27 February 19
If you’re compiling an inventory of must-surf locations, Lennox Head is one of the spots that’s going to have to be included, and probably up in the vicinity of the top 20, if that’s not too fatuous a concept. The NSW North Coast has its fair share of iconic point breaks, but the dramatic, rock-lined headland at Lennox is a surfing nirvana, its waves offering more size and power than most in this warm water wonderland. In the late 1960s, Bob McTavish and his mates found its empty line-up the perfect testing ground for their shortboard revolution. George Greenough’s tube-riding footage from The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun and Crystal Voyager sealed the deal for a whole generation of surfers searching for some kind of ultimate experience.
Fifty years on, and a sleepy village has grown into a surf town, with new estates out the back and a whole lot of people now out in the water. Very few waves go unridden these days, not just at the point but at a myriad of breaks along the local stretch of coastline.
In 2008, the Lennox National Surfing Reserve was declared, recognising its unique status in surfing. To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the reserve declaration, the town’s heritage committee has put together Surfing Lennox – From Then to Now – a 102-page pictorial history that serves as a love letter to Lennox and the waves that have shaped the town’s identity.
Chock-full of photos, the book touches on the local surf history from the Dreamtime onwards, looking at the characters, the evolution of surf-related businesses, the declaration of the reserve, and of course, the waves themselves. A good proportion of the book is devoted to the local surfing groups and clubs and the wide variety of competitive surfing activities they sustain.
The venture has been supported by local heritage groups and Ballina Council with a last-minute NSW Government funding grant getting the project over the line financially.
- REPORT BY IAN CAMERON FOR PLB
SURFING LENNOX – FROM THEN TO NOW
Compiled by Max Perrot, George Leslie, Robyn Hargrave, Vic Leto and Phil Myers
102pages – RRP: $45.00 + $12.00 post