.

    March 7, 2012
  2. I would have loved to have known those guys. You really know how to pick mates.

    March 7, 2012
  3. joe green #

    greg carpenter spoon rider one of the best ever.made his own spoons.ripped everything from shit huntington to twenty foot petacalco.he was a river jetty guy.steel pier to remodeled state beach.moved way north.bad roomate good surfer.

    March 7, 2012
  4. It’s the envy that’s hardest to deal with. I have a mate. One-legged due to a congenital defect. Didn’t stop him from winning a cycling gold medal at the Sydney Paralympics though. A stand-up kid who hadn’t quite mastered Surfing Etiquette 101 was invited over by Mr Olympiad for a word in his shell-like after a 3rd drop-in in as many waves. The young bloke declined the invitation with the snarled rhetorical “Why don’t you stand-up and surf properly, ya fuckin’ cripple cunt?”. His look of horror and shame when he finally caught sight of my mate’s stump remains a highlight of my more-than thirty years of, erm, submissive surfing.

    March 7, 2012
  5. SjH #

    ohh please give me a cripple any day over those modern day goat boats the filthy unwashed untrustworthy sons and daughters of avrice the SUPs

    March 7, 2012
    • mikeavalon .. ^ please note above comment – there is much to tell

      March 7, 2012
      • Jeebus, Mike, a SUPer? Tell me it ain’t so! I had you picked as the kneelo in Pete’s story….

        March 7, 2012
  6. When I was young growing up ran into Jamie Judd southside kneeboarder looked like Jimmy Winter, blond and pasty white. When he was 15 he caught to ferry across the harbour to the northern beaches and won the state titles, beating Peter Crawford and Steve Artis in there heyday. I had no clue who he was and asked me for some traction wax, I thought he was a kook, until a friend told me to hang around and watch him surf, I couldnt believe he could be a surfer by the look of him. Anyway he went out and put on the most beautiful display of riding I had ever seen. Never saw or heard of him again.

    March 8, 2012
  7. Your term of enlightenment at Mona Vale was before Tom Gubler but you may have know of him.
    B stark, esq who recently passed away several weeks ago and the equally eccentric Rick Wright who passed on over a decade ago were also know to frequent that neck of the woods pre your arrival. Both having leave passes from Collaroy. Their histories are worth a few volumnes. Of course the ever boyish Ken Horton is still at it like a 16 year old.

    March 8, 2012
    • ken horton owes me beaucoup de waves bruce – I used to tell him which way to go when his georgeous hair got in the way

      March 8, 2012
  8. Some time in the mid seventies i started to re ride an old mal when it was smallish at MV.
    One delightful day i shared a few waves with Ken on the point. I think we got two go behinds in before i almost took his head of. He forgot to duck !!! and i was riding a Heydon Kenny board with v sharp rails. But PB he was to be trusted at Rock Pools. ( and without a hairnet )

    March 8, 2012
  9. Mr Wolf #

    From mid sixties onwards, Maroubra produced some of the nation’s best kneeboarders. An onscure notable in the 60s of this almost lost art was one Ronnie Ralph who would appear at the north end only on big days. Decked out in his footy shorts Ron would proceed to produce manoeuvres yet to be exposed at that time by even the good Mr Greenough. He’d pull a crowd every time.

    March 12, 2012
  10. Shawn Bellanto #

    Boys anyone got photos of Jamie Judd a young blond bloke round Coogee and Maroubra?

    January 17, 2013
  11. only photos of me used to be in post offices …

    January 20, 2013
  12. Pellinore #

    I have a sharp eye for kneeboards. Scored one at some non-descript pawn shop. forgotten the board, back in a minute. Friar Tuck so named, it’s Parkes board, quad fin, all the soft bits for kneeboarders, it’s lovley. Rode it once, it took a bottom line and took me up to the high line before I knew what happened.

    June 10, 2014
  13. Pellinore #

    Maybe their faster, more comfortable, more leisurely, they won’t get their legs bitten off. Do a decent cutback and recover!

    June 10, 2014
  14. Pellinore #

    Kneeboardes have always has the secret jump on us, at least the paddle

    June 10, 2014
  15. Pellinore #

    I have problems about the hassling them

    June 10, 2014
  16. Lou #

    Hi Pete, I know this post is an old one but would you happen to know if the Deadly John you are writing about, also goes by the nickname “Big John”? I’m looking for a John (surname either Pittman or Caprille, he went by both) who was a well known Kneeboarder from the 70’s in Manly. I have only one photo of him from back then. He’s my father and I’ve never met him. I’ve set up a Facebook page called “Looking for John”.

    Any info would be so very appreciated.

    October 5, 2016
    • Lou: Deadly had a few nicknames, including Big John – he’s an Avalon man, anyone around the surfclub would know him, Deadly dropped in on us all. And that was the nickname I was responsible for. Good luck.

      October 5, 2016
      • Lou #

        Thanks Pete, I’ve messaged the Avalon SLSC on Facebook. Is it at all possible for you to expand on the whole singing in a Capella group in Dee Why bit?? Are you telling me that he sings? Or is this just some surfing reference that I’m just not getting..?

        October 5, 2016
  17. Avalon’s Big John doesn’t have your dad’s surname, Lou, he’s a Macca. Sorry mate.

    October 6, 2016
  18. Lou #

    All good, Thank you

    October 6, 2016

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