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A History of Surfing Competitions in Australia
A History of Surfing Competitions in Australia In 1915, surfing was introduced into Australia by Hawaiian surfing icon, Duke Kahanamoku, who put on displays of his surfing skills for people at Freshwater Beach. Duke wowed the crowds, and as a result, the popularity of surfing soared.

Nine years later, in 1924, the very first Australian Board Riding Championship was held, won by Claude West, who is also credited with being the first white man in Australia to learn how to ride a surfboard, having been taught by Duke at Freshwater Beach.

Organised surfing competition in Australia was pretty much limited to the annual National championships for the next couple of decades, with the biggest change in surfing at this time being the introduction of more manoeuvrable hollow boards.

In the 1950s, the visit to Australia by Greg Noll and his fibreglass boards captivated the by-now surfing-mad public, and before long Australian beaches would see an explosion of new fibreglass boards.

In 1965, the first ever World Surfing Championships was held in Sydney at Manly Beach in front of 65,000 spectators, and with it the first ever World Surfing Champions were crowned -- Bernard Farrelly and Phyllis O’Donnell.

However, while surfing competitions were in full swing in California and other parts of the United States, it wasn’t until the ‘70s that Australia started to see truly professional surfing competitions begin to take place.

In 1976, a loosely connected series of surfing competitions morphed into what would become the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) tour, with Sydney the host of the first fully professional surfing competition in Australia.

The mid ‘80s saw the birth of the Malfunction Surfing Festival on the Gold Coast, which began as a friendly gathering of long boarders and grew to become not just a respected surfing competition, but also a five-day festival and a guaranteed good time. Malfunction is the perfect example of Aussie surfing competitiveness, with the battles in the waves fierce and the parties jumping on the beach.

By the 1990s, a full-on world surfing tour had emerged, including multiple stops in Australia. Thankfully, the focus slowly shifted from holding the events when the crowds would be biggest to competing when the waves would be at their best, leading to better waves and far more entertaining competitions.

With Australian men and women regularly taking out the world championship and otherwise just consistently putting in awe-inspiring performances, promoters finally realised that people were going to come out to these events no matter when they were held.

In 1994, Australian competitive surfing got a huge boost with the first running of the Noosa Malibu Classic. This fun event has a big focus on embracing surfing diversity, and has been providing a good excuse to check into gorgeous <a href=http://www.rwnoosaholidays.com.au/>Noosa accommodation</a> for almost 20 years now.

As surfboard companies and clothing brands realise there is a lot of money to be made through supporting professional surfing, expect to see surfing become bigger and more well-funded over the coming few years, with more competitions and larger prize money. The only thing certain is, whether you are watching from your beachside <a href=http://www.rwnoosaholidays.com.au/>Noosa holiday house</a> or from the point at Snapper Rocks, the surfing is getting crazier by the year, so make sure you check some of these talented athletes out.
4/07/2014
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