Midget Farrelly's article on the Windansea Surf Club's recent visit to Australia ran in the December 10, 1967, issue of the Sydney Morning Herald. The American surfers had arrived in Sydney equipped with 9' 6" noseriders, only to find that the local surfers, with Farrelly and Bob McTavish leading the way, had recently begun riding smaller, lighter, more performance-oriented boards. This was the moment when the not-yet-named "shortboard revolution" began to go international, as the American's left Sydney with a few of the shorter Australian boards which they copied upon their arrival back in California. Farrelly, interestingly, doesn't seem to fully recognize just how far advanced his fellow Aussies were compared to the Americans at that moment, in terms of both equipment and wave-riding performance.

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The American Windansea surf team that left Australia this week didn’t revolutionize our sport. Not like their predecessors did in 1956. In fact, it may have been us who influenced them, although the full effects won’t be known for months yet.

Several of the team took our "short boards”—as short as 7' 6"—back with them. The team, 15 of California's most travelled surfers, left Australia after an extended stay this week for Tonga, Fiji and Tahiti. They’ll end up in Hawaii to ride the swells there.

The Americans had several days here to test the short boards and looked good once they managed the length difference.

Skip Frye rode extremely well on my 7' 8" and Mickey Munoz seemed a natural on a Keyo 7' 6". Steve Bigler made the swap, too, and saw his new board as the answer to California’s small, tight, waves.

Encyclopedia of Surfing

Our Ted Spencer won last Sunday at Palm Beach, in two- to three-feet waves, I was second and Russell Hughes third, Steve Bigler was fourth, Mike Purpus fifth and John Monie sixth. Ted's win earned him a trip to Hawaii.

Purpus improved the American image radically with whip turns, noserides and skeg first take-off. One staunch Australian supporter told me at the conclusion of the event that, "the Yanks had it all over us” for total performance in the small conditions. It stands to reason that our short boards did not give us needed flotation when nose riding in the slow, flat waves.

The final and ultimate test for our short boards is Hawaii. In the next week, Ted Spencer, Bob MacTavish, Nat Young, Russell Hughes and John Witzig leave for Hawaii to begin a short board invasion of the north shore.

MacTavish is competing in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational.

It remains to be seen how 7' 8" of surfboard can be coaxed into riding waves up to 15 and 20 feet.

[Photos, top to bottom: Midget Farrelly, Palm Beach. Skip Frye, Palm Beach, by Dick Graham.]