1974-1980 [text version]

1974-1980: THE HIPPY DRIFT

From 1968 the surfing world was swept up in the countercultural spirit reshaping politics, religion, the arts, music and youth consciousness throughout the West. As the Vietnam War dragged on, long-haired surfers dropped out, abandoned competition surfing and boardriding clubs, and dabbled in drugs, environmental activism and ‘cosmic’ lifestyles. Tracks magazine and a handful of movies tapped this subversive hippie drift and celebrated ‘soul’ surfing.

The sudden change saw many surfers flee Sydney or hang up their boards. But younger surfers, ‘grommets’, took to a variety of shorter, more radical boards with relish. By the end of 1974, mass-produced ‘pop out’ surfboards had reignited surfing’s popularity.

Col Smith re- entry, 1975.
Photograph @ Hugh McLeod / Aition

Tony ‘Humph’ Humphreys, Paul ‘Surl’ Goffett, Brad ‘Pork’ Andersen and Jeff ‘Critter’ Morris in car park at Long Reef
Chris Seller, late 1970s.
Courtesy Warren MacKenney. © Chris Seller

Toffer, Magoo, Bunny, Chris and Nick at surfers’ shack, Long Reef.
Jeff Morris, late 1970s.
Courtesy Warren MacKenney. © Jeff Morris

Yellow Bahne superflex skateboard
Bahne, 1974–80
Mick Mock Collection

Boards by Dunlop, c1975.
Mick Mock Collection

Mexican cardigan
Crystal Cylinders, 1974–80
Vintage Surf and Skate Emporium

Surf gear by Tracker sticker
Tracker, 1975
Mick Mock Collection

Red Golden Breed flex deck skateboard
Bennett Surfboards, Sydney, c1976.
Courtesy Duncan Harrex

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