Indigenous Surfing

Joe Brown Mcleod

Joe Brown Mcleod, has held a seat on the Wreck Bay Community Council for many years now, but when I met Joe he was a full on teenage surf rat. I knew Joe through my long time friend Paul Mcleod, Joe’s father. The Mcleod family has been instrumental in the handing over of the Booderee national park, & the inaugural Koori Surf Invitational. Joe has been an active surfer at his beloved home break at Summercloud Bay and is considered among the legends of Wreck Bay. If I remember correctly Joe was sponsored by Billabong over the years but is now with Dylan Longbottom at Dylan surfboards.

Joe is now part of the team at as the indigenous advisor.

Courtesy Surfing Vistoria

Courtesy Surfing Victoria

Most of us have surfed with some of Australia’s aboriginal surfers and they rank up there with the best. I was lucky enough to be involved in the first few Koori Invitational contest in the 90’s and the quality of surfing was extraordinary.

Like a lot of surfers throughout the world we don’t usually compete in contest we just love to surf.

Well the Aboriginal community is no different.

They just love to be one with the mother. Surfing was born in the Hawaiian culture and therefore was only a matter of

time before our indigenous people joined the family. Aloha

I am proud to say i have have been friends with the Wreck Bay community since my early days of surfing and yes you guys, I surfed Black Rock or Aussie Pipe by myself. No legrope and the young Koori kids would throw my board back to me. Eventually we gave them a few lessons and a couple of old boards and they took to the water like ducks.

I have learnt much from these friends over the years and if you ever get the chance to get that feeling of belonging when you enter a community, it is one of the most satisfying feelings you will ever have, as the aboriginal people are a welcoming to those that understand we are not all the same and they view the world in a different way. Maybe a better way!

Eventually we gave them a few lessons and a couple of old boards and they took to the water like ducks.

The aboriginal lifestyle and culture is based on all things natural and the mother. Not an uncommon feeling amongst surfers.

There is so much said of the aboriginal communities in Australia, but we as white invaders must take some responsibility for this as our goverment drove them from their lands and nomadic lifestyle and forced them to become like us.

To me it should have been a meeting of the cultures, as we should have learned from them instead of raping the earth and leaving destruction in our wake.

Just my thoughts anyway!

Rob Ryan

Black Rock

Black Rock

The following video’s. Courtesy Peter PK Kirkhouse.