When Clubbies Ruled Australia

World War I had brought horrific carnage to this young gung-ho nation—60,000 dead and 170,000 wounded Australian soldiers, out of a total population of 5 million. In the postwar years it seemed like the entire country went to the beach for healing and reconciliation.

Surfing pioneer work was underway during the 1930s in Lima, Durban, Rio, and a few other coastal cities. But the surf world remained for the most part tri-cornered—practiced in Australia, Hawaii, and California by less than three thousand people total—and each region was separated from the others by layers of cultural and geographic insulation. More than 7,500 miles of Pacific Ocean separated Los ...

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