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warriewood in the day, an outsider’s view

When Bondi and Tamarama got a bit old in 1970 and the sand smelt bad a 3 bed in Warriewood was up for $21,000, about. High enough to see Long Reef, good enough to see where the swell was coming from if you stood on the top of the wall.

So then a fellow has to decide whether he wants to join the locals at the local beach. Warriewood. Whoever they may be.

– and whatever the place had to offer, usually a stinking mist of sewer cloud being driven ashore by the same wind that delivered the point’s best waves, we have come from Bondi’s shit pipe to Turrimetta’s. This means we will have to deal with hardnuts.

Surfing in the shitstream of the day, there they are, the hardnuts, getting out by jumping the ledges around the corner. Barnes and Staniford out there late one afternoon, paddling around the corner and into a set of big dark swells. Windless. Black and glassy. There were about three of us watching from the road, it was almost too dark to see them.

Introductions were done differently at Warriewood; take North Narrabeen for instance, down there the first thing they worried about when a new bloke came to town was the car he was driving, and did he have any choof in the boot. And was he good for a beer later, did he have any sisters, did he wear booties in winter – all that peripheral stuff.

Narrabeen wasn’t serious, cameras and competitions do that. Plus everyone was skinning off a little of Simon Anderson’s famous aura. I reckon that bloke has a hard time ordering a cheeseburger he hates talking that much. Narrabeen and Avalon, NNBC and NASA, the North Avalon Surfriders Association.

Try joining that mob if you surfride a waveski.

Warriewood did intros different. You had to paddle out to meet people.

Fellow I knew paddled out one day when he knew they were too big to catch, so big that only three local boys were out – at the time – and here he is sitting as far out and as wide as he ever had and watching that unholy trio of surf bums take everything being chucked at them.

And every time they paddled past this bloke suffering the terrors, they doffed him a smile and said g’day, everytime. Even Bean, although that little fucker was pretty tight about it. Like the time he was standing around a white Nissan 200sx parked in a Newport side street, him with a few mates.

Didn’t quite say g’day that time either.

So here’s to ye Boof old lad, a generation younger than me by miles, and a different life – Proud to have known you.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Surfed with a few guys once or twice at Warriewood.

    Always glad to stand in the sun out of the wind by the surf club afterwards and watch those big mothers rolling north with the winter westerly smoothing them off. There was a guy who surfed it without a wet suit mid-winter, I hear he enjoyed his stay at MV Hospital, not the kind of guy to blow his own horn mind you. I believe he cut his teeth there or at Narrabbeen, not the kind of guy you want dropping in on you was our uncle Bob.

    April 10, 2013
  2. I took him, every time, and I took him handsomely – he used to sit out the back dreaming of hamburgers.
    We drove down to Conjola once, me and him – in my flash company car, and when I drove past the Maccas at someplace south of W’gong he stopped talking and put his very ugly fucking feet on the car mantlepiece. He was so easy to snake, I just pumped up some volume on a Phillip Glass number.

    Big Bob. I hear that Lady R comes by here from time to time, she might even let him read this.

    April 10, 2013
  3. A stoned Barnes helped me do one of my first cliff take offs, hang gliding at the South Bungan cliffs ( ok Mona Vale headland ) in the late 70’s. When i’m taking my Basin walk out for the jump off, the lovely Mr Staniford, now a fully certified fisherman, always exchanges pleasantries. Saw him a few weeks ago. He needs a good surf, talk to him Pete. Now Bean, What can i say, he’s almost become a mate, can you believe that. Inner circle stuff……but it’s taken a decade and a bit. B

    April 10, 2013
  4. greg lester #

    r.i.p. boof (grant). we were mates back in primary school. pretty handy soccer player and always had a smile. he had his demons too, that’s for sure. but who doesn’t?

    April 10, 2013
  5. PV #

    Back in my day surfing Warriewood and Turrimetta I was the only girl out there and practically the only body boarder, the boys ALWAYS gave me waves, even Boof and Bean, they were all true gentlemen!

    February 19, 2015

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